Friday, April 22, 2011

The Beginning

     I'm not entirely sure what my motives for this blog are other than just mostly needing an emotional outlet.  I'm a writer at heart, and though it's been years since I've kept a consistent daily journal, I've never been quite as adept at articulating my feelings in person as I am through writing.  Or typing, since this seems to be the popular medium these days.  I actually started this back in August and continuously talked myself out of posting anything.  I kept waiting for various things to happen and finally realized I couldn't write a blog about faith at the end of the journey quite as well as I could during the journey.  In fact, this whole 'embracing the journey' thing has been a battle for me and it's still something I have to remind myself of on a daily basis.
     At any rate, the natural circumstances of my life in the past two years have led me, my thoughts, and my emotions in a million different directions...and yet, somehow, in one specific, determined direction, all at the same time.  And now I find myself needing to get it all out of me like my sanity depends on it.  I've learned some things (I say 'some', because 'most' things I'm still learning) while walking this road, and I'm thinking that sharing all of this revelation could, at best, be encouraging or helpful to other people, and, at worst, help me at least feel better.  Really a win/win for me either way I look at it.  So, I've said all of this to say that I hope what God's taught, and is teaching me, can help faith arise in some of you...and if not, it will help me take inventory of what this situation has produced in myself, and, overall, my faith in His unfailing faithfulness.
     So, since this is the first post, let's start at the beginning.  My name is Sarah, I'm 26, and I am the proud mother of the most precious little boys I could have ever asked for.  My husband's name is Bobby and he is the absolute love of my life.  I know this because on the days I feel like strangling him, I don't.  Strangely, the love overpowers the emotions of the moment, and I end up feeling like Alli at the end of The Notebook when she goes back to Noah.  He looks out the window to her, and all she can do is shrug her shoulders, suitcase in hand, because she knows that no matter what happens, she'll always be so hopelessly in love with him that every other option just ends in misery.  I know that probably sounds disgustingly exaggerated, but it's the truth.  Some days I want to punch him in the face.  Most days I love him more than the one before it.  I'm mentioning this because the 'some days' have been slightly outweighing the 'most days' recently.  Don't ask me how that's possible, it just is.  The point is, sometimes crap happens in life and the relationships closest to you are the ones that go through the hottest parts of the fire.  
     We got married in November of 2006 and were surprised to find out a few weeks later that we were expecting our first child.  A honeymoon baby in every sense of the phrase.  Joshua was born August 23, 2007 and our worlds changed forever in an instant.  Well, more like in 7 hours of labor and 3 (yes, 3) hours of pushing...but, you get the point.  We both quickly realized that love, as we knew it, had ended and transformed into something we hadn't realized existed in such a capacity.  I was struck with the realization that as much unconditional love as I felt for this child, it merely scratched the surface of the Father's love for us.  All of a sudden my perspective on God and how He really does love and care for His children changed dramatically...because now I had something tangible to compare it to.  And even that, I know, isn't an equal comparison.
     The first year was like something out of a Parenting Handbook fantasy world.  He was (and really still is) one of the most calm and relaxed children I've ever seen.  Even as a baby, he slept through the night early on, and only cried if he needed something.  All of his motor skill milestones came either early or right on time, and we didn't have to work with him much to get him there.  In the beginning, it felt like life was just rolling right along the way we planned for it to...the way it was "supposed" to.  I didn't notice it at the time, but that was the top of the downward slope into his developmental delay.  He was about 12-18 months old when we realized, not only was he not beginning to talk more, but the few small "words" he previously used seemed to vanish into thin air.  His pediatrician told me that by most standards he should have at least 15-20 words in his vocabulary at that point.  He had zero.  We decided the first step was to get his hearing checked out.  Really hoping all along that there was something wrong so we would have a quick-fix solution to the speech problem.  After having to put him under anesthesia to get his ears cleaned out so the doctor could get a good look at his ear drum we found out that his hearing was perfect.  Back to square one.  I thought the next step should probably be speech therapy.  Bobby was less thrilled about the idea because he was still of the opinion that even if he was a little behind the norm, he would eventually just grow out of it and start talking on his own.  Regardless, I found somewhere for him to go and he started going to speech twice a week.  That went on for a year.  Twice a week driving an hour each way for thirty minute sessions (his attention span couldn't handle any more than that...keep in mind he was still only two years old).  When he was first evaluated he scored at having the speech level of a 12 month old (and I think that's only because they probably don't have a level lower than that, like I said he had no vocabulary to speak of).  They predicted a year of therapy would be close to getting him caught up.  A year later, minus a few new sounds and saying what sounded like attempts at words here and there in his sessions, he was still scoring on the same level.  By all methods of measuring speech, he still wasn't past the level of a one year old.
     This is when the walking by faith thing really started giving me issues.  I think I was blindsided at how very little my true faith in God and His sovereignty had been tested up to this point.  We were about to see what my convictions were made of.  Unfortunately, like I said, this was only the beginning.
     Turns out the problem with faith is that it isn't faith if you have what you're believing for in your hand.  You have to keep believing.  You stand and stand and when you've done everything there is to do, ya know what?  You stand some more.
     This is the point, looking back, that I was really needing some answers and God really delivered.  Strangely enough, I didn't notice it at the time as much as I am right this minute.  Funny how that works, isn't it?  This is the point in the story where we hit a dead end and there was no direction to go except the wall we were ramming our heads against.  I felt like screaming, "I've been faithful!  I've been believing!  I do everything I'm supposed to do and You're no where to be found!"  I mean, hadn't I?  I prayed, and confessed and commanded and rebuked and prayed some more.  I reminded Him every day that I was ready and had faith for something to break THAT day, and every day I went to bed confused as to why it hadn't.  It felt like my heart was being ripped out and no one around me understood.  All I could see was that something was wrong and I didn't know how to fix it.
     BUT GOD...

...To be continued...