We have been blessed with an enormous amount of support - through the trials of the NICU and now in our day-to-day life. I don't know what I would do without our families and friends who have been there for us. I say all of this because, for the longest time, concerned family and friends would ask us how we were doing and I would say something along the lines of... "Samuel is doing great, he's happy, healthy, and weighs (insert weight here.) We are still working on (insert what we were working on here.)"
Recently however, the meaning of the question of "How are you?" has changed. Now they ask, and I start in with my usual bit about how Samuel is doing and what we've overcome and what we still face; but then they say, "But how are YOU?" ...A question that I'm sure was prompted by my more transparent posts.
Looking back now, I feel like I have a clearer perspective. So much contributed to how I had been feeling (including months of sleep deprivation, being away from Michael for an extended period of time, IMMENSE stress, big decisions, normal parenting issues, probably a bit of postpartum depression, and anger.)
As much as I needed God and as much as I trusted Him, I was angry with Him. I felt that Michael and I had done everything right. When so few young people save themselves for each other until marriage, we had made it a priority. We made an effort to trust God and give Him the glory for all the miracles that He had already done in our lives. We worked hard at so much - our marriage, our schooling, our jobs. We trusted Him for a pregnancy even though I was told I wouldn't be able to have one. When we did get pregnant, we trusted Him with the pregnancy and prayed over the unborn baby every day together. What did we do wrong?
I prayed about this feeling for months and talked to Michael about it often. He never wavered that this was EXACTLY the way God meant for it to happen. He reminded me of the story in John about a man who was born blind. The disciples questioned Jesus...asking if the man was born with the disability because of his parent's sin. Jesus says, "No, neither this man, nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God may be displayed in his life." Blindness is a tough price to pay for God's work. Watching your son almost die in front of your eyes day after day is also a tough price.....but the more I thought about it, I realized that if Samuel's life made even the LEAST bit of eternal difference - then it was worth it.
So, to answer the question "How are YOU?".....
I am thankful. I am blessed. I am loved and I love more passionately than ever. I am changed. I can finally say, I am honestly, truthfully, and completely HAPPY.
What a fantastic thing.