This isn’t your traditional Thanksgiving Eve day post, but my prayer is you find hope and a spirit of thankfulness through our experience I’m about to share.
Fifteen years ago on this very day, we nearly lost our daughter. Over time, God has closed off many of those horrific memories and I’ve been able to focus on the many blessings. She is with us. She’s doing well. We were able to forgive.
The challenge has been since that day, she’s endured a lot of medical stuff. It’s a delicate line to walk because it is not life-or-death as we once knew, but daily care is required. At first glance, few would see what she’s been through or still going through. That almost makes things harder.
The past year has been harder than it has been in awhile. I believe her age has a lot to do with it, and that one of her issues is a rare condition where puberty is new territory. We don’t know what to expect. What used to be predictable isn’t, and what we couldn’t count on, now we sometimes can. It’s been frustrating at the least and devastating at times to see her in pain or not feeling close to her best.
Recently she’s had a cluster of appointments. Now that she’s older, their questions are directed toward her to answer. It’s overwhelming. Add missing school, new medicines, new medical stuff and it just has been a stinker of a time.
One of the appointments ran later than the others because they added a new component to the routine. Although overall it was a good thing, at the moment we were both feeling over it all. So many questions. Appointments. Specialists. Lack of answers. Frustrations.
As I finally dropped her off at school and decided to browse around until it was time to get her again, I lamented to God. I vented. I explained how unfair it all felt, how it doesn’t seem like her prayers get answered, that this is too hard to watch and not have control over it, how isolating it all is, I just said everything I was thinking. I drove to the Salvation Army and just let my words rest at the feet of Jesus. My thought was, “You’re taking all this, cuz I’m tired and I’m going to shop and forget about life for an hour.”
I walked the aisles, not really searching for anything, but always on the hunt for a bargain. Toward the back are shelves full of knick knacks that if I’m being honest, is often just junk. Broken pieces. Chipped paint. Missing parts.
Until a flash of glitter caught my eye.
I walked over and found a snow globe that against all that junk, and they were sorting through stuff that looked like some was literally garbage, the globe looked brand new. Pink flawless base with a glitter globe full of water. Inside was a little girl praying. I turned it upside down and it was musical. The song was from a comforting Psalm. Engraved across the inside was Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. Engraved on the base was a name.
Our daughter’s name.
I knew right then that was God letting me know He hears. He cries when our daughter does, and when I do. He hates this as much as I do, but He also has a plan so amazing that makes sense. I might not understand it, but I trust Him. That globe said to me, “I see you. I hear you. This is going to be okay.”
Usually this time of year I wrap anything I find and call it a Christmas gift, but I made an exception. I shared my God moment with her, and her eyes lit up as she saw the globe with her name on it. In her favorite color. With sparkly glitter to add to the wonder of it all. Hours later I walked into her room and noticed as her and her brother put up Christmas decorations, they also re arranged things so the globe had a special place. She was receiving that gift for all it was intended to be.
If this holiday season has you burned out, over it, questioning, and just done, I understand. Your Heavenly Father is so specific and so present. Don’t be afraid to verbalize your fears, frustrations, the anger and the hurt. He can take it. He can take you asking for something that offers you hope and encouragement until you’re able to hug Jesus in the flesh. Look for the sparkles in the snow. The deer that locks eyes with you. That sunset. Or, like with us, that personalized snow globe.
I wish you the very happiest of Thanksgivings.