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Sometimes it’s hard to see that life is worth living.  We are trapped in a valley of dry bones, surrounded with lies, and getting out seems impossible or scary.  While Jamie is in the hospital, others are fighting for her life.  They work to pull her out of the valley, but she must make a choice.  Is it worth the climb out?


Dear Jamie,


A long time ago your heart was broken.  Someone left you, you needed them, and they were gone.  Some cry out, some fight back, and some just wait.  You waited.  As you waited, you drew away into your own mind.  Disconnecting from the world, you found safety inside your own thoughts while leaving everyone else out.  You stayed quiet.  No eye contact.  No touch.


They use to call it “Orphan Syndrome”.  When a child shuts the world out.  When they disconnect from others, because it is safer to trust yourself. Now, they bank it in the category of Attachment Issues. It’s a valley full of lies.  Lies that you are unlovable. Lies that no one really wants you.


Lies chain you in the valley.


Surgeries came and went.  Doctors here and there.  So many times you felt pain, but you hid the pain.  Letting them think you were truly paralyzed from the waist down.  But you knew different.  You felt so many things, but you never told.  They would never know because you thought that kept you safe. Sometimes we caught you, feeling things (both physical and emotional) and we were sure to let you know that we knew.  We didn’t want you to stay in the valley of lies.


The valley is a thief.


You found comfort in doctors fixing you and helping you heal physically.


But our love for you is greater than a doctor that fixes broken bones.  We’ve loved you from before we ever met you. You don’t believe it.  We held you, hugged you, challenged you, laughed with you, pushed you further,  and tried to love you more.  You learned to respond with a fake smile and stage worthy laughter.  It made others happy.


You stayed safe in your valley.


We tried to teach you relationships, growing, loving, forgiving, enjoying.  There were moments when we thought- AHHH she might actually be enjoying this.  The instant you saw our joy, you pulled back.  Teaching us to stay silent.


I don’t want to be silent.  I know there’s more than just a valley.


I want to shout from the mountain tops (and sometimes I do just to drive you crazy) that I love your crazy self.  Even when you are cranky and push us away, we love you.  Of course we get frustrated, disliking your planned behaviors, but it can’t change our love for you.


With every epic journey in life, there is a mountain.  That mountain has glorious views to see all around the things you only dreamed of.  Pushing you, changing you, broadening your view.


Mountains are surrounded by valleys.


Deep in the valley our weaknesses are exposed.  We try to hide them, mustering with all our might to maintain the façade we have been living behind.  Convincing others we are just fine.  Pushing back love to guard our weak heart.  I know, Jamie, because I did it too.  I tried once to keep others away.  It seems safe that way.  But it weakens you.  Sapping your strength.  Drying your bones to a weary state until you must let someone in.  Otherwise the silent strength breeds loneliness.  And loneliness aches so deeply.


It’s a valley of dry bones.


Some valleys are so deep that there is no way out except for the path of truth.


Facing the close reality of death is a scary path in the valley.  It’s a truth you can’t avoid. You lay there forced to asked for help, truly needing others in a way you never knew.  Honestly, sweet daughter, it’s the dying that is truly scary, not death itself.


The dying to self is what scares us the most.


Letting go of what we think seems safe.


I know sickness and doctors seemed safe to you.  The love of family is so very scary.  The thought of someone loving you has pushed you away for 13 years.  As you lay in the hospital bed, your family is fighting for you, the doctors are fighting for you, actually, pretty much everyone is fighting for you.  Do you know why?


We all know a secret that you don’t.


You were made for mountain tops.


Your life is a precious gift, and you are worth more than every beautiful diamond on earth combined.  Your life is very special, because God made you special.


Your wheelchair doesn’t make you special.  Your ability to fake others and keep them at bay doesn’t make you special.  Preforming in such a way as to get others to like you or feel bad for you, doesn’t make you special.


You are special for one reason.  God made you and He doesn’t make mistakes.


That means you are not a mistake.  Nothing about you is a mistake.  That is why we all love you and fight for you.


We see from the top of the mountain the view that you are blind to.


Up here we know that the valley teaches you to face the dying.  Dying to self in a way that seems so raw and scary.  Dying to self to let go of your past.  Those things in your past chain you to the valley.


We want you to join us up here.  The view is magnificent.  Glorious splendor of God’s creation.  You can’t help but to see how amazing life is.  It gives you perspective you never knew was possible. Then you see that you are worth more than all those things.


Oh Jamie, take a chance, a risky, scary chance that we might just be right.  We might just be telling you the truth.  That You are worth more than you know.  We love you, really we do.  More than that, God loves you more than you can begin to imagine.


But to take that risk? That’s hard.  You will have to choose something harder than the risk of love itself.  Dying to self.  That’s the only way you’ll be able to risk our love.  It’s so very hard to let go of those things we cling to, falsely keeping us safe.


Let go of the valley, my Jamie, let go.

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Join us up here on the mountain top, seeing what God has taught us.  That life is glorious and worth living, and you are more splendid than the sunset could ever be.


I love you,


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