Friday, December 5, 2014

Gift Giver

I'm in the hospital once again with some kind of exacerbation, not quite known yet if Myasthenia Gravis or another cause.  I am unable to swallow and receiving IVIg treatment under observation. Since my primary job is raising two little beauties knowing I would be in the hospital all weekend, I accepted an offer for my sweet Naomi to have a play date with her friend tomorrow, so I was contemplating a fun way to tell her.  While sitting in my hospital bed, I turned to her, "Guess what, Naomi!  Tomorrow I have a surprise for you." "You're done [being in the hospital]?" she asked as her face lit up.  I didn't say no, I just said I had talked with her friend's mom and told her about the play date. She was still excited, but looked saddened that I would not be "done" tomorrow.  I never would have imagined that me being home was on the forefront of her mind, and would be "a surprise."  The sweet hearted child often puts on such a front of hostility as if she desired neglect, you would think she wants her own apartment at 6 years old. But no, whatever those antics mean, deep down she wants mom home and healthy.  The gift she really is asking for is thick heavy gift that I am unable to control or give.  I can't wrap it up with sparkly paper or make a fancy bow for it. I certainly cannot put it under the Christmas Tree and anticipate her face lighting up while opening it.

I was talking with a mom once about how our Naomi would not sleep when she was 11 months old.  We had a hard time of it, trying to get her down to sleep.  She wanted milk before bed, and other odds and ends until the time was whittled away from us. This kind mother said that sometimes parents feel like they have to "play God" to their children, giving them everything they ask for and catering to their every whim.  If we do this we teach them they have no need for God.  But if the child has had enough food and drink for the day, then asks for milk when it is really time for bed, it is better to direct them to ask God for patience for the morning, and ask the Holy Spirit for help trusting parents that it actually is bedtime.  The kind mother was spot on with what we were doing, reminding me that a better gift is not milk, it is an avenue that leads to trusting in the Lord.

So I sit here at the med center, about to turn in for the night.  My anxious heart has been tormenting me throughout the last month or so, climaxing at the last few days.  I had serious fear.  Fear of not being around for Christmas, and being the lady in the "Christmas Shoes" song.  Far worse from my physical disease, I had an anxious heart absent from peace.  Now, I know some scriptures, I read them and have verses memorized, especially the ones about fear and peace that transcends understanding. But I cannot give myself the peace.  I have had beautiful prayers and petitions texted to me and read to me, and friends praying over me in person.  But they cannot give me the peace, and many of them fell on an unbelieving mind that trickled away into doubt.  But somehow, in this sterile hospital, the peace came throughout the afternoon.  I know I was lifted up in prayer by many family and friends, and I know that this morning I felt heavy and this evening I feel lighter. How could I possibly explain the song in my heart while lapping the unit, the nurse who played christmas music while putting in my picc line, the scripture that played like a movie screen when I closed my eyes, and the exceedingly timlely apt words from family and friends.  It cannot possibly be just friends and family sticking by.  It has to be the Lord orchestrating this moment.

The Prince of Peace truly is an excellent and timely gift giver.