Through this journey I have leaned a lot about acceptance. It is hard and most of it that I don't understand. As God has gently reminded me a lot lately, it is not about understanding but TRUST. TRUST in ME and I will guide you; I will not allow you to stumble. However, that does not mean that the path will be EASY or without many hardships and heartaches. It means, my FATHER will ALWAYS be there. He has my VERY BEST at heart and knows what I need, exactly when I need it.
I think that is so hard for me, I like to have control. I have gotten much better in this journey because there really has not been one element of this that I have been able to control. While I would have never imagined my life to be on this journey, I could not imagine my life without it, I would not know who I am. I have been stretched and challenged, changed and I have stumbled over myself many times. I have failed and I have succeeded. I have learned and I have just wanted to crawl under a hole until the hurt and pain went away. However, if it were not for each and every one of those moments, I would not be who I am today, I would not have an understanding of how trust and faith work.
A friend reminded me the other day that God disciplines those He loves; those who are His. That is how we grow, how we learn, how we become the person He designed us to be. I do that with my children. I feel that I am called to raise them according to the Word. However, our natural bent is sin. So, as a mom, I need to correct behavior, punish, and teach. That is my job. I have known that He disciplines those He loves, but never thought of it quite like that. I don't have to like it (trials and challenges that just hurt and are hard) but from every situation I have walked away better, I have learned. And sometimes I don't learn; maybe I was not ready, maybe I was a stumbling block in my own learning, or I was disobedient because I did not like the lesson. Whatever it is, we should feel blessed that He is disciplining me, that He is allowing me to learn and grow. (*I try to tell my kids that; they don't feel the same, but hopefully I can teach them that so they will not be so devastated when the storms come; and I know they will!)
Since the diagnosis of Down syndrome it has been a battle of acceptance. It has been a case, mainly, of myself not wanting to accept something that I did not know, I did not understand. I am listening to the world of what Down syndrome is (or is not) and not realizing that God is giving me exactly what I need. And, after time and adjustment, I have to say that Lydia has saved me in many aspects. She has taught me and stretched me. But mainly she has taught me what is important in life and what love is all about. Things I could not have learned unless she was in my life. I did not know that I needed to learn that; I thought I already had! Thanks God for the BIGGEST blessing of my life, learning the things you have to teach me through Lydia.
The hospital stay. No one wants to have their newborn baby in the hospital for anymore time than they have to. However, God said you need to be in here for over 5 months. In that time He taught me so much. I think I fought it just about every day. Thoughts of if I just could take her home and bring her back later. The told loss of control and being dependent on someone else to provide for your child was hard for me to swallow. I look back now, after her recent surgery, and think what a blessing it was to get it done during that time. She was easier to have in the hospital, we never had to get home and settled in and then adjust. It was also a HUGE growing time for me. I found out more about who I am and who God wants me to be. I had to accept the fact that this is God's plan and I need to trust and follow, obey and give glory to HIM no matter what!
Handing her off to surgery. Accepting the fact that you will not see your daughter as you know her to be for a long time. Accepting that your daughter may not make it out of surgery alive. Accepting that this is what you have to have done for her...there are no other options. As nervous and as hard as it is, I had to accept what God had for me. I could question, kick and scream, say that it does not make sense, that I don't understand; but none of that was going to change the course. I prayed and I asked for what I thought was best, but I knew God would answer it the way He had planned. Acceptance...it is hard.
Accepting that Lydia may always have challenges to eat is very difficult for me. I want to push through, I want to get to the next hurdle and put this one in the past. However, I have been fighting it for a long time. We have advocated (I think well and pleasing to God)to get her where she is at. We are at this point and I have to trust that God will continue to carry us. I have not gotten a clear picture as to what He would like us to do; so I try to feed her my very best at each meal, praying before that He would watch over and bless this meal to her benefit. I remind myself that we are not running the 50 yard dash, but we are in a lifetime journey. I was warned early on by our great surgeons that this may be the case. I have read other families stories (some struggle harder and some don't struggle). But she has accomplished many things that I thought she might not and I have to rejoice in those. I have to be thankful where we are at and continue to seek God's guidance on where we need to go. But in the meantime, I need to accept where we are at; I need to rejoice and give thanks.
Acceptance is a hard thing, but it is needed to carry forward. I don't have to understand my situation, I don't have to agree with it, but I need to accept it and make the very best of what I have been given. I need to trust that God will continue to carry me and show me what He has planned. As I look back on our journey, Lydia was exactly what I needed, but I had no clue. She saved me in so many ways and I could not have wrote that journey, even if I tried. But I am a better person because of it.
I may understand acceptance better than others because it is part of my life, it is part of the journey that I need to know in order to keep going. While not every one may understand acceptance as I do, but it is my job then to share my story and show acceptance towards others. If I want others to show acceptance towards Lydia, I must model it. I know that I had no clue as to what acceptance was before I had her, before I was on this journey. I understood it to the point that my experiences allowed me to. Now that it is part of my journey I understand it to a different degree. So, I believe, that we are to share our experiences and teach others. Not everyone will understand the way I do, as not everyone has had the same experiences, but I can help other do a better job in acceptance!
I would encourage you on your journey to accept where you are at. Do your very best to accept your circumstances rather than try to understand them and allow God to carry you. I struggle with that...but I certainly try. I know the times that I have accepted where I am at, it has been much easier. It has not changed the situation but it has allowed me to deal with it better.