Sunday, February 21, 2016

Trials and Gratitude

This has been an incredibly humbling, touching, faith-building, and strengthening week. I am sitting here feeling completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, support, and friendship we have received this week. We've received comments and messages from some of you, people we've never met face to face, sending congratulations, well wishes, and prayers in our behalf. That blows me away and touches my heart immensely. 

This trial we are going through has already taught me so much, and helped me to recognize so much good in life. Trials aren't fun. If they were they'd be called picnics instead I guess. I wasn't really sure what some people meant when I heard them say "I'm thankful for my trials." but today I feel maybe I'm understanding slightly. 

Our little Ione Siobhan is still here in the NICU. This is a hard place to be, but for reasons I never expected. I've never been in a room that was filled with as much hope, anxiety, fear, joy, despair, nervousness, and love as the NICU. You feel it when you walk in the door. Families have taken babies home since we've been here, and families have lost their sweet babies since we've been here. There is almost always some sort of beeper or alarm going off somewhere, and every time one goes off close by my head jerks up to make sure it's not Ione's alarm going off. I've seen other parents do the same thing. 

The NICU is also a very inspiring place to be, even with the weight of all those strong emotions filling the room. The nurses have all been absolutely amazing and calm. I feel a connection to the other families I've seen in here, knowing we're all going through various levels of similar emotions and experiences. These nurses have made adorable name signs for every baby. Cute little hats just show up. Quilts are delivered to each baby. You can't walk through the room without having someone smile at you and ask what they can do for you. It's a place of bonding, community, and service. 

Cameron and my Mom have both commented that I sound blue or quiet, and I know they are worried about me. And in a way I guess I could say I am a little blue. And a little quiet. It'd be hard to spend a few days here unexpectedly and not. My heart aches for these families with such sick sweet babies. I want to go hug each of them and find some way to fix everything. And I can't. So there is some extra blueness and quietness going on, but I'm also feeling great waves of gratitude, joy, hope, love, friendship, and excitement. Ione is doing great. Her figuring out eating is the only thing keeping her here at this point. 

This trial won't last forever (even though sometimes it feels like it). It's not what I would have picked to go through, but I'm seeing things that I needed to remember, things I needed to learn, and there have been blessings and goodness come out of it already. 

Wanting some sort of visual for this post I searched "trials quotes" on Pinterest and found some awesome ones. This one I'd never heard before, but I love it. I feel like it fits! 

There is a lot of heart ache, many trials, and much hardship in life, but there is so much goodness in it too! We'll drown if we only focus on our trials. We'll suffocate ourselves if we keep our heads shoved in the self pity sands. We have to look up, we have to look for things to be grateful for. Sometimes we have to look really hard to find that something to be grateful for. But it is there! Don't quit looking for it! 

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