I could not sleep last night. I tried, I fought, I pretended but sleep would not come. So I pulled out my bible, grabbed my color pencils, and put on the song “Just Be Held” by Casting Crowns. The first scripture I read, the first coloring I did resonated in my heart.
“He Said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: For my strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
I prayed last night, I talked to God, I journal-ed my prayers, I sought an answer and about 4AM I finally felt a peace that had long been hiding.
In WEAKNESS his strength is perfect.
Perfect: Absolute, complete, total, real, completely free from faults or defects, as good as it can possibly be.
It’s been 28 days since my dad took my mom to the emergency room. 28 Days since they found out she had a body wide staph infection. There have been days when a sliver of hope came and just as quickly it was snatched away. Moments when your heart feels like it will implode, with fear, with uncertainty, with love. Watching someone you love in so much pain, surgery after surgery, having to work and smile and “keep your chin up” because life pushes in from every side and you can’t simple stop.
There are moments though, moments that you realize you are standing still, your heart and mind completely quiet, feeling everything and nothing all at once. Too fearful to fully hope, only having ever-changing reports, test, and surgery results to cling to. In times like this, my faith in God carries me through. One step at a time. I wish I could say I never question or wonder, but I do and the truth is I believe that God………. he is completely okay with that.
I stood by her bed one of the days in the middle of the most gray time. They had cut both her legs open to drain the infection, she was in so much pain, and she was hurting, pain that would have made a lesser person give up. She called out to Jesus and she prayed, in one small moment of incredible pain she quietly said, “I wish God would get this over with, one way or the other, I need him to move.” You don’t cry in moments like that, not when you have learned to be strong in courage from listening to her prayers all your life. Instead I rubbed her hand and sang her Amazing Grace…….Finally the door opened and it was the nurses coming to move her around to give her some relief and some pain medicine……..you can imagine how quickly I made it down the hall to the bathroom and cried. I hid and I cried.
It’s only been 28 days for us, I can’t imagine the families of those fighting even longer battles with life long disease or cancer. There is an emotional whiplash, a gun shy, don’t want to know, can I just play dumb, that happens. Not in weakness or in stupidity, but in sheer desperation because for once there is nothing any of you can actually do to fix it.
A couple of days ago they were finally supposed to be able to put in her long-term port for the 12 weeks of antibiotics she has to have and she was going to get to go to the rehab center, hope……..then my dad let me know she had fluid on her lungs, no surgery yet. The next day they were putting in a chest tube to drain the fluid out of her right lung……my heart froze. Today the Dr told my dad the whole story, it wasn’t fluid, it was infection, it was showing its ugly head again, but they waged war, and today the x-ray’s showed improvement. One step forward. Small victory. I could breathe a little. But then came the message…….
“Physical Therapy came by. She stood and walked 8 steps forward, held herself with good balance and control, then she took those same 8 steps backward which the therapist said was a big accomplishment.”
It’s not often that we think of steps back as a victory, but today, oh today, those 8 steps back made my heart soar like it had wings. Today I know that my mom is still one of the strongest most beautiful people I have ever known. Today was a victory and there may be 12 weeks of rehab recovery time ahead and the surgery tomorrow to install the port, but I am reassured in his perfect strength, that after today any doubt or fear that lingered in the heart of us……it to was conquered with 8 simple steps back.