As I tried to put on my "mom's-in-control-and-there's-nothing-to-worry-about face, as I drove as slow as I could force myself to drive, as I turned on the radio and sang along to keep my jangling nerves from showing, I knew it was one of those moments. One of the times I talk about that God speaks into my soul and I'm expected to listen...
It had been a long five days. My son had come down with influenza B and I had been doing the best I could to juggle work, caring for a sick teen and prepping the Man for a road trip in a few days that would last more than a week.
The Boy had been having terrible bouts of stomach cramps in the night time hours and I was fried. I don't function on interrupted sleep and three nights of it plus the stress of getting enough liquid into a surly teen was taking a huge toll. I have to admit, when he walked into my bedroom doubled over in pain I responded in frustration. There is nothing as irritating to me as feeling helpless and that was exactly how I felt: helpless.
Nothing I was doing was helping my son. Food didn't alleviate the pain, we didn't have any Pepto (which I know now was a good thing), and it seemed to be getting worse. After probing with some pretty invasive questions about his bathroom activity I decided to call a helpline. Something was definitely off.
If you've ever called a nurses helpline you know they can be incredibly compassionate and caring. This was no exception. The nurse I had even went the extra mile when my phone cut out twice not to drop the call. She made a point to call me back and continue getting the information.
If you've ever made one of those calls you might also be familiar with the tone of voice they take when they become concerned. It's a very sunny, I-don't-want-to-alarm-you-but-crap-just-got-scary distinctness I've heard only a few times in my life. It was time to head to the emergency room and she wanted to know if I was ok with doing that or if she should call 911 for me... Uh... Wow. There just isn't anything like that kind if reality slamming head on into your night.
No, I said, I can take him. When she began asking me to confirm that my Boy was coherent, that his speech wasn't slurred and that he could walk on his own power to the car I knew we were on a time crunch and that losing my cool was not an option. Luckily, that kid is made of some pretty strong stock and we made our way to the car and out onto the night time roads.
While I had a suspicion of what we were dealing with I also knew my child was counting on me to maintain a sense of security. He was watching my every move looking for any reason to be concerned.
Normally I'm a basket case when it comes to the safety of my "chillins". I'm overdramatic, volatile and protective in the extreme. Lots of eye-rolling tends to accompany my tirades and plenty of, "oh mom!" This night there was something different. I had a peace surrounding me. I knew we were at the edge of a dangerous place, potentially in some serious trouble but I also knew, just as sure as I was sitting in that seat, that Jesus was along for the ride.
You can call me crazy, over zealous, delusional - whatever you want. I really don't care. How I reacted, the quick way we made it to the hospital, all the professionals involved who looked and actually listened to us... He was there.
Even after two days in the hospital and the Boy on his way to recovery from a stomach bleed that still isn't quite pinned down, I'm confident that Christ is with us here. We have very few answers and not a lot of direction but my heart is full and my head is clear. We are in the palm of His hand always. No matter the situation He is there. I don't know what the next report holds but things look hopeful for us. It could've been so much worse but thankfully it wasn't.
We are not done here yet. It takes way more time and patience than I think it should for the simplest of tasks. But I'm doing my best to relax into it. No matter what my day consists of, no matter how interrupted my routines become, God is still at the helm. Trusting Him will always be challenging for me but looking back on this week I know He's not done proving He's worth it.
When I'm tempted to question what God is doing, when I think I just want to know what His ultimate plan is, I hope I can conjure up this memory of being held right in the palm of His hand, cradled, loved and protected.
Thanks go out to everyone who's prayed with us for a speedy recovery. We continue to covet those prayers as we await discharge, whenever that might be.