Monday, December 9, 2013

Moments of Grace

Brokenness getting the better of me, my spirit questioned God.

Awake at 1:00 AM with throbbing pain in my ankle, I lay there, wondering if my Beth was in such horrible throbbing pain two years ago, when her arthritis first surfaced. I remember sleeping in her queen bed with her for months, because she woke up so frequently, and my husband needed sufficient sleep. I nursed her whenever she asked day or night, up until last summer, when she began sleeping quite well.

Was it enough? Was any of it enough, to soothe a little girl in the kind of pain I was in from 1:00 AM to 5:00 AM?

I wondered, too, if Beth would be one of the 50% who don't grow out of this disease before puberty or in her teens. Would she be in need of multiple joint replacements by 30 years old? In giving me similar symptoms right now, is God giving me reason to emphathize with her like no one else could? Rheumatoid Arthritis is very painful, yet few understand the pain, since it comes and goes and can put you down quickly. You don't look ill, so you suffer silently. You stand alone, lonely, and the loneliness can be as hard as the disease itself.

My heart ached last night, thinking of Beth's pain, and me being unable to truly understand up until now. I don't know if I might have something else instead, but all the other possiblities don't account for the coming and going of the pain, and the range in the quality of the pain.

On top of those concerns, both my boys will soon start therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which makes their hands raw and red from too much washing, and costs us a fortune in toilet paper, since one roll can be consumed by one of my sons in one day. When OCD gets moderate to severe, household products disappear quickly.

And today we went to the pediatrician to investigate four days in a row of headaches for my Paul, which were diagnosed as migraines. He has to try a preventative medicine for one month to see what happens.

Groan, went my spirit as I made the call for Paul's appointment today. Except for Mary, we are cursed, healthwise. Allergies, ezcema, occasional asthma, migraine headaches, OCD, ADHD, anxiety, Tourette's Syndrome, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, and now my ankle bit. We are all a healthy weight and we don't smoke or drink or eat too much of anything, but we have these mental disorders, conditions, and diseases to contend with, which suck energy from our souls.

Why do some families live symptom-free except for your usual colds and flu, and others have such everyday burdens? Stupid question. I knew that before my brain even uttered the last of it. Every family struggles with something, and many suffer silently.

It's even embarrassing, trying to explain these things, so I don't. People start wondering what we are doing wrong, to have so many issues, and that just makes my heart heavier. Better to keep quiet.

I learned yesterday that a dear woman from church, 41 years old, lost a baby before Thanksgiving. I cried with her, and during the service her 20-month-old son, whom I get to love on in the nursery, stood in the aisle during worship music time and lifted his hands to the Lord, a broad smile on his face as he swayed back and forth, 2 feet away from Daddy. Many people noticed his sheer joy, and the moment was of God, orchestrated by a loving, gracious, faithful Father, to encourage a grieving mother's heart, and all who grieved with her.

Today we piled into the van to go to the pediatrician's, and my boys put a CD in the player they had been working on at church. One of their teachers wrote a worship song with them, drawing from many different Psalms. They needed to rehearse because next week all the 4th-6th grade kids are singing it with their teacher up on stage.

The second stanza was all it took. I cried all the way to our doctor's office,  listening to the words and the teacher's voice. It wasn't professional by any means, but it was another moment orchestrated by God to flood a hurting soul with grace. Mine.

I don't know what tomorrow will bring for my boys, my daughter Beth, or myself, in terms of health. But I know when it gets heavy, God will be there.

He will be there in the middle of the achy, throbbing night.

He will be there when the site of another toilet roll gone, makes me want to cry.

He will be there when the sight of my sons' hands shock me yet again.

He will be there when my husband gets angry, rather than sad, at what we deal with. (Everyone grieves differently.)

The Lord will be there for us, and for you, in your hour of need.

I leave you with the worship song words, the ones that touched me so thoroughly today:

Expression of Psalm

We lift up our flags in the name of our God

We give thanks to the Lord

He is good

We sing for joy at the work of Your hands

We will praise you with all of our hearts

We will say of the Lord

He's our refuge & our fortress

Our God, in Him will we trust

We will say of the Lord

He's our refuge & our fortress

Our God, in Him will we trust

O Lord our God in You is our hope

How excellent is Your name

You are our help and deliverer

Our strong and mighty God

We will say of the Lord

He's our refuge & our fortress

Our God, in Him will we trust

We will say of the Lord

He's our refuge & fortress

Our God in Him will we trust

We give honor

To God our Savior

We will shout with joy

When you win the battle

We will not be moved

He is our defense

We shall not be moved

We will say of the Lord

He's our refuge & our fortress

Our God, in Him will we trust

We will say of the Lord

He's our refuge & fortress

Our God in Him will we trust

What encouraged you today?


Amber said...

My prayers for you all.
My mil has RA, and though I don't know the pain myself, I do know that it is very painful and difficult to deal with. I pray your daughter outgrows it and does not have suffer with pain her whole life, and that you are able to find a way to treat yourself and feel better too.
I also pray you are able to find a way to help your sons lessen the intensity of the OCD.

A wise friend once told me that God only gives us what we can handle, and we can only handle what we allow him to help us with.
It helps me when things get really difficult.

As a mom who has children with asthma, anxiety issues, add/ADHD I feel for you. It's a rough road at times, but on the bright side, we can say that at least we are never board!
Prayers for you all!

Christine said...

I sure appreciate your kind comments, Amber. And it is so true that he helps with what we allow him to help with. Humility is always the first step. Never a dull moment, indeed! :)