Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Oh, how He loves us

I have been up a lot in the middle of the night lately holding my ill son as he moans in a feverish pain. (Of note, so has my wonderfully helpful husband...can't leave him out) This has allowed for many middle of the night deep thought sessions.

Bear with me as I get them out of my head and down in writing.

I've been thinking about how hard it is to watch your children be in pain. It absolutely rips my heart apart. I have been thinking about the mothers -and fathers- who have chronically ill children. Or terminally ill children. The parents who have to sit and watch their children suffer day in and day out, and there is nothing they can do about it.

I can not imagine.

A few weeks ago I brought a patient and his mother into my office to schedule their future appointments/procedures. The patient was a teenager, and a quadriplegic. He was unable to move any part of his body, and unable to speak, but he wore a smile. His mother looked tired, but she wore a smile as well. I learned that two years ago her son had been attending an event with his youth group and had a heart attack. He went without oxygen for too long and although he was brought back to life, his brain and body suffered permanent damage. Turns out he had a heart defect from birth that there was no way of knowing about until the heart attack occurred. After they left my office, I had to close my door and just cry for awhile. My heart was so broken for them. I can not fathom how hard it must be for their family. So many things...but what would haunt me the most as the mother is knowing that your son is most likely going to out live you. Who is going to care for your helpless child like you would? Oh what faith - what trust - a question like that requires.

I know, we are never safer than when we are in our Father's Hands, and that is precisely where His children reside, but still...how hard.

I have also been thinking about my own children. Their hurts. Their futures. I pray constantly for protection over them, that God would keep them safe from those that wish to do them harm. At one point I was praying against a particular situation and I heard God ask me "do you want them to always be comfortable, or do you want them to do great things for Me?"

I wish that I was so super-Spiritual that I could sit here and tell you that I instantly said "do great things for you Lord!" but the truth is I hesitated a bit. In all honesty a part of me wishes my children could only ever experience comfort.

But that wouldn't be doing them any favors.

After all, it's rain that makes the grass green.

I think about their futures and the things they are likely to face...broken hearts, hurt feelings, illnesses, injury, accidents, failures, bullying, deceit, frustration, dishonesty, defiance, name calling, and on and on and on...

But, if I trust in Him and His promise to make all things work together for good for those who love Him, than I have to let my self accept that such things are not just inevitable, but purposeful.

I wish for them enough heartache that they can be compassionate to others who are hurting. I wish for them enough discomfort that they can not only appreciate comforts when they exist, but can genuinely want to comfort others when they are able to. I wish for them enough hard times that they know and appreciate the good times. I wish for them enough struggles and disappointments that they learn only Christ will never let them down.

I can review and see in my own life how so much good has come from heartache. Just in my years of infertility alone...so much good fruit from so many hard days. Off the top of my head - one of the things Christ revealed to me during that time was the ugly part in me that felt entitled to get to be a mother. I really thought I was a "good enough" person that I deserved it. So wrong on so many levels. I am by no means claiming He has cured me of all sense of entitlement in all areas, but I did come to a point where I realized that children are an absolute gift, and I do not deserve them. And that has made any hard moments with them a thousand times easier. I meant what I wrote the other day, even in the most difficult and frustrating times with them, I wouldn't trade it. I don't deserve even my salvation, let alone my two beautiful babies.

And on to salvation. What a gift. A Father who let His Son hurt. A Father who let His Son be broken - in every sense of the word - for us. For you and for me. A Father who allowed this brokenness and heartache, all the while knowing that the very people He was allowing this for would turn our backs to Him day in and day out. He knew we would curse Him. He knew we would reject Him. He knew we would deny Him. He knew this and still sent His Son to the cross.

And not just the cross. I don't know how many of you out there have seen The Passion, but those who have may agree with me in the sense of relief I felt when Jesus was finally making His way to the cross. At least I knew then it was almost over. The DAY of torture He had endured was almost unbearable for me to even watch through a movie. And God, the Father, watched. Watched it all, knowing at any point He had the power to intervene.

And yet, He didn't. He allowed the suffering to continue. All because He loves me. All because He loves Luke and Abbey and David. And all of us. So very much.

Lately I have watched my son suffer even the slightest illness, and my heart has ached for him. And that small thing has stunned me anew at how much God must love me.


Heather said...

WOW. This is so true and I loved reading this. I struggle so much worrying about my children and trying to trust God with them---even though it is hilarious that I am even typing that sentence since He is the very One who gave them to me. He is faithful and loves us all more than we can imagine. Thanks so much for this post. Praying you are all well soon!

Lauren said...

This is just beautiful, Kendra!!! Love you, friend :)

Kaycee said...

I have had those same thoughts when my daughter is sick. It helps me to understand a SMALL piece of what parents of kids with chronic illness have to deal with. We recently spent 5 hours in the ER with my daughter for a VERY low white blood cell count. It turned out to be caused by a virus, thankfully not by the leukemia they tested her for (SO scary).

It's SO.HARD. to be helpless to fix what is hurting your child. I am so grateful every day that my child is generally healthy.

nbrown said...

God has truly blessed you with an ability to see and share Him in everything and with everything you have. I LOVE YOU!

Aunt Carol said...

Your children and husband are blessed with you in their lives - as are you with them in your life.

Love, Aunt Carol