He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve -Psalm 103:10
This past weekend I was excitedly getting ready for a church retreat. The retreat was going to give me a time to rest and allow myself to refocus on God. My bags were packed and at the door, and I was gathering the last few things when I heard a scream.
The scream was from my mother-in-law. It was a deafening scream that told me that something was wrong with my little girl. As I ran to the living room my eyes confirmed my thoughts. My middle child was indeed hurt, and once again I was terrified.
Amelia had been standing in a wooden rocking chair. In the two seconds my mother in law had turned her back, she had managed to flip it over. The chair fell backwards with her fingers wrapped around the edge. The impact had severed the tip off of her middle finger and her ring finger had been crushed.
We arrived to the hospital where my husband was impatiently waiting. We once again ran into the emergency room desperate for help for our daughter. Her fingers were a mess and they couldn’t reattach what had been taken off… but the verdict was, that she was going to be okay.
The moment the initial panic and fear began to wear off I started to become extremely angry. As I sat in the emergency room where I had just sat a few months prior… the same place where the doctor told me that even modern medicine could not save my precious baby, I began to feel like I was being punished for something. In that moment I started to give up.
As we were admitted and moved upstairs it only got worse. The panic I felt as we headed towards the maternity/pediatric unit was unbearable. After all I had just been there five months ago proudly holding my new nine pound, eight ounce baby girl. Now I was returning with one of my remaining two children who was injured. Again I felt punished.
That night I sat next to Amelia in the exact same room that I had stayed in with Audrey only a week before she died. I remember once again feeling hopeless. Feeling like I was unable to protect yet anther one of my children. I remember asking God, ” Haven’t I’ve been through enough?” I had been making so many changes in my life and yet the more good I attempted to do…the more obstacles and pain got thrown my way.
After Amelia fell asleep, I layed there beside her in bed and listened to the newborn babies cry. As tears started to roll silently down my cheeks I began to battle with myself. I thought about those moms in the other rooms, proudly holding their new bundles of joy. I started to compare and doubt myself as a mom. I wondered why they were allowed to keep their babies, when mine was taken from my arms. I couldn’t comprehend how I could now be lying next to my two year old who had suffered such an injury. I was lost.
As the days went by I started to search for answers. I realized that my weekend away, my weekend full of strong godly women and meaningful chit chat may have turned into grey walls and bandages…. but it did not take away from my focus on God. That I didn’t have to go to a retreat to find him because he was sitting next to me in a hospital bed. That I didn’t have to go somewhere else to feel his presence because he was there with his arms wrapped around my little girl.
This weekend I realized that God is not punishing me. That I am not being tested or tortured for anything I have done. Yes, my child got injured but thankfully she is still here beside me. Through it all she has seemed relativity pain free and comfortable. Something I had continually prayed for from the moment the accident happened. Once again God had been there the whole time, and even though I had been extremely angry I was still desperately crying out for him. Despite what I had thought… I had never given up.
As life continues to test my faith, and to make me question my worth and capabilities as a woman, wife, and mother, I will also continue to remember that I am never alone. That I am enough. I will remember that I am not being punished for some awful thing I must have done, and that I am not any more unworthy of being a mom to my children then any other women. I have found that our children are a gift from God, that they are lent to us for such a short time, but that ultimately they are his forever.
My faith used to be based solely on the fact that I believe in God and that he was suppose to be there to fix everything. That my God was suppose to protect me from all the hurt and the pain that this world consists of. Truth is I had it all wrong. He had never stated that we would be free from life’s struggles and pain. He never told us that he would protect us from the pain caused by poor judgement or sudden illness. In fact there are many times he talks about how our lives on this earth will consist of such.
See….God never promised me that I would never fall off the rocking chair…. but he did promise me that he would give me the strength to get back up and the love to be able to heal.