Thursday, February 14, 2013

Comfort and Healing

Before I became a mom I remember seeing snotty-nosed little kids running around and wondered why in the world their moms couldn't keep those runny noses under control. Yes, I judged. And I am so sorry moms of the world! The Little One (TLO) has had this never ending runny nose now for weeks. We've salined and suctioned (I cannot recommend the Graco Nasal Aspirator enough! so much better than the bulb syringe!), we humidified, we Vicks'd and we medicated. But the runny nose never stopped. We went to the doctor with bronchitis and started nebulizer treatments which cleared up the wheezing, but the runny nose never went away. Her wheezing stopped, her cough got better...and then came enlarged lymph nodes, bilateral ear infections and 102.8 fever.  And that was after mommy being sick for 5 days. Now that we're treating that I'm praying that we are all on the path to good health. But here's the thing that kills me even when she has pain and fever, I still get smiles like the one on the right.

I also have a secret...I secretly enjoy the hours of snuggles I get when she's sick.  Those hours of snuggles just remind me that I wouldn't trade this life for anything in the world. Those hours of snuggles remind me of how much I prayed for this. I know those snuggles provide comfort to The Little One, but I am convinced that those hours of snuggling provide healing too. Those hours of snuggles remind me that I will never stop worrying about her! I am her mom.

I am TLO's mom, but I am someone else's baby. Yes, I am the baby in my family and after hating being called "the baby" for so many years, I am happy to say it now. I am the baby. And I just found out my mommy is sick. And she's not sick in the way that a little antibiotic or a breathing treatment will fix. She's sick in the way that doesn't show to anyone else and in the way that no daughter ever wants to hear. My mom has breast cancer. My mom has cancer and I'm a nurse. I'm a nurse and can't do anything to help her. I know it's a small tumor. I know it's treatable. I know that God heals and gives knowledge and talents to human hands to do surgery and offer treatment. But I also know that she's my mom. If I thought I could snuggle with my mom and provide healing and comfort the way I do for TLO I would do it. She doesn't fit that well on my lap though and I'm pretty sure it doesn't work that way. So I'm asking for our Father to hold her in His arms instead and provide the healing and comfort. And I'm asking you to remember TLO's grandma in your prayers.   Next week we will meet with a doctor to start the treatment journey. I will do whatever I can to help her on this journey because she is my mom. And...I am her baby.

Thank You Jehova Rapha, the Lord who heals,  for helping my child while she's sick. Thank You for blessing me with the time to hold her closely this week. Thank You Lord for allowing the cancer inside my mom to be found early. But please provide Your comfort to our family as we figure out what happens next. Hold her in Your arms and provide the healing that only You can provide. Because she may be my mom, I may be her baby, but You are the Father to us all. Amen.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Photo courtesy of Allison Harms Photography

Last week I was at lunch with my parents and The Little One (TLO) when a kind, well-meaning stranger approached us. This lady was clearing tables in the restaurant and stopped by our table and said to TLO, "well aren't you just beautiful!?" At this I smiled, then she went on to look at me and ask "did you get to pick her?" Um, er, what? I held my smile and said "God picked her for us before she was ever born." She said she would pick her just for those eyelashes she has and that we were blessed, I agreed and she moved on. And then I looked at my dad and I'm pretty sure my jaw was on the table as I said "What????? Who asks that?????" My parents assured me that I was tactful in my response and that she meant well. I am very used to questions about adoption at this point, as well as comments about how beautiful TLO is and how social she is (see my post of last year : Home and Hope)  but this one bothered me. All kinds of mean statements came to my head, so God must have been with me to help me control my tongue! I felt seriously conflicted by this short and simple conversation, much more than I should have been. Just the word "pick" brought up all sorts of images of eeny-meeny-miney-moe or the dreaded school-yard pick which always leaves one child standing alone and embarrassed at the end. Perhaps it hit to close to home because it made me think about being picked. You see, I was picked. I was chosen by God. But I wasn't chosen because of my beauty because I have been clouded in ugly sin. I have done ugly things and I have said ugly things. I wasn't chosen because of my physical features because I am overweight in a body that sometimes fails me. I have graying hair. I have physical scars. But I was chosen. I was adopted. I was made beautiful in God's sight.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will -- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. Ephesians 1:4-6
What a joy to know that God doesn't see my ugliness, my scars or my weight! I am holy and blameless! I am His daughter! There is a beautiful song by Gungor playing on Christian radio stations now (and is a favorite on my iPod!). The lyrics are very simple, repeating over and over throughout the song. In fact, there's not a lot else to the song other than a few lines, but are more words needed when these are so powerful?

"You make beautiful things. You make beautiful things out of the dust. You make beautiful things. You make beautiful things out of us"
God takes the lowest of the low, the dirtiest of the dirty and makes such beautiful things. God takes us, whether rich or poor, athletic or handicapped, fat or thin and makes something beautiful. God picked me. God picked you.
My lesson has been learned.

Thank You Father for picking me just as I was, just as I am every day. Thank You for choosing me in my ugliness and in my sin. Thank You for making me beautiful. Thank You for giving me the words I need to express Your love and Your hand in my life instead of allowing my own tongue to spew spiteful words. Thank You for adopting me and for choosing the sweet, beautiful child You have blessed my life with! Amen.