No regrets...

The family I'm praying for tonight has no idea there is a storm brewing over the horizon.  A storm so violent, life will never be the same for them again!  They will lose one of their most prized possessions...... their child.     (If I were speaking to an audience right now, that statement would be followed by an eternally long pause...............)

How do I pray for a family like that?  I almost feel as if I have some inside information on their lives that even they are not aware of today.  They will go to bed tonight and probably not even think about the terrible possibilities that lie ahead.  Who knows what will happen tomorrow, as they go about their day?  Their child will likely disobey, talk back, whine, or have a stinky attitude that needs to be addressed.  There will be sibling rivalry, fighting, and disputes over who gets to ride up front or get their turn next.  Will Dad lose his temper and escape to the golf course?  Will Mom utter things she swore she'd never say?  Maybe.

But mothering a dying child brings a new perspective to everything!  I still lose my cool and say things I wish I could take back.  I still wonder what in the world I was thinking when I brought home three little girls ~ all the exact same age!  But suddenly, in light of the reality looming on my own horizon, I am compelled to live a life of no regrets!

When we brought Rachel home from China, we simply didn't know how long we had...  We decided ahead of time that what we could not change in quantity, we would make up for in quality!  More than anything, we wanted Rachel to know the love of a family... to know that she had a mommy and daddy committed to walking through the dark days with her... and above everything, we wanted Rachel to know that the love of Jesus was with her, no matter what!

The reality is that parenting a house full of children demands a lot discipline.  Rachel had much to learn in order to "unlearn" some of the terrible habits formed inside the walls of an orphanage for 7 years, not to mention the many things she must learn for the very first time.  Living within a family unit requires a lot of work, even when learning begins at birth.  We have a lot of catching up to do!  Our home is certainly not all hugs, kisses, and chocolates, and I've yet to be nominated into the "Parenting Hall of Fame",  but our home feels so much different than ever before through the lense of a new perspective.  When you are committed to living a life of no regrets, you make different choices all together!  You choose to see life differently and to live it differently!  If that heart never comes and we end up losing our Rachel, I want to remember this time for what it was.... precious!  I want to embrace every precious moment and look back with no regrets!

Rachel's critical needs remind me how fragile life is.... for all of us!  We could be the family I wrote about at the beginning of this post- living life completely oblivious to all that lies ahead for myself or for the people I love so much.  I have not been promised any special immunity to loss!  I am humbled that as I pray for the healing of my own child through a new heart, I will only receive it through another's indescribable loss.  And I wonder.... why should God give life to my child and yet take life from another?  (It's hard to swallow after typing that!)  Kate has offered her own heart for Rachel several times!  I tell her that is "unacceptable".... absolutely not!!!  But is it more acceptable only when it happens to someone else???  This subject makes me terribly uncomfortable, but it haunts me every time my thoughts turn toward the "new" heart we pray for so many times a day!

Tonight, as I pray for a new heart for Rachel, I am strangely not in such a hurry anymore.  God has been so merciful and has kept Rachel strong while she waits...  "No hurry, God!,"  I whisper, "Thanks seems enough for the sweet summer we've shared and for the joy that fills our home, simply because Rachel is in it!  Let the parents that will soon face the fate none of us want, enjoy this summer with their child too!  Fill their home with laughter and sweet memories, so that when the impending storm blows through, they will look back with no regrets!  And if your plan is to take Rachel "home" instead, Lord, help us to embrace each moment you choose to give, so that our lives will be filled with love and... no regrets!  Amen."









10 comments:

  1. Ditto and Amen. I was watching our Joshua on July 4th and fully realized how our lives would not have been complete but for knowing him. We, too, may have a short time or maybe longer but my world is different now, knowing what each day means. Beautiful post, Lori, simply beautiful. Your girls are joy-filled.

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  2. Lori I could not have said it better!! My feelings are exactly the same. And loving Ivy Joy is the greatest gift I could ever imagine. I could drink her in like water!!! I see Jesus every time I look at her and it is so clear that her heart was not an accident, her life was carefully planned out and however long it is, it is still perfect!

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  3. Beautiful post dear Lori, read through tears, my sweet friend.

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  4. Praying for your beautiful little girl and you. Beautiful post that we can all learn to live by. Hoping the call comes soon for you little angel.

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  5. You just made me cry.
    I love you!! and miss you!!
    Tell all three girls I love them, too.

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  6. Oh my. What a beautiful, humbling post. Praying for you sweet Rachel.

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  7. When we prayed for Rachel last night my little one had lots of questions. How can we answer those questions when we, as adults, don't understand. ONLY GOD! Thank you Jesus, for the time we have with our girls. The richness of your gift overwhelms our hearts! We are blessed! Continued prayers!

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  8. God has blessed you with wonderful insight and with a gift for sharing your heart in words. Although we don't personally know your family we think of you and your sweet Rachel often. We are just one of the thousands of families that you spoke of in your blog. We had to hand over our precious daughter to Jesus and in turn, shared her life through organ donation. It was an agonizing decision so when parents realize the devasting yet joyful reality the sorrow feels a little lighter. Thank you for sharing your heart and your family. We will continue to pray for God's will in the life of your family. ~Amy S

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  9. Praying for Rachel...and the family that will certainly endure the sorrow that will bring your joy. Lord, be glorified in this! Thanks for sharing from the heart and your poignant reminder of life's uncertainties and making the most of our moments!

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  10. My prayer for all of you is that the heart comes from a child with a family deep in the Word and totally committed to HIS will. A family like that will grieve the loss of their child but understand completely that "good parents" want the best for their precious gift and what is better than a full and rich life with his/her Heavenly Father. When you completely know that God has given then you camp out in the reality that God can take away and that He and only He can do that AND have it be for the best of the family that experiences the tragedy. The ONLY thing that would have made my heart more satisfied at Rebekah's death was if we could have given even one piece of her to make another child's life more abundant. It brings me to tears even after 16 years that nothing remains of her that is living. One of the greatest gifts to families that experience the death of their child is that he/she is not lost at all but safely and securely at HOME with the best Parent in the universe. I have daily flashbacks of our journey with Rebekah, although different, very similar in some ways, when I pray and think about y'all. God will do what God will do and no matter what it is it is GOOD. Our greatest praise to Him is our sacrifice - regardless of what it is. It is hard to believe but there is a little girl or boy who's best day ever is the day he/she can give their heart to Rachel... there is no better day than the one when you end up in the arms of your Heavenly Father. I pray that the family that is blessed to give Rachel life will know HIM and rejoice in such a blessed Sacrifice. Oh, to have been one of those so honored. Love you...

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