Brennan and I each wrote our own posts reflecting on how we were doing one year ago, and you can read them here and here if you missed them. We joined together in this post to write about how we are doing now, which is far better than we would have expected.
Unexpected is the perfect word to describe the past year of our lives.
Krabbe was – and is – unexpected. Unwelcome. Unwanted.
If you had asked us what we expected life to be like be one year after finding out that our daughter was dying, I’m not sure what our response would have been.
However, we are certain that we would have been wrong given the state of our hearts and the quality of our lives today.
It’s likely that we expected:
- Constant sorrow
- Bitterness (toward Krabbe)
- Support from friends and family
- God’s continual presence and love
Some of those things did indeed happen. But, we can say with confidence that the things we didn’t expect have been far more constant and powerful:
- Adventures and memories
- Support from thousands around the world
- Gaining a new family through the leukodystrophy community
- The impact that our precious baby would have on so many – including us
We certainly didn’t expect that such an amazing, unforgettable year was waiting for us.
One year ago today we were numb. Devastated. Grieving. That was to be expected. We were living in a nightmare that we couldn’t escape. Our baby was dying and there was nothing we could do. There was so much we didn’t know then, so many fears that existed in our hearts and minds. This was all so unexpected.
We expected the last year to be more sad, more grief-filled than it ended up being.
Yet, our grief and fear slowly turned to intentionality, to chosen joy.
Today, we can honestly say that we are joy-filled, content, calm, grateful, hopeful, intentional, fully present, and dedicated to ensuring that we give Tori the best possible life we can give her with whatever amount of time we are given.
Today, we love greatly, live fully and abundantly, forgive more quickly.
Today, we cherish every moment more than before.
Today, we are more content and more gracious.
Today, we feel at peace with the future. We definitely never expected that.
We are certain that God will heal her – either here on earth or by taking her to Heaven to be with Him. Heaven is the best place for any of us to be, so that thought brings us peace beyond understanding in the midst of this tragedy.
We know that we have done our best to care for her, to give her the best possible life we can. If we were to lose her tomorrow, we don’t believe that we would have many regrets because we have lived so intentionally with her and loved her abundantly.
We cannot change her prognosis, but we have allowed it to change us.
For the most part, our days are happy and joyful; however, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have our moments of grief and sadness. We allow ourselves to feel the pain and grief when they hit us – we don’t ignore reality. We still plead with God to heal her here on earth and use her testimony to change the world. Grief will always have an occasional presence in our lives.
We believe that there will be a time to grieve, but that time is not now.
What is most important now is to be fully present with Tori in order to make the most of these precious few months we have together on this earth.
Overall, we have changed for the better because of Tori. She has impacted our lives and the lives of others in ways we never could have imagined.
You may be wondering how this is possible. How can we have such a hopeful perspective?
It’s that simple for us.
We have seen God work in so many ways both directly in us and through the kindness of others, and we have been so overwhelmed by Him and His love. He has been with us every step of the way, and His presence in our circumstances has been obvious. That was not unexpected because He is always faithful. He did NOT cause Tori to have Krabbe, but He has chosen to allow it for a reason we don’t yet understand.
It all comes down to this: we serve a sovereign God who redeems us and brings good out of bad in our lives. He is good, He loves us, and we trust Him fully. Even in this. He has never failed us or abandoned us – why would He do so now?
We all want our children to have a positive impact on the world, and Tori is already doing that in powerful ways. ❤️ God is working through her and through us, and we know that Tori will continue to have an impact for years to come.
We don’t know how much longer Tori will be with us on this earth, but we do know that we will continue to cherish each and every moment and never take this life for granted again. ❤ That can be expected.
If Tori has impacted your life in any way, we’d love to hear about it! Please leave us a comment and let us know – it would be so encouraging to hear your stories. ❤