The day we've been waiting for, fighting for, hoping for, and dreading is here. Tomorrow will mark the end of a 19 month battle with the state of Oregon, an opposing attorney, the disability rights of Oregon, the insurance company and Medicaid. We won all but the Medicaid battle - but Jessica will have her surgery!
The weight of this season in our lives has been a heavy one, but also filled with seeing how God bears the burden for us, if we let Him. In the beginning I felt like a warrior with my shield in front of me, ready to charge the Capitol in Salem and state my grievances to Oregon and fight anyone who got in my way, but in the end I became a child who knew her Father was fighting for her and all I had to do was rest. That must seem strange and opposite of everything we know to do instinctively, but it was a culmination of all the lessons I learned along the way that led me to be like a child again. I believe I needed to have that warrior instinct in the beginning so I would be willing to stand and fight! But it didn't take long to realize I am just one person in a sea of battles going on everyday with lots of other people fighting their battles too. So, I settled my warrior self down and decided it was best to take one step at a time, until it was time to throw the one, perfectly sized stone, at my giant and hit my giant right in the exact spot it would take to make him fall. Our Goliath fell, and fell hard. Heads turned, and the audience was surprised. We weren't supposed to win...but God is the One who decides it all and someday I hope I can put into words what it was like to watch God fight and win the battle.
But, after the battle was over and everyone had gone home to their lives and the corpse of the giant had rotted and disappeared - we sat and waited, for this day.
This day brings with it chest pumping and a big victory with some pride at having won the battle, but also some sorrow that isn't much talked about. Jessica has to endure the next steps and we can't shield her from them. We can't protect her from knowing what comes next like we've been able to do until now. She must walk through and bear the fear, the unknown and the pain that comes with tomorrow. My heart is heavy for her when she says she's "scared" and "nervous" and from a mother's heart I wish I could trade places with her and let her stay in the world she lives in that is simple and care free. But I can't. I must let her be 20 years old and undergo a surgery she should never have to have, at least not in these decades of her life.
I must wrestle with the thoughts of never getting to be a grandma to her children and never see my husband spoil her children or witness my son being uncle Cody. I must say good-bye to all that I thought would be...someday. Jim must say good-bye to his hopes and dreams for her future and Cody must say good-bye to it as well. For tomorrow is final. There will be no tomorrow, after tomorrow. It will be done. She will no longer be able to bear children at any point in her life. It is a decision we have agonized over for many years and we are secure in knowing that we have made the right decision; but it doesn't make that decision any less painful. Jessica will never experience being pregnant, or the pain and joy of giving birth. I know many women have gone through and endured this kind of disappointment, and have gone on and lived full and happy lives. But this decision was made for her. She didn't get the choice. She couldn't make the decision or know what was in her best interest. This, like many other decisions, have been made for her.
So tomorrow, as a family, as we say good-bye to what might have been, please pray for us. Pray for Jessica's state of mind and that God relieves her of the fear of hospitals and of the pain surgery will cause. Pray for Jim and I to have peace in knowing we did the right thing for Jessica and that life will be okay even though Jessica will never bear a child. Pray for Cody that his heart heals from knowing he won't be uncle Cody to his sisters baby someday. Pray for our family as we say good-bye to our dreams and hopes for Jessica, and that the grieving process will take us where it leads, but does so quickly so we can move on to the next season of our lives.
Jessica has a future. We don't know what it looks like yet and we don't know what it holds for her. But we do know it will be good because the bible tells us that. We hold tight to the fact that God has Jessica in the palm of His hand and that He ultimately is the One who cares for her and decides her path. He knew she would never bear children but that hasn't stopped Him from preparing her for what He does have for her, which will be just as fulfilling for her and us. We must only trust. We must only stay like a little child and trust our Father to take care of her and us. He loves her even more than we do and He has a plan and a future for her that is good. There is pain in the night, but joy will come in the morning.
Thank you for your prayers and support.