Thursday, January 19, 2012

Second Chances

On March 25th 2007 when my daughter was 18 months old she died and then was given a breath of life and a second chance to live.

I spent the first five days after the accident shuffling back and forth from Makenzie's bed side to the waiting room outside the PICU to visit with the many people that came to comfort me. My daughter hung onto life in a room with tubes and wires. She lay lifeless in a deep coma induced by medication and brain damage. I cried more tears then one could probably ever count. I woke up morning after morning in a little blue recliner next to Makenzie's bed only to realize that none of what was going on was a dream but instead reality.

One of the most vivid memories I have from those first five days in the hospital is the visit I got from my Aunt Kathy. I remember feeling a rush of peace the second I walked through the door into the waiting room and landing in her arms. It would be the first encounter I would have with another mother who had felt the same loss I was feeling. She was a mother who had cried many tears at her child's bedside. She was mother who had watched one of her children get better and years later would watch 3 of her children become angles in heaven. She was a mother who offered understanding and God's love and grace even through the hardest times.

I remember holding onto her tightly and through my tears I asking the one question I dared not ask any one else.... "why would God do this to my little girl?"

She squeezed me a bit tighter and assured me that God did not do this to Makenzie but instead it was the sin in the world. She then went on to recount a part of Luke 11 which reads:

Luke 11:11-13
"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion. If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"

She reminded me that God would only give us good gifts and I felt like God had spoken in that moment through my beautiful Aunt the exact words and truth I needed to hear.

Then on April 23rd just one short week before Makenzie was released from the hospital I picked up the bible that laid on the counter. I ran my fingers across the pages and opened it. I laid my eyes on these words in Job.......

Job 5:8-9
"But if it were I, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him. 
He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that can not be counted."

I ran upstairs to a bedroom in which Makenzie's baptism gown happened to be hanging in the closet. I collapsed in tears while clinging to the white gown that my daughter wore the day I promised her to God. I knew in my heart that everything was going to be ok.

Over the years I have looked back at those first few weeks after Makenzie's accident in awe of God's power and plan. I did not know then what "ok" really meant but I knew the peace that it offered.

Four and a half years later my life is full. Makenzie is doing amazingly well. Four years ago I would not have envisioned a little girl who still could not sit, talk, or walk as "ok" but God knew better. Makenzie is more then "ok" she is GREAT!

However, I have noticed over the last 4 years that with each passing day it becomes easier and easier to take "GREAT" for granted. I find myself thanking God less and less for each new skill Makenzie acquires. I take more credit and give less to the God who is handing down all of the wonders that cannot be fathomed and the miracle's that can not be counted. I go days without even talking to Him or relying on His mighty hand for any part of my life.

I have come to a point with 4 kids where I have been smacked back into reality. There is only one of me and sometimes more needs in one day then I could organize in an entire month.

I have found myself in tears multiple times in the last few weeks because no matter what I do, I just can't seem to get it together. I am exhausted and overwhelmed. There are nights when I am supposed to be in 3 places at one time and at the end of most days I just sit trying to remember what the heck I even did that day.

Over the last couple of days I have felt great guilt for trying to do this alone. I have also felt incredibly guilty for not giving credit where credit has been due. I have felt God reminding me of how far we have come and who has orchestrated it all.

I am not alone. I may only be one person but God continues carry me when I can not walk anymore. He continues to provide in ways that make it possible for one person to meet the needs of four busy, growing kids.

So from that day in March when I sat with my Aunt not knowing if my daughter would live or die until today, watching Makenzie do things far from being in a lifeless coma, I am here to say that without God's gifts, wonders, and miracles,  we would not be  in this place of pure overwhelming, exhausting, busy but absolutely AMAZING BEAUTY that is Makenzie's Miracle.....A little girl with a second chance at life who continues to be a testament of God's healing power each and every day!

So tomorrow morning before I crawl out of bed I will remind myself of this simple fact......this is the day that the Lord has made............and with each busy moment I will try to remember that He is there to carry me when I can not walk any more.

Believe.... Works!


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