Today I have the honor of hosting my friend Liz from Plunge Deep Climp Steep! I am excited to share with you her story about how she learned to trust God more through the difficulties with her son’s health. I hope you will be just as encouraged as I was. -Jen
He was two years old, blond hair, blue eyes. I felt frozen in time as I watched him go backwards off his chair and onto the wood floor. I gathered him in my arms on the floor as he went from shrieking to shaking, convulsing for about 30 seconds before I was able to talk him down to calmness. My voice seemed to help him gain control.
Doctors were never able to tell us whether the fall triggered the seizure or the seizure triggered the fall. My husband had been called to work not a half hour before, and the rest of us were dressed for church. I buckled my other two boys – a one year old and six month old – into the car and called my husband on my way to the urgent care. There was generally a shorter wait time at the urgent care than at the emergency room. But the wait was much shorter than I thought it would be. They called me back immediately, informing me to take him to the emergency room at the hospital because they didn’t have the equipment to scan his brain. I loaded all three kids back into the car and headed for the hospital – now even more worried than before.
We sat and waited. My husband came and sat with us for a while, and then he took the other two boys home once we knew my in-laws were at our house. After he left, my son again began to fall off of his chair, but this time I caught him, and he began seizing in my arms as I rushed him to the locked adjoining door for the emergency room. Another woman banged on the door for me, yelling at the staff on the other side of the plexiglass window, “her baby! her baby!” Doctors took him from me and laid him on a bed. Nurses poked him all over, but it took quite a while for them to get a line of medication going because his veins were so small.
All I could do was stand near his head and talk to him, praying desperately to myself all the while. Sometime – while all this was going on – my husband returned from leaving our other sons with his parents and joined me praying and talking to our son. It was 15 minutes before the medication helped him stop seizing and induced sleep. I finally remembered that I left my purse in the waiting room and figured it was gone but went back out to see. It was still in my chair with empty seats all around it. Everyone in that room looked at me with respect and their hearts in their eyes as I picked it up and went back to my son’s room.
It would be hours of waiting as they moved him to a private room and arranged a transfer to the children’s hospital that was an hour away. While we waited by his bedside, we couldn’t help but wonder, would he still be himself? will he come back our beautiful sweet boy?
Our relief was overwhelming as he slowly woke up and went from slurred speech to complete sentences. We continued to wait, and the entire day passed without my husband and I being given any food. In the evening I began to feel faint and requested some food, but another two hours went by. I finally got some food right before the transport ambulance arrived and was only able to eat a small portion of it.
My husband decided I should drive the hour to the hospital behind the ambulance while he went home and took care of the other boys. He figured that a little boy would want his mom after the day he’d been through, and going to a strange place. So I drove in the dark behind the ambulance, and I desperately tried to keep from falling asleep and throwing up at the same time. The food had come too late and only made me sick. As the ambulance pulled into the parking lot, I made sure to choose a parking space by a grassy median so I could throw up. The ambulance driver brought me a towel and said, “I don’t know how you mothers do it.”
After we were given a room, I reassured my son and then pretended to fall asleep in the fold-out recliner bed so that he would fall asleep himself. I could only hold his hand as he slept in a crib with rails reaching nearly up to the ceiling so that he wouldn’t fall out if he had another seizure.
Over the next few days we would discover that he had epilepsy, and that regardless of the fall it would have happened at some time anyway. For the next two years he would take medication and go to regular appointments until he outgrew the condition.
I share this story because it radically changed my walk with God. During those days of fear and stress and unknown, I couldn’t feel God at all. It was like He didn’t even exist. What is the point of having God if I don’t actually have Him in the times when it matters the most? But I didn’t blame Him for it; I blamed myself.
From that point on, I committed to spending every day in His word. After the first year, I doubled my Bible and prayer time. This last year, I tripled it. And boy am I glad I did! I started homeschooling this same son last year, and after only a month I knew something was off. We discovered that he had auditory dyslexia. It was because I had increased my time spent with God that His spirit gave me the patience to cope with homeschooling my son. More time with Him is always the best answer to every problem. The more time I spend with Him, the more I realize how much more I need Him!
How about you? Are you drawing closer to Him so that when the time comes, you know He’s there? Don’t make the mistake I did, and wait for the trial to come. Put in the time with Him now, so that when you are tested, you can know that your God is for you, instead of falling away from Him in doubt.