There was several months last winter when all of us, including some doctors and caregivers, thought it would be a real possibility that we might either lose our daughter or that she would be confined to the physical, emotional, and intellectual status of a vegetable. For some families and communities this is a continuing fact. I can honestly say those must be the bravest people in the world. If Olivia was awake, she was staring at seemingly nothing, not showing any affect and hardly moving at all. Throughout the winter the Lord gave us strength when we faltered (like we did so many times a day) to trust in Him rather than in the progress of our daughter. Not everyone gets a happy ending. Not everyone even gets a happy middle or beginning. If we have learned one thing in the past year it is that the Lord's provision, love, and even blessings do not always come in the perfect package. We do thank the Lord that Olivia is better, of course. But we do not trust in Him because He has allowed her to get better. We trust in Him even if He doesn't, because Brian and I have gained the most insight into the heart of God and His desire for the church community at our very worst moments. His love is not dependent on giving us all the things we immediately desire.
I didn't really intend to say any of that when I started, but there it is. Really I just wanted to say thank you to you all. Not just for reading the blog, or for praying (which of course we greatly appreciate) but for showing your love in concrete ways to us too. In bringing us meals when we could not eat drive-thru food any more, in doing our laundry when we ran out of clothes, in comforting us while we cry, in laughing with us while we celebrate, in sending unexpected gifts when we were discouraged, in showing up at our house and forcing us to leave while you babysit and in a million other seemingly small ways that changed our lives. You have all changed us into people who are learning to care for each other. Thank you and celebrate the intense and unexpected life of my daughter over the past year with us.