Thoughts from Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe
Section 1: The Dream Life... Altered
"Ideals and Going Under"
I reached the end of the chapter, and as much as I wanted to surge on to the next chapter, I read the verses and questions. Often, I don't do this; I always plan on coming back to them, which I rarely do. But this time, I took the few moments, thinking that these ladies know how busy motherhood is and wouldn't have just thrown questions and verses in unless they were really truly important to the message of their book.
And in the short time it took me to read the questions and verses, and then read the verses again, I felt tears running down my cheeks and falling onto my bulging belly. Isaiah 41:10 has been such a vital verse to me since I heard its phrases sung in college, yet I had forgotten it in the last month.
I had been sitting there feeling anxiety creep its icy cold hands around my heart and start to squeeze. A fellow cranio mom had suggested that I might want to speed along the process of getting testing done on my Ladybug. I'd planned on trying to combine our trips so that we could make the five hour drive to Billings just once. But this mom correctly pointed out that if something came up wrong, we'd need to move relatively quickly with surgery, and I wouldn't want to be in the position of needing to get my child surgery but not being able to travel because of my late stage in pregnancy or having a newborn.
So I mentioned it to the Mechanic. And upon a minute's thought, he too agreed that we should probably move quickly. I said I'd smooth it over with the specialist I was sort of bypassing by reminding him that I had more than one child to consider in the situation.
And I felt guilty. And overwhelmed. The two primary advisers who'd been commenting on our cranio journey each had a single child. They'd been able to devote themselves fully to their cranio kid without worrying about any other children. Yet here I was, facing trying to get Ladybug several tests before I was unable to travel, and trying to allow enough wiggle room so that if something was wrong we could deal with it before the new baby arrived. And I recalled the last 3 weeks of pregnancy with Turkey, how miserable and incapable of doing almost anything I'd been. And I remembered being in the grocery store just 3 days before having Braxton Hicks and realizing they were stronger and earlier than even with Turkey.
And that fear crept in. What if I can't do this? What if I can't get all these scheduled in time? What if I have to make a decision about a major surgery too quickly because I'm rapidly approaching my due date? What if we need to travel and I can't? What if... and the various scenarios swirled through my mind. And I felt so far from the medical services we need... five hours driving time with not a single McDonalds. And I pictured myself waddling trying to get both girls into the nasty gas station bathroom with me because we have no other choice.
And yet... Do not fear. For I am the Lord thy God. I will uphold you with My right hand.
He knows. He may not be a mother, but He loves with a mother's heart, while still remaining God. He knew when He created me that one day, I would walk this path. That one day, I would face this seemingly impossible juggling act. That one day, I would find myself burdened down by the weight of trying to decide what to do, when to do it, how much to push, all overshadowed by the fear of more mistakes. That great weight of responsibility, that feeling of "I have to stay on top of it all, because if I don't something can get messed up." And goodness knows I'm capable of messing up enough myself. I thought I had a specialist eye appointment, and it was only after about 12 hours that I stood in a certain spot in the dining room and realized I'd stood in that exact spot and called and cancelled that appointment a month previous, thinking we didn't need it.
But He knows. He's in control. He has been in control, all along. And He knows my tomorrows. More importantly to me at this moment, He knows my child's tomorrows. As I've pushed for answers, my anxiety concerning what might happen if we find answers has increased. I've had nightmares of strokes in the surgical suite, of tiny wheelchairs and starting from scratch at age two. I've had terrifying mental images of cradling my limp child. I always thought I could cope with surgery just fine. But now, just as we push to test to try to find out if anything even needs to be done, the worst case scenarios fill my head. Because I know I'd blame myself. I pushed. I drove these people crazy. And this is what happened.
But God knows her future. He controls it, despite me, despite medical staff, and yet through me and through medical staff. And I need not fear the tests. I need not fear the answers they bring. Or the answers they don't bring. I need not fear treatments, or therapies, or years of continuing in this vast unknown of "is today going to be an awesome day or a day of throwing our head around, wailing, and being unable to communicate?"
God is capable of healing. He could say the word, and all her challenges could be gone, instantly. He could cause her to meet every developmental milestone, early even. He could smooth those bumps and dips. But He hasn't chosen to do that. And while it sometimes makes me mad that He could "fix" all this and He keeps choosing not to, and it even seems like sometimes He keeps allowing more stuff to happen to complicate matters... His ways are higher than my ways. Would I be forced to trust Him as much if Ladybug was just like Turkey? I'd be forced to prayer, yes, such as "God what do I do with this temper?" But that out of control feeling? That feeling of complete helplessness, of doing all I can do and yet it still not being enough? It takes a different kind of trial to get to that point.
And I know that God has more trials ahead of me. Because this is how He sanctifies me. This is how He teaches me. And this is where those verses are so important... He will strengthen me. He will help me. He will uphold me. Alone, this time by itself would undo me. And the thought of even more trials to come could send me to the loony bin. But I don't have to walk this motherhood thing alone. I don't have to do it in my own wisdom, my own strength, my own abilities. He gives me children. Then He gives me grace to raise those children. So many times I've looked at others and thought "I couldn't handle a child like that." Yet... God gives me the grace for whatever child He gives me. I don't have to handle it.
So when I shut down... when I just want to curl up under a blanket and hide... when I can't deal with another regression, or tantrum, or error, or dirty dish... when I think I can't take another day... I need not fear. For I am promised help. Strength. And endless grace.