“Carry each other’s burdens; and in this way you fulfill the law of Christ” – Galatians 6:2
Last week marked the official beginning of Eliza’s journey in the Early Intervention program that will take her through all the therapies of these first three years. Right now, we will meet with an OT every week and a PT twice a month, but later the team will likely include a nutritionist and possibly a behaviorist. The two ladies assigned to our case came together for the first appointment and spent an hour evaluating Eliza before leaving me with a list of “assignments” that include posture exercises (to improve tone), head placement (to even out flat spot on her skull), and of course, the ever-present quest to improve feeds.
It seems impossible that it’s only been eleven weeks since Eliza was born. It feels like ages have fit into that relatively tiny span of time! Our days are measured in the number of milliliters she drinks, our weeks in doctor and therapy appointments, and our months in growth charts and developmental goals. And it’s easy to become so consumed in those breakdowns that I forget to take a breath and look around at the big picture…the life picture!
To be honest, sometimes looking at more than the next meal or the next appointment becomes too much. And it’s not just Eliza’s struggles. It’s Amelia’s tears when I drop her off at school, it’s Derrick’s relentless schedule and high stress, it’s a daily worry that I’m not doing enough or doing it right. I’m still amazed at how quickly the tears come when a friend looks me in the eye and asks me how I’m doing. Because as much as I want it to be, this isn’t all “settling down” and “falling into place” yet. I haven’t hit the magical groove that I keep waiting for.
But thank God I have a village reminding me that it’s okay to be wherever I am…a village that has been cooking meals and dropping them off at our home for over eleven weeks now. A village that offers to take care of my dogs, to pick up Amelia, to sit with Eliza. A village that came to the hospital with food and flowers and prayers and that has continued to show up so many times and in so many ways ever since. A village that listens to me and cries with me and wraps me up in so much love. At the end of the day (or week, or month, or whatever), that is what it’s all about, isn’t it? Leaning into that love and hoping that someday when I find that groove and settle down (or at least come up for air), I can pass it back. Because you can’t hold that much ache and joy and gratitude and not let it spill back out. There is more power in carrying each other’s burdens than I ever knew. It is the ultimate call…the ultimate way of sharing love. Faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. So I’m leaning in and holding on.