Today...is my birthday. I had hoped that I would be writing this post about our encouraging doctor's appointment yesterday, and what a wonderful birthday present it was...but I'm not.
It was actually really, really rough. It was five hours long with no breaks, except for the brief moment the kids got to go through the sticker box. And though the kids didn't have to stay for the entire appointment, it was incredibly hard for my mommy heart to watch them have their check-ups. We won't know without further mycotoxin testing...but it seems symptomatically, like our sweet little Emma was the hardest hit. She really struggled through some of the neurological tests, and has had a number of other really difficult symptoms.
It's a lot to carry. And the appointment only went from bad to worse. After the kids left, we spent hours talking through every detail of our treatment plan with our doctor. And the more she talked...the more discouraged we got. First, the lovely little rumor floating around the mycotoxin world that you can vacuum pack and eventually kill them...well, it's just a rumor. Mycotoxins aren't living things. They are chemical matter...like a chair or a box. They willneverever die. So there's no point in boxing them up. We may be able to someday handlethe things we put away, but forget about the vacuum packs.
Even worst...the doctor believes that our collective exposure has been so significant that she doesn't think we can keep most of our furniture...even the stuff that we had thoroughly wiped off. We had hoped Clorox wipes would be enough, but since we had a lot of old, vintage furniture, that unsealed wood was just too exposed to mycotoxins. So...out went our furniture.
Thenwe found out that our little vintage camper we named Whimsy is also going to probably have to go. We had bought Whimsy with plans to embrace a life full of Whimsy and fill our kids childhood with special camping adventures...but apparently, we're probably not. So, out went the camper.
And then,after a very dramatic pause she said, "And...you probably need to get a haircut."Ideally, it would be best to actually just shave my head since the mycotoxins there cause the worst exposure, but I sort of stopped listening after she said, "Hair cut." All I kept thinking about in that fragile moment was the scene from Little Women when Amy gasps at Jo's haircut and says, "But Jo! You're one true beauty!"
I don't wantto cut my hair. I don't wantto sell the table and chairs my grandparents got as a wedding present. And I certainly don't want to watch Whimsy drive off into the sunset. It's like we've justwatched our entire house burn to the ground, and now the onebox left...is about to get thrown on the fire.
It's not much of a birthday present.
But I dowant to say this. I have learned some invaluable lessons in my 33rd year of life. It has been a year filled with the deepest sorrow and suffering I have ever known. It has been a year filled with tears. And sometimes, miraculously, it has also been a year of laughter. Laughter that probably even meant more than the laughter in all the other years...because it cost so very much of my heart to make it.
And it has been a year filled with reminders of who God is. Which is, after all, what all of these years are about anyways...knowing Him and making Him known.
And so, since it's my birthday and I can blog if I want to...I want to share perhaps the most important truth I have learned about Lord in this 33rd year of life.
God is Sovereign.
He knowsthings. And plans things. And doesthings that ONLY HE COULD KNOW.
When I was in college, I started something called my "Only God Could Know Book." I, like every college (slash that-HUMAN) girl, struggled with believing the truth of my worth. And so...every time I felt like God did something or said something throughsomeone else that ONLYGod could know...I'd put it in the book.
For example...one day I was reading in 1 Peter 2:9 and how it says that we are a "chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation." I remember thinking in that moment, "God, I don't feelvery royal. I don't feel like a Princess?" I shut my Bible with what I'm sure was a rather emphatic thud, and went for a run.
I went to college in downtown Chicago, so runs were full of lots of stops. As my friend and I came up to a stoplight, we saw two guys clearly dressed in gang attire standing there. We came up to the stoplight and, I kid you not... one of the guys turned to me and said, "Hello there Princess."
He may have been a gang member. He may have been an angel. But what I'm absolutely sure about is that only God could know I had read that very passage and had those very thoughts, right before I stood on that very street corner.
And I know that that is true of Him...because He's still in the "Only God Could Know" business.
This week, someone I've only met once held an amazing online auction full of beautiful handmade goods. Hundreds of beautiful people made and bid on the items and then gave the proceeds of the auction to us. As I was looking over the items the day of the auction I actually said to Reid, "I wish I could bid on all of these. They're so great! And I especially love this little birds nest necklace."
Are you ready for this...fifteen minuteslater...I got a message on Facebook from the girl who makes those very necklaces. She wanted to send me one. OnlyGod could know.
We have been so incredibly bombarded with love over the last seven days. It doesn't even feel real to be thisloved by so many people all at once. But I felt especially humbled that I was being sent a beautiful little birds nest necklace with six tiny pearls in it...because there's only One person in all the world who knew I wanted one.
And He's the King of all the birds nests. And all the gang members on random Chicago corners. And most of all...all of my baby birds.
If there is one thing I've learned in the last year of life...it's that God's sovereignty is a precious gift. It is a hard gift on the days when God does something that only God could know, especially when that thing breaks your heart beyond being put back together again. There hasn't been one moment of the last week I wouldn't have gladly traded in for ten secondsof baby Charlie in my arms. Or the next baby, or the next. I don't like all of the things God knew and did.
But I trust Him.Because He is GOD.He knowsthings that we don't. He sees things that we don't. He hearsthings that we don't. He doesthings that we don't even fathom the far reaching sovereign implications of.
And at the end of this incredibly painful year of life...I truly can say, just like Habbakuk once said,
Though the fig tree does not bud
and my precious babies are in the ground,
though the olive crop fails
and there is no new baby in my womb,
though we lost almost everything we owned,
and now I have to get a mom haircut,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
I've read this passage a thousand times. But this year especially, one word alone has become an anchor to my heart. The Sovereign Lord is my strength. And He is my strength...because He's sovereign. Only God could knowwhy we have suffered so much. And only God could knowthe beautiful eternal outcome.
I could not do this life...if my God was not sovereign. I just couldn't. I have wrestled deeply with every one of the hundreds of passages on His sovereignty over this last year...and it is becauseHe is sovereign, becauseHe numbers each and every one of our days, and because He is the God of a lifetime of only God could knowmoments for each and every one of us...
I trust Him.