“Within each of us there is a silence, a silence as vast as the universe. And when we experience that silence, we remember who we are.”―Gunilla Norris
That is self-judgement.
A self lie.
By consciously deciding to let go of the need to punish for seeming missteps or failures, we allow ourselves to put down the metaphoric flogger…
By honoring our life through the same acts of forgiveness and compassion we freely offer others, we expand our consciousness. We open our hearts to a higher awareness that is vast and beautiful.
It is powerful.
And without self-imposed pain, we can honor our unique journey–see its beauty and grace through the eyes of acceptance…and unconditional love.
We begin to see ourselves through God’s eyes.
We begin to open our hearts to the inner knowingness that we ARE enough.
We are whole.
Learn to love the silence.
Surrender in Faith 12/24/2014
Daniel’s recovery from a nocturnal K4 grand mal seizure on December 12th is nothing short of miraculous. While it’s been a bumpy, topsy-turvey journey, he is home, and doing amazingly well.
Here is where I’ll start:
Post-seizure (40 minutes from onset to resolution), Daniel awoke thirteen hours later, not an hour later, as doctors had indicated was the normal recovery time. And when he did, Daniel was unable to coordinate his gross motor skills to sit up. He was unable to walk. The wonderful milestones he’d reached in Life Skills were seriously compromised.
Honestly, it was terrifying. No one knew what to expect after this long seizure, and recovery expectations by doctors became less concrete as time passed.
But through so much uncertainty and chaos, we leaned on our faith for Daniel’s healing. It’s what we do. It’s what we know and what we believe. It’s who we are.
I prayed. Jeff prayed. Teachers prayed. Friends prayed…and they asked their friends to pray.
Our gratitude is immeasurable. We are grateful Daniel was held close in prayer and surrounded with God’s grace and love.
As time has passed–separating us from the hum of monitors, alarm beeps and medical assessments–I’ve gained a little perspective…a little. And as odd as it sounds, during Daniel’s four days at Dell Children’s Hospital, my heart learned something that my soul already knew.
I learned what it feels like to absolutely “surrender.” From the moment Daniel’s seizure began…and through those first agonizing two days in ICU, I surrendered over and over to God’s will. From the moment Daniel stopped breathing, until he was stabilized, I surrendered. During the MRI, CT, Lumbar Puncture, two EEG’s, I surrendered. When he moaned and cried during that long first night, I surrendered, all the while asking God to “show me the way.” Over and over, I surrendered, not knowing what the outcome would be.
In my heart, I knew I, as well as with so many others, held space for Daniel to receive miracles, and divine healing. We maintained faith for God’s Light to illuminate the darkness that had descended with such deliberation.
In my heart faith by all held open the door through which God entered.
Even when I didn’t understand–even when I was angry and afraid, I prayed. Jeff, my sister Rona, brother, Ty, my dear friend, Dahlia Rondeau, Daniel’s teacher, Kim Gibson, and Salina Milicia, along with so many others at Patton, sustained that place of Faith, too. Jeff prayed the rosary–and we sat together, watching the heart monitor. Daniel’s diastolic BP hovered between 28-34 for those first two days. And every time that monitor alarm went off, my heart lurched…and all I could do was pray that Daniel was finding his way back. That he would awaken–and simply be himself, just happy, tenacious Daniel–without developmental regression.
In my heart, too, I had to believe–without fear of what was to come–that Daniel was already okay. His soul was safe–that he was surrounded by angels, saints and the Holy…and more than anything, he was, and IS, Loved. Those truths resonated within my heart, and when I stood by his bed, watching and waiting, I knew this: Daniel is Loved.
Approximately twenty-seven hours post-seizure, Daniel began to emerge from the fog–he struggled with muscle coordination and eyesight (eyes remained dilated), but heading into the following evening, he’d made enough solid progress that his neurologist decided Daniel was ready to be moved from ICU.
This was a turning point in many ways.
Within minutes of settling into our new room and meeting our night nurses, Daniel, out of the blue, says in a hoarse voice from the bed, “I….Love….God.”
Jeff and I were awed. This is from a child who rarely makes complete sentences–and had not uttered anything other than “let go” since the seizure. He and I held Daniel’s hands, prayed, and gave thanks.
From that moment forward, Daniel’s progress was rapid. Over the next day, he was able to coordinate his gross muscles. He was able to feed himself, WALK and was speaking more than he’d ever done before. His team of doctors and nurses were thrilled with his rapid recovery. He was able to go home on the fourth day–and everyone rallying around Daniel celebrated that joy with us. Thank You!!
By the grace of God, Daniel was able to attend school for his classroom Christmas Party. And, oh the joy on his face when I picked him up from school that day!
Once he was home and settling back into his normal routine, Daniel said something else that took my breath away. He’d grabbed my cell phone out of the kitchen and ran to me, pressing the bright flashlight feature. “Big…Light…” he says, looking up and pointing to the ceiling, “like…God!”
My heart lurched with joy and gratitude for so much in that moment. And in typical Daniel fashion, he just laughed, and raced into the living room to play with his cars and trucks.
And so life goes…
Jeff and I stand in faith–and gratitude–for the new tasks Daniel has accomplished since coming home…like putting on his shoes…for speaking new sentences, like “When…he….gonna…be…back,” “Can’t…find…my…shoes…I-don’t-know.” (this one makes me laugh–finding a pair of shoes in a house with seven people living under one roof is a challenge.)
All continues to flow…as faith grows. It is all intertwined–all interconnected: Love, Faith, Hope, and what we Believe in our hearts.
On this Christmas Eve, I’m giving much glory and gratitude to God.
~~~Since I’ve shared the above, I’ll share a bit more~~moments of truth and curiosity~~~
At the hospital, when I would leave the room to head to the cafeteria, I would hear the song, “Onward Christian Soldiers,” in my mind as I walked. I didn’t know the lyrics…couldn’t tell you the last time I had ever heard that song, but those three words kept echoing in my head.
And the other thing? Psalms 23, specifically this line, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” These words followed me into sleep as I slept beside Daniel each night in the hospital bed. (sigh)
I don’t understand everything that happened. I’m still processing so much…but I do believe that God was whispering in my ear while holding Daniel in His Light. That thought resonates and comforts. I’m sure as more time passes, I will see more lessons taught by two powerful teachers: God…and our Daniel.
**This quote rings true today as I give thanks….for the blessings of yesterday, the blessings of today, and the blessings of tomorrow.**
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.”
Today, October 21, 2014, marks the three-year anniversary from my triple negative breast cancer diagnosis. In between the subsequent surgeries, raising five sons with my husband and making peace with all that was…I continue to celebrate all that is…and look forward—with open arms—to all that will be…
What an amazing journey of healing and growth these last thirty-six months have been! It’s ironic that three years ago all I could manage was one day at a time. My mind was mired in “what ifs” and my world-view was limited to medical milestones. Envisioning a future was difficult—too many uncertainties lurked ahead. I couldn’t imagine getting through the holidays, let alone envision what three years out would look like. And honestly, some days I felt like I was crawling my way to a better place in time. A time where my body was once again my own. So I did what made sense. I focused my energy in the moment—the Now—and set my intention on taking one step at a time.
Breath-by-breath, day-by-day, and one mindful change at a time, I put distance between cancer and myself—letting faith carry me forward.
Along the path of healing and gaining perspective, God reshuffled the deck of cards that was my life. Friends and family uncomfortable with my sudden diagnosis shifted to the distant perimeters of my vision. New friendships were made that provided me with direction, hope and guidance when I needed them the most—and family that I’d lost contact with over the decades reappeared, offering words of encouragement and love.
It’s funny how that works. But God knows what we need—and He listens to our thoughts and honors our prayers. The feelings of being lost at sea, adrift in the dark, shifted to feelings of being found, pulled back into shore and anchored in Light. In my heart I recognized that as divine intervention.
The impact of these new relationships and all that has bloomed since have led me down beautiful paths I would never have discovered had I not become ill. There’s nothing quite like fear, suffering or a daunting challenge to catapult one forward…into the unknown…with the sole intent to understand the “whys”…or the need to continue growing…or the desire to simply survive as a driving force of spirit. And while all experiences–both positive and negative–serve a higher purpose to teach, if allowed, they can set the stage for a greater awareness, and a deeper connection to humanity. I always say nothing in our lives—for better or for worse—is wasted, and it’s not.
I’ve recently found myself thinking about the unexpected milestones and achievements that have occurred since my life changed direction, memorable events that have nurtured my soul, and exponentially enhanced this journey.
The realization that every experience—every obstacle, every challenge, every loss, every leap of faith, and every perceived ‘failure’—has been a gift from God for my knowledge-seeking soul is humbling. Shifting perspectives from negativity to positivity—from darkness to light—has been key in expanding my consciousness and opening my heart to the possibilities of more.
It’s through this gradual systemic healing, this awakening, that we ALL become beacons—of inspiration, hope and strength—for others walking the same path. Sharing our stories, our metaphoric treks through the forest, empowers others to do the same, while reminding them that they are not alone. No one is alone.
Somewhere between each exchanged word I think God smiles, for this is how we heal each other—down deep. This is how we mend hearts and souls.
One light…at a time.
And so it goes.
Let joy shine…