Nothing shocks you into reality like feeling like there's absolutely nothing you can do to help your suffering two-year old.
Summer was flying by in a way that screams sun, breezes, swimwear, grass-stains and more all while overwhelming our memories with smells of sunscreen and bug spray. The moments were good. We were enjoying our moments. Living and breathing and growing together. Seeing family and nurturing friendships. Celebrating birthdays and enjoying all the embraces that Love has to offer.
And then, come July, our little guy became plagued with a little something that did not want to leave him be. Nights filled with up-chucking and days and nights filled with the same struggle just on the other end. It was relentless. This went on for a month and half. Medicine after medicine were tried. Four rounds total to be accurate.The moment I saw our pediatrician seem baffled - our very knowledgeable and trusted pediatrician who's seen it all - the words just spilled from my heart as the tears streamed from my eyes...
Will this kill my baby?
When you reach a moment like this there's no where to go. You're there standing and staring at your wall that's straight in front of you. Only, you can't stay there. You can't stay there. You keep going. Little by little. Faithfully and with hope.
Faith and hope.
It's like a reflex. Faith and hope just nudge you along saying all will be well. No matter what.
No matter what?
How so? How can all be well no matter what? How does one endure suffering, the kind that is happening to your little toddling heart that has managed his way outside of you through gift and miracle? How can one be terrified and yet move forward in faith, hope, and trust?
"When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he lovedhe said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”Then he said to the disciple,“Behold, your mother.”And from that hour the disciple took her into his home."
-John 19: 26-27
Well, for starters, He gave us His Mother. No one can understand what it feels like to endure the suffering of one's child more than Our Blessed Mother. She birthed Love Incarnate. She raised and loved the Man who would save the world. She lived along walking Love. The kind that innately draws you in. This woman of old. She knows.
Every moment I could remember, my heart whispered: Mary, Mother of my Lord, be a mother to me now.
I know she was holding me in her prayers. I know she knew the strain my heart felt. And when this was all going down, I knew she would have the words to share with her Son. The words that were loosely in my scattered brain. The ones I was shouting but just couldn't seem to put together.
So prayer. Prayer. and more prayer were my allies all through His beautiful Mother.
Then there's my Lord.
"When Jesus had taken the wine, he said,
“It is finished.”
And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit."
He just let go. He let His Will work alongside His Father's. He let Himself be held.
There does come a point where we, in our lives, come to our little crosses. Mine felt small and insignificant compared to His and so many others, but I'm not here to compare my recent present. My present was where I was and He met me there as I sought Him.
I sought Him with my continuous: Jesus, I trust in You.
Again and again, those words were whispered. They were whispered even when my heart struggled to believe what my head and soul were telling me. The reality of His Word made flesh. The reality of yesterday, today, and the good that is to come if I earnestly try, day in and day out, to walk and breathe my fiat. He lived so that I could live. He died so that we could endure and know that the wall is never truly there. Instead, His Presence. His Peace. His Strength. That's what's there! That's what helps you see up and over, around, or even through your wall. Letting go and letting Him hold you in His Will so that you can continue down your road of sanctification.
When we are seeking while standing in front of our wall, what we are seeking is reason, logic, how-to's, what-to-do's - all of it. But the point is we are seeking.
Why are we seeking? The reason for me goes a little something like this: the One who made me and wrote the law of Love and Truth on my heart while knitting me in my mother's womb - He pulls me. Pulls us. He gave us His Mother, He gave us Himself. He draws us near if we let Him - even in suffering. Or rather, especially in suffering.
"So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you."
-James 4:7-8Suffering. The cross. The very place where the ultimate expression of Love happened. Where sin was conquered. There He faced his wooden wall, and here we face our wall - our little cross. Or so it feels like it. The place that stops you and makes you feel like there is nothing else. Most likely, one of many you'll experience in this life because sin entered the world and we all have free will. Only there is something else. There is always something else.
He called us, He meets us, He listens to us when we call, and keeps near - if we let Him.
"Love, and he will draw near; love, and he will dwell within you. The Lord is at hand; have no anxiety. Are you puzzled to know how it is that he will be with you if you love? God is love.”
-St. Augustine of HippoIn the end, my little one did not die from the parasite that plagued him. We survived this little ordeal and I'm pretty sure the little guy did a million times better coping with the insanity that lasted for a month and a half than all else who live in our little house hold. In fact, I know this to be a fact! He was a warrior, while I was his little sidekick on my knees pleading for his healing.
When suffering and love meet, He draws us in. He draws us all in giving us alternatives. Letting us know we don't have to stay stuck. That there truly is something else. He lived so this could be true. So, He really is at hand, always - but I will say, it definitely takes a certain force of the will to seek, to be open, to choose to serve, and to embrace His Will and Grace amidst all the crazy! Phew!
"Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness."
-St. John Chrysostom