Friday, February 21, 2014

This Week . . .

. . . was rough.

Beyond the usual "I'm almost at a writing deadline" stressful. Beyond a bad cold or flu stressful.

When your child just isn't himself. When he suddenly develops unusual stomach pain. When he suddenly becomes a fussy, complaining fretful, bundle of nerves. When he throws up sporadically. When he won't eat and won't drink. When your mamma's heart is exhausted and crying.

When the doctor sends you to the ER. When blood work comes back negative for infections but fever spikes. When sonograms reveal something "not quite right" and the diagnosis of appendicitis is given. When you are transferred to a children's hospital for surgery.

When the pediatric surgeon calls for more tests. When appendicitis is ruled out and observation is required. When after numerous bags of fluid and overnight observation your child seems almost 100 percent again. When doctors say you can go home but offer no clear diagnosis (except for a bug/possible constipation --yeah, right! Not this kid!!!!)

When two days later your child begins to show tiny glimpses of the original symptoms again. When he wakes up in the middle of the night crying out and curling in a ball and holding his stomach in pain. Again. When you finally get him back to sleep, but sleep doesn't come to you.

When the next morning he is playful, eats well, drinks well, and pees well.

It leaves a parent completely befuddled, at a loss for what to do or even think.

In moments like this I find that I have two choices. I can let my mind begin to "go there." The place of worry and dread. What if they missed something on the ultrasound? What if one of the tests was a bit wonky? What if . . .


I can reshift my thoughts. I can choose to focus on the things that I KNOW are true.

My unchangeable God loves me and knows me.

That same God created and knows my son better than any doctor on earth could even begin to understand.

My Father God wants only the best for me and my family.

My Rock is strong and sure. He has never abandoned me and will never leave my side.

The first choice is a slippery slope for me. My fears lead to panic. My panic leads to sleeplessness and tears. My anxiety leads to pointless possible scenarios running through my mind.

The second choice allows rest. My trust in my Savior is deepened. My heart experiences peace. I can examine the facts of the situation with a clear mind and seek God's wisdom to make the best decision for that moment.

Does fear of the unknown with my children creep into my life often? You bet! Will I be monitoring Sam closely the next few weeks? Of course! I'm a mom--remember?!

But I cannot let my concerns consume my life. I cannot constantly search my computer to try to find the answers to his unusual symptoms. (Trust me; that is never a wise thing to do!)

There comes a point when I must realize that Sam is not mine, not really. He is ultimately God's great gift to me. My role as his mommy is to love him completely and do my best to raise him to honor and glorify God. Lying awake at night, listening to every breath is not going to keep something bad from happening to him. It is only going to exhaust me and make me less useful in my God-given roles.

I must let go of control and cling to trust. I must beg for wisdom and plead for guidance to know when to seek help and when to sit back and observe his situation.

Lord willing, whatever is up with Sam IS a simple tummy bug. Moments like this when I watch him jumping off the couch and giggling at Jake and Captain Hook makes me think that he is perfectly fine and healthy.

But moments like last night when I am awakened with his piercing cries of pain make me question once again. The little nagging concern underlies the way I observe him.

So today, I am once again faced with the choices above. And today I choose peace. I choose trust. I beg for wisdom and for God to clearly make it known to us if we need to pursue further testing. I choose to love this little guy with every part of me.

And right now, that means it's time to sing and dance to Jake's theme song.

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