I think every mother's greatest fear is losing a child. There seems to be no greater pain we can experience on this earth than outliving our own children. I had no idea how much I struggled with this fear until this past weekend. I experienced the hardest day I have had this far in my life, and as I share it with you, I also want to share the amazing, life-changing lessons that have come from it.
My 4 year old loves to help my husband with yard work. Every single time he mows the lawn, he gets right behind him with his toy lawn mower. When he's done, he takes a deep breath and talks about all the hard work he completed with daddy. It may be one of the cutest things ever.
As many of you know, we are in the process of selling our home and moving to a bigger home in the area. That means almost every weekend, my husband spends a lot of time on the curb appeal to make sure it stays looking nice and manicured. So, he proceeded to cut back the bushes we have in our front yard with the hedge cutters. He used a ladder to get to the top of some of them, and when he came down the ladder, our little guy popped up right behind him, and was cut in the head by the tool. Thank God the tool was off, but he still got nipped.
I was inside on the couch, catching up on some work when I heard a scream, and right away I assumed one of my constant fears with yard work had come true. Someone was seriously hurt. I leaped off the couch, and ran outside where my child was covered in blood. I could barely see his face, and my husband was holding his head. He ran in for towels, and I placed them firmly on his head with pressure to try to stop the bleeding. At the time, I have no idea where the cut was or how large, but yelled to my husband and our 2 other children to jump in the car, and drive to the Emergency Room. With no shoes, and still in pajama pants, I jumped into the back seat holding my toddler, and I begin to PRAY like never before. Crying out to Jesus to help my son.
The car ride to the hospital was probably the scariest time of my life. Fear overwhelmed me of what the future would hold. All I could say was "Jesus," as my husband sped to the nearest hospital which was thankfully only 5 minutes away. My middle son was in tears, and praying as well. Fearing the worst, as so were my husband and I, but we kept praying.
My husband pulled up to the emergency room and I jumped out holding my toddler covered in blood, and holding multiple towels that were soaked through. My husband and I had blood all over our hands, and clothes as well. I never saw this much blood in my life, and didn't know what I was about to experience. I begged God to please do a miracle. Please let this not be as bad as it looks. I knew God could heal Him, and my hope was that it was part of His amazing plan for our lives...to do so.
When we arrived to the hospital, two triage nurses met us, and confirmed that through the pressure and towels we applied we were able to stop the bleeding, but he did have a pretty deep wound that was a few inches long on his forehead. They lead us back pretty quickly to have him seen. I knew that he would need stitches, and that this was not a life threatening situation, and "some" of my nerves calmed. The trauma of what just happened, just had us both jittery, and we could barely speak. All we could say were the words "Thank You Jesus" when we found it in us to put our words together.
My sister picked up my older children from the hospital so, that we both could both tend to our youngest. As we moved back for stitches, I thought the worst was over, and was pretty nauseous at the sight of this open wound. To make it even worst, they opened it even further to place multiple shots inside of it, while 4 people held down my screaming child. As if my mama heart hadn't gone through enough, we realized they hit an artery, and the blood would not stop. We had just wiped off my son's face from all of the blood, and it was now covered again. After a while, they were able to calm it, and proceeded with stitches.
Over the last few hours, my son barely spoke, and was pretty out of it. As the stitches finished up, he started to laugh, make jokes, and become his talkative self. This was music to my ears.
To tell you that it wasn't a very traumatic experience would be a lie. It was. The mental pictures I have of my child being covered in blood are nothing short of disturbing. My husband has had a hard time as well with what happened, if not harder.
Let me just tell you a little about this man. He is truly the world's best father. He is the dad that plays on the ground with our kids, encourages them in everything, and takes them on trips to connect and bond. He is an amazing parent, and his actions constantly encourage me to be a more patient parent that sees the fun in this journey of raising children. As far as our youngest goes, he does 90% of his baths, 90% of his bedtime routines, and kisses him an uncountable amount of times every single day. Yep, best dad ever, but accidents happen, and we are grateful this wasn't a life-threatening one.
There are 3 POWERFUL lessons that I have learned from this experience, and I feel like I'll probably be able to add 10 more by the end of the week.
1. The power of prayer.
I always knew that there was amazing power in praying to the God of our universe. I have seen it in millions of ways in my life. I have experienced show-stopping miracles. I know without a shadow of a doubt that God is real, and hears my cry.
However, I still have times of doubt.
Those times usually come about when God says "No" or "Wait." I have to remind myself that He is not my personal genie that is there to give me everything on my "I want" list, but has bigger and better plans for me.
When this happened to our son, I may have begged and prayed like never before. I knew God could help him, that this could turn out better than I expected, but I was still scared it wouldn't. As I prayed, I truly felt the presence of God with us in the car, and in the hospital. I knew that no matter what happened He was with us, and would help us. So, I kept praying. I truly believe it was a miracle, and that God's hand on the situation turned it from a major to a minor situation. Omg, if I could tell you the amount of times He has done that for me!
I knew that God heard our prayers, and it has helped me connect on a deeper level with my Savior. My faith has been refreshed, and when I speak, ramble or request something, I know He hears me and has my best at heart. I know He is for His children, and will help us if we believe.
If God is for us, who can be against us?~ Romans 8:31
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us~ 1 John 5:14
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. ~ Mark 11:24
2. The power of fear.
I did not realize how fearful I was to loose one of my children, until I thought it could of happened. I didn't realize how much I heard that voice over the years, every time I would hear a story of someone's child dying or getting incredibly sick or not surviving a freak accident. I think there is definitely a balance of realizing that tomorrow is not promised, and cherishing those around you AND living in fear that something is going to happen to them.
My fears were amplified in a new way, and with fear comes allowing myself to hear so many of Satan's lies that they seemed overwhelming. This created anger at myself, anger at God, anger at my husband, anger at this life, anger I was holding a bleeding child. Just anger, frustration and fear. This was battling the faith that I was fighting to have in this situation.
I wanted to trust God, to not doubt, to think this couldn't of been prevented, but those lies were pouring into my mind, and I was fighting them like never before. But thank God for His grace.
I remember praying in the waiting room that He would help me see things how He wants me to see them because, I can't do it on my own. That He would help me be the wife, mother, and christian He called me to be in this overwhelming trial. He did just that. He helped me, and Faith started to overcome the Fear. This is something I will need prayer about for a while. The temptation after all of that happened, is to be a fearful, hovering parent. Something, I am determined not to do.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.~Joshua 1:9
I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.~Psalm 34:4
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.~ Isaiah 41:10
3. The power of relationship.
I read my Bible and pray on a pretty consistent basis, but there are times when I feel like I'm just not ingesting it and applying it like I want to. There are times that I don't feel any closer to the Lord, and that space seems to feel greater. Many times that is very much connected to my schedule, where you can easily see what is of the most importance in my life, and it would not be my relationship with Jesus. That is the stage I was in before this happened.
I never want to be that person that only calls out to God in trouble, but not when things are good. I want to be the type of Christian that talks to Him just as much when everything is smooth sailing. I want to be the one that is in such a connected relationship with Him, that when something so disrupting like this happens, His word and His peace are right there with me because I am so connected with Him.
I was not at this place when this happened, but I am grateful that it has lit a fire in me to want that more. I have found myself more connected, and so grateful for all of His many blessings, seeing His hand on everything.
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on the wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.~Isaiah 40:31
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. ~James 4:8
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. ~Psalm 37:4
I don't think I can say I am grateful for this experience, but I can say that I am grateful that my perspective has changed because of this experience. It has changed how I see everything. Stress, my kids, my job, my marriage, my relationships, my life, everything. Priorities are different, my days are looking different, my mentality is different, and there is a lot more gratefulness.
I hope that this will encourage you in your life to count your blessings, to really take a minute and look at how good life is, rather than what you wish could change. It can all change in a minute, that is not to encourage you to live fearfully, but to embrace the blessings of your current life.