I have a dear friend who’s sweet daughter has been diagnosed with possible MRSA…so incredibly hard to watch the child, you love more than life itself, be in pain, suffer or face a potentially life threatening disease. And yet…it seems to be a part of every Mom’s “parenting gig” at one point or the other. And if you are blessed with more than one child, you will likely walk down this path multiple times. And as we are currently experiencing watching our two high school daughters emotionally suffer at the hands of others, it is not any better, and perhaps at times worse, than watching them physically suffer. I decided it was time to post something I wrote years ago in my “faithbook” when I was faced head on with the possibility of losing my child. It was a “faith” defining moment n my life.
In the fall of 2005, our precious two and a half year old, Joy Danielle contracted a serious life threatening staph infection.
Joy went from a carefree, energetic, happy toddler one morning to a tired, lethargic, very sick baby with a high fever that evening. We noticed a large, extremely tender abscess on her lower back and took her to the doctor who lanced and cultured it immediately, as well as putting her on a strong antibiotic. The diagnosis was MRSA. She began to show improvement but then a few days later suddenly took a turn for the worse. The doctor declared her a “treatment failure” and made the decision to admit her to the hospital for surgery and a dose of intense antibiotics through an IV drip. She informed us that if that did not work there was nothing more they could do. It was an emotional evening for the entire family, filled with tears and anxiety as the sisters kissed Joy good-bye and prayed for her healing.
I however, was in Oklahoma City on a speaking engagement with only my daughter Kristen when I received the devastating call from Dan relaying the news about Joy. I was gripped with fear! After calling my Mom and sister and then cancelling the next leg of my trip to New York with Michelle for her 16th birthday…I lay in bed desperate to do “something” as the next flight I could get home was early the next morning. I did pray feverently and yet still felt anxious and restless that I could not do “more”. I was able to speak words of faith from scripture that helped calm my fears but it did not stop me from wanting to do something…anything to make everything ok. It was a long sleepless night of tossing and turning and coming face to face with the reality of my “control issues”…once again! You see, my wanting to do something more than pray and trust in the Lord was a clear sign that I was wanting to be in control. I realized in that moment that in my “mommy heart” I actually believed that I somehow had the power, or the love, or the sheer will to make things better. I thought “if only I was there…I cold make it all better”. (ha!) As I lay in bed staring at the ceiling with tears pouring down my cheeks, the Lord oh so gently pointed out to me that I actually had no control at all…ZERO! The power to heal and restore lives is His and His alone. Yes, I repented and once again gave Him control and why may I ask is this my lifelong battle…when God has always proven Himself faithful to me?) I am simply called to live this life trusting Him, believing His word and praying (and yes prayer is doing enough!)
After 16 years of parenting at that point (and 24 now), I had never experienced having a child so ill that the outcome could result in losing my baby. I had to settle in my heart and mind that my children were the Lords. God had blessed us with them and we in turn had dedicated to them and placed them back in his everlasting arms. But did I really believe that? What if the Lord chose not to heal Joy? Would I still love and serve Him? Would I be able to say… “The Lord gives, the Lord takes away…blessed be the name of the Lord!”…like I sang in church many a Sunday morning? I had to answer the question yet again…Will I trust the Lord to be in complete control of every area of my life? As I flew home that next morning I said …”Yes Lord….I give you complete control” The next four days were filled with doctors, nurses, medication, monitors, IV’s, blood draws, hospital gowns, masks and gloves….but most importantly the were filled with faith, trust, prayer and peace because I relinquished control to my Lord! Praise the Lord in His mercy He chose to completely heal Joy and we rejoiced in His loving-kindness. The Lord used this time in my life to bring me to a new level of faith and trust in God. He is in control of everything and I can rest in that.
Since this season eight years ago I have been given multiple opportunities to test my faith and trust in God. (We went through this same scenario three years later with Daniel but that time I “passed” the trusting God to be in control test – you can read it here) Each time it gets easier and I respond more quickly in letting Him be in control. In fact during this recent upheaval of our life and ministry and finances that we are still going through…we have been able to completely trust in the Lord with all of our hearts from day one….with only one minor glitch, which once again had to do with the “parenting gig”. As we watch our girls suffer emotional pain of rejection and navigating through adult hypocrisy we once again have to give it over to God to heal them, restore them and now allowing them to come to a place of trusting God to be in complete control of their lives themselves…something we hope they grasp ahold of early in life!
God is in control of our lives! He is not caught be surprise in any of our trials, tribulation or suffering. He has a plan…and it is for our good! He will be faithful to keep us in His safe & everlasting arms until that day where we see Him face to face. You can count on it!