loving past the pain and in the weakest places.

March 20, 2013, Michaela Evanow, 17 Comments

I had a moment yesterday, a moment of complete brokenness: in shambles, my throat raw from crying, my head blinded by a headache, by the great weight of it all. I felt completely weak, completely drained. Unable to go on. I couldn’t even look at Florence without breaking into weeping. The pain, it was too much. I yearn to see her move her body. I desire with all my heart to see her roll over, sit up, walk, dance, put weight on her tiny feet, crawl. The pain of this yearning is too great to bear. It really is. And yesterday I heard myself saying to the Lord “Just take her now if she’s not going to get better. I want her to do all these things so badly that I don’t think I can make it, please just take her. I cannot bear to see her suffer. I cannot imagine her being unable to breath, just waiting to pass away.” The madness of this, all of this, it really could be the end of me if it weren’t for Jesus. He is my antidepressant, my coping mechanism. The doctors treat us with love but they also see that there is no way out of this. They believe that this is it for Florence and she will most likely just get worse as time goes on. They teach us how to “cope” with things: oh she can’t eat anymore? Here’s a tube. Sometimes I feel that they treat her like she is dying, trapped in a body that is fading away, and my mother heart wants to die as well because I can see that sorrow in their eyes. They have given up. Their language is cold and starved of hope: eventually she will need a tube, eventually she won’t be able to do that (although mercifully we do come across some wonderful doctors that aren’t like this). They trust in the science of it, they trust the diagnosis.

Which is why I cannot. I cannot put my trust in these things. I have to believe that she will walk one day. I have to believe that God will intervene. Although I sometimes get trapped in my weakest place, tell the Lord I cannot do this anymore, its too hard, I cannot push through…I don’t really believe that, do I?

No. There is so much beauty amidst the sorrow. Overflowing wells of joy and grace tucked behind the towering mountains. Oh, the journey is long, but it is rich. She is my delight and my dream. She is truly an angel, with the softest gray eyes, eyes that stop people in their tracks, eyes that consume.

And so, last night, somewhere there under the warm duvet, I found the tiniest amount of strength. And I got up and I tried to feed her dinner even though she refused to eat very much. And I begged her, and I pleaded with my eyes, and then I gave up and made some Pediasure in a cup with thickener, watched her drink half of it, sighed. It’s not homemade kale and sweet potatoes, or what I always thought it would be. At least she’s getting some calories (this is a lesson all parents learn I think).

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Today I reflected back on my night and felt a pang of sorrow. I don’t want to be that weak but I know that if I don’t release the grief it will only invade my heart with more force the next time.
I held her today, said I was sorry and then caught a glimpse of her and I in the mirror. My face crumpled into an ugly mess, and I told her I loved Her. God spoke to my wounded heart: I know that this is hard and you feel that you can’t do this, but can you love her? Can I trust you to just love her? Maybe this isn’t what you expected but she needs you. I have entrusted her to you. When you feel you can’t go on, just love her.

Love.

It’s impossible not to love her. Of course I can love her, and if that is all I accomplish on this earth, then I have lived my dreams. To love and serve my child. Love past the pain, the fear, the disappointment. Love past the comparisons and the whys. If, God forbid, she were to die at a young age, I will know that I loved her, fully and completely. Loved her as God loves us.
When I’m weak, and feel I cannot move, God becomes my perfect strength. She is weak and needs me to move her, feed her, put toys in front of her, put her hands on the toys, move the toys for her, roll her over, stretch her, help her clear her throat, stretch her arms out to pet a dog, do every little thing for her. Somehow it is a reflection of God’s strength in me, being poured out to her. I will never have enough in my own strength, but because of God’s all consuming love, I find that place of strength. And I can go on, live life in all its richness, thankful for the blue sky, a quiet house, a warm mug of coffee. I can see the joy in this. I can pick up the pieces.
Hallelujah. I am breathless at the end of the day’s race, but hallelujah, I can go on.

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17 Comments

  • Reply Priti Chandekar March 21, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    hi Michaela ,this is Preeti from India.. remember one thing always God loves you and so does he love Florence..scripture says though a mother may forget her child but God always never leaves his children…so be of good cheer … Florence is in His safe hands… I know as humans and specially as a mother it is but natural to feel the way we feel as I have been through the same as regards my son Prince but one thing I have learnt recently is that although our faith may waver God forgives our unbelief and respects our small faith we demonstrate cause He is a God who keeps his word and His plans are always for our good.

  • Reply Elvera Corben March 21, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    Jesus, you promised that your grace and strength would be sufficient for micheala ,Jason and Florence. They need to know and feel that in a real and tangible way . No ifs ands or buts! We, their , spiritual family are waiting and will give you All the Glory. Elvera

  • Reply Kelly March 21, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Hi, just wanted to say that we’re praying for y’all.
    Colossians 1:2-14

  • Reply Krista M March 20, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    There were many tears while reading your personal journey today. I truly admire your relationship with Jesus, the strength you draw from Him, the passion you have for being a mama, and your vulnerability to share your heart. Please know that our Lord has continually been putting you, your husband, and sweet baby Florence on my heart to lift up with prayer.
    Here are a couple beautiful songs for you and your mothers heart:

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mnHp7F6euWw

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8lDCgxbX878

    • Reply Michaela. March 21, 2013 at 8:07 AM

      Hi Krista, thank you for praying for us and listening to the Father’s prompts. Thanks for the songs too. 🙂

  • Reply Lauren March 20, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    You are a perfect mother. Your job is so important and you live it so wonderfully…the pain and worry included. It’s all part of it. I’ve had dreams of Florence as a happy, loved, energetic little soul running around doing all she is meant to. She will. Xoxo

    • Reply Michaela. March 21, 2013 at 8:06 AM

      Lauren, you don’t know how much that means to me. I just wept reading your comment. It is so precious to hear that. Many people have had dreams of that, seen her as a 5 year old, doing these wonderful things. Thank you for sharing. xoxo

  • Reply Vangel March 20, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    I too…am overwhelmed with the power and the picture of your words.

    I hear Him asking me…through you…the same question.

    Will you let me just love you? Not fix you, change you, mold you, or test you…just love you…I just want to love you.

    Oh…how it feels deep inside those secret places…to hear Him speak to my heart through your living prayer.

    This…this…is…it. The Gospel. The Good News. The Love that speaks…no matter what they say…the Love that reminds us…you are not broken to me… you are my child…my precious child…and I see you… beautiful, perfect in my sight…

    Thank you for singing this miraculous melody over us…and for allowing yourself to be carried to the place where peace replaces fear…and all strivings cease in His love.

    Many will see and hear…and believe in His love…

  • Reply becca: exile fertility March 20, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    this is so brave: to write this way, to live this way, to love this way. You inspire me on so many levels. Praying for you today, for grace for the night, and for the morning. x

    • Reply Michaela. March 20, 2013 at 10:12 PM

      Oh thank you becca. That means a lot coming from you.

  • Reply Lyndall March 20, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    my Mothers heart joins with yours.
    I feel your pain,
    I struggle, believing for my daughter for her healing, but as painful as it is, you are so right to hold on and love, that is our job
    Besides God we have nothing, when there is nothing that Medicine can offer and our love can not change the situation for our baby , we are left with the only option to nothing ……GOD, he breathes and creates.
    I will be praying for you all

    • Reply Michaela. March 20, 2013 at 10:14 PM

      I’d love to hear your story Lyndall!

  • Reply Kelcy March 20, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    The depth of what you are enduring is so real, so gut-wrenching in your blog today. How anyone endures this kind of experience without Jesus is beyond me…words escape me as i don’t feel there’s anything i could say that could even come close to giving you any kind of consolation. But what i can say, and i know so many echo, we are with you Michaela, continuing to pray and believe and hope and trust….your steadfast and unwavering faith through all of this is beyond admirable. Many of us, I’m sure, would have given up or found themselves slipping into bitterness and despair….truly you are an inspiration.

    • Reply Michaela. March 20, 2013 at 10:13 PM

      That’s encouraging Kelcy, I appreciate that.

  • Reply Kali March 20, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    I’m covered in shivery goosebumps…and I feel but a hint of the depth of your grief. This verse of the hymn “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” comes to mind…

    Were the whole realm of nature mine,
    That were a present far too small;
    Love so amazing, so divine,
    Demands my soul, my life, my all.

    You’re living this so beautifully Michaela.

    • Reply Michaela. March 20, 2013 at 10:13 PM

      I sure hope I am. Doesn’t feel that way sometimes. Thanks Kali for the encouragement.

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