As a mama I naturally wonder about the women my girls will become. I've known since her birth that Harper was going to take the world by storm; she will be a leader, a difference maker, a dynamite stick topped with blond ringlets. Baylor will be the calm after the storm, rightfully so as the second born. Baylor will be the endearing spirit that instills confidence and joy in everyone she meets. Her teardrop eyes are wise and have the ability to burn a hole down deep and make you feel things you didn't know you could. Many times I have burrowed my face into clean little girl hair and whispered, "God's got big plans for you." I know He does.
Funny thing about God's plans, you never know what they look like until you are in the middle of them. Right now, in the middle of this storm, I wonder how He will use this event in the big picture of Harper's life, as well as my own life.
I tell my students all the time to write their own story. I tell them that they each have a story to tell, and in Dubach...trust me, they ALL have a story to tell, and the only way for their story to help others is to write it and share it. It is crazy for me to think that Harper is already working on her "survivor" story. From this point on she will immediately be able to connect with anyone going through a medical struggle. She will think compassionately when she sees a child with leg braces or an oxygen tube or an iv port. She will understand their fear of being different.
Being in the hospital for this long has forced my little girl to grow up in ways that I wasn't ready for. Now she asks Daddy to leave the room if she needs to use the potty. She makes certain that the privacy curtain is closed. She knows what it is to stop in the chapel and pray for all of the children in the hospital. She understands shift change and knows that her favorite guy nurse works during the day and remembers that the nurse that helped wash her hair for the first time works at night. She knows that a hospital play room isn't much fun without any other kids to play with. Even sick kids are more fun than no kids. She knows that if mom walks down the hall the nurse will give her the last cupcake that mom was saving until "after you eat real food." She knows that her Justin Bieber doll makes the little girl down the hall quit crying and that nurses seem to huddle near the doorway when you watch "Never Say Never", the Bieber movie. She also knows that she is sick. She knows that she is still in a hospital. She knows that people are praying for her.
I don't know what made Harper get sick. I don't know when she will be her old self again. The new self, once she is healthy, may be even better than before. What I DO know is that God has been in the middle of all of this, holding us all in His palm. This terrible sickness has brought about wonderful change in certain areas of my life and within my community (more on that later). A good friend and colleague has assured me on more than one occasion, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
I don't understand everything, but I do trust. Like Harper, I'm growing up.