- As I looked down at the collection of discarded suckers, not a single lollipop touched from the handful she had been given as peace offerings, I knew she must really feel bad. It was as if I could still feel the heat of her forehead on my lips, lingering there from the kiss that had graced her feverish skin as I left. I was leaving for work, unable to put off any longer the training that I knew was required. A much trusted sitter had been obtained, but it still hurt my mommy heart to leave her. Medicine given, a cup of water beside her, and a light blanket laid across her, I knew she would be okay, but still. Still it made my heart ache to see her falling asleep, almost drug into slumber by fatigue from fighting illness. My logical nurse mind told me she was fine. It reminded me of all the chronically ill children out there, and encouraged me to count my blessings. And I did, but still. Still it hurt my heart to see her hurting. I saw her pale face, her red-rimmed eyes, and how they seemed so heavy as I had pulled her from her car seat. “I’m sleepy Momma” she had said, an uncommon phrase for a young lady who fights naps like a true princess warrior.
- In the doctor’s office she had cried. Rarely sick, she was frightened of what might happen. We had talked it over at home, and practiced with my stethoscope, taking turns listening to each other breathe. We had discussed what to expect, and her dad had assured her she wouldn’t get a shot. She had seen her baby sister cry at multiple immunization appointments, and he promised her the shots were for babies only. I carried her on my hip as we entered the clinic. She clung to me desperately, and kept repeating, “I love you Momma.” I knew she wanted my protection from fear, pain, and the unknown. I was transported back in time to my eight year old self, sitting in the doctor’s office once again, having my blood drawn again in a vain attempt to stabilize the dosage of medicine to keep the seizures away. I asked my mommy to draw my blood instead of the lab tech I didn’t know. I was sure my mommy could do it magically without inflicting pain. I remember my surprise when it hurt just as bad, or maybe even worse. Back in the clinic today, holding my three year old, my little sunshine, singing to her, and rocking her back and forth as we waited, I just wished I could make it not hurt, somehow take it away, and put it on myself. When she ended up needing a shot, and I had to hold her as she cried in fear, I felt my heart tearing. To love someone so much, to wish only good for them, is a gift, but it is hard as well, so hard when they fall, or when they hurt, or especially when they’re scared. To allow the pain because it is for a greater good, this is especially difficult.
- I had a close friend tell me recently, “I’m hurting.” Upon further conversation, I realized it wasn’t physical pain of which he spoke. He was experiencing difficulty, uncertainty in life, emptiness, the bottom of the barrel, a place of desolate futility. I didn’t have the words to say, the magical advice to make it all better. I could attempt to offer pieces of knowledge I’ve gained in my own journey through the desert, but in the end my words were just that. Words. When encountering a person who is experiencing fear, pain, loss, and especially emptiness, I am reminded of parenting. I’m reminded of how much I love my little girls, the extent to which I would give of myself for their benefit. Then I’m reminded of the Father Heart of God. This is the belief and acceptance that God is our Heavenly Father, from whom we were created, and for whom we live. I am reminded of His perfect love for us, His children. I am reminded of how much He has done for us, giving His own Son’s life for our benefit, so we might have freedom from sin and death. In this way He did something I couldn’t do today. He took the pain away. He put it on Himself, and the sting of death was removed from His children. Today I allowed the pain of the blood work and the shot for my daughter because I knew it was temporary, and in the end would benefit her. She did not understand that at all, but I did what was best for her. Our own Abba Father works all things together for our good, even the bad, painful things. We can’t always see that.
1 John 3:1
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[a] And by him we cry, “Abba,[b] Father.”
Love brings healing. It brings wholeness. His perfect love brings peace. One day we will get better, we will be without pain or fear. We will be healed. He has promised it. Cry out Abba Father.
That is all 🙂