Friday, October 7, 2011

late night vigils

It is very late here.  Little miss E. has been struggling with wheezing and coughing for a few weeks now, and the last week and a half has been on nebulizers (day and night).  It's scary holding your child who is struggling to breath.  Fear follows close behind worry.  Yet, deep gratitude exists at the same time.

One year ago, we lived in eastern DRC.  Our adoption was not final and we couldn't cross the border with the girls (where there was better health care).  Bigger than my concern about insecurity, were my concerns about my children's health.  I knew that there were little options for them where we were living.  And the stress of being the sole provider for my children's health was wearing on me.  There were nights like this, where fear and terror hounded my worry.  Where I prayed over sick bodies, prayed for mercy.  One night I remember being up with E., all the kids had what I presumed was rotavirus and she was the sickest.  I remember feeling so worried about her.   At one point, I went to a nearby clinic and begged them to come to my house and put an IV in her.  I knew if I took her to the hospital the situation would only worsen.  I had a horrible moment where my mind ran through the list of terrifying possibilities of what could happen to her, of her dying.  And my heart shattered and I felt so very vulnerable and afraid.   Mercifully, she recovered.

Tonight, I am worried about E. again, but there isn't a deep terror.  Because I now live in a country that has a good health care system.  I am no longer the health care provider for my children.  If I get worried enough about E., I can simply take her to the ER (even in the middle of the night).  There is fear, but it is different.  It isn't as palpable.  Or so near to the surface.  Instead of running through a million scenarios in my head about what could be wrong and what I can do, I rest in the fact that I can take her to the doctor in the am, or if I have to, to the ER.  And I know that everything that could be done for her would be done.  What a gift.

Sometimes, when something is taken away, your gratitude deepens.  It becomes something alive and real.  Life is fragile and I don't want to take it for granted for a single second.  Nor do I want to take the lives of my children for granted.  I don't want to hold all that I have been given so tightly in my hands that I can't even see what I am holding.

There are little ones fighting for their lives all over the world and I am grateful today for the gift of life we have been given and enjoy every minute of it.  For the grace and mercy which follows us, and the strength we are given to greet each day.  I want to greet life with hope with a grateful heart to God.  And I want to lift up in prayer to God those little ones and their parents; I want to trust in a loving and good God.


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