It was 48 hours after surgery, 24 hours before I had posted that we would be going home in the morning. I sat on the edge of her hospital bed and allowed myself to cry for the unknown. We don’t know what, or when or how but something happened, something in the very early morning hours that changed everything.
The surgery itself was not complicated, she has been through so much more and has emerged victoriously. I had an unusual peace about this day, very un Pam like. Do you know me? I mean really know me? There are a handful that would say yes to this question realizing what I am actually asking here. It has been well established that I am not a patient person and with that comes the need, the great need to know everything right now. I must talk about everything in the moment, have answers to my questions before they are asked and should this not go my way, well it’s just not good. God has given me countless opportunities to practice patience and learn to trust in Him. I have failed … miserably.
Minutes before Elizabeth was born the doctors were brutally honest with me. At 22 weeks and 5 days she would be tiny, she would not be breathing and I had two choices. The first was to let her go, the second was to take every life saving measure to try and save her knowing how very difficult her life could be and the extremely fragile start to it she would have. No parent should have to make this type of decision, but for us there was not a choice to be made; save her. And with that I promised God to love her unconditionally, to return her back to Him and allow Him to pave the road for her life. Little did I know that road would be full of obstacles, heartache and more tears than I thought I would cry in a lifetime. I have learned over the years that this was actually a great honor that God bestowed on me. He chose Elizabeth, He created her for greatness and to carry out His work. He gave her a fighting spirit; stubborn is what I call it and without a doubt she gets that from her mother. For 12 years she has quietly believed, faithfully fought through a life of circumstances that so many of us could never imagine.
As I stood in the quiet darkness of the most critical unit of UAMS and listened to the soft voice in front of me tell me that Elizabeth had yet to open her eyes since being born I wondered if she would ever see me, ever know that I was her mother. I prayed and begged God to allow her to keep her sight. Everything else, anything else I could take but please let her see me, see this world that she was being used to make a difference in. I never thought I would find myself praying and begging for this again. This child found life through her eyes and taught me the most valuable lesson I could ever learn … to look past the person and into their heart, into their soul and the depths of their being. That everyone deserves a chance to be seen, to be heard and most importantly to be loved just as they are. Elizabeth spoke so deeply with her eyes, you could see the innocence of her acceptance of everyone around her. She truly embraced that life is about so much more than what you see on the outside.
24 hours after surgery there I was again crying out to God to save her eyesight. I promised Him everything I had. I begged for forgiveness, promised to right my wrongs if He would just allow her to open her eyes. It would take 4 days, 4 very long days before I would see her eyes, only unlike 12 years ago when she saw me for the first time and I knew she knew who I was … this time her eyes opened and she could not see me. I fell to my knees in front of her wheelchair where she sat scared, unable to comprehend what was happening and I screamed at God to do something, anything.
it is not the strength of your faith that saves you,
but the strength of Him upon who you rely …
It’s been 2 weeks and while she has opened her eyes, we know she can’t see. She is so fearful, so lost and knows her world once filled with color and life and love has now gone black. The doctors are baffled, this makes it even harder for us as we sit for hours in offices of the best of the best and listen as they tell us they simply don’t know. I need answers, I need to know what happened and why she isn’t getting any better. I need to know why God has chosen this path to take us down and quite honestly I’m not very happy about His decision, don’t worry He knows how I feel as I have been rather vocal about it with Him and I’m fairly certain He’s had just about enough of it, too. We are so blessed to have such a forgiving Maker that allows us these teachable moments in our lives. So every minute of everyday I am asking, what is it? What is my teachable moment, where is it that I have fallen short in my relationship with Him? What are you doing with her?
be still and know that I am God;
So as I find myself in awe of this lesson I am being taught; to just be still, to listen and wait for Him we cry at the loss, we grieve for her and with her, we pray that her Father will restore her sight as we know He can. We learn to adapt to her new life and ours with trust and faith and we praise Him that she was given years to see those who love her the most and teach us that it is not what the eyes see, but truly what the heart feels.