After posting recently on parenting with Christ in view, I should not find it surprising then, that I should be tried on this very point.
One night this week Baby fell asleep on my lap, changed positions, and let out a cough. A barky, seal-like cough. Now where'd THAT come from? She had been fine all day.
Oh, no, I thought... What now?
Within two short hours she was having difficulty breathing. Something was wrong, very wrong.
Since Tony was working, I desperately prayed for wisdom about what to do. I skipped calling the doctor, and dialed 911. It seemed like an eternity as I waited for them to show up. I waited alone, but somehow not alone.
"I am with you always..."
I held my baby as she wheezed and struggled to breathe, and prayed the shaky, heart-aching prayers of a very scared mommy, "Please, Lord, just let her be able to breathe until they get here. Jesus, help. JesusJesusJesus...," I breathed.
I paced, and rocked, and prayed, and paced some more.
I continued praying, my heart in my throat, "Please don't let anything happen to my baby. Your baby... yes, your baby. You made her Lord, please help her. Touch her little body, Lord. Help her. Please, Jesus."
WHERE. ARE. THEY??
Pace, pace, rock, stare out window.
I went on,"Help me, Lord. I know... I don't trust You. I know, I'm sorry. I'm going to trust you with this. I am going to choose to trust You. Because I can't do anything else. I can't save her. I can't do anything. O God, please help."
She was still struggling to breathe when the EMTs arrived. They took one look at her, one listen to her chest and her back and said, Yes, she has to go to the hospital. She is having respiratory difficulty. And we were off, all piled into the ambulance, for our first ambulance ride ever. And hopefully our last.
It was SO SCARY.
A medicated nebulizer and oxygen in the ambulance, some drugs to reduce the swelling in her bronchial tubes in the ER, and her breathing became less labored.
Croup, they said.
As I held my baby that night in a bed so big it seemed to swallow her little body, stroking her hair, I couldn't help but ask, "Lord, why are you doing this to me?".
My nerves are just about shot from this baby. I had no idea how good we had it with the other two. To think I complained. Whatever. I've never even heard of some of the illnesses this one gets. And so much for the more-you-breastfeed-the-healthier-the-baby. She breastfed for-ever, and gets the sickest.
I just can't let this child out of my sight. She is just that way.
I look away for a second, only to turn back and see her with a open pill box, pills all over the floor, and one on its way to her mouth. Time to call Poison Control.
I turn away for a moment, turn back, and she is chewing on a piece of broken glass! Now where did THAT come from?
She spikes mysterious high fevers out of nowhere.
She was in the bathroom with me once, and I looked down from brushing my teeth to find her gnawing on a razor blade! She is that quick.
I hesitate to leave her with anyone - because I know her.
Mercy. This child!
Miraculously, she has never been hurt. Miraculously. Not even a nick from gnawing on glass and razor blades. It can only be God's grace.
But I confess that I am fearful - post traumatic stress from too many heart-stopping moments. I find it hard to trust the Lord completely. There are things I hold back. Areas I don't want Him to touch. You can have me, Lord, just not this part of me.
As I prayed in the ER that night for the Lord's mercy on my little baby, mercy to be able to spend another day with her, I had a revelation. And, as revelations always go, I thought to myself, how could I not have seen this before?
Oh, maybe I've realized it before, but I just haven't been able to really look it in the eye.
I realized that I have been holding onto my children. My children. They're mine, Lord, not yours. You can't have them. Don't take them. I'll protect them. You can't. You're God, yes, but are you God over all?
It's funny, really, when we try to keep something from the Lord. He will aggressively go after that one area, pursuing it relentlessly, allowing things to happen to get at that one thing we will not surrender.
For me, I think it's my kids. I'm willing to give up my stuff, my home, my country, my language, "anything for Christ," I say.
Just not my kids.
The truth is, we are not guaranteed tomorrow. We are not guaranteed another day with our children, in our jobs, in our house, with our spouse, in this life, with anyone. We are no where promised we will live until we are old and grey. Nor are we are promised to see our children reach adulthood. The LORD could take my baby here, today, in the great, safe, US of A. It happens all the time, doesn't it?
I am SO thankful the Lord spared my baby's life for one more day. I have been thanking Him much these past several days that there is a hospital less than 10 minutes away. I thank Him there are such things as drugs - the miracle of modern medicine. I thank Him for his mercy. Such mercy.
I had another, more practical, revelation that night - I don't think we'll be moving to any remote mountain village any time soon. The city is looking pret-ty nice... and I'm not a big fan of the city. Any city.
Bariloche does sound pretty good to me now. Yeah, a city. With a hospital. And some doctors.
Yeah, city living! Doesn't sound so bad to me now!
God works all things for good, to those that love him.
Even scary midnight calls to 911.