My almost 2 year-old had quit walking. She wouldn’t stand without crying and was running a constant fever of 102. After three visits to the pediatrician and one full week of pain for her and sleeplessness for us we found ourselves filling out the paperwork to admit our sweet little girl into the hospital. No one knew what the cause of this illness was, as she continued to get worse.
There’s nothing more painful than watching your child suffer. Not skin scrapes or even broken bones. But suffering from something that you see on every medical professional’s face that enters the room, is not just a mystery but is truly serious.
As I look through my life challenges, I’ve lived long enough to say there have been many, this I count as one of my very worst. It lasted nearly two weeks, one long hospital blur that was marked each day with doctors entering and exiting the room bringing us one theory then leaving with a new one. Each potential diagnosis would be followed by a new and different test.
My husband and I took turns sleeping on the twin bed they put in her room, doing our best to comfort her. There were times when they brought one more needle in to begin another blood draw that required 4 nurses to hold her down. I, the crumbling mother, could only walk out of the room to hold my composure, attempting to ignore her screams.
As I look back it is the hurt my memories hold, but even more I remember the glimmers that shone through these darkest of times. The light provided to me by my God, but delivered by those around me.
Some of the tests necessary for diagnosis were nuclear medicine. It was terrifying to know this was being done to your tiny little girl. Yet, it was the kind hearted technician who spent time talking to us about the process assuaging our fear. Not only did he spend time with us in his lab, this man came to our room on several of his breaks, bringing real coffee. He didn’t deliver the hospital kind but the real stuff to two parents that desperately needed a kind act. Sitting and just chatting about life he helped us believe things could be normal again.
There was light from my dear friend who called me at my home one night when my husband was on hospital duty. It was nearly midnight and once again I was not sleeping. She didn’t state platitudes, nor did she let me wallow in my pain. She told me jokes, some stupid, some slightly off color, many hysterical. For 30 minutes she just told jokes. I laughed, we cried, and after the phone call I slept.
She didn’t state platitudes, nor did she let me wallow in my pain.
We had asked for prayers. Didn’t know who was praying, desperately hoped many were. We worked in the music business, an industry in which word spread quickly and broadly. We discovered much later prayers had had been offered across continents. But there is one that will always stay with me. It was a very successful music producer in Nashville we didn’t know at the time. His name was on many successful projects, his work brilliant and his success well known.
Several years after our hospital stay I met this man. As we were just talking about life he asked me about my daughter. It took me a moment to realize why he was asking. Much time had passed and I wasn’t thinking about that season. Apparently the weeks we were battling this illness his family had written her name on a piece of paper. They then placed it under a refrigerator magnet in their kitchen and prayed. This was a simple real life act from an extremely unexpected place.
After two weeks her fever broke. No one knew why, they simply rejoiced with us that it did. The nurse on duty, who was as excited as we, took it upon herself to call the pediatrician at 9:00 at night to tell him. This precious man that had walked beside us in this painful journey got in his car and came to the hospital to see for himself.
After checking her over, he looked at us and said, “Do you want to go home?” Our immediate reply was that we absolutely did. The hospital staff stood on their heads to send us home that very night. It was a few weeks later that our physician told us he had presented our case before a group of area doctors to seek advice. There were some that said he should do exploratory surgery immediately. Even though pressed by peers, the decision made by he and his partner was that was the last resort not the first. Again, light shown through the physician placed in our lives. His humility and compassion ruled his decision-making. We could not have asked for more.
We don’t know why we were there but do know God was with us through the process, in the acts of others, in the comfort from him. I can’t fully explain the ripping out of a mother’s heart, nor can I explain his holding the pieces of that heart until it could heal. What I can tell you that I know to be true is, He was there.
If you look, there will be light. It may be a pinprick but there will be light.
I have walked through times of hurt, emptiness, times filled with feelings of helplessness. Seasons where life challenges have boxed me in from every side. As I looked around it’s as if I was floating in in a sea of darkness and I wondered how I would get to the other side. I guess I’m here to simply say this. If you look, there will be light. It may be a pinprick but there will be light. It may be shown through those around you even the most unexpected places. The source of this light is the one who loves well. The only one who knew what was coming before it came and knows what lies ahead.
I don’t believe I could manage this life without him. I certainly know I don’t ever want to. But even better I know if I trust Him, he won’t let me. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5
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