I haven't been writing much.. When this happens, I often get an e-mail from someone saying they have gone to my blog and have noticed that I haven't made a post in a while and have questions of whether we are doing okay. You can usually bet that if I haven't been on here, things are going really well. It's not always that something is going wrong that causes me to turn here. I try to also use it as a way to keep our families informed and to keep a record of the girls childhoods. But it is sort of a therapy for me. And, at times when life brings me to my knees and I'm trying to sort through a feeling, I have found that if I write it here, then people have the option to read it if they choose. And usually, instead of me burdening the wrong person with my struggles, it ends up in the right persons hands. And often, someone has chosen to listen, and the words that have been left here in response and the assurance that others have gone to God on my behalf has been the source of encouragement that has brought me back to my feet.
We're in a good place. I will try to explain the insanity that some of you have witnessed in me. Many days, I sit through church and I hear Adam talk of community and I cry because I now know what community really means. It may seem silly but they are tears of gratefulness, that aren't really all that different from the tears I cried when my girls were born. I am experiencing what I have longed for for so long. Church, in the way that God intended.. Not perfect people, but imperfect people that love me even though I am also imperfect. I've longed for it as much as I longed for love before I found it. We have been in ministry for over 10 years, and this is the first time that I've felt like I've been a part of a church instead of just an employee. We have met many wonderful people along the way. People that have molded us and shaped us. People that we will cherish forever. But, we have now met our church family and it is a wonderful thing to feel like we've come home. This may not be something that everyone knows they need. But, it is something that makes all the difference in the world once you have it. The things that laid heavy on my heart a year ago have shown themselves to have, "Worked together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose". He has, (as he always does), made good on His promise.
Life has been coming at us fast (as it always does) and I've been there, anxiously waiting to catch every pitch. Until yesterday when life (as it often does) threw me a curve ball. Before I rip into this, I want to say that I am very aware that I overreact when it comes to my children. A couple of years ago, I was giving Emma a bath and I noticed a large knot (okay, maybe it wasn't all that large but it seemed so to me) on her neck. Before I even had a chance to think of the minor things it could be, I had a child with lymphoma pictured in my mind and was asking myself how we could endure the agony that would come upon family in that situation. It turned out that she had some sort of infection and that a swollen lymph node is actually a sign that your body is doing what it's supposed to do to rid itself of infection. But, my children being hurt or sick is my greatest fear, and when they seem threatened, that fear grips me and it takes hold like none other. And it is in those times that I know how small my faith still is.
Two weeks ago, Chloe began to run a fever. She ran it for a couple of days. She had no other symptoms except that she was cutting molars. I gave her Motrin and the fever stayed down for about six hours and then it would spike again. When the fever rose above 103, I was no longer comfortable with letting it "run it's course" and made her an appointment with the PA at her doctor's office. She checked her ears and swabbed her throat for strep. When it was neither of those things, she resolved that it was something viral and told me that if she was still running the fever two days later, to call and make an appointment to have blood work done. We returned home and the fever never went back up. ... until two weeks later. Then, we had the same scenario all over again: High fever, no other symptoms. It started on Tuesday and she had her 18 month check up on Friday. The fever lasted for about 48 hours and on the day of her appointment, she broke out with a rash.. Illness explained, mystery over. Roseola. Except, according to the doctor, there was another mystery: an irregular heart rate. I asked a lot of questions.. Does it sound like a heart murmur?.. His answer, No. That is sounded more like it was fading on the second beat. Now that may not be as bad as it sounds but to a mother (or at least this mother), the words "heart" and "fading" are not two words I ever want to hear in the same sentence when referring to my child. I asked if the irregular heart rate could be because of the sickness, his answer.. "maybe".. I asked it the fever could be because their was something serious wrong with her heart, his answer... "maybe"... And the thing to do he said, was to "come back in a month and see if it was still beating irregularly". I think he must have noticed that I was on the verge of an emotional breakdown because when I commented that a month was too long to wait to see if there was something wrong with my child's heart, he quickly changed it to two weeks. He further explained that we had to give her body time to fight off the infection before we could know for sure.
I called every person that I could think of that works in the medical field. We have many medical people at church and I talked to several of them yesterday. One will be bringing his stethoscope to church tomorrow to listen to her heart. They all assured me that this wasn't all that uncommon and told me signs to look for in case of a bigger problem. She's not turning blue and she is not short of breath. She doesn't seem to be in pain. But my faith wasn't strong enough for me to just put her in God's hands and sleep last night. My mind turns to the "class C" antibiotic I was taking before I knew I was pregnant with her...Then to the nexium I began to take in my second trimester because I had lost 14 pounds and was beginning to lose my voice because of the problem I had with acid reflux (see, I have a great need to explain to you that it was something that was very needed). Last night, I waited until she fell asleep in her bed and I put her in mine and laid my head on her her chest. I knew I had no idea what I was listening for but I could hear her heart beating strong, and I needed to hear that. And with us being avid believers that our children should sleep in their own beds, she slept in ours, with my hand on her chest. At the moment, she is napping in her crib. As I have been writing this, I have broken away several times to check to make sure she's still breathing.
I pray that on April the 3rd, I come back here and relay to you that I am a silly girl that overreacts. I will do so gladly! But as small as this might really be, the next two weeks of waiting are going to be hard for me. And my faith seems shaky. So please, pray for her on our behalf!