This morning while sitting in Sunday school, I got a text from Brad that his car would not start. And while this would usually not be a big deal, he is still in St. Joe and has not come home for Christmas break yet. It is the first time, as a first-time college mom, that I was helpless and could do nothing at all. I am so very grateful for parents who came to the rescue. Thankfully, they got his car started, and he is headed home.
After I got the news Brad was on his way, I began crying as I was humbled by God’s provision. I had just gotten into my car and heard the song Good Good Father by Big Daddy Weave. I am convinced God puts music on the radio that we need to hear at just the right time to remind us of His protection and provision. This is the first time I have had to deal with a situation where I was not there to help. Brad was truly in God’s hands. And even though there were other parents there who care about him and were there to help, it was just a huge trust issue for me to remember that he is the Lord’s first. And I had to say out loud as I was driving, “he is yours first, Lord, not mine, and I know You love him more than I do”. What a great reminder that the Lord cares so much more about our children than we do.
This has been a very emotional week, and I am certain the emotions of the other events that have overwhelmed my heart and filled me with sorrow and grief absolutely caused Brad’s car not starting to seem worse than it was and amplify an otherwise minor dilemma. You see, I never imagined that over the years I would have to learn to do so many medical cares for Ryan. People do not think about these things when they decide to have children. I certainly did not sign up for this when we decided to have another baby. Watching him decline ever so slowly has been painful, but it has become our normal. I think in some ways, I do not realize the difficulty that comes with raising a child like Ryan because I have just accustomed myself to this lifestyle. But this week, as we discovered he is most definitely developing a neurogenic bladder, intervention is necessary….I simply do not want to face it. We now have orders to cath Ryan when he has not urinated for 12 hours and are just waiting for Children’s to deliver the needed supplies. You know, as a nurse this is a very simple procedure that I have done hundreds and hundreds of times. But things get very personal when I now have to cath my own child. I really cannot explain the emotion that goes into this new normal for us. I am not ready or looking forward to the discomfort it will cause my sweet boy. I am not ready to face a new normal that we will never escape. I am not ready to accept that someday cathing will be the only way he will be able to urinate as another body system shuts down. I am not ready to accept any of this.
So this morning, my oldest’s car would not start, and this mama’s heart just wanted her boy home. It was just too much as the two situations meshed together into one jumbled mess in my heart. It felt like one more thing not going my way; one more thing out of my control. The tears flow so easily today because I just want joy and peace in my home. I do not want to think about medical interventions and how scary they sound even when it is something that is so known to me as a nurse. It is known to me as a nurse, but not as a mom. And my dear, sweet husband can hardly stand the thought of having to learn to do this procedure. So today, I just want all my kids under one roof. I want laughter and dancing and silliness. I want distraction so I do not have to think about or face this new normal with Ryan. And having Brad home will make all things right in my little world even if just for today.
Through it all, I have a real sense of urgency in releasing my kids back to God. It is a daily process every parent must face, but I know in the depths of my heart that the Lord loves all of my children far greater than I do. We cannot understand the Lord’s protection and love for us. Who am I to doubt His provision? Who am I to doubt the hand of God as He has faithfully provided over the years? Who am I to doubt the mercies of a loving Father? It is easy to say I have faith, but putting it into action and making it a part of my daily routine, that is what takes work. And that is exactly what I am working on now – having faith that this new normal is not new to God and that He will carry us through until it, too, becomes routine.
Sometimes fear and uncertainty overcome my heart, and I find myself hurting as the tears so easily flow down my cheeks. In those moments, I have to go back to the Word of God. I have to return to the one thing in my life I know to forever be constant. I have to stand on the truth of God’s promises. I have to reflect on His goodness and provision in all things. I think of Psalm 91, my absolute favorite chapter of the Bible.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.