One call is all it takes . . .
One call can change the trajectory of your life as a parent. It can alter your sense of reality and shake you to the core.
It can create a new “normal.”
Seemingly, after that call, you now live in an alternate universe – not the one you previously were in, but one that is now light years away.
Where the sun never shines and you can hardly exhale. Where you gasp to breathe and where hope hangs in the balance.
It’s in that very moment – when hope and despair weigh in the balance – that we will have to decide as parents if we will succumb to the pain or PUSH through it.
I’ve visited that place recently – that place of despair – after receiving a call. It wasn’t the first time I’ve gotten that “call,” the one we fear most as parents; and frankly, it probably won’t be the last.
It was a call of distress, not that different from the one I received some years ago that also came in the wee hours of the morning. When a hospital Chaplin, many states away from where we live, said that our son had been in a car crash. He was a back seat passenger not wearing his seat belt so during the crash he was ejected through the front windshield. He suffered serious injury to his leg and lungs upon impact. He was bloody and bruised but he wasn’t the only one: the driver wasn’t as fortunate and eventually passed away. At least I got to bring my son home.
Will we only accept what is good from God and not trouble? (Job 2:10)
What do you do after a call like that? Can your eyes find sleep? Can you breathe? Do you scream? Cry? Or melt into a puddle of tears?
The worst kind of pain to push through as a parent is the pain that is hurting your child.
My heart was bleeding out. I couldn’t breathe. I felt like I was sleepwalking; like I was in a state of suspended reality. The pain was too much . . . I could not process it.
But I looked to the Lord as I was going down . . .
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121: 1 & 2)
I surveyed God’s word for strength: I looked to other women in the Bible who have pushed through pain; especially pain in relation to their children. I desperately needed comfort from God’s word.
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)
Naomi came to mind. This dear mother, so often berated by the those who tell her story (Ruth 1). Like a good wife, she followed her husband from Judah to Moab to avoid famine, and while there, first her husband and then her two grown sons all die within a 10-year-span. In her own words, she left Judah full and returned “empty.”
I so identify with Naomi’s pain. Especially since I have my own two grown sons, my Irish twins. They both have such a special place in my heart. They are so protective of me. If I run, they worry that I will fall. If I cross the street against the light they fear for me and instinctively reach for my hand. How hard it would be to for me to even lose one of them – but BOTH? Especially after losing my husband, my right arm. My confidant. The shoulder I cry on and look to for strength. MERCY!
Job’s wife came to mind. The Bible doesn’t tell us her name and very few preachers speak well of her. After all, she suggested that Job curse God and die. This story is usually told from Job’s perspective but I do think about this dear mother. She lost everything: great wealth, servants, livestock, and ALL OF HER CHILDREN; and not from natural causes. They died a painful death in a natural disaster.
That’s mostly what might have taken me down . . . thinking about how my children might have suffered, and certainly wrestling with God about why it happened. Then, she is the one left standing to nurse her husband while watching him suffer exceedingly and endure excruciating pain. She’s watching everything around her go down in flames. This mother’s heart could have imploded! Talk about getting a call. My heart more than aches when I consider her plight.
There’s no doubt that she encouraged Job to do an exceedingly wicked thing. I just hope that her suggestion stemmed from her experiencing a temporary moment of pain-induced insanity. And I certainly hope this mamma repented and made her peace with God.
Walk it out, Momma
These momma’s walked it out – not perfectly – but they pushed through extreme pain. Their stories are told in the Bible. It wasn’t pretty – it was tragic. And if they endured, so can I. I PUSH by looking to God’s word: I look to those who have gone before me.
I may not be able to make sense of it. I may stumble and doubt. In my pain I may become bitter (like Naomi) or question God’s goodness and have a temporary moment of insanity (like Job’s wife). I may even deny Him multiple times out of fear (like Peter); but that won’t be the end of it. I’m coming back to Him because He’s faithful. He’s never left me or forsaken me. And eventually He shows me that the one set of footprints in the sand were His.
So remember this . . . You’re not alone. None of us are.
We may be walking through a really big storm, but the Lord, He walks with us. We may feel like our world has just been turned upside down, whether by a call, a letter or something else, but God is working behind the scenes setting the course of the believer’s life.
As long as Christ is our foundation and we cling to His word, we can keep PUSHING through the PAIN.
I’d love to hear from you:::How do you PUSH through pain as a parent? Are there any Bible passages that encourage your heart as a parent? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
I shared this article at these amazing faith and family linkups.