Do you ever feel frazzled? I looked up frazzled in the dictionary, just for fun, to see what it said. Apparently, it means to be worn out or fatigued. The etymology is from old and middle English with some words that looked like fasel but sound like fazzle, and then combined with fray to get get frazzled. The old and middle English words from which frazzle comes basically meant to fray, or unravel. How appropriate to how I feel when I'm frazzled. Worn out, fatigued, and unraveled.
Yesterday, I was a little frazzled. Today, I've been less so, but still feel a little bit at loose ends. Haha. Get it? Loose ends, unraveled? Ok, I'm a nerd, I know. Moving on.
Last week, God provided for me with a week of rest. I wasn't feeling so burdened with out situation, I felt more hopeful, and I was really feeling God's grace and sustaining power. I needed it. It's now been over six weeks since Caroline's diagnosis. As I've mentioned in other posts, it just wears on me after a while. It's difficult to live with this all the time, and only through God's grace can I really ever stand up under it.
This week has been a little harder for me, but I still feel God's nearness. It's only Tuesday, I know, but even so...
Yesterday, Monday, we had a meeting with a perinatal hospice organization. If you're curious about what perinatal hospice is in general, I've really found a lot of good information on this site: www.perinatalhospice.org. It was given to us by the nurse who is helping us at the hospital. It's not for the specific organization we're using, but gives some great overviews on perinatal hospice. Our specific organization will be helping us through our journey with Caroline if God doesn't step in and change things. We met with a hospice coordinator and a bereavement counselor, both who were extremely sweet and understanding. We didn't get into too much yesterday, but we'll be meeting with them several more times to talk about Caroline's birth plan, and some other specifics in case we get to take her home for a little while. As you can imagine, this is the hard part. This is confronting Caroline's anencephaly head on, talking about difficult things and making difficult decisions. I don't like talking about it, but it needs to be done. And if it has to be done, then I'm so grateful that God has provided people who are as compassionate and caring as these two ladies were last night. I am continually amazed at how much God is supporting us through this, even if it's through the people he puts in our path to help us. He even used another mother of a baby with anencephaly. She lost her baby girl not too long ago, and now knits little caps for the babies who come through the hospice center. We got a couple little caps for Caroline from her, and they are adorable. And since they came from someone who has walked a similar path, it is even more poignant and special.
I am beginning to realize, now that I've had enough appointments with different people after diagnosis, that no matter how well the appointment goes, and no matter what it's for, there's always a let down period afterward. When I say let down, I don't mean disappointment. I mean I am geared up emotionally for the appointment, unsure of how it will go, and unsure of what awaits me, and then it's over. The emotional energy has to go somewhere, and it usually manifests itself in my frazzled condition for a day or so after the appointment. That's what's happening today. I don't feel less hope. I don't feel upset or disappointed. I just feel...unraveled. It's a reminder to me of how little control I have of the situation. And it reminds me of Who is ultimately in control.
When I feel helpless or unsure, it points me to my Savior. When I feel out of control, it points me to Him who is in control. When I feel unraveled, it points me to the One who keeps me together. It's a good reminder, and one I need daily. Even though I am not perfect, and even though I know I don't always choose the right way to think or respond emotionally, it is so wonderful to have a God of grace that helps me to remember the right way. And forgives me when I don't choose to listen to it.
So today, as I'm feeling a little frayed at the edges, I'm looking to the one who can bind me back together. I'm looking toward the one who wove me together in my mother's womb, just as He is with Caroline right now, and knows which threads go where. It's only when I allow Him to put me back together that I can feel better. My heart still breaks to think about Caroline's future if God doesn't intervene, but God has my heart in His hands everyday, keeping it together, keeping the loose ends from fraying even more, putting back in place those parts that aren't where they should be. It is an enormous comfort to feel His care and concern. It is, in all honesty, pretty much my only comfort. And on days like today, when I feel like I'm on the verge of coming unraveled, He steps in to take my burden and make it lighter. He reassures me with His presence, and helps me remember my place in all of this. He is faithful, and He is loving. He gives me grace and peace when I need it, and He helps me bear this burden to give Him glory.
I am so thankful for a Creator God who knows how to knit, and knows how to repair the frayed edges of His children. In a lot of ways, this manifests itself in the emotional and spiritual lives of His people, but I also believe He can do the same thing physically. I'm still hoping that He sees fit to knit together the parts of Caroline that are not healthy, fixing the "frayed" edges of her little body. I know, though, that even if He doesn't, that He'll fix the frayed edges of me instead. And that's ok. Not pleasant to think about, and not something I want, but it's something I am growing to accept through His grace and goodness to me. He's letting us walk this path for a reason, and I will continue to do my best to honor Him in it.
Thank you, Lord, for your handiwork, both in my life and in sweet Caroline's. Thank you that you love us enough to make us a beautiful tapestry to show your glory, and that you're willing to constantly fix the fraying edges.