At the beginning of 2017, I thought surely after everything we’ve gone through the previous year, 2017 will be my year of rest! Boy was I wrong! I don’t recall taking one single vacation or staycation this year! Lol…This year was a very busy, humbling and challenging year to say the least. Mostly, due to the very complex medical conditions that we’ve had to deal with our daughter, Maddison.
Maddie during one of her EEGs this year.
The year started with results from an EEG that we did on Christmas Eve in 2016 and the results were not what we wanted to hear. We spent the first half of the year going from different doctors, specialists and hospitals trying to figure out a treatment for this neurological disorder our daughter was battling with which I will write about in an upcoming blog.
At some point, I had to resign from my job due to the overwhelming amount of doctor visits and medical care that was required for Maddison. Thankfully, my company was able to bring me back as an after-hour part-time employee working from home so that I could be available for Maddison’s care during the week which I was very thankful for as you can imagine all of these medical tests and procedures are costly and having additional insurance through my job was very helpful.
In the Summer, we flew to St Louis, Missouri for Maddison eye surgery at the Children’s Hospital. There was a doctor recommended to us by her neurologist who specializes in testing children with eye problems that most doctors are not able to diagnose or treat. Hence, we went to see him and he performed an eye muscle surgery to correct Maddison’s eye alignment. That was a scary experience especially since she had to be under complete anesthesia but thank God everything went well.
Allan and Maddison standing in front of St. Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri where she had her eye surgery.
After we returned from that trip, we didn’t get the instant results that we were hoping to see although we were told that it will take some time for her brain to learn to see through her new eyes but for some reason, between planning this trip, the multiple doctor appointments, multiple therapist visits, long phone calls with insurance companies and DMEs, etc…I became angry, numb and completely shut down. I didn’t know how or what to believe in anymore. I had high hopes and faith that this surgery was going to fix a lot of things and it didn’t, at least not as I was expecting it; thus, I could feel the anxiety and fear of the future settling in and I was slowly losing hope.
It was a dark season, I was becoming angry, bitter and resentful because I couldn’t understand why the Lord was allowing us to go through so much grief with our daughter. I didn’t feel like writing, blogging or talking to anyone about what we were going through as I felt that we were all alone in this. But thank God for prayer and praying friends that encouraged us
Right before eye surgery.
in the Lord. I regained my faith and strength back and decided that I was not going to let the enemy still my joy or waste my energy being angry, bitter or blaming anyone for what we were going through. I remembered that there is no power without pain. Historically, every time God gets ready to deposit great power in my life, it has always been preceded by great pain and this pain was just another test. So I decided to trust the process and believe God that there is a greater victory on the other side of this battle.
I remember the Lord showing me that I had made Maddison an idol in my life because all my thoughts and energy was consumed by Maddison’s care and essentially, God had taken the back seat instead of being my number one. As a mother, it is our responsibility to take care of our children but as Christians, it is first God, family and whatever else is important to you. But I had fallen into the trap of where my family, particularly my daughter became first then God.
I woke up with the first thing on my mind, worrying about Maddison and went to bed worried about her and even my dreams showed that I was worried about her. So the Lord had to fix it! I had to learn to let go. I’m so glad He did because it has given me freedom to know that I can go to Him first when I feel overwhelmed and I can cast all my cares and burden upon him. I had to remember that He made Maddison and will take care of her.
Celebrating Fifth Year Wedding Anniversary on an helicopter ride.
One of the greatest lessons I learned this year was the art of letting go. I learned to give more grace and not be so judgmental because truth be told all of us have issues, some of us have issues that may seem more apparent or shocking than others but that doesn’t negate the fact that we all got issues. This year, I learned to lighten up and not be so uptight… I learned to be more kind to others because everyone is dealing with something. I learned to be more grateful for what we have because someone out there has it worst than us. I learned to forgive quickly and not let things build up in my heart because life is so precious and I choose to live it in peace and with joy in my heart!
Looking back at 2017, it was a year with many tears, challenges and tests but there was also a lot of triumphs and happy moments as well such as buying our new home, watching Maddison reach “inchstones” (little milestones), like the first time she said clearly “Daddy” on Thanksgiving morning (You can imagine, the thrill)! The time we found the right fit for a nanny/nurse so we can get help and have a more balanced life. We celebrated 5 years of marriage and got to ride in a helicopter for the first time, starting a new career as an Advocate for NICU families at Baylor Hospital and more… This tells me that despite the battles, God has still been good to us. Despite the trials, we are still triumphant!
I pray this new year brings you more health, more wisdom, more love and more joy!
2017 Jones Family Photoshoot.
Happy New year!!!
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