Sunday, January 16, 2011

the valley is the place of vision

I realize that lately in our blog posts I have begun to misrepresent myself and this family. There are alot of things to be grateful for in our life, but that is mostly what I share with you. There are hard things too, but its easier for me and easier for you if I just don't bring them up. Just as a warning, I am going to bring some of them up.

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.


  1. All I can say, is that I am moved a lot by this. I know I cannot begin to interpret this the way you do, but I can tell you that your little girl has allowed me to draw nearer to Him in so many ways. Being an aunt for the first time is like nothing I have ever felt, which is also the case for how she has changed my Christian walk. But it has not just been Livi, it has been you and Brian and your strength, as well as your days in the valley. You have set such an example for me and so many others. Please don't take that to mean you don't get to have both kinds of days. I think that's part of the healing process and beyond. I think this piece is beautiful and I'm so glad you shared. I feel like it's something I can turn to when I'm in that place, and it gives me a way to pray for you and Brian. I love you 4 (don't think I'd forget about Tugger) and can't wait to see you again.
    P.s. Allen went running/walking EARLY this morning to get ready for April 17. Yesterday at lunch, he an mom were talking smack about who was going to win. We should probably watch for tripping and throwing bows so no one gets
    Love you always -

  2. ugggg, it's hard to hear you say these things because i know you are hurting for your baby and you just want relief from the worrying and discouragement you feel. i don't understand your exact situation, but i do understand your feelings as far as being in a really low place crying out to God for help. it's difficult. i'm sorry.
    i'm praying for you. i admire your honesty and am glad you shared.