when there’s nothing: Jesus, mercy, thank you.

April 4, 2014, Michaela Evanow, 22 Comments

I keep thinking, this has to get better.

Something has got to give, mountains need to crumble, pain needs to cease. It’s time.

And then, nothing.

Worse, the mountain grows, looms like a devil.

Florence had her casts taken off the other day, and instead of relief, we’ve been faced with her pain. Normally Florence doesn’t experience pain with her condition. But the casts have caused tightening in her knees and ankles and throughout her legs. Apparently her bones have healed, but I see no real improvement.

I can hardly swallow the lump in my throat, but I do and pretend it doesn’t scrape me raw as it goes down. The week is ending soon, and it’s piling like manure. It’s piling hot and heavy in my home, and I’m crumpled on the carpet with groanings too deep to be uttered. My mascara runs down my face like I’ve broken a pipe, an unceasing downpour. I know it will stop soon, but I don’t try to hold it in.

Now is the time to cry.

For the pain, the flinching, the lip quivering, the wet tiny tears that I kiss off her face.

Now is the time to cry. For her inability to wrap her arms around me, for the helplessness she feels when I gently, gently manipulate her tight muscles. I wish she could kick me away and scream and thrash about on the living room floor.

Instead I do it for her, though my strength is waning as the months turn to years. Thrashing has turned into a slow sink to the knees, and sometimes it feels really good to stay here.

This afternoon, I picked up her foot and she yelped in discomfort. My hands trembled as I carefully massaged her pudgy foot, and ever so slightly stretched her foot. I stared at the yellow wall, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. The froth and spit came spilling out of her open mouth, her nostrils flared and she let her eyes go wild with fear. I pick her up to comfort her and she cries harder. Every movement seems to inflict pain or anticipation of pain. Shhh, it’s okay, it’s okay, I repeat again and again. Shhh, mama is here, all done, all done. I hold her close, and rock her back and forth, singing along to the worship music that’s playing loudly in order to distract her. I shut my eyes hard, and sing. I rock her. I hold her. And she calms. I take her foot in my hand again, watch her flinch, and keep on singing. She lets me stretch her for a few seconds. I stop before she can start crying again.

She will be in pain for a few weeks, they told us, you can give her Advil.

But they don’t really know.

Can you tell me I’m a good mother, when I make my child cry and moan because it’s “good” for her?

Can you tell me I will have to pick myself up off the floor and nurse my swollen heart until the throb of this particular brand of motherhood subsides?

Can you tell me to be strong enough so I can mumble a prayer that means something, to push play and let songs of worship fill my home until my heart unclenches and the veil lifts?

Can you tell me that I will have to declare through a smile, through laundry piles, through Facebook photos of healthy babies and family getaways, that I am not an orphan, God has not left me alone, God has not abandoned us?

No, you won’t tell me these things. I’ll discover them on my own.

And day by day, I’ll grow in strength. Month after month, I will put fear to bed before I move on with my day.

Bad weeks will turn into bad days, and bad days will be squelched into a few hours. Eventually I will learn to wash my face in cold water and whisper, “Jesus. Mercy. Thank you.”

Jesus. Mercy.

Thank you.

John 14:18


  • Reply Christi Trear October 3, 2014 at 7:20 PM

    I don’t know you, you don’t know me, but your words speak to my soul. Thank you. I pray God blesses you can comforts you as He does for me.

  • Reply Karen Guenther April 5, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    Your story is heart breaking and yet beautiful. Poor wee Flo. Praying all your pain lessens. Her physical and your emotional. I have a friend who as she says, her life is a tragedy. She can’t even go on FB because the pain it causes her. The joy of other people is a reminder of her pain. I often think of your little family and pray for you. It must be such a difficult season to be in. Take heart because He overcame the world.

  • Reply willowlost April 5, 2014 at 7:30 AM

    Sending love and prayers of healing for beautiful Florence and prayers of added strength for you as you pass through these days of trouble. Your love is her rehabilitation. Your strength is her comfort. My tears flow with yours as I read this part of your journey. Mamas hearts joining each other to provide some tiny support to you Dear Michaela.

  • Reply Janet Abele April 4, 2014 at 11:02 PM

    i pray for beautiful Florence, please please give her the comfort she needs and allow her days to be happy. , so her mommy and daddy can feel happy for her. AMEN

    • Reply Michaela. April 5, 2014 at 7:27 AM

      thanks for these prayers of comfort Janet.

  • Reply Kali Gillespie April 4, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    You’re such a courageous woman of faith. I pray you all feel Him so near.

    • Reply Michaela. April 5, 2014 at 7:28 AM

      Amen, I’m praying for this too these days…

  • Reply Kelly April 4, 2014 at 9:04 PM

    It’s hard to read. But I’m glad you’re writing and sharing your journey. As a mother, it’s so hard to imagine but so easy to feel. Your strength is admirable.

    • Reply Michaela. April 5, 2014 at 7:26 AM

      hi Kelly, thank you for this encouragement. Writing is a great comfort to me.

  • Reply clothedwithjoy April 4, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    Beautiful. I believe that it is through to devastation that reach truly began to see his face.

    • Reply clothedwithjoy April 4, 2014 at 8:20 PM

      Sorry, I talk into my phone and this is what I get. True devastation that we truly begin to see His face. 🙂 hope u smiled.

    • Reply Christina Aubry April 9, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      Powerful. I so sense God’s presence around you as you described this scene. I was asking the Lord the other just what his strength in our weakness looks like, and this is it. You are living out his strength as you’re being totally poured out. We’ve not met but I am so moved by and honoured to read your journey, Michaela. Praying for you and thanking The Lord for the encouragement and example you are to me.

      • Reply Michaela. April 10, 2014 at 6:35 PM

        Christina, this is so lovely.Thank you for your outpouring of words!

  • Reply Arlene Holland April 4, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    My heart aches for all of you, I weep with you and for you. Your mercy oh GOD endures forever, Your love is never ending.

  • Reply Sandra April 4, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    Michaela – how is it possible for me to feel your fear and pain when I haven’t gone through what you are going through? But I do – because we are both mothers; because we love our children just like our Lord God loves us. I am praying for you and your beautiful Florence. I hope my prayers can bring you some peace. With love.

    • Reply Michaela. April 4, 2014 at 7:16 PM

      Sandra, thank you. Your prayers are precious!

  • Reply Janice April 4, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    So sad for you and your girl 🙁 praying she will feel less pain soon. Praying for extra strength for you

    • Reply Michaela. April 4, 2014 at 7:17 PM

      Thank you Janice. Don’t be sad for us! Pray for us? We need the strength of others 🙂

  • Reply child of God April 4, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    :'( I’m sorry this is so hard for both you and Florence. Praying and praying for both of you.

    • Reply Michaela. April 4, 2014 at 6:33 PM

      Prayers mean a lot and help! Thank you.

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