Pain.

*This is a collaboration of what the Lord has been teaching me this week. Ally is still in the hospital, and will be staying again overnight for sure. I have not really slept since Bailey Grace was hospitalized, so I anticipate a very raw, layered post.

Pain. We cannot avoid it, and we all dislike it. Whether physical or emotional, pain takes a toil on not only us, but those around us. I have always been told God whispers in our pleasures and shouts in our pain (C.S. Lewis), and this became such a reality for me this week. When we brought Bailey Grace to the after hours clinic, I had no idea where our week was headed. I am so thankful, for I think I might have crumbled at the thought of it all. There is always such a fine line on what information I post here on our girls. I want to give enough information where you, as the reader, can feel connected to them and their story; but I also don’t want to give so many details that it becomes more about them than the Healer Himself. When it became clear that Bailey Grace needed to be admitted to Special Care, there were a lot of logistics to figure out. We needed one of us to stay at the house, and one of us to stay at the hospital. The suggestion that I was going to go home was absolutely bogus to me and out of the question. Why? Because my child was in pain and she needed me. I obviously love Ally as much as I do Bailey Grace, but in that moment, my hurt was drawn to Bailey Grace because she was hurting the most. He whispers in our pleasures and shouts in our pain.  It hit me in an, “it’s 3am and I haven’t slept and I’m at the hospital with my baby” kind of way and left me speechless in room 750. This is what God does for me, for you. We always wonder where God is in our deepest pain and suffering. I have to admit, this week seemed to go from a bad dream to a nightmare. It is always, always relative; and I don’t have to walk too far down the hall to see that, but I just felt, continue to feel, that I’m going to be crushed by the weight of our reality; but, you know what? That is a lie.  For you see, 2 Corinthians 4:8 says it best,

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair.”

Not crushed. Not in despair. This is His promise. Even when we feel like we are being smothered by the circumstance, His word promises we are not and that He will lift up our eyes to the hills once again. He is where our help comes from. So many times this week I began to doubt this truth. When Bailey Grace began to cough up blood in the middle of the night and I was alone in the room. When she moaned, coughed, and cried for two days straight. When every nurse on the floor could not find a vain because she was so dehydrated and she was looking over at me, too exhausted to cry but writhing in pain. When we finally got her home only to be up all night with her coughing and a listless, febrile Ally. When we took Ally to the E.R. and they determined she needed to be admitted. When they continue to have to suction the mucus out of Ally’s throat because she chokes on it, unable to cough it up. When I sit here right now with her still in the hospital, unable to take in fluids. I doubted. I doubt. But you know what? That’s okay. He is not concerned with my wavering faith, because He knows His own strength. Friends, in our deepest pain and suffering, God is so very near. Let’s not view Him through the eyes of our own frailty. Do not boil Him down to your own ever-changing, sometimes deceptive emotions. He is The Rescuer. The Savior. The Maker of all things. He is always acting, always working, never tiring. He is absolutely right there with you. Even when you don’t have the strength to cry out.  As I sat in our room, exhausted and unable to think after not sleeping at all the first night of Bailey Grace’s stay, my head was pounded, and I was point blank unable to focus on the Word. It wasn’t up to me to make the Word come alive and He did so for me even in the midst of my flesh and emotions absolutely failing me. Psalm 119:175 says, “Let my soul live and praise You, and let Your rules help me”. In this life we do not have to set the standard of our hearts and our emotions in order to find life…in so many things, they will absolutely leave us lacking (Psalm 73:25). We must remember that our ultimate prayer is for our SOUL to know life. For the depths of who we are to trust His life to be lived out in ours. This is the only place that life truly lives. I have been so weak in my flesh all week long; honestly, who wouldn’t be? Little to no sleep, emotionally drained, miserably sick babies, lots of unknowns, roller coaster of health, helplessness in taking care of my little ones, out of the hospital for one night to only be admitted again the next…but God. God has shouted to my soul to come alive and friends: It is well with my soul. Truly. He has continued to shout in the midst of gut-wrenching pain, and I know that no matter what you are walking through today, He is willing to do the same for you. He will fight for you, you need only be still (Exodus 14:14). No matter if the reality of your week has been more or less challenging than ours, the good news is this: He does not compare His children, and the strength and grace He offers to each of us is limitless and not based on another.  He wants to be your wisdom. He desires to be your strength. He simply loves you in all the brokenness and all the mess because you are His child. The presence of pain does not lessen the reality of His love for us, it strengthens it.

I do not know what the rest of this week, much less this life, holds for our family. I could look to the fact that a simple cold put us in danger to the point of hospitalization, and wonder what that means now. But this I know: the circumstances of this week do not change might of my God. He is the same, always. He was not surprised by any of it. And, He promises that He is working all things out for the kingdom, the one that truly matters. Friends,this world is not our home. This world is not our home. This world is NOT our home. One day, He will not have to shout in our pain because pain will no longer exist when we see Him face to face. Whatever you are going through, He will give you what you need for the day as you look to Him to do so. What a mighty God we serve.

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