From the moment I became a mom, my world was overwhelmed with an unbelievble love and a dose of parenting fears. This past summer, my parenting fears were put on test as we entered into a season of unknown.
I still remember sitting in the waiting room for the first time. Shifting nervously as I stared at the sign on the door a few feet away. Pediatric Oncology and Hematology was printed in bold letters above the double doors in front of me. Colorful stickers surround the sign as if to cheer up the sadness those words spoke.
With all of my nerves about being late, we had arrived early, so I sat waiting for what felt like hours when in reality was only moments.
My daughter was cheerfully commenting on the fun posters that sprinkled the walls, oblivious to the reason why we were there.
The sound of our names brought me to jump up immediately. Following the nurse, we walked through the doors I never expected to enter.
Life is full of unexpected moments as it twists and turns each and every day.
You never know when the next bump in the road will hit as it is often out of the blue. Those unexpected moments can jolt us and cause us to be like a train jumping off its’ tracks. The world feels off center, as you try to make sense of what just happened.
From the moment my daughter’s three year old well visit took an unexpected turn with some enlarged lymph nodes, we were tossed into the sea of uncertainty as our parenting fears mounted. We had entered the appointment eager to leave, with plans for playing at the pool, the rest of our summer break laying before us. Then the unexpected happened, the bump in the road caused us to leave the appointment scheduling more appointments, blood work, and calling my husband willing the tears not to fall.
As I waited for the doctor to call with appointment times, I sat outside watching my kids play. My first instinct was to obsessively watch my daughter. Did she look sick? Had I not noticed any obvious signs? As I started to do my own analysis of her, I suddenly felt the need to stop. It was as if God said, “Be still, sweet child.”
My worries and fears came to a stop as I felt overwhelmed by a sense of peace- the peace that can only come from God. It is hard to explain, and I know some may not believe me, but I knew that no matter what happened, God would be there. From that moment on, every single time a worry would enter my mind or fear would threaten to paralyze, I turned to God. Some days I would be stronger than others, but I prayed to keep my focus through it all.
During this season of uncertainty, I realized that even though we cannot anticipate the twists and turns of life, we can prepare ourselves for the unexpected.
I knew that the reason I was feeling such a strong sense of peace was that God had prepared me.
In the year leading up to this past summer, God had primed my husband and I for facing one of our greatest parenting fears. He led us through some trials that taught us to trust when we had nothing else. He brought people into our lives who spoke truth into us on a regular basis.
It is a beautiful thing how God uses the sweet seasons to prepare us for the hard ones. Then in the hard ones, we grow and are strengthened through the trials. It is a journey.
While on earth, we will never arrive to a point where we don’t have the unexpected. Those moments will happen. We do not need to live in fear of them, but we can continue to grow during the good seasons to prepare.
The week of Thanksgiving, we had our final appointment with the specialist. The same double doors waited for us to enter when we arrived. As we walked to our room, I saw a family surrounding a little one in a bed. The lights were dim but it was obvious the child was quite sick. For what was less than a five second glance, has been forever etched in my mind.
At the end of the appointment, the doctors joyfully released our daughter from their care. Everything is normal, they said. Normal. The word rolled around in my mind as I tried to grasp that she was going to be okay.
We celebrated with ice cream that night, my husband and I both breathed a deep sigh of relief. That night as I tucked my sweet little one in bed, I sat by her bed pondering what my reaction would have been if the news had been bad.
What if the unexpected bump had turned into a valley?
The image of the family with the little child stays stained in my mind. It could have easily been us. I pray I would have kept my focus on God, even when life makes zero sense. I pray I would remember that “yet God is holy,” even when facing my parenting fears.
Friends, we are going to experience the bumps in life and at some point, the deep valleys. There will be unexpected moments where nothing makes sense. Moments where you think, “this is not how I envisioned my life.” While we cannot keep these moments from happening but we can prepare for them- so let’s choose to prepare now.