That's an obvious statement, I know. Any time someone goes through tragic circumstances in life, it changes them.
I've learned that what you need to decide in these very moments is how you will let this situation change you. Will you allow this to make you better? Or will you allow this to destroy the very person God created you to be? Will you allow it to diminish who you are?
I'm going to be honest with you right now (like there's times when I'm not). I've wanted to hide. I've wanted to give up on anything God had ever called me to do. I've used this moment as a reason to quit any type of ministry altogether. No one would ever blame me for quitting it all, for wanting to just focus on my family, to lay low, to hide away. Lots of people do it.
And, then there's those others who would ask why wouldn't I just do that. It makes perfect sense.
Honestly, I'm still searching for answers on all kinds of stuff from God. I don't have all the answers. Actually, I don't have ANY answers. I know that I have to take La Petite Belle to a clinic visit today, help her get through her online school lessons, and I have two more loads of laundry to do when I get back. That's pretty much the only things I know right now. I've already written numerous thoughts here on God's plans versus my plans.
When my children overheard me talking to Beau about not wanting to do ministry anymore, their faces got all disappointed and sad. Beau did the same thing.
But, I don't want to stay in anything JUST because of disappointing someone, not even my family. I also don't want to stay in anything because of my own selfish desires. I ONLY want to stay in something because I KNOW God wants me to be there. I'm waiting on God. I know He'll answer me in His time. I'm pretty sure He knows I've got a lot on my plate right now. All He's calling me to do is be right here where I am right now. To be Jesus. To care for my family the best way I can. And, to care for everyone else the best way I can.
I have always been the kind of person who likes answers RIGHT NOW. I never liked being in limbo. But, I've changed a bit. I'm not rushing God on this. I'm not rushing myself either. I'm going to just be still. I'm going to listen. I'm going to look. I'm going to wait. And, I'm not going to worry.
I know God is faithful. It makes it easier to rely on Him when you get that.
The other thing that REALLY changes about a person going through hard circumstances like these: there's a lot of stuff that just doesn't matter anymore. Stuff that was important isn't anymore. Stuff that you allowed to take up space in your mind before just isn't there anymore.
It's hard to not say, "WHO CARES?" or "That's so stupid. It doesn't matter," as other people around you talk about trivial things. That's definitely a downside because and that wouldn't be very nice to say. So, I try to stay interested and concerned even though my mind may be going all over the place.
That guy who said, "Don't sweat the small stuff," was onto something. In a moment's notice, your life can change and the only things you will be focused on are those things that are important and really matter to you. If only we could see through those type of eyes every day.
God, let me never forget what matters and forget about what doesn't.
Today is Day 81+ ...
Getting to the eighties seemed so far away. But, we're here.
We're still going to clinic visits twice a week. Today, we will be at clinic and we are hoping that the collection of T-cells from our donor will happen tomorrow. If that is the case, we will be back at clinic on Wednesday for that infusion. We are definitely ready to get that done and it seems to be happening quickly, so thank you all for praying specifically for that. If it is done this soon, that allows the doctor to really keep a good eye on La Petite Belle for the next several weeks for any signs of Graft-Versus-Host-Disease.
Last Friday, we got to see our good friend, Colten, at clinic for all the fall festivities. Although La Petite Belle felt a little out of place, she dressed up to see her buddy.
Texas Children's Hospital is fantastic with activities for patients. The only downside is that most patients are younger kids. I know that La Petite Belle feels out of place and alone quite a bit because of that. There's just not as many teenagers. I do wish that she would've had others her age to talk to, not that she'd be able to be with them because of the whole germ issue. But, even just meeting some and being able to contact each other via text or social media would've been great.
I met one other patient her age while La Petite Belle was getting her Pentamidine treatment (to prevent pneumonia) earlier last week. Her aunt, who was her primary caregiver, began to tell me how this 16-year-old lost all of her friends and has actually never returned to school because she's so far removed from that environment. Like I said, this changes you so much. I can't imagine La Petite Belle going back and relating to others her age, just shooting the breeze about nail polish and the latest boy band. She's matured in the things that I never thought she'd have learned this early. She knows what's important, but longs for the days when she can care more about what eye shadow to wear rather than how she's going to cover her bald head (because she's said she doesn't want to be "that girl, the one who's sick"). She's just ready to be a normal teenager again. It'll take some time, but it will come.
I know that people will think once we get home, everything will be back to normal. We'll still be far from normal, but inching our way back there nonetheless. Our lives will never be the same, changed forever. We're still working on making decisions about La Petite Belle's future with school (she won't be going to school at all this entire year due to her new immune system) and how my future job (yes, there will be one at some point) will be affected by it.
This has definitely changed us all. It's changed, not only the physical and everyday aspects of our lives, but it's changed who we are on the inside.
If you would like to financially support Katie's (aka La Petite Belle) journey to healing, you can find more information here: www.gofundme.com/Katieg. All funds go to cover medical bills and expenses.