Aaron spent the weekend here at the hospital while I went home for a couple of days to see the other children. This reprieve was absolutely necessary for me and I cherished every moment, while Aaron cherished the moments, although extremely challenging, of being able to comfort Hazel (something he doesn't get to do as much considering he still has to work full time for our family). However, being home made me aware of, once again, how much this journey has torn our family dynamic apart. Hazel has spent 66 of the last 142 days here at the hospital. 65 days!! Aaron has said how much he wishes he could be here to support Hazel and it's been so hard on him to not be able to do so. I am extremely thankful for each day we get at home, and never would have thought I would long for the commotion of four young children together. The dynamic of those days have also changed, however and are spent ensuring Hazel stays as germ free as possible and trying to catch up on all of the daily things we normally deal with as a family of six that have been neglected. And I grieve for the month of October knowing that for a potential 4-6 weeks straight our family will not be in tact.
I apologize if this post is not as optimistic or hopeful as most of my others, but I think it's indicative of how Aaron and I have been feeling this week. We have had easier days and have felt strengthened, but right now, we are tired from this journey and have reached a point where it feels so difficult to keep putting one foot in front of the other. For this reason it is so heartening to know that I don't have to rely on my own strength. The Lord my God, Creator of the universe, & King of Kings is on my side, and any strength you see from me has come from Him. If you will allow me, I want to share something deeply personal with you. Throughout my life, I have struggled with a hereditary form of depression, and it wasn't until God moved in my life that I finally felt free from it. However, it still continues to be something that is a part of me and I have to ask God to help me make conscious choices to not allow it to invade my life, and He has been so faithful. I have had many wonderful years that have only been peppered with this beast. Because of this knowledge I have about myself, I was very worried when Hazel was diagnosed. I was worried that depression would rear its ugly head, paralyzing me through this journey. But this has not happened! When my mind is predisposed to respond in a certain way, a way that would have me not even wanting to get out of bed in the morning; God has supernaturally kept this struggle away from me! Even on weeks like these, where many tears have been shed, He continues to carry me through each day. I love what it says in Psalm 27:13-14 "I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes wait for the Lord". And this next verse speaks directly to my heart and describes what I feel from God with such precision: Isaiah 40:28-31 "Do you not know? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to Him who lacks might, He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary".
Please pray for Hazel as she struggles through these days of pain and please pray for the emotional well being of our entire family!