While we are very excited about the new wheelchair Olivia will hopefully be receiving in the next few months, and excited about the Trolley run and about all the new things she is doing in therapy, there is always another side. About a month ago Olivia started having longer seizures of a different kind. They are still a little scary to us because she stops breathing for a few seconds, but sadly we have gotten semi-used to them by now. She was only having them every few days, but this went on for the whole month. Eventually we called her neurologist and they increased her medicine last Monday. On the note of things to be grateful for, we have not seen another long seizure since then (not that we won't). But Olivia also has (I presume from the medication increase) been sleeping the majority of the day--about 18-20 hours. While a lot of moms wished their kids slept more, this isn't a relaxing time for me. She is sleeping, but I know why and I spend that whole time worrying and thinking about her future rather than washing the dishes or doing laundry or anything productive.
It has been a hard week for us. The middle of the day, especially if we don't have plans, I find myself sitting and thinking--becoming discouraged. And this is really what I wanted to tell you: that this particular reading has been giving me a lot of hope. Its from a book of writings by the Puritans who focused a lot on meditation and prayer. Actually this particular writing is in the introduction. I haven't gotten past it, because every time I feel discouraged this seems to bring me back. I hope it encourages you too:
From The Valley of Vision
Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by the mountains of sin I behold thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from the deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
thy grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty,
thy glory in my valley.
I realize that to a lot of you this may sound crazy. And maybe a while ago it might have sounded crazy to me, but living through the things we and lot of other people have lived through, you understand that the things you see immediately are not the only things that matter. Sometimes, the things that matter--the hard things--only come when you cannot be any lower. These truths both sustain you and are the song you sing throughout the rest of your life. For the first time you can see how all those paradoxes above are not only so very true, but not actually paradoxes at all. For me this week: there can be and is joy in sorrow. Maybe not in the way people conventionally look for it, but in a special way that takes the life of Jesus to understand it.