But guess what I realized in my ah-ha moment?
I'm not complaining this year.
Not only am I not complaining, but I am really enjoying everything...treasuring each piece of the mundane. I am sure that last year at this time no one would have described me as cheerful. But after so much sadness, fear, watching Bailey hurt, missing of fun things, disappointments, lack of sleep, spending summer days in dark hospital rooms, shuffling kids around and never being together...I have cherished every bit of normalcy this week. I feel so thankful that Bailey has been able to attend the first four days of school. We are doing homework and piano lessons and signing up for sports...and the routine that I would typically find monotonous and painful...has been absolutely amazing.
Funny how perspective can so quickly change. We are grateful for each moment now. I have also realized that much of what I stressed over before was ridiculous. I am fairly certain that about 85% of what we focus on as mothers doesn't really matter at all - and - is simply our desire to be in control manifesting itself. I have seen my child suffer immensely. I have been immersed in the lives of other kids who are hurting...fighting life or death battles. It forces you to evaluate everything - and what I have realized is that very little truly matters. I have seen God meet me and give me strength for each day and I had never allowed Him to do that before.
This back to school season is like nothing we've ever experienced. With a child battling a hideous disease, we are guaranteed challenges and hard days. But I am different this year too...I'm not who I was in years past. In just six short months of fighting this battle, God is working in my heart - opening my eyes to things that needed to change...reminding me of what is important. He is meeting me with a strength I could never muster on my own.
Different can be difficult and challenging and painful - in fact, it usually is. But it can also be a really great opportunity for a fresh view, evaluating of priorities, stripping away of idols and for allowing God to work. Different can be okay. What I am beginning to glimpse though, is the answer to a much bigger question.
Can different maybe...eventually...be better?