Harder Family

Harder Family

Friday, June 19, 2020

Waiting to Exhale

Psalm 40:1-3 "I waited patiently for the Lord; He trend to me and heard my cry. He lifted me our of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him."

Have you ever subconsciously held your breath about something going on in your life? During the last few months, I have been feeling like the next shoe was going to drop and I have been subconsciously holding my breath for something wrong to happen. 2020 has been a difficult year on all of us with COVID turning all of our lives upside down. So many people have been living in fear of dying from this virus while everything around us has been flipped our lives around. If COVID wasn't enough to cause us to hold our breath, we have been walking a difficult journey with one of our children. I haven't shared much because I want to protect his story, but there have been some really hard days the last year. There have been many days that I have wrestled with God for allowing more "difficult" in our lives. I told Him that I'm done going through the fire to be refined, but at the same time, I know that God uses these difficult times to draw my heart closer to Him. So, the wrestling has continued. Some days I surrender and I feel strong, and other days I just pitch a fit like a toddler to my dad for not doing what I want. But through all of this, God has been refining me; and slowly, He has helped me see that I don't have to be the perfect parent and I don't have to be responsible for my child's decisions. I can ask for help and know that there are others out there who might be able to help him in ways that I cannot. That is HARD! I am a perfectionist and I don't want to have to ask for help from others. Our counselor told me two weeks ago that there is no fixing this. I just have to trust God with this child and do all that we can, but know we aren't responsible for the results.

Sometimes when we are in the midst of the hard, it it is difficult to see why God is allowing it. Every once in a while, I feel like God gives a glimpse of how He is working about what He is doing. In those moments, I feel like a silly, ridiculous child who was asking for one thing when God really knew I needed something else. God gave me a glimpse in the last few days of what surrender and asking for help looks like. And you know what? I feel so much peace with the direction God is moving us in regard to this child. God has a purpose for bringing him into our lives, and He has a purpose in moving us to Kentucky to be near family. Sometimes it does "take a village" to raise a child with so many issues and trauma. Our village comprises of us, our family, our friends, his counselor and psychiatrist, and our church. I look forward to seeing where God leads and how He moves mountains.

The additional "stress" in my life that has caused me to hold my breath was Wayne's upcoming MRI. About two months ago, Wayne had a seizure, something he hasn't had in three years. This freaked me out and in the back of my mind, has been causing me to fear. What if his cancer is growing again? How am I going to raise our 8 kids alone? How can I raise our special child alone? All of these fearful thoughts started raging through my brain. I stopped them and prayed about it, but in the back of my mind and heart, I didn't truly let go. Have you ever had a homework project coming up that just kind of nagged on you in the back of your mind? That is what this MRI was like. I wasn't focused on it, but I was subconsciously worried about what the results would be. The last MRI happened right before COVID shut our nation down. Today's MRI is on the heels of the country opening back up. Normally we wait four months between his MRIs, but we had a wedding in Chicago to attend, so we came a few weeks early. Thankfully, the doctor walked in the office today after the MRI and announced that his scan is still clear and that he is setting records with how well he is doing and how long he is living! I finally felt like I could truly breathe after that announcement. 

As a Christian, it is hard sometimes to balance fully trusting and believing God, and also knowing that we live in a fallen world filled with cancer and death. I have had so many friends lose their loved ones and another friend discovered recently that her husband's brain cancer is back. I have discovered that it is a daily surrender of my will and fears to God to allow Him to have His way in my life. I cannot change what is going to happen, but I can trust the One who knows the future. 

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