Is it okay to be…okay?


IMG_2318As I walked the sky bridge this morning toward the shower, I looked out from the great height of the hospital, towering over the tops of trees, fresh and bright, late spring life.  The sun had not yet risen over the hill but hit the high points to the west, tops of the far off trees and further, the twin points of The Brothers in the Olympic Mountains.  The light was pale yellow and pink, fading blue of night to blue of day.  The air was clear and it seemed you could swim out into its purity.  I walked the path to Ron Don.  The air was cool and alive with birdsong and the ferns were curled tight in their yet unfurled magical green.  The light filtered through the trees and shown on the moss.  There was dampness of morning in the air and I drank it in and I felt happy.  I felt alive.  I whistled back down the hall to the Unit and surprised myself with the thought – I am happy.  I am fine.  I am at rest.  I am content.  I am expectant.  I am joyful.  I am not afraid for Allistaire.  Come life or come death I do not fear for my beautiful beloved.  As I looked at her playing in the bathtub yesterday, content to pour water over her mermaid’s head with the little green Tupperware pitcher over and over, I wondered, was it for this you were created?  Was it to bring us closer to the Lord, to enable us to see His face and have His peace settle deeper, deeper into our bones? Is that not an incredibly glorious purpose – for one’s life to be the dwelling place of the glory of God?   She is innocent and has no dreams of her own.  She is content.  She is at rest and though her flesh may be destroyed, yet with her eyes she shall see God!

It feels a bit like betrayal to say these words; to allow in this peace.  But I cannot help it – it is there.  I feel more and more at rest with each passing day that this is where the Lord has me – He has me here to love these people in my life – to love every face that enters our room and each face in the hall and on the sidewalk.  The season in which I dwell is in this place.  Maybe it is the newness of resurrected life bursting forth all around me that reminds me to hope – all these silent plants and flowers and trees straining to the light, exploding with color and scent and shape and beauty.  Even the dandelion with its perfect sphere of brilliantly designed seeds defying extinction, everywhere declaring His glory.  I find myself almost giddy, if I dare to allow myself, with the awareness, that this time, this life, these realities are not happening in a void – they are part of a whole, a whole too vast for me to begin to take in.  I am part of something momentous the Lord is creating.  I am not a queen or king who has been entrusted with the well-being of a kingdom, but I do hold the weight of what sits in my hands, aware that I walk a path few must and are given to walk.  Yes there is a way in which I despise this path, but more and more I find myself seeking to savor it – seeking to take it in, to soak it up, to fully experience it – to explore its views and sights and sensations.  I do not want to lose it.  If I am going to be here, I want to be fully here.  I want to hear the voice of my Father and take in His instruction in these days.  No, I don’t want to be here, but less and less do I balk at it.

I sit in the midst of this reality and I pull its truths to me, I gather round me all these treasures and take stock.  I do not want to lose out on one jewel, one gift my Father has handed to me.  For I know that one day this will be done.  What “done” will look like I do not know.  One year ago today Allistaire was discharged from the hospital for the last time, having completed her treatment for AML.  All that was left was to have her Hickman Catheter removed.  We had four perfect bone marrow tests to stand on.  I could never have guessed what one year later would look like.  I am thankful I could not have known.  I do not know what May 2, 2014 will look like.  What I do know is that no matter what, I pray I will be changed by this – forever changed.  Oh, I know that I will be scarred and more broken and more tender.  I will have aged and the wrinkles and gray wily hairs will be numerous.  But I pray for softening, not hardening.  I pray for light-heartedness alongside the soberness.  I pray for a life more filled with grace and forgiveness and giving the benefit of the doubt.  I pray for more thankfulness and less envy, less coveting.  I pray for clearer vision of what matters and the ability to wait and to let go.  I pray for deeper joy because my tap-root goes down, down into the heart of the living God.  I pray for more boldness to speak what is true.  I pray for that which I once scoffed – I pray for a “quiet and gentle spirit.”  I pray for a tongue that is slow to speak in anger.  I pray I am so much quicker to admit my wrong and ask forgiveness and quicker to forgive.  I pray for less pettiness and for more, more delight.  I pray for eyes that see the eternal and not only the temporal.  I want to be changed by this.  I want it to permanently mark me.    IMG_2350 IMG_2345 IMG_2337 IMG_2334 IMG_2330 IMG_2325 IMG_2322 IMG_2321 IMG_2319 IMG_2314 IMG_2305 IMG_2301

11 responses »

  1. Jai you have such a way with words. I am praying for you and your family constantly throughout the day. God is doing something beautiful with your family and only He knows what the finished work will look like. It might not be what the world considers a “happy ending” but it will be exactly what God intended. I have learned and am still learning that even as I approach the 6 year anniversary of my Dad’s suicide. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you and Sten walk this path.

  2. Your words sink down deep into my soul. Your pain and honesty alongside your peace and joy have caused me to love my children and my husband more purely and to savor each and every moment. Thank you. God is not wasting any of this. I pray that you continue to feel his arms around you. You have a special gift, Jai. Keep writing.

  3. Jai, It’s okay to be okay. You seem to be so focused on God and on His will, that He is giving you that peace that passes all understanding. I’m sure it will come and go in waves…but what a remarkable witness for Him you are. Thank you for your words. You are an encouragement to me, and to so many. Continuing to hold Allistaire, you, and your precious family up in prayer.

  4. “The will of God will never take you where the grace of God won’t protect you.”

    It is ok. It is good. It is that “peace beyond understanding” for which we have prayed.

  5. Jai, you are such a shining example of what God desires in each of our lives. Your blog challenges my heart every time I read it. When we seek His face we always find more than we ever thought possible. It’s like a cloud covering your brokenness,showering peace into the very soul of your being. That’s our loving Heavenly Father holding you close. It’s definitely o.k. For you to be o.k. That is total peace of letting go and letting God! Remembering that God loves your little Allistaire more than you could possibly love her, she is on loan to you to love, but ultimately she belongs to Him. You are an amazing lady who loves her God deeply, and you challenge my heart. Praying for all of you.

  6. WOW!!! You write about some incredibly, deep, rich truths! The idea of using every bit of your unimaginable pain as an opportunity to really learn and live as the Lord desires is powerful! Jai, I can’t tell you how thankful I am for you writings.

  7. Dear Jai,
    When I saw the title of this post I thought “Oh she is finding peace.” and you are and it is Okay!! Sometimes it will feel like betrayal to Allistaire but it is just recognizing that her life is in God’s hand’s, his firm grip..of course it has been all along…but it is very hard for us mother’s to give up our own firm grip. Your are getting to a beautiful, peaceful, letting go place.
    We BSF ladie heard tis week that someone named Lexi was driving out to see you and gathered a care package. When I took it out to her house in Belgrade it turns out she has never even met you! That she is going to see you because she had a child in Settle Children’s a year ago and has been praying for you. You are getting together, Monday I guess. She seems like a lovely messenger to send our love, Robin O and the BSF ladies

  8. I’m not sure if you remember me (we live in the Tri-cities)….I first saw you in Starbucks (downstairs at SCH) and I remember seeing your name “Jai” on your cup and I commented about it uniqueness & pretty spelling. Our Nicole (11yrs old) was diagnosed with osteosarcoma on 1/25/12….she endured 18 rounds of chemo and 7 surgeries and, Praise God, is free of cancer today! Sometimes I feel so “guilty” that our child is doing so well when others are relapsing, still fighting this deadly disease or losing their child but I know through it all we became closer to HIM and have a knew outlook on the little things in life. I remember your beautiful little Allistaire in my prayers and I’m amazed at the strength God has given you to face your trials. This cancer journey is not something I would have ever chosen to go on with our child, along with all the other parents that have or walk it with us, but it molds us to be better people and for that I am thankful. God bless you as you continue this journey.

  9. Dear Jai,

    We are sending you our prayers and love every day! Your blog is so inspirational and heart wrenching. When I see Allistaire’s dimples and twinkling eyes I see a mini Jai…it is evident that your spirit and positive energy is a part of who she is and that God is letting her know his love and care. Please know we are sending our strength and prayers from the Netherlands…
    Love to you all–Lara

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