Motherhood

Walking By Faith

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BY: Betty Predmore

There are some moments in life that are just so sweet they bring you to tears. I had the joy of experiencing one such moment about a week ago with my eldest daughter.

There we were again….another appointment with the eye specialist. My poor daughter’s vision had diminished so much at this point, that she was lucky to read the top letter in the eye chart. (That is 20/400 vision for those that might not know.). But this visit held hope. A contact in the eye was supposed to restore some of the lost vision brought on by Grave’s Disease which resulted in keratoconus. So there we were, getting fitted for the contact which would go in the right eye, and getting the cornea transplant scheduled for the left eye.

The doctors did many tests that day. Then a specialist came in, put some drops in my girl’s eye, and inserted a contact. Another check of the eye chart and she got all the way to 20/50‼! She asked my daughter to wait in the waiting area for about 15 minutes to let the contact settle in. I followed her to the waiting area and sat down beside her. I saw her dabbing at her eyes, even the one that hasn’t been touched. Concerned, I asked her if her other eye was irritated. She turned towards me and I saw the tears streaming down her cheeks. “No, mom,” she answered, “I’m just crying because I can see your face.”

My heart broke for this sweet child who has been missing so much. My heart rejoiced that she could actually make out my face. And my hope soared that finally, FINALLY, this beloved daughter of mine would have her vision restored. I held her in a warm embrace as her tears flowed and I thanked God for walking alongside my daughter throughout this ordeal. Just like we are promised, He never leaves us. He walks through our fires with us, sometimes ahead of us, forging our trail, and sometimes beside us, carrying us when we cannot stand.

I have spent many hours in hospitals and doctors offices over the past couple of years. There are times I have felt exasperated, frustrated, and downright mad. But none of that compares to the simple, pure, and beautiful joy of those precious moments that are gifts from our Father. Those struggles don’t hold a candle to the happy tears of a child….tears of hope, tears of excitement, tears of wonder.

Thank you God that you are ALWAYS there. Thank you that you choose the unexpected moments to bless our socks off. Thank you that You provide healing, even when we feel hopeless. Thank you for loving my daughter even more than I do. And thank you for giving her faith, even when she could not see.

For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Motherhood

Getting Her “Normal” Back

 

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By:  Betty Predmore

I sit here in this cold hospital room after a somewhat sleepless night, grateful that yesterday is behind me. My oldest daughter had surgery yesterday, the second in a series that will hopefully return her life back to “normal”. I am so weary of watching her suffer through the effects of Grave’s Disease….the changes in blood pressure and pulse rate, the rapid weight loss, the hair loss, the tremors, the eyes bulging from their sockets with a pressure so great it created a cornea problem and has minimized her eyesight significantly. I am tired of being a spectator on the sidelines in her game of life, not being able to help her move forward with all she envisioned for her future.

Five months ago, I sat in this same hospital with her as they removed her thyroid. This elimated most of those problems, but the eyesight remained an huge issue. I have sat by the last few months, watching as her sight has diminished to almost nothing. I have watched as she struggled to continue working, lost her ability to drive, and became reliant upon others for transportation. I have also been aware of how this has impacted her emotionally. So yesterday she had surgery. This procedure was meant to restore her bulging eyes back into the sockets correctly. She is bruised and swollen, and quite frightful looking at the moment, but the surgeon assures me all went well. So I sit here as she suffers through this pain, struggling to even open her eyes with such swollen and bruised eyelids. I know that the next several days are going to be beastly. But through it all, she is kind and polite to her caretakers, despite her pain.

This sets us up for the BIG ONE. The surgery (cornea transplant) that we hope will correct her vision. We are hopeful that this will take place in the next few months, after she heals from this surgery. This one will give her her “normal” back. This one will allow my little journalist to go off to the big world and fulfill her dreams. This is the one all our hopes are hanging on.

As I sit here, I am thanking my God for protecting her, for bringing her this far, and for being on this journey with me…every step of the way. I am thankful in my mama heart for the assuredness I have that He goes before us, preparing each of my daughter’s sweet steps before they are taken. I am so filled with gratitude that even though I know she is struggling, she is here. I feel like this is so hard, but I know it is nothing compared to the mamas in this world who have lost a child, who would give anything to be in my place right now. This morning I give thanks! “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Today I remember and reflect in James 1:17… “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,”. My sweet girl is my good gift from above. Thank you, Father, that you give so generously!

Motherhood

The Great Healer

image.jpegBy Betty Predmore

I stumbled down the stairs this morning, barely able to see out of my watery eyes, and coughing with each step I took. The last thing I wanted to do was get out of bed, but the kids needed to get ready for school….and that is just what a mama does. I roused them out of their slumber and headed for the couch, where my new fuzzy blanket awaited me. I curled up in that blanket and proceeded to cough my way through the next hour. My kids aren’t used to mama being out of commission. They have hovered over me, checking on me, asking how I was feeling. My teenager even wrapped her arms around me last night and told me she loved me. (Yes, I actually have to get sick for that to happen!). I guess kids think of their parents as strong and invincible, not sick and in need of rest. But we DO need rest. We DO need times of refreshing, times to just sit and be still in the presence of our Savior and feel the Holy Spirit wash over us. And that is OKAY.

When we think that we are invincible, that we can fight through our sick days and our weary hours, we need to remember that even our Almighty God rested. “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And in the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.” Genesis 2:1-2. God had done the work he set out to do, and so he allowed himself to rest. Do you allow yourself to rest? Or do you keep pushing through, trying to prove to yourself, and maybe others, that you are invincible?

As Jesus was walking this earth, preaching and teaching, he also sought out times of rest. “But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” Luke 5:16. Jesus sought out those empty places to go and rest, to be still before his Father and have his soul restored. Are you making time to be still before your Father in Heaven and have your soul restored?

Being a mama is a lot of work. It takes a rested, healthy heart and soul. If that means you curl up with your soft fuzzy blanket and let the day pass by while you regain some energy, then do so. If that means you find a quiet place and sit in peaceful stillness before Him, then do so. God is waiting to soothe our aches and comfort our hearts. He is waiting for us to come to Him and pour out what is troubling us, either physically or spiritually. He wants to heal sick hearts and He wants to heal sick bodies. If you are physically ill or spiritually unwell, I encourage you to seek the Great Healer today. You may not be able to reach out and touch his cloak, but you can come before him in confidence. He will hear you and heal you. He will give you the eneegy you need to be the mama He calls you to be.