The doctor looked over his mask and nodded to Micaela. “What do you think, mom, is this baseline? Is this Micaela?” She had experienced her very first seizure and recovery was slow.
I shook my head. “No. Its not. This isn’t baseline.”
Miceala sleepily babbled and banged a musical turtle. She threw her head back and gazed unfocused at the ceiling.
No. This was not Micaela.
Baseline. The word made my heart tremble. God, where is baseline? Where is baseline for my family? Is it this—hospitals and new meds and fear? Or, please, is baseline home where Micaela laughs and throws tantrums and Adela doesn’t wonder where her mother and sister went? Oh, God.
The doctors and nurses came. They left. The tests were done. Micaela’s brain showed no signs of bleeding, strokes, or epilepsy. There was only the old, extensive, damage. The kind that made the neurologists look at what was left of her brain and ask if the lethargic child in front of us was acting normal.
That night, when the hospital room dimmed, I listened to the monitors and questioned God. I questioned His plan. I knew He had one. I knew He had a purpose for my child, for me, for my family, before we were ever breathed into existence. But I wasn’t sure I liked it anymore. My prayers stopped. I wrapped myself in a blanket against the chill.
I thought over all the many twists in my 31 years of life. From one year to the next it has been full of the unexpected. I eloped at 21. I had my first child while living in Patagonia, Argentina. I said goodbye to a two-month old baby and brought home her twin sister. I lost my mother much too soon.
I relived a hundred memories and I saw it. Clear and beautiful--baseline.
We have no control over our lives. Even if we had the money and resources to create a perfect bubble, the unexpected would still worm its way into our existence. Baseline will never be something we can hold and touch. Baseline can be found in something altogether more powerful—our connection to God.
That is baseline. Baseline is being able to look at any circumstance and see our amazing Heavenly Father. Baseline is His joy in our hearts, His peace in our souls. Baseline stretches and weaves into our every moment because we chose not to walk out this life on our own strength, we chose Him.
Eventually, our Micaela woke, ate, played, laughed, and even threw a tantrum. God stays close to Her. That precious connection is an intimate part of her existence, and mine, my four-year-old Adela, and my husband’s lives. Our baseline cannot be measured, described, or limited.
But we have this treasure in clay jars to show that its extraordinary power comes from God and not from us.
What keeps you secured to your baseline?