Honestly, I’m not ok.
I sat down with the intention of writing a blog full of hope, next steps and long term plans to share with you all. But what I ended up with was a lot of raw, tearful and honest words. I’m finally realizing that I’ve been holding myself together on the outside and not facing some of my emotions in all of this. Part of me thinks it’s selfish to grieve in this process and I shouldn’t share how I’m feeling with others. The enemy says that no one wants to hear what I have to say, that I’m wasting my time. But that’s exactly how he works. He isolates us, divides us, tells us no one cares and we bottle it all up thinking that the we’re wrong for walking out our feelings and occasionally just being sad. But that’s a lie.
So, this is me being honest and open about how I’m feeling. And in a strange way, I hope it encourages you. Let Jesus in to all of those cracks and crevices and begin working it out in you.
When we’re catching up with friends and they ask how we’re doing, how Mila’s doing, we usually respond with something like this… “She’s doing great! It’s been hard, but you know, it’s fine. She’s perfect, we wouldn’t change a thing. This is just our life now and we’ll figure it out”. But if I really search my heart for how I’m feeling about all of this, I realize that all of that’s just a face I’m putting on most of the time. So, can I just be honest for a minute?
Although we undoubtedly believe that Mila is perfectly made, I would be lying if I said I’m ok with this life for her, or “that I wouldn’t change a thing.” I would change it all in a heartbeat if I could. I don’t want her to be seen as “different.” I don’t want her to struggle or work harder at reading and writing English just to keep up with her peers. I don’t want to put her through dozens of tests, needle pokes and countless doctor appointments. I don’t want her to have brain surgery at 1 year old. I don’t want her to have therapy 2-3 times a week until she’s 5 years old. I don’t want her to struggle socially with other kids. I don’t want to make a decision by the end of the year that will determine how she experiences the world for the rest of her life. I’m not ready for that.
I just want to enjoy my kids and our family without the label of deafness. I want to go longer than a week without thinking about their next appointments. I want to be able to communicate with my kids in the car, beach, bathtub or neighborhood pool. I want to be able to calm my fussy baby with a lullaby. I want my kids to experience the world the way I do. I hate peaking my head in Bear’s classroom at church to find him playing by himself. I hate that I lose my cool in loud environments because he can’t hear me. It’s not his fault. I hate that my already-sometimes -irrational mom brain goes to dark places when I think about my kids’ safety. Can they hear that car coming? Can they hear the smoke detector? It’s all extremely overwhelming.
A lot of times when we’re out in public people stare at them. I don’t think there is any malice in it, they’re just curious. I get it, I didn’t know any deaf or hard of hearing kids growing up either. I didn’t know any families who used sign language. Right now our kids are too young to understand that others are noticing something different about them but Niko and I pick up on it almost every time. And plain and simple, it’s frustrating. I know the day will come when they both realize it but I want to keep them innocent forever. My heart breaks when I think about how nasty kids are towards each other these days and I get worked up thinking about anyone picking on my child.
Right now, in this season, my emotions are all tied up in our kids and our unique journey. (I think every mom in the history of the universe could say that.) If you’re like me, you’re always trying to fix others or distract yourself with day to day responsibilities so you’re not forced to sit in silence and really feel. But that’s not a healthy way to live (preaching to myself.) So, today I’m going to be intentional about really examining my heart and giving it over to Him. Whatever’s going on in your life today, just feel it. Go all in, be intentional. Because that’s where Jesus will meet you. He so badly wants to meet you, and heal you, there.