Recently, I've asked for prayers for our daughter Grace.
Our daughter has struggled with anxiety for the past two years.
At the time, I resigned from serving on Conference Boards and committees, so I could be more available to help her.
We had many nights, where we prayed and prayed for God to lead us and help us comfort her, guide her, calm her and give her all she needed to be happy and successful.
We found a great counselor and learned tools for our toolbox and triggers of her anxiety.
We had her evaluated by teachers and her pediatrician for ADD/ ADHD knowing my husband struggled with ADHD throughout his childhood.
At that time ADD was ruled out and the Dr said he saw anxiety and suggested we could begin medication, or simply continue with counseling. We chose to continue with counseling.
Then, this summer we moved.
The tools in our tool box didn't always work.
By October, we saw clearly that we needed more help- more tools, and a bigger toolbox.
We began to seek the help of doctors and therapists.
Looking back, the best description I can have is that for the past few years, there has been a dam that was leaking-- and the leaks were the anxiety we saw and sought to manage.
Shortly after Halloween, the dam burst.
And all kinds of things that had never been present, were now present.
A journey we started a few years ago has become more clear and more complex all at once.
Over the last month, doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, pediatricians and soon to be more doctors, occupational therapists, and who knows who else will help us learn more of how we can help our daughter navigate all that we now are dealing with.
In addition to anxiety, she has now been diagnosed with ADHD and depression.
We have been so thankful for so much love and support from friends, family, our church.
We share about what's going on freely and without stigma.
Our daughter has learned that anxiety, depression, ADHD are all medical, neurological, biological conditions that are not unlike other health conditions.
We have so appreciated the many people who have offered meals, presence, and support.
When I've shared the metaphor of the dam that leaked and has now broken-- some kind and caring folks have responded by saying, "Well, you all will help her rebuild the dam." I wasn't offended.... trust me-- genuine care and concern will never offend me.
The dam isn't coming back.
But we are no longer sinking, drowning, or treading water... although there are days it can feel like that.
We've been holding on to the life rafts.
We have sought to find what was the trigger or triggers that led to this bursting dam. There isn't one.... and perhaps it is just that it held together for awhile and then... no longer could.
No, we won't be rebuilding the dam.
But we will be building a ship - indeed, an aircraft carrier would do nicely.
One that can help her launch into the world knowing that she has everything she needs to be successful, joyful, and her best self.
We often talk about how it takes a village - it isn't just a saying, it is true
It take the Body of Christ.
It takes every single one of us.
I cannot stop thanking God for the kindness and love everyone has given us.
I cannot stop praising God for the love, grace, comfort, and light God steadfastly gives to lead through each day, sometimes it is each hour....
I called one of my best friends yesterday and said, "Please tell me its going to get easier."
She said, "It may not get easier.... But I can promise you I'm here with you."
I have felt this love and support from so many.
We are not alone.
This year, I need Advent more than ever.
This year, I know so fully the Incarnation-- I know God is with us and has come for us.
This year, we clamor for the light more expectant than ever-- for we have been walking in deeper darkness than we've ever faced.
But Christ has come and will come again.
The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not and will never overcome it.
Thanks be to God for the light that shines,
the hope that conquers fear,
the peace that calms our restlessness,
the joy that sustains all,
and the love of Christ which binds us together.