There are so many people and so many ways that we have been blessed by all of you- through prayer, food, gifts, and words of encouragement, that I want to take a moment to say thank you- if you haven’t heard it from us personally- please know we are overwhelmed with blessings and gratitude and couldn’t do it without all of you holding up our arms.
One of the new habits we are working on with Elyse’s routine is to avoid the sun (new reader? see diagnosis). This can be a challenge in sunny California with a baby who refuses to keep a hat on. But we try to be vigilant, because even with a little sun exposure, she looks like an angry butterfly landed on her face as a winged red rash that spreads across her cheeks and eyelids. Big sis Bree has now developed a fascination with the sun. She says that she’s “allergic to it,” to which I remind her she isn’t a vampire like in Hotel Transylvania. When the sun shines through her window in the car, she whimpers and covers her eyes like a wounded puppy.
Yesterday in the car she was frustrated that the sun kept following us. She said with indignation, “Mom why does the sun keep staring at my face? Why won’t it just go some place else and leave me alone?” My smile spread as I appreciated her childlike understanding of the sun. A golden ball that shines in the sky just for her– a naive and charming thought.
With Elyse sometimes it does feel like the sun is on a personal mission to beam its face powerfully wherever we are. I didn’t notice how evasive the sun can be until it became something to avoid. But while the sun isn’t always convenient for us, I love how persistent it is- how it never fails to provide what we need day after day.
I heard a quote on the radio as the sun shone in my face, and God helped me to see His beautiful provision in a new way.
“The mystery of seeking God is that HE is the One who finds you.” Kingsley Opuwari Manuel
We can try to chase the sun and capture a moment of its beauty in a sunrise or sunset, but when we go about our typical days, our personal sunshine manages to find us and stare us blindly in the face. We don’t have to do anything but soak up its glorious warmth.
The thing with a death, or diagnosis, job loss, or divorce is there’s the initial shock of it, when your world is blurry, your knees are weak, and your mind feels numb, but then there’s every day life that awaits around a quick corner. Thats when we’re challenged to figure out how struggle can be woven into the fabric of who we are- the clunky new baggage that we’re dragging along with life’s mundane burdens like making coffee and sitting in a meeting. But the truth is- as real as struggle is, this reality is just as real for every single person who has ever known pain.
But as we know pain, we know the sun. A sun that is true no matter what. A sun that is warm, and exposing, illuminating, and rejuvenating. A sun so personal, it follows us, and stares us in the face.
We also know a God that is true even in our greatest doubts.
A God that is so great that He crafted the world. A God so personal that He burst into the world with a baby’s cry. So personal that He knows us better than we know ourselves. So personal that He reaches His hands into the world and touches us through His people. He comes close in hospital snacks, and homemade muffins, a handmade blanket, and a quilt sewed together with loving hands and fervent prayers– in these things God is so, so personal. He whispers to us in His word, and drawings, cards, text and Facebook messages, hugs, prayers, and new friends. God is true, and His love is unfailing- even as He speaks life into the fragile places of pain and difficulty.
The Sun will rise, tomorrow, and the next day, and so on. I thank God for new days- for sunshine in uncertainty and the rhythm of night for rest and restoration. We celebrate the Son rising in almost two weeks– a reminder year after year that He is the one who comes for us. In the middle of our ordinary lives, in the middle of heavy burdens and struggle, he breaks through like a ray of sun light that stares in our face and puts hope in our hearts.
As Lysa TerKeurst shares in her book, “Uninvited,” “Jesus doesn’t participate” in life’s race. We find him in the hum of a slow steady life that is marked by “abiding, delighting, and dwelling– words that require us to trust Him.” These words remind us to slow down and look at the sun. To remember that the world doesn’t rely on us to keep spinning, and God doesn’t require anything from us in return for His love. So we can open our hands, take a deep breath, and soak Him in– no sunscreen needed.
Thank you for all the beautiful ways you remind us that you are thinking of us and our Sweet Elyse. It is our constant personal sunshine- and it makes the days so much brighter. We are blessed.
Since we are blessed by so many of you who ask for our prayer requests… here are a few.
-To get into a physical therapist…right now there’s a six month wait list for facilities approved by our insurance.
-For her first steroid and IVIG infusion to go well next week.
-For continued strength and relief and that we would be able to get her rash under control.
-Thank you Lord she is responding well to steroids, gaining mobility every day, and in great spirits!
-Thank you God that the insurance approved the IVIG treatments and we were able to get her first one scheduled.