let it go, simply because it is too heavy: welcoming 2013.
It has been a long while since I have written. Frankly, I haven’t felt the urge, haven’t wanted to face anything in these past few weeks.
I came down with a really terrible cold that went into my chest, turned into sinusitis and blocked ears. I couldn’t taste for days, had a burning sensation in my chest, coughed up some phlegm and felt all around awful. And scared. Scared that Florence would catch it, and end up in the hospital. Because if I felt this miserable and weak, how would she deal with it? At the peak of it, I cried, so tired and weak myself, knowing that it was out of my hands, feeling so utterly helpless. That is a low place to be.
But because of it, I had to deal with some demons. I realized I still had some control issues, feeling that I needed it to survive, needed it to function. Control makes a mother feel like she is…in control. Strong, capable, superwoman. And in reality, we are not. We can do, and juggle a lot, but we can come down with illnesses, get in car accidents, and break ourselves into a thousand pieces while trying to keep it together.
I can try to keep Florence from getting ill, but, as we all know, illness strikes at random sometimes. I’ve been thinking about what people did in the past. All the illnesses that we now have vaccinations for, like typhoid, killing Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, at 42 years of age (I just watched The Young Victoria). He was a Prince! How did the poor fare?
Infants died all the time, and still do in developing nations, from the simplest complications. If I had been born 100 years ago, I would have perished I’m sure, because my spine would have twisted so far I would have lost the ability to breathe. My own spine would have squished my heart and lungs. So yes, I am thankful for doctors and medicine, even though I criticize their bedside manner sometimes. I was wonderfully made whole and straight by the hands of a man and his staff of nurses over 12 hours. My curve was pretty fierce, and the end result was something the doctor was extremely proud of, something he shared across Canada. He himself was amazed at his work. And I believe the Holy Spirit guided his hands.
These past few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot. Not going too far into it because 2 Corinthians 4:18 says: We don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
But I still wonder how people do it. How do parents cope with their sick child? Needles and blood, infections and pneumonia, surgeries and pain. They get thick skin, they pray, they cry, and they breathe. It doesn’t get any easier, but they learn to cope, to let it go. I think this is a valuable gem of wisdom that parents come to understand when their child is very sick…if they can find the strength to release their baby, to release worry, they will have the strength to see joy, to laugh, to cherish, to live. Like Corrie ten Boom’s famous quote says:
I am coming to that place, where I recognize my own weakness, and the strength and grace that I have for today is enough for today, not tomorrow. I am letting God be in control, because this is my hope.
Florence has a small cough, and is congested. Sometimes she will cough, and it seems like she can’t breathe for a second. I sit her upright, pat her back, call on the name of Jesus, and urge her to cough it out. I am worried that she won’t be able to clear her lungs, as the doctors have warned so often (thank you for that). Because she has some strength in her back and can hold her head up momentarily, she is able to clear it. The neurologist has encouraged us in this. And yet, I’m scared because her cry is small, and so is her cough, mostly due to the hypotonia. I have this mysterious peace, that she won’t need to go to the hospital for anything serious. Perhaps I just can’t fathom it, perhaps it’s God’s way of calming me, of giving me hope in this journey. And still, I get out my pink stethoscope leftover from my travels in India, and listen to her chest, praying the congestion is clear. It is, and I rejoice in that. I’m learning to take heart in these victories, rather than focus on the fear, on the cough, on the what ifs. She overcame this little coughing fit. Praise the Lord, deep breath, thank you, and now rest, and enjoy her smiling face.
I don’t feel that it’s healthy to stay in these places, but it’s okay to journey there for a little while. Although I don’t believe God “takes” people away from this world at a young age to “a better place” (this is the Hallmark God), I am coming to terms with the fact that children do die. Take a look at the recent shooting at an elementary school. Far too many little souls were lost.
God didn’t take them, they were unjustly taken. This is not the kind of God I know, one that wants to take his children. I think He welcomes them with open arms, and weeps with thanksgiving when they do come, but He doesn’t really will them to die. Perhaps you disagree.
My God is the Giver of Life, and He knows our days on this earth. He wants us to live in fullness.
And so, when the going gets tough, I still choose to believe that God is in control, and He wants the best for us, and He wants Florence to be a miracle baby, and He wants life for all of us. This is what gives me peace.
This is what I cling to, or rather, this is who I cling to: Jesus. Perhaps my words are all over the place, maybe this is too jumbled to post, not sharp enough for the new year. I don’t mind. I write to clear my mind, to build my heart with truth.
Thank you for reading and for respecting, and for sharing with me when you see me, that you read my blog, and that you love it. It’s embarrassing, but it does mean a lot! Thank you for your prayers of faith, for loving my family, for sending thoughts and gifts and words of encouragement. Thank you for carrying me when I can’t lift my feet off the ground. Happy New Year to you all.
May you have more faith for the journey this year,