We brought DOP to see two doctors, but neither could make sense of her symptoms with their routine tests so an MRI was scheduled “just in case.” It was the day of that MRI that our normal, full life shifted to the hard, full life. So full and hard that it’s taken me until now, almost 10 months later, to find a way to record His glory in the midst of the hard. Lest we forget the hard that was already a part of our lives at this point. An autistic eloper being a part of that daily fullness.
When I woke up on January 9, 2014, I had absolutely no idea that this image was awaiting to change our lives–immediately.
My man had taken DOP to the MRI because really, who needs both parents to be there for that? The technician was not going to tell us a darn thing anyway, right? We figured this was all “just in case” so it was fine for me to stay home with Little E and keep things going as usual. There was nothing usual about the text I was waiting for from my man telling me that they were done and on their way home. There was nothing normal about that text never coming. Instead, what came was a phone call waaaaaayyyyyy longer than anticipated. The phone call that sounded like my husband’s voice, but I couldn’t make sense of the words on the end of the line that said, “You need to come down to the hospital. DOP has been admitted to the hospital. She has a brain tumor the size of a kiwi.”
We had asked our village of friends and family to pray for a routine MRI, never expecting that this would be the next F*acebook status update:
To be honest, I don’t really want to re-hash the next few months of brain tumor discovery, removal and rehabilitation. Nothing about it was easy, but I saw Him there in every moment. My husband plunked himself down at the hospital with a computer for 30 days and 21 units of on-line school. I held down the home front and tried to pretend everything was normal when nothing really was. The boys had their first day of public school ever on the day of DOP’s surgery. Our community rose up and helped along a road we had never planned on walking. I was too numb from it all to write it at the time. Yet, my husband who was on the front-line managed to record her story on his blog (look under January 2014) because someone needed to declare how God was there even in the midst of the hard. I was hard-pressed to know what the plan was for the next day. My poor friends would ask about how they could help me the next few days and I’d say, “I have no idea. I’ll let you know once I’ve tucked Little E into bed tonight. Then I’ll try to wrap my brain around tomorrow.” Maybe this is crazy, but I learned a lot through that. A dear friend said, maybe we should consider that this is the way God would like us to live life–in the moment, not always planning the future and missing out on what He has for today. A lot of wisdom there, friends, but that is a post for another day.
Although I had no idea the reasons for why He was whispering the winds of change back in the fall, He did. No one wants to find out their daughter has a brain tumor, but it was the way He so clearly provided for our needs before we ever knew we needed them that allowed us to press in to the hard and trust that He had our backs even in the unexpected. If there is one thing I am confident of is this, He is here. He is on the unplanned roads walking alongside us and He wants us to tell others about it.