In our lives recently, there have been unimaginably difficult times. Times when it seemed as if the world was crashing around us but for some reason, no one else seemed to notice. Times when the simple act of walking around seemed surreal. I have had to walk around when my world had ended only to see everyone else around me living their lives – chatting, drinking coffee, completely oblivious to the trauma that I had just endured.
I have felt curious eyes fall on me as I wept in a hallway. I have walked into rooms that instantly fell silent because the people in them weren’t sure whether we were close enough for them to ask about what had happened. I have felt the love and sadness of nurses, RT’s and doctors when they found out that things had taken yet another turn for the worse. I have made terrible, devastating phone calls to loved ones. I have seen the shock and horror that runs over people’s faces when they hear that something horrible has happened to my daughter. I have faced darkness. I have felt loss. I have had moments where all seemed lost…
But in those moments I was faced with a choice. A choice to succumb to the darkness or to live in the light. In John 8:12b, Jesus says “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” The problem with this is that when that moment of darkness hits you, it is difficult to remember these words. Knowing that you are not alone and truly feeling that you are not alone are two very different things.
It would be easier, when faced with trauma, to shut down. It would be easier to give the lady at Starbucks sass when she gets your order wrong or to snap at the nurse who accidentally ripped your child’s skin a little with the dressing change. It would be acceptable to have a short fuse and to be grumpy and horrible to people… but it shouldn’t be. My darkness was not more important than someone else’s light.
Who was I to feel so sorry for myself that I didn’t take the time to celebrate the good things that were happening around me?
When my friend’s babies were discharged I was elated. It didn’t matter what was happening with Laura at the time – their joy was contagious. Even in my darkest hours, the miracles happening around me every day were countless. Rather than succumbing to the darkness, I always fought to remember all the light that was around me.
Being ‘stuck’ in the hospital sounds like it should be dark and sad – but it wasn’t for me. I had a rare opportunity to be living in a place where miracles happened every day. I saw babies come in, go into cardiac arrest, require ECMO and be able to go home after a month. I saw premies born before viability go home after hundreds of days in hospital. I saw so many children come and go after enduring open heart surgery – it became normal for us but just think for a minute about how amazing it is that these kids can go through open heart surgery! I saw Laura bounce back from insurmountable odds over and over again.
When all seemed lost, I was reminded constantly about the things that I had found in life. I have an amazing husband, a beautiful, hilarious little girl, a loving and supportive family, friends who are willing to do anything for me and a God who can accomplish all things. For now, I will continue to fight the battle to find light in the darkness no matter what life continues to throw my way. It won’t always be easy, but with the help of God, I will always strive to walk in the light.