I’m just going to write from my heart tonight, because that is what I am feeling led to do. I suppose the events of the last week, coupled with the outpouring of support, have inspired me to do so. But as I sit here and reflect on all that has happened and all that will happen–whatever it may be–I can’t help but feel led to share. And for as guarded and private as I tend to be (might be hard to believe if you only know me through the blog), I feel that Reece and our family’s story should be told. That includes what you are about to read.
I actually feel like just writing without the intent to inform–writing down and capturing multiple things that I have been thinking about. Some of these things have been brewing over many months and some just crossed my mind as recently as an hour ago.
It is a bizarre place to be, my life. At times it feels awkward and clumsy and at times, it all seems to make sense. It’s awkward in that everything is disjointed. My son is critically ill, my family is scattered, my mind is clogged, my concentration is poor. Yet, when I look at the footprint of my life, it all seems to add up. Let me back up. I am a human and Reece’s suffering will never make sense to me. In fact, the only way it makes sense is in a Biblical way that we live in a fallen world and we know there will be suffering because of it. But realistically, I am a human being and a mother, and I have a “few” questions for God when I get to Heaven. Actually, I suspect it will all make sense when I die, so the thought of having a bone to pick with God just proves how human I am. I know I will “get it” the moment I pass into Eternity.
It’s pretty easy to surmise why my life feels disjointed. I want to share why, in many ways, it seems to make sense. There are limitations to my explanation in that it won’t completely make sense until my time on earth is finished. But many things have brought me to this moment. I want to share it, because God is amazing in how he weaves the fabric of our lives together. I have been in awe of this for quite some time.
When I was a little girl, I was a “doll girl”. I always had one with me. I distinctly remember being three or four, forgetting to bring my doll on a grocery store run with my mom, and carting around a bunch of bananas as a sub-standard and desperate replacement. Fast forward 10 years and I loved babysitting. That is, until I babysat a “crier”. You know the type…the more silly faces and crazy antics you do to calm them down, the more it throws them into a crying frenzy. That pretty much destroyed my desire to babysit and my tolerance for being around kids. In fact, I still say I am not a “kid person”. Yes, I love my kids and I enjoy being around kids in general, but I am no preschool teacher material. Fast forward a few more years and I am a freshman in college. I did great in school and pretty much sucked at taking care of myself. A massive bout of anorexia nervosa ensued and I was a very sick person. I made it through the year, moved home to live at my parents’ house, and kidded myself that all would get better. Not only did I restrict what I ate, but I exercised for hours during the day. I didn’t have a menstrual period for a year and a half. The final straw came in July of that summer. As I dragged my weary body up to bed one night, I thought, “At least if I die, I will be skinny.” But that thought shocked me into reality and there was something inside of me that knew that I wanted to be a mother (remember, at this point of my life, I am the person in the restaurant who is highly annoyed when seated next to a family with kids). I could somehow envision that I needed to get well for the kids I was supposed to have, that I could possibly jeopardize my ability to get pregnant in the future, and I told my parents that I needed help. I spent the month of August in an intensive, outpatient program for eating disorders at Fairview University Hospital. This is the same building that Reece is currently being treated. It has been an ongoing struggle, but today, I am a healthy person.
Three years later, I am back at the U of MN getting my Master’s Degree at the Carlson School of Management. I don’t feel called to be in business, but it is what I do in an effort to earn a decent amount of money out of college. I go to work at a Fortune 100 company, meet Terry, get married, get pregnant, and have Reece. I fully intend to return to work, but on maternity leave I get the distinct feeling I should be at home with Reece full-time. (I also didn’t mention that in high school and college I fully believed that I was destined to become a great career woman and I would force my husband to stay home with kids…should I ever have any. Insert eye roll at myself.) I return to work knowing that I will be staying home with Reece, but I feel I need to close things out. Six months later, I am home full-time. I remember knowing in my heart that I need to be home with my child and that God had something big in store for me in my walk with Him. It was the first time in my adult life that I was absolutely certain about my “career path” and it felt wonderful. I was and still am able to savor being a mom. Additionally, my faith grew by leaps and bounds. I was immersed in bible study, met awesome friends, and thoroughly enjoyed the added time I was able to see my kids.
I never have regretted staying home full-time with my kids. But I have always struggled with desiring to be something great and to know what my calling is…my true calling. About a month before all of the craziness ensued with Reece last fall, it was placed on my heart that I need to stop looking beyond motherhood for my calling. One of my great callings in life was and still is to be a mom. This probably sounds like nothing, but to me, it was everything. I had peace with this thought as it settled into the depths of my heart. Considering my journey to become a mom, this realization was enormous. It was and still is reassuring to look back and see God’s hand in all of this.
Reece was diagnosed with MDS about 2-4 weeks after this thought crossed my mind. I know his life has its own purpose for him, but when I think about how purposeful the Lord has been in regard to my role as a mother, I am ever so grateful. I have a lot of peace knowing that I had years of time spent with him that I wouldn’t have otherwise had, considering the way I lived my life. God’s hand has and continues to be involved in this life’s journey. I consider that He knows me better than I know myself and I thank Him for saving me. I know that this circumstance, whatever it leads to, will be purposeful and used for many things.