It’s been 17 years.
I’ll never forget the day that I looked over at Phyllis and she wouldn’t lean on her left hand and it was swollen, I happened to look at her little tootsies and her right foot was swollen.
It was a Saturday and the Wolverines were playing… someone… so off we headed to the Emergency room at Oakwood Hospital. She was 4, and I was 24 and I didn’t know much back then. It had been a crazy month and she had been sick and lethargic for about a month and the doctor kept saying she had a respitory infection. Which as a momma I knew she didn’t but I was so young, I didn’t know to stand up the to doctor. (that was a lesson I learned hard and fast)
It was the craziest of days, they ran tons of tests, and didn’t diagnose until the morning, we had stayed overnight. And we stayed for a week. It was crazy.
I was on my way to work today, having quite a conversation with God about this. I thought about my friend Julie who’s son has cancer, but he’s kicking it like a boss! I thought about our personalities.
And how we are fighters, we are spunky, but super loving when we need to be. Super momma bears. Our capes are hidden beneath the tears that most don’t see.
I was thinking about we find out how strong we are when we are put to the test, but mostly we find out how big our God is when we give it all to Him to take care of and let Him guide us.
I was thinking about how in this season of Looking for Emmanuel, I see Him everywhere. I see Him in the days that have passed and I see the light He has to guide my path as I seek Him every day.
I can’t look back at those years of fighting JRA, duking it out with doctors, fighting with insurance companies, threatening to kick people’s butts over prescription medicine and say that it is something I would choose to do, surely, I would have chosen a path that was free from strife, free from pain for my daughter, free from giving her shots, free from a lot of things. But I look back on those years and think of my friends who prayed faithfully, for bosses who were supportive and loving and kind. My dad took Phyllis faithfully to get her blood drawn because I couldn’t, and he supported us in ways this side of heaven I will never know. I think of people who I knew were going to be there… I am thankful for those who loved my daughter and treated her like everyone else, and those who had compassion.
I think of a God who is faithful. He never ever let us go, He gave us hope when no one else could. Do you know that only about 15% of kids with the kind of a JRA have ever go into remission? Yes, oh yes, she did. And there was little hope for that because of how it ravaged her body.
I am thankful to see Emmanuel everywhere I look.