"Even If Not" and a Blurry Pair of Socks

This photo was taken five years ago today. It's blurry and just pretty much pitiful in general, but I am so thankful I have it! It's yet another reminder of God's faithfulness and care for even the smallest needs of His children. 

Five years ago this morning I received one of those calls parents dread. Bayley had collapsed at the Acteen sleepover, and they had called an ambulance. Because she was in a locked bathroom at the time, no one really knew what had happened. There had been lots of noise, including her fall, and she had been unresponsive for a time.

I had just had a shower in preparation to pick her up later that morning, and as I frantically finished getting ready, I fought tears and prayed panicked prayers. I reached in the drawer for a pair of socks and realized there were none. It had been a rough month, with my own health issues (including a trip to the ER), random other life complications, and the death of Jodie's mother-in-law a few days earlier. Add in the usual holiday busy-ness and I was a bit behind on everything, including laundry.

I choked out "God, socks?!?!" as I frantically dug in the mountain of clean, unfolded laundry, which apparently did not contain two remotely matching socks my size. Then I remembered.

The girls had had a sock exchange at the sleepover the night before. Jodie and I had gone to buy socks for the girls, and not knowing which pair Rachel might want, Jodie bought two. When we got to the sock exchange, Rachel picked a pair, and Jodie gave me the others, which I had admired earlier. I had stuck them in my bag and not given them another thought.

As I yanked them on, slid into my shoes, and raced out the door, God reminded me that if He could take care of something as inconsequential as socks, He could take care of whatever was wrong with Bayley as well. Although the whole thing was a horribly unpleasant surprise to us, it was no surprise to Him, and He was in control and holding us, as He has reminded me so many, many times over the years, in the palm of His hand.

We didn't get any answers that day. She checked out fine by the EMTs other than some possible and understandable altered mental state issues immediately after she regained consciousness. I posted this later that day: 
"Update for all who were involved in the excitement at the Acteen sleepover this morning...Bayley seems to be fine. We went by Billy's work and they did a little more in-depth checking, and everything looks normal. We're supposed to watch her for 24 hours, but hopefully it was just lack of sleep...which she is catching up on even as we speak! :) Huge thanks to everyone for the help, concern, and prayers this morning."

Reading that status five years later is almost surreal. I remember desperately hoping that was all there was to it, while having a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that something more was going on. None of us had any idea how dramatically Bay's life and all of our lives were about to change.

We would later realize that that was actually her first known tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizure, and a few months later we would finally get the diagnosis of Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy. We are so very thankful for 3+ years of being seizure-free, thanks to good meds, careful life management, and God's grace and mercy. But epilepsy continues to impact her life and our family daily. 

Even though she hasn't had a seizure, this has definitely been the hardest year epilepsy-wise. She's had lots of pre-seizure type activity and other neurological challenges, partly due to the impact of stress and trauma issues this year, and possibly due to other, unidentified factors. We are thankful that we've been led to additional changes this year that seem to be slowly helping, and we are hopeful that we will be able to say that 2017 was a much better year, epilepsy-wise.

"But even if not", as we are reminded in Daniel 3, we will continue to trust, and obey, and tell of His faithfulness and glory. "Even if not", He is still good. He has given us many, many more stories like the sock story from that scary day in the intervening five years. He has answered many prayers with yes. He has given miracles large and small.

There have also been prayers that have been answered in ways we wouldn't have chosen. There have been more disappointments than we could list, and more tears than we could begin to count. But He is still good!! He tells us He collects those tears in a bottle. (Psalm 56:8) He cares about every one. He is using the disappointments, the sadness, the uncertainty, the scary times, the painful stuff to make us more like Him, to draw us closer to Himself, and to remind us to lean on Him completely.  

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. ~James 1:2-4

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

I am so thankful for the assurance that whatever comes, He is in control, and He holds us in the palm of His hand. I am so thankful for the comfort of knowing that all that comes to us is part of His perfect plan for our good and for His glory. And I am so thankful for the reminder in a blurry pair of socks. *heart* 
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