Christmas, my hands-down favorite season is when God decided to give you to me. I woke with so much joy and I remember giggling at the 6 am sudden alert that labor was starting. The pumpkin cheesecake, the smell of turkey that filled our tiny little home would never be eaten that Christmas day. There were presents under the tree for your brother, still unopened as we headed to the hospital, unable to wait it out at home any longer.
I remember being so calm, you were a foretold dream coming true. God let us know you were coming months before we saw the 2 little pink lines.
Our hearts were ready to make room for you even though we had just celebrated your brother’s 1st birthday. There was no question in our hearts.
When you came out, in your broken little body, the urgency in the room was so thick. There was a holding of breaths and you were watched so closely as the brainstorming began. Thankfully I was in the post-birthing haze, and my fragile heart didn’t see the worry and concern that your daddy began to see.
Standing in the NICU at Seattle Children’s the next night at 12 am was surreal. Mountains were moved to allow your tiny family to be standing near your crib, complete, as we heard the daunting news. Yet, I still can’t deny….
I wasn’t a foreigner to the inpatient setting. In fact, I had worked at an inpatient Neuro Rehab Institute with brain trauma and spinal cord injury. I worked with patients and their families as they began to digest their forever changed storylines. My job was all about helping them learn how to adapt to not let the state of their bodies impact what they could and could not do. Again…
The day came, the day that Dr. Jacob walked in the room, calm with compassion in his eyes. I was alone. Your daddy was with your brother at the sibling playroom. I was wearing a grey shirt and black jeggings. The words, Cystic Fibrosis, left his mouth and I felt my knees give way. The ability to form words disappeared as the thoughts fled to dark corners in my soul. “Sarah, remember all that God has done for Ezzy” and with a little nod to his head, Dr. Jacob walked out the room. The same Dr. that came and held your mom and dad’s hands and prayed over you, just a few minutes before your life-saving surgery. Isn’t that so God?
Do parents ever recover from being told “you will stand over your daughter’s grave and there is nothing you can do about it”?
No, no, they don’t.
However, they do wake up one day and don’t think about the clock ticking away, but instead get caught up in the miracle of life, that every day is not promised.
Today Ezrah May, Ez, Ezzy, you are 12 years old. This is the last year before teenage years hit. I remember holding you in the middle of the night as the monitors beeped to your heartbeat and the wires covered your tiny little body. It was in those moments, as the world slept and I was wide awake afraid to miss one moment with you, that God told me “she is mine”. He encouraged me to pray over you, to be brave enough to ask Him to give you abundant life. So that is what I did, I rocked you to sleep and sang songs of victory over you. Begging and pleading for the chance to watch you take your first steps, to go to preschool, to get your ears pierced, score your first goal, lose teeth, and have your first crush. Guess what?!? I have seen ALL those moments.
When God began to let me truly see the fire he built inside of you and I thought that I might lose my mind. He sent a kind soul our way to walk us through hard conversations as a family and became a safe place for you to say big things. When you began to wrestle with the mortality of your disease and you admitted your fear of death, of being separated by your family, our Children’s Leader was right there to sit with you on the steps of Orton Ranch, while all the other kids played without a worry in the world. When you faced the loss of your dog and realized that fear was your companion and grief was heavy, you sat on the steps in our church and poured out your soul to our Pastor, and asked questions that you had been carrying. God didn’t let you deal with those big things alone. Why?
I can’t believe that you are 12 years old. You are saying goodbye to the childish years and are entering into the years of womanhood. I now know what it feels like to have my mascara disappear or my shoes are worn without being asked or clothing finds its way into your closet. You linger at the adult table and no longer can handle the kids’ table. You have developed your own relationship with some of my closest friends and I have been reminded countless times I am not alone in raising you, there are other mommas who feel honored to hold your confidence. You love to write and tell stories, which can get you in trouble at times, but I can see that long-ago God revealed what was behind the veil to you. You don’t just see the surface, there is always more. More of the story to write. There is so much more to write Ez, why?
Preparation is happening.
Happy birthday Ezrah May. I have watched you grow and mature so much this last year. You are my constant help in running the house. You fill in on nights mom and dad have to work late and get dinner in the oven for us. You make sure the babies are tucked in and teeth brushed on nights we steal away for a last-minute date. You have learned how to process big things without massive outbursts and now articulate the inner workings of your soul that remind me of what a deep soul you are. With this birthday I am realizing that the things that were scary and unknown for me have become the very things that I have witnessed God work in mighty ways.
I don’t know what tomorrow brings us or you. I don’t know what the team of specialists will say at your appointments in January. I don’t know if the flu season will give us a scare. I don’t know if you will grow up to be an illustrator like you dream of doing. But this I know.
You are God’s cherished child. His plans for you are greater than any I could dream up. You were fearfully and wonderfully made. I get the best seat in the house to your story, front row, cheering you on each step of the way. Day by day, learning to trust the very God that breathed life into your lungs on December 26, 2009. Can’t wait to keep watching you reach milestone after milestone, why?
Preparation is happening.