A mother’s nightmare is the loss of her child. Just over year and a half after having my fourth baby- my hands full and my life even more so -it happened.
It would test my faith like no other. Around Easter, we had buried Josh, Jared’s brother to heart failure at age 33. It was August. They had spent a hot summer day playing outside with the hose in the garden on our property. One child in rubber boots and diapers. Two boys, 3 and 5, in rubber boots and underwear with dirty faces and smiles. Justus age 10, just old enough to really be of help.
Calm. The ability to hold your reactions. When every thought tells you to at least try something. Anything. Stand up, and resist every urge to react in panic.
Jonah, age 5, was helivaced and on complete life support. I had no bearing in the sea of emotion raging in my chest. I was a wreck. My little boy was having a prolonged seizure threatening his life. And if he came back would he be normal? Would we ever be normal again?
Prayers are spilling everywhere. Phone calls are made and help is sought. Jared and I had to drive to Harborview Medical Center. Later that day I rode in an ambulance with my boy to Children’s hospital.
I would softly say “mercy” over and over. Similar to when you’re wrestling an older brother and you know the rules are just “say uncle” and it stops. You are sweaty and exhausted and quietly give in and the word “uncle” rolls off your tongue. It’s more half-breath half-spoken as you give in to defeat.
The circumstance was a giant and I was a small child in comparison. Father, save me from this hour, the prayer Jesus prayed before the cross comes to mind. And that is exactly how I felt.
A peace and a strength filled me on the drive over. When Jared looked over at my trembling prayerful frame and said, “Charity, this is where we trust,” I wouldn’t pray my way out of this trial. We would trust our way through.
It would be 2 years in and out of Children’s Hospital.
A scripture for your strength if you are trusting your way through the unthinkable. Trust is the art of stillness.
1″God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
(This is true, God is ever-present and we saw it in the family and friends who showed up and gave us refuge. When I called my dad and told him the reality of his grandson I said, “Jonah could die today.” To which my dad replied with, “NOT TODAY! Charity, NOT TODAY!” Those were the powerful words of life I hungered to hear.)
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
(In the hospital room at Children’s with a battering of doctors’ and nurses’ comments, tests and assessments, Jonah woke up healthy, still Jonah, and asking for his little brother Obie. He pointed to a corner in the room and said he saw an angel. I could breathe. He would draw angels for months afterward, colorings around the house reminding me we will not fear.)
4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
(Jonah’s seizures were always at the break of day. A passage perfectly about the exact time of day I would need help.)
6Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
(When the Pastor broke into my world with prayer and the spoken promise from God, Jonah will never have another seizure- I melted. Unable to respond to such hope he said it again three times until I agreed.)
7The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
(My son Jonah turns 15 this July. He is off meds and seizure free for over 8 years now.)
9He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Whatever your circumstance the Lord Almighty is with you. This is God’s promise.
Featured Image by Megan Holloway, Owner and Photography at Ink & Grain.