I had another blog post in the queue ready to go… and then this morning something happened and we took a video of it and I'm putting the other post on hold to share this moment .
But before I share it I just want to post a picture that still makes my heart hurt to look at. Because maybe with the backdrop of that picture you can share in the joy that I felt this morning.
I know others have gone through far scarier things than we did. But for several frightening days last summer, I thought we might not be bringing our baby bunny home.
I remember calling Jason and Josiah and one of my best friends, during the pinnacle of that fear, imploring them to help me reel my mind back in. I can still see the look of compassion on Madison's heart doctor's face when I begged her to tell me our Bunny was going to be OK. She told me our baby was in the best place she possibly could be - and they were going to do everything they could to take care of her. I can still hear the anguish in my friend Kris's voice as she cried with me on the phone and assured me she and her family were praying for Madison.
I remember being alone in a little meditation room in the hospital on my face before God. Literally - on my face - kneeling down on some bamboo floor, tears and snot everywhere. You could say I was in prayer ...but in reality it probably looked more like I had collapsed in a pile of anxiety/ exhaustion/hysteria to anyone walking into that room. I wasn't praying... I was begging. I don't even know that my words were distinguishable to an innocent observer, but thankfully I serve a God who speaks the language of Desperation.
I remember trying to project myself into the future – to months down the line when our baby would be hitting milestones, learning to sit up, eating baby food for the first time, taking her first steps ... I made myself think of those images and told myself we were going to get there. By the grace of God and through the prayers of so many people, I told myself we were going to get to that day.
If you've ever faced a panic attack, you know that one of the keys to getting through it is to get your mind out of that wickedly awful place.
If you've never faced a panic attack, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about.
But when you are on the brink of one, you know there are two options. One is to fall down that rabbit hole… And if you've never been there, I don't wish it on anyone. The other is to look up.
And I remember it just like it was yesterday – I remember holding my hand up to God and saying Lord, give me something to hold onto. I can't take this fear and this torment.
I. Can't. Take it.
And whether it was the Holy Spirit or just the desperation of a broken mama, I fixed my mind on this image… the image of my Bunny, healthy and happy and THRIVING, and I held onto it.
So maybe that's why there are tears mixed in with my laughter when our baby hit an ordinary milestone this morning.
Maybe that's why I'm still crying tears of joy every time I watch this little clip or watch her in my arms again just now, clapping her hands and smiling at all of us as if she just accomplished the biggest thing in the world.
And maybe - if you're a parent of a child with special needs... or if you love someone who is - you can appreciate the depth of our joy this morning.
She works so hard for every milestone she reaches. So hard. But the thing our designer gene girls have taught us is this: the greater the struggle in life, the more powerful the joy when you get there.
If you're going through something today, remember this :
Happy Tuesday, sweet friends. xoxo