By the Lord’s grace I have maintained a good attitude about T’s health challenges. The first few months after we found out he had sickle cell disease, I could not speak about it with dry eyes. The limitations and possible complications were overwhelming. I wrote about this briefly here.
Over time, I have learned to trust God more and more deeply with his health needs, our family’s new financial realities and my emotional needs. I can say that the Lord has strengthened me and increased my faith in Him through all of this over the past year.
Most days I am fine, then there are days like today…when the weight of sickle cell just seems to be too much to bear. Ironically, I wrote about strengthening our faith less than 24 hours ago. So what brought about this sudden bout of despair?
Ty had a field trip at school. I looked forward to it, but I refrained from showing too much excitement about attending because I know the weather would determine whether I could take T, and as a result dictate whether I too could join him.
When I woke up to an amazingly beautiful day I was terribly excited. It was expected to be warm, with highs in the 60’s and no chances of rain. Perfect! I happily told Ty that we would meet him at the pumpkin patch. Upon dropping him off at school, I came home and prepared warm sandwiches just the way he likes them. I bundled T up and made my way to the orchard, with a big smile on my face.
I love these moments when I can be there for Ty. And I want him to know that I enjoy these moments with him, even if I have to do things differently now with his little brother in tow.
After a picturesque drive, we pulled up at the same time as the school bus. Yay for Mommy! His face lit up when he saw us, and he quickly ran up to give T a hug. They laughed and hugged, then he hurried to show his brother around to his friends. He is such a proud big brother. His friends all gathered around T to pinch his cheeks and comment on just how tiny and cute he is, as they do whenever they seem him.
All was well.
We weren’t there long before I felt the wind picking up. It put T’s hood up, zipped up his sweater and jacket and thought “There! That should do it!”, hoping this was adequate to keep him warm long enough for the trip.
We got on the tractor for the hayride, Ty sitting near the front with his friends and me holding on to T stuffing him deep inside the hay.
The ride was not long thankfully. While we rode through dirt roads and rocky fields, I felt the wind growing stronger. We reached the field only a few minutes later but T’s hands were getting cold. I looked inside my diaper bag for a pair of gloves or mittens, but I did not grab any. “Why would I considering the temperature was in the 60’s?” I reasoned. But I could not shake the feeling that I should have known better and should have prepared in spite of the weather forecast.
We got out of the tractor and that distracted me a bit. I walked around with the kids picking up pumpkins and snapping pictures. When I remembered to check on T, his hands were still a bit cold.
My mind began to think of all the possibilities. I asked Ty’s teacher how long we’d be in the field, and was glad when she said we would soon be heading back to the play area. I tried my best not to obsess over the cold hands to no avail.
On the way back, I held his hands to keep them warm. Then I overheard another parent mention how cold it was getting. And I have to say, that reassured me that I was not just being paranoid.
Before long, T’s hands were cold to the touch. So I pulled Ty to the side and told him “Mommy has to take T home for his nap. Mommy would be back to pick him up before the field trip was over.”
I was glad that I forewarned him this morning that I would probably need to take his brother home for a nap midday. Or so I told myself. I gave him his lunch, kissed him and left. T didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to leave. Ty was a sport, as he usually is.
I walked away upset with sickle cell. I sat in the car, warmed T’s hands, and for a moment I was just upset with sickle cell. I was upset that I could not just say “Run around with your brother, you’ll warm up and be alright” or that I could not stay with Ty as long as I would have hoped. I was upset that we have special needs. I was upset that for much of the time that I was there I obsessed over T’s hands.
While I was still sitting in the car, I cried out to the Lord to take this awful resentment away from me. T’s diagnosis has a purpose and I have prayed that the purpose is to reveal God’s glory through a healing miracle. I have prayed that he experiences no more crises. I have prayed that the Lord’s glory be shown and His ultimate will be manifested through all of our challenges. I have prayed big bold things over T’s health and life. I believe each one of them. Even the part about his illness having a purpose. I cannot say that I know what the purpose is right now. I really don’t. And today, I did not want to show patience or endurance. I wanted to just pout about the trial. So, on days like today I just want to remember that the ultimate aim is: For the glory of the Lord.
God brought Psalm 50:15, a verse Ty and I studied recently to remembrance:
“Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.”
I said loud enough to hear myself, “Lord my strength is failing me right now. Please rescue me. Please Lord, give me the strength not to be resentful of what You are doing in my life, in our family. But help me to count it all joy and to be thankful in all situations. Your grace is sufficient.”
As I was driving off, Tramond called and I told him about the moment I was having. No other person understand these challenges as much as he does, for he is walking the same path. I knew the Lord sent him in that moment to bring me the comfort that I needed. And that encouraged me. The Lord is not unsympathetic to my plea. He heard my trouble and my heavy heart when I cried to Him from the grassy parking space where doubt assailed. And He rescued me.
I am further encouraged to fully rely on Him even in these moments when I don’t feel strong or trusting.
And for this, I give Him all the glory.
This post is part of a series on Fully Relying on God.