Friday, May 1, 2009

A Smile For The Heart

I am giving praise today! After spending the last five days bedridden with strep throat, a severe sinus infection, and debilitating migraines, Morgan woke up this morning around 8:30am, and strolled downstairs with a smile on her face. It was like she was silently saying, "look mom, Im alive!".

That sweet smile on her face was the most beautiful thing I had seen all week, and brought a huge smile to my heart. You see, for the past five days, I have watched her be in complete and total misery. I took her to several doctors appointments, urgent care, had pain shots administered (which were very painful in themselves), had a CT scan done, changed prescriptions three times, made sure the temperature in her room was just right, massaged her head and neck, darkened her room... and anything else I could think of that might alleviate her pain.

But nothing I did brought her an ounce of relief. I felt so helpless to help her. And my worst fears were beginning to bubble to the surface, that maybe something was terribly wrong. I knew there had to be something out there to help her, but I just didnt know where to find it. The answer to the problem seemed beyond my grasp. I was at the end of my rope.

In a pool of hopelessness, I sent out a prayer request to my Proverbs 31 family, and to my church prayer wall. And I sat down and prayed myself. I instantly began receiving emails from all of my sisters in Christ, flooding my inbox with prayers and bible verses to help encourage me, and Morgan, during this time of frustration and concern. A sense of relief came over me, knowing that God was being bombarded with her name and requests for comfort for her. It brought me a sense of peace, and reminded me that God was in control.

Finally last night, in a final desperate attempt to break the migraine, my husband and I took her to the emergency room. Even though she is fifteen years old, the atmosphere, the smell of alcohol, the wheelchair, and the looming needles all around, truly frightened her.

Crocodile tears filled her eyes as they inserted the needle for the IV and began to slowly pump the fluids into her system. I tried to reassure her that the temporary pain of the IV's would hopefully bring permanent relief, but it was hard for her to wrap her mind around that truth in the midst of a whirlwind of worry, nurses, doctors, and paperwork. It was so hard to watch someone hurting her, even though I knew it was best for her in the long run. I just had to close my eyes and hold her hand and comfort her as best I could. Moms are not supposed to cry, right?

After a while, relief came. Within a couple of hours, she gradually began to feel the pain decrease, and drifted off into a light slumber.

Sitting there watching her sleep, I recalled a conversation that Morgan and I had a few days ago, as she laid on the couch in agony, wondering if she had a brain tumor. I remembered reassuring her how much God loves her, and how blessed we are, and that in my opinion we have God's favor, and that is how I knew that she would be okay. That seemed to bring her some peace that day, and the CT scan confirmed that nothing was wrong except a very bad sinus infection and a migraine.

How I wish I had focused on that truth this week myself, instead of worrying myself into a full-blown tizzy. But all of these trying days have made me think about a lot of things, and since I was at home all week, I had a lot of time to spend with my thoughts.

First, I thought about how precious my children are, and how thankful I am for them. How even though it felt like I had a needy newborn in the house again (except this time, my baby had a cell phone which called from her room on a consistent, every-fifteen-minute basis!), and was reminded of how much commitment it takes to put others needs and wants before our own. I felt blessed to be able to care for her.

Second, I was reminded of how we should never take our families and friends for granted, and how caring for our loved ones, even when it is not convenient or becomes a long term commitment, is something that may seem like a burden now, but one day will be treasured memories. God brought to mind several people that I know who are daily caregivers for someone in their life who is sick or has cancer, and I prayed for them to have the strength to carry on each day. I prayed for God to bless them immeasurably and reward them for their faithfulness to live such a selfless life.

Thirdly, I was reminded that God explicitly tells us not to worry. All the worrying I did over the week, did not change the situation at all. Had I focused on the soverign God's power, instead of my own personal fears and frustrations, I would have had much more peace during the week.

I recalled the verse that Renee had sent me, Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength,an ever-present help in trouble. I also recollected this verse, Matthew 6:25 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? So I prayed for God to help me work on depending on Him more in the future, instead of caving in to an avalanche of overwhelming fear and concern.

Lastly, each time I watched Morgan cry out in pain, I not only prayed for her to feel better, but I thought about how God watched His Son Jesus suffer on the cross.

God even had the power to change the circumstances, but chose not to, knowing that this His Son's temporary suffering, would bring permanent relief for millions and millions of people. And Jesus accepted the circumstances, knowing that His pain meant salvation for all eternity for those who would believe in Him.

Even as a parent, we cannot fathom how sad God must have been to watch His son suffer so tremendously. God even had to look away from Jesus temporarily, because of the sin that Jesus bore on the cross, but I also wonder if it was because His heart was hurting too? I imagine it must have been even harder for God, because He had the power to stop the pain that Jesus was in. But He didnt.

He put our need for a Savior and eternal life above the needs of His own Son. He knew the truth, the absolute truth.

Today I thank my Lord for so many things. Today I am praising Him for hearing our prayers and bringing Morgan peace and comfort. I know that the ER drugs helped, but I also attribute her instant recovery, that happened literally overnight, to a Savior that was holding the power of healing all along. I just needed to ask for it, and believe in it.

So many times I think we forget that Jesus holds the key to all the mysteries of life. That He holds the power to bless, heal, direct, and lead.

We may find ourselves in a whirlwind of worry, despair, helplessness, and hopelessness regarding circumstances in our life, and just like Morgan, we find it hard to wrap our earthly minds around the truth that Jesus knows all the answers. He knows the solutions to the problems we are facing, and He holds the power to intervene in our lives and make His presence known to us.

If you need some answers today, and are having a hard time believing that your temporary pain and heartache could ever result in peace and comfort, then pray for God to reassure you today of His love. Seek out fellow sisters and brothers in Christ to pray for you and with you.

Be reminded that God cherishes those who love Him. You have His favor. He blesses those who mourn and gives the Kingdom of God to those who need Him and choose Him.

Matthew 5:3-5 (MSG)
"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.

The answers you need are not beyond your grasp - they are actually waiting for you to find them, right inside of that Bible sitting on your bookshelf.

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Angie said...

I am so glad to hear that Morgan is doing so much better! Thank you for sharing this update with us.

I want to also thank you for sharing the points you made at the end. This was something I needed to hear.

Joyful said...

Rejoicing not only in Morgan's improvement, but in how the Lord spoke to your heart.

Thank you for reminding me of God's care today. I begin 10 weeks of hospital visitation with my Dad on Tuesday. I'm also awaiting further medical tests myself for some concerns, so the truths you have shared here are so timely for me.

Through you, God has already today reassured me of His love. Trusting in Him,