Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Trust and Obey

Today, I was listening to Pandora and the old hymnal song "Trust and Obey" came on.  It had been forever since I heard this song.  I had been going over the events of the day and more news from UVA that wasn't so positive.

For some time now, I have noticed, as well as others, that Marissa wasn't retaining information for long periods of time.  It would be like she would learn a new skill or subject matter but if you didn't do it repetitive she would not know how to do it or recall the information.   I often tell people, that there are times that I feel like I live in the movie "50 First Dates".  According to the doctor, we are. Marissa's brain has "injuries" and her brain just doesn't retain the information or skill like it should.   I asked her the question, what does this mean for her in the future.  She just shrugged her shoulders and said, "well, she's not going to be able to go to Harvard".  We know that Marissa is "smart", but not "smart" like other children her age.   She also let us know that Marissa's bladder and bowel issues ARE related to her neurological system.  She let us know that a colostomy bag is probably in Marissa's future.  So as you can tell, a lot of information to absorb in a thirty minute time period.

A dose of reality.   I always think that "maybe one day", is really today.  The reality of knowing that what I was feeling was true.  Hating that mother instinct.  Knowing I can't do anything about it.  Can't change it.  Don't like it.  But, it is what it is.  Now what?  Just another obstacle that we will have to overcome and work through.

So as I was listening to the song, "Trust and Obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, is to Trust and Obey".  Then I remembered the words that Babbie Mason had shared with our church two weeks ago, "God is too wise, to be mistaken.  God is too good to be unkind.  When you don't understand, can't see His plan, can't trace His hand, trust His heart".  

I know that God has a plan for Marissa.  I know that He is using her life to touch others.   As disappointed and frustrated that I felt today, I know that He is a good God and He is good to her.  I know that she is sealed for Him and whatever comes our way, we will face it together as a family and will continue to Trust and Obey.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Rissa's Runners

This blog is to all those that supported or joined the Rissa's Runners team for the 5K and 10K events that were held yesterday.  Words cannot even begin to express how thankful I am to each and everyone of you.  Most of you do not know the back story of how this all began three weeks ago, and to fully understand the magnitude of my appreciation, I felt that I needed to share this with you. 

Many of you know that I am a Social Worker.  I have worked in this capacity for 14 years. I applied on several occasions to become what we call a "Senior Social Worker", and have a supervisory role in my unit.  I have applied for this job, five times, and most recently found out four weeks ago that I did not get the job, yet again.  There is no logical reason that I can give you as to why I did not get the job.  I have worked longer then any of my co-workers (with the exception of one).  I know all program areas.  I come to work daily.  I go above and beyond daily for not only my families but for my co-workers as well.  This time when I did not get it, I knew that God just didn't close the door but He slammed it so hard the windows rattled.  Once again, I felt that I am good enough for 2nd but never good enough for 1st.  This has been the motto for most of my life. 

I was feeling very down and discouraged.  What I had put such an importance on, was never going to happen.  I had set this as a career goal and I watched as my dream came crashing to the ground.  See, all the supervisors are young, just starting, my career in this field is slowly coming to an end.  I cried, had my pity party and then God put two very special people in my path to show me I was missing the open door. 

My friend, Shera, went walking with me the night I found out I had not gotten the job.  She reminded me that my mission was Marissa.  Marissa was the gift that I give to other people and that I needed to focus on what I could do to help others like her. This was a Wednesday.  The following Monday, three weeks ago, my other friend, Tiffany sent me a link about a 5K for Autism Speaks that was going to be held on April 13th. 

In less then two days, "Rissa's Runners" was born.  The concept of why we run, was to run for children with disabilities who cannot.  We set a goal to raise $500.  We wanted to have at least ten members.  By the end of the first week, shirts were on their way to be designed.  I took orders for 45 shirts, going all over the place.   There is no other word then amazing.

Over the past three weeks, God has really opened up doors and I have decided to walk through them with faith and hope.  My husband will retire in six years and I have made the decision to follow after him. My last day (Lord, willing) will be January 1, 2020.  I would have worked for over 21 years in the child welfare field.  Over the next six years, I am going to be preparing myself for what my next career will be.  I love children and I especially love children who have disabilities.  I have a few ideas and I will be exploring those as I go along.  But, everything I will do in my future will be to help others who cannot help themselves. 

"Rissa's Runners" has turned into a very unique opportunity for myself and my immediate team.  Tiffany, Lisa, Tracy, Brooke, Amber and I need your prayers.  We have formed "Marissa's Mission" and hope to become a non-profit agency.  Our goal is to assist families who have children with disabilities to purchase medical and technology equipment that are unable to afford it.  We will use our legs and our voices to make this happen.  Each of us is very open to what God has in store for us and it would blow you away if I told you how He continues to open doors for us daily.  But, we need your prayers and your support as we begin to explore this endeavor. 

I'm going to try and put this into words the best I can, so please bear with me.  For a long time, I thought that God had given Marissa to me, in some ways as a punishment.  There are times when I feel so alone and discouraged and feel like I'm not doing a very good job at being her mom at all.   As I have watched the last three weeks unfold, I felt so much love and support from people, who didn't even know us but became a team member and offered support.  We ended up with 25 team members and raised over $2500 in donations to Autism Speaks in Marissa's name.  Simply Amazing. Simply God.  There is no way this would have ever been possible without my immediate team and Shera.  They love me.  They love Marissa.  But,  more importantly they God.   We are "Marissa's Mission". 

I am going to end with this.  I have always been very keenly aware that God puts people in your life for a reason.  Some people for a very short time, others for a life time.  Whatever, reason you have entered into my life, just know that I love you and cherish you more then ever.  Thank you for being a part of my mission!