November 6, 2011


did you know that in-n-out burger prints bible verses on the bottom of their cups?
we did not...
we may be the only folks on planet earth that did not know that. 

the first time i noticed that they had the scripture references on their cups was last may when we were in SF. don't even ask me why i happened to check out the bottom of my cup. as i've already established - we actually had no idea that they did that. 

may was the first time i discovered the verse thing. it was john 3:16...your pretty standard verse used for proselytizing the general population. based on that, it was only natural then for me to assume that that was the verse that is always used. 

fast forward to august. back in SF to see DR H. but first things first, a stop at in-n-out was in order. even tho' i assumed that the john 3:16 verse was status quo, i decided to check the bottom of the cup anyway.

i tilted it sideways.
then gasped in astonishment and immediately burst into tears when i saw it:

"my" verse

i still am having trouble articulating what this meant to me and why the timing of it was so's part of the reason why it taken me so long to finish writing about this experience
but here goes:

my milkshake brings me to tears

this journey is hard. very very very hard
this journey is long. very very very long. 
it feels unending
it feels like we are in a state of perpetual grief.

when i first got sick, i didn't know why...but i just simply trusted. i determined that i would see God DURING it rather than look back and having my aha moment after the fact. i knew that it was not from the hand of God but i trusted that his hand was over it.

the boys got sick.
i asked why?
bewilderment. horror. perplexed. anger. grief. unbelief. captured and filled every fiber of my being and my was stretched to it's breaking point. i felt like the hand of God had been lifted from us and the shelter of his wing was was no longer covering us. 

i felt exposed. stripped bare. desolate. alone. barren. devoid. angry.

i want to know why.
from the minute they were conceived, i've prayed for God to protect them
why has He not done that?
yet we trudged on with our unanswered question, clinging to the truth of who God is... 

I don't have every answer in life
But I'm trusting You one day at a time
'Cause You can make a weak heart stay alive forever
this is where Heaven and Earth collide
I lift my hands and give my life
This is how my weary heart stays alive

And I'm still a dreamer, a believer
Oh, I've lost my faith in so many things, but I still believe in You
'Cause You are the answer, the redeemer
Oh, I've given up on too many things, but I'm not giving up on You
'Cause You can make anything new 
~(sanctus real-redeemer)

and then
in march 2011, avery tested positive.

our daughter, our one child we thought had been spared, has not. 

our world shattered once again.
broken. fragmented. unbearable. stripped to the absolute core.
caught in the grip of this shadow of perpetual grief 

she has been on treatment since may. (more about that another day). yes, she has congenital lyme however she currently has a low level of infection. for the most part, she remains asymptomatic. this is good. she is not on any antibiotics but she is on a herbal treatment protocol that both addresses the infection and strengthens her immune system. she does have very mild herxes on this treatment so we know that it is addressing the infection while maintaining her ability to live a healthy, normal life. 

it had been a specific fervent prayer that this treatment will arrest this disease and that God would spare her the horror of an active progression of it. 
that is still our prayer.
avery impersonating dr h

there is no easy way to live with this news. it has raised more grief than can ever be shared or expelled from tears. 
it's taken a long time and we are still processing it. it has been equally difficult to share or speak about. we confided the news to only a few people. we know that it has been wondered about. we know that there was and has been quiet speculation as to why she was accompanying us to SF. that is why. she was there as a patient.

it took many, many months before we were even able to tell the boys
we have NOT told our daughter that she tested positive...yet

one day we will, but not yet. 
obviously, she is not completely in the dark. after all, she sees our doctors and has to take meds. we have explained to her that she is always at a risk for developing active lyme and that because of this we are taking the necessary measures to keep her healthy. that is all she needs to know at this point. that is what we are doing. she is healthy and we are doing what we can to keep her that way. my parenting philosophy has always been to be as open, honest and up-front with my kids as possible. this establishes trust. navigating thru this is a complex, delicate and fragile issue. there will never ever be a 'good' time to give her a full disclosure but we believe there will be a 'right' time. we are at peace with has taken much discussion with our doctors, therapists and prayer to arrive at that decision. we believe that, for this moment in time, it is the right choice for her and for us. (if you know her in our 'real life' please be aware of this. we expect that you, our friends, will respect that decision and be diligent in discretion.)

is it any irony that so much everything about this journey revolves around the issue of trust? 

trust has been intricately woven into every thread that makes up the yet to be finished tapestry of this journey
my key scripture verse is about trust. 
my blog title includes the word trust.
my first blog entry was about trust.
hek, i even have the word permanently etched into my skin

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. 
Never rely on what you think you know. 
Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way. Never let yourself think that you are wiser than you are; 
simply obey the Lord and refuse to do wrong. 
If you do, it will be like good medicine, healing your wounds and easing your pains.

proverbs 3:5 was gift from God when this journey started. 
in it was a request and a promise
it still stands today.
because He remains the same. 
yesterday. today. forever.

God keeps his promises.
sometimes he speaks to us from the most unlikely places.
like in an in-n-out burger joint, on the bottom of a cup,
in the middle of all the junk in our lives, he gives us food for our soul  and i'm and 
to be honest,
i'm still digesting it all.

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