The last several days have been hard. It's so easy to say that God is wonderful and exalt Him when things are going well. The true test is when something goes drastically wrong. That is when our faith is tested.
Several days ago we received a horrible phone call from one of my sisters-in-law letting us know that one of our nephews was in the emergency room with a head trauma. That's all we knew for several long hours. We found out that one of our nephews was riding his scooter and flipped over the handlebars while attempting a trick and landed on his head. Due to the quick thinking of his friend, M.'s friend called first his father who in turn found my sister-in-law, a nurse. At first it looked like it was just bumps and bruises, but after several questions she realized it was much more serious and asked a neighbor to call 911. The ambulance took them to a hospital that specializes in traumatic brain injuries (TBI) where my nephew was in the PICU for 4 days. He suffered bleeding on the frontal lobe and small skull fractures in the temporal and frontal lobes. After many CT scans and several debates about whether or not to perform surgery, and much observation they moved him to a regular room and now he is home with his family. He will have to take it easy for the next 6-8 weeks, but the doctor thinks he will return to normal in about 2 months.
My entire family pulled together providing childcare or meals and visiting M. in the hospital. This one of the greatest things about having a big family. Because there are so many of us, we can spread the help and care along while still taking care of our own families. M. is my husband's Godson. M's father is my husband's only brother. My husband went to the hospital the first 3 nights to visit and I was able to go on the fourth day. And of course, other family members came to visit.
This is where my faith is tested. Don't get me wrong. I believe in God and His many blessings. In good times and in bad. However, while I desperately wanted to pray, I couldn't. Unless you count repeating over and over in my head, "Please let M. be okay. Please give J. & M. strength while they care for their son. Please heal M." I couldn't formulate words for a "real" prayer. My head and heart were numb. I was also afraid that God would answer my prayer in a way in which I wasn't prepared. I believe God answers prayers, but I also believe He may answer them in ways that we don't want or expect. So I repeated my words in my head for four days. I begged for prayers from my MOPS group, from FB friends, and friends and family from all over the world. I thanked them for the prayers that I couldn't articulate and for their support.
It sounds awful to me, a lifelong Christian who couldn't pray when a prayer was so desperately needed to be said. Have you ever felt that way? And I guess when I say pray, I mean articulately expressing in words my thoughts and requests instead of rapid murmurings about care, safety, and healing in non-cohesive sentences. Now that it seems the worst is over and my heart has started beating regularly again, I can pray. I can thank God for His blessings and for keeping M. safe. But it seems so little and past the time of need, doesn't it? But I am grateful. I am grateful for the friends who rallied around my sister and brother-in-law. I am grateful for their prayers. And I am once again reminded that God doesn't leave us in the tough times. He did answer our prayers in the way we had hoped and I am grateful.
I'm mulling over my reactions and I'm disappointed in them...but I will admit I was terrified and worried. And I'm sure God could see past my ramblings into my heart, right? He could see that I thought of M. nonstop for the last 5 days. During my visit, I was happy to see for myself M's recovery and road to healing. It helped to slow my heart and to thank God for his many blessings.
Please hug your family today. In the last year I have heard of so much grief from friends and family who have lost someone unexpectedly or have had children gravely injured or sick. I do encourage you to pray even when it's difficult and to ask for the grace to accept the circumstances. Not an easy task. But I will pray for you. Now that I have found my voice again I will pray for you. Peace be with you.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)