I have PEACE.

Sometimes, there is something I want to write, and I start and the words just don’t come. Other times I start writing and half way through I realize I am writing about something completely different. Sometimes, I know what I want to write and God says wait and then I hear something and God says “ this is what you have been waiting on”.

I have had a lot of feelings about the news we received from Olivia’s doctor. Feelings that most people probably wouldn’t understand. So first let’s talk about what we found out.

I’m just jumping in with some bullet points because honestly it’s just easier that way.

— Her neuropsych eval came back okay. She was age level or just slightly below average in most things. Her visual spatial processing speed is age level. Her verbal processing speed has dropped significantly and its far enough past surgery it is not surgery related. It is continuing to have seizures related. The good news is she does not have aphasia, or dysgraphia, the bad news is all those problems are related to her processing speed. It just takes her 20x longer to understand what is being said and just as long to figure out what she wants to say back. So lots of patience.

—She had two seizures while we were in the hospital and we learned that her brain waves instead of being wavy and sporadic after a seizure instead hers are flat and slow. The doctor said “this is was very dangerous and we have to stop the seizures” This combined with the fact that her seizures are at night make her an increased risk for SUDEP (sudden unexpected death in epilepsy).

—The plan: Replace her VNS battery in March and proceed with another temporal lobe resection early summer.

That’s the heavy. Ready for the feelings? Peace, Sadness, Anger, Fear, overwhelmingly though I feel peace. I don’t think any of my friends and family understand it. They are angry and sad. And while I have those feelings, I mostly feel peace.

I have had friends ask about anointing her with oil, taking her to be prayed over. Ya’ll we have done it. Let me tell you a little secret that God revealed me to years ago. She has to go through this. Now I’m not saying we won’t have her prayed over before surgery, but I don’t expect a miraculous healing anymore. Is God capable? YES. Is that his will for her? I honestly don’t believe it is.

Let me explain.

Several years ago, at a prayer meeting when the seizures first started. A guy had a vision of a girl in a white dress, just running happily in a field. I have a picture of Olivia that fits that description. See photo above. She is happy, she is well, she is whole. Fast forward a few years before her first resection, we were having her prayed over and one of the pastors prayed for a “resurrection healing”. Ya’ll I think God was trying to give me a heart attack with that one. It was in that moment that I realized his idea of healing was not my idea. No lie, I went home and planned her funeral. It’s still in my phone. But through that process I recognized something so important. She was never mine. She was and is always his. He loves her far more than I can. He works everything out for HER good. So that was my way of giving her back and in doing so, he was able to hand her back to me. She may never be healed in the way that I want, but she will be healed one day, in his timing and his way—whatever that way may be. I have peace with that.

I have a peace that God will do what God will do. I trust him that his way is better than mine. Even when that way hurts, even when I don’t understand. I have peace.

Whew. Confused? It’s okay. It has taken me years to get to this place. Sometimes, the waves still overtake me, but its okay because I know the one that calms the seas.

This week a friend shared two songs with me. They resonated so much. I’d like to share a few lyrics from both of them.

The first from Benjamin Hastings song “Eden”. They say “Isn’t it just like you, to turn it all around for good like only you could, like only you would” it goes on to say “for death can only borrow breath, no longer can he steal, isn’t it just like you to turn it all around for good, like only you could, like only you would”

Dang. Stop reading. Go listen. Death can’t steal my girl away. And no matter what happens, healing or not healing, God is turning all this around for good. Haven’t I already seen this? Haven’t we raised money for a family, haven’t we raised money for more research. She participates in every research study we can so other families don’t have to watch their kids go through this, so they don’t have to face the decisions that we are facing. Hasn’t he already turned it all around for good? Why should I expect him to stop now.

Okay. Next song. This song is a doozy. Just stop. Go listen to “That’s the thing about praise” by Benjamin Hastings.

Okay you back? You ready let’s go.

Just this whole song. “When I reach the edge of my bravery, I’ll still be singing at the banks of an unparted sea, sometimes the only way through it is a hallelujah” Ya’ll for real, everyone says “I don’t know how you do it” or “I could never”. Wanna know the secret? It’s not me. I’m just over here quite literally living on prayer, it’s all God. Am I scared? HECK YES! “but the only way through it is a hallelujah” —Later on the song says “And I cried, I called, God knows I prayed, but most days faith is climbing a mountain that stayed” Oh how I have cried, I yelled at God, I prayed. Ya’ll this mountain just ain’t moving. I have peace. I once saw a quote that said “maybe I was given this mountain to show others it can be climbed”. This mountain may not move, but I sure as heck can climb it especially with God at my side.

I have complete and total peace that God is at work here. I think her purpose is so much more than what I can imagine in this moment. I am confident that this mountain is. HUGE part of her purpose. I just don’t get to see what that looks like. So I am trusting God to give me the knowledge of what that is when I need it, if I need it.

Please don’t get me wrong. Even though I have peace, it still hurts. I’m still sad, I’m still angry sometimes. I am still scared. I still get overwhelmed with it all. However, when I sit back and put God back at the center of this situation. I have peace, despite the sadness, despite the anger, despite the fear. I have peace.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:7

“Peace, I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” John 14:27


Seven. Seven times I have sat down to type over the past two years. Seven times, the words started pouring out. Seven times I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t hit post, I couldn’t finish a thought. Seven times the words came, and left. Now those words lie in the grave yard of my drafts, unfinished waiting for a day that may not yet come.

Funny how, it’s not just the words that sit unfinished. It’s the projects, the work, and the goals. The things I said I would and could accomplish. They just sit. Half done. Unfinished. Drafts of what could be.

Isn’t that what life is? A draft. Unfinished. A “preliminary version” according to a quick google search for a definition. I guess it depends on who you ask and what you believe.

For me, ultimately life is a draft, its the first version. It’s the version that is constantly getting edited, and rewritten. Waiting for the final copy, that day when life is made new, the day all tears are dried up. The day I see Jesus face to face.

What do I do in the meantime? What do I do with this “preliminary version”? Unfinished, it doesn’t sound catchy does it? But what if we flipped the script. What if instead of looking at unfinished at something negative what if we spin in it around. What if we look at unfinished and only see the good. The things left to accomplish, the endless opportunities and possibilities.

Suddenly, unfinished doesn’t seem so bad. Because, I am. I am unfinished. I haven’t accomplished the goals I have set out for myself, or my family. I haven’t became the person I was created to be yet. But..I am BECOMING.

Woah. Say it with me. I am becoming.

I am unfinished.

I am becoming.

Becoming who or what? I’m not sure. I do know that there are big dreams waiting for me, some I know, some I have snippets of. Others I’m I don’t even see coming but I am sure they are there. Because I know God has given me this: He has created me for BIG life, not a small one.

To live my my BIG life, I have to LIVE it. I can’t watch it happen that’s how small life’s happen. I have to live it, I have to work at it.

Being unfinished, becoming. Those require work to get to the end.

So here I am. Writing, crossing off a goal of finishing a post and hitting publish. Not letting these words go unsaid. The funny thing as I write and the words just spill out, I’m not even sure half the time where they will lead me, or where will end up. Just like now, I’m not sure how to tidy this up into a neat little crafty end tag. Some catchy one liner to end on. And maybe that’s the whole point of this post.

It’s in the becoming, its in the unfinished, where we find the greatest beauty, where we find ourselves. Where we find our big life, where we find our joy. It’s not about where we started, or where we will end up. It’s about the journey. Life is about the adventure.

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