Christmas Came Early

Giving a giftMy cup of gratitude overflowed on the couch of the psychiatrist’s office.  One smile and one question from the doctor brought forth an onslaught of tears that not only surprised my daughter, but me as well.

“Well, how are things going?” Cue tears.

Two months ago we sat before this young doctor pleading for help.  Unsure of my daughter’s future, she prescribed hope.  It was our last resort, yet her confidence readied us for this next step.  Over the following weeks, we went from no signs of change to side effects of full blown nausea and increased depression.

Finally as we neared our sixth week on the new medicine, we began to see signs consistent sleep, less pain, and more energy.  More of her days were spent out of her room than within its walls.  She welcomed her siblings into her space, for play and fun.  As if a butterfly was breaking from its chrysalis, our girl was emerging, not the same as she was before her diagnosis, but one who had been shaped by her painful battle.

The diagnosis came almost one year ago.  I have spent every day of this past year reading, researching, and treating my daughter like a lab rat.  Fibromyalgia has proven  frustrating and misunderstood, while offering random symptoms, different for everyone who experiences it.  For my daughter, her body has been at war with itself.  Her physical pain cycles with exhaustion and anxiety, neither side victorious.

Once we acknowledged the war within, we made the difficult decision to conquer one facet of the illness.  While her pain was slightly lowering on a protocol we started this summer, her anxiety drives the pain upward again and again.  She needed professional, medicinal help.  This illness, over the course of a year, had driven her to her bed, taken her from a social life, school, and beloved hobbies.  We didn’t recognize our daughter anymore.  Her siblings only knew their big sister as temperamental and constantly complaining.

My tears in the psychiatrist’s office that day signified a new hope.  Finally we were seeing life after this diagnosis.  My husband and I were rediscovering our firstborn.  Her siblings were learning what it was like to enjoy their big sister.

Our last resort, the final option I feared, was what she needed all along.  God has a way of using our biggest fear to perform His greatest miracle.  I feared putting my daughter on medicine that could alter her personality in ways we didn’t desire.  I was afraid of a doctor who would take an easier route instead of what was best for her patient.  God took my fears, reminded me of His all-knowing control, and gave us the outcome we had been longing for.

Today is Christmas.  Today we are enjoying giving and receiving gifts to and from loved ones.  In reality, our Christmas came early.  Watching my girl emerge into this stronger, braver version of herself, despite all that could hold her back, is a Christmas gift better than any other.

In one week, we will see 2019 arrive.  After one of the hardest parenting years I’ve experienced,  I have no animosity toward 2018.  I feel privileged to have walked this path with my girl.  Each appointment and therapy session has brought us closer.  I understand her hurts, fears, worries, and exhaustion.  She trusts my guidance and suggestions.  I am thankful as I watch her progress this coming year, I will be able to remember when her milestones didn’t even seem possible.  I will remember this Christmas, when we received an unexpected gift that came early.

Published by Leah Lively

Born and raised in Virginia, Leah’s faith journey began in a loving family and a small church in a small town. She is a wife to one and a mom to four along with a sweet boxer pup. As writer, blogger, and an aspiring speaker, Leah also enjoys reading, watching movies with her hubby, and creating memories with her family. Leah is motivated by 2 Corinthians 13:11 where Paul encourages the church in Corinth to “become mature and be encouraged, be of the same mind, be at peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.” She wants believers to grow in their faith and discover a hunger for God’s word. Leah’s genuine and authentic style of presenting the gospel lays a foundation for readers to learn more of God’s Truths. Through the challenges of life as a wife and mother, Leah's greatest desire is to let you know you are not alone and there is a God who can get you through the hard moments.

6 thoughts on “Christmas Came Early

  1. How fortunate for your eldest to have a truly devoted and loving Mother. A mother who would willingly take on the pain of her first born if she could. A mother who has learned from experience the true meaning of God’s gift of agape love. God bless us every one on this very special day that we contemplate God’s greatest gift!

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  2. I know personally of the frantic condition called Fibromyalgia. The personal struggle is so difficult to endure. How blessed you both are to swim together through the murk and darkness. My prayer is for you both as you continue down the path God has prepared for you. Together, all things are possible. God is peace, comfort, love, and ………………..all you need. My love to you all.😘
    Harriette

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