May 12, 2017

The perfect gift for Mother's Day


Did we even know what we were signing up for? Did we even comprehend the magnitude of the responsibility being a parent would be? Did we know—in our carefree years without children—that a single person could come into our life and change us forever? Did any of us really know that is was possible to love something so much—but have no idea how to do it all?

Not even a little bit—we had no idea that something so small could leave an impact so big.  Something so perfect could remind us of our imperfections—because the truth is, parenthood has never been done perfectly. Sometimes we are going to watch our babies’ hurt—and what hurts the most, is sometimes there is nothing we can do to take it away.

This week started out as any other. Sunday we all went to church and celebrated the twin’s birthday with family. Sunday night we packed lunches and got everyone clean and ready for the school days ahead.

Monday morning I woke up early. Tytus had to be at the surgery center by 7 to get his tonsils and adenoids removed and a new set of tubes in his ears. I was still a little tired from my travels the two weeks before, but we sat in his room laughing as we waited for the doctors.

He did some happy dances for my camera and put stickers all over his gas mask—he was content for the most part, and motivated to get the surgery that had promised him better health.

As the doctors pushed him off to the surgery room, I went out to the waiting room. All went as planned and soon they were calling me back to go greet him as he was waking up.

He slept for the most part on the way home. I put him to sleep on my bed and the first day was fairly easy. He had a hard time swallowing but he was handling everything just fine.

The first half of the night went pretty smooth. I woke him up whenever my alarm went off to take his pain meds. That morning he woke up early in a lot of pain—crying every few minutes for relief. The day dragged by, we took a nap together on my bed and did the best we could to stay on top of the meds.

That night he went to sleep in my office. Not long after I fell asleep I heard a heart pounding kind of screaming. I ran into the office to find Tytus hunched over and holding his throat. I swept him up and ran into the kitchen to grab his medicine.

I held it up to squeeze it into his mouth and he smacked my hand away. For hours we fought. I even tried to lay him on the couch and force it down his throat. Nothing. He wouldn't stop screaming. So I finally made a spot for me on the floor next to his bed. I was getting desperate to help him find the relief I knew the pain medication could bring. I said over his screams, “Hey Tytus . . . as your mom it hurts me so much to see you in so much pain. And I feel helpless watching you—barely able to talk or swallow—and I wish more than anything I could take this pain from you. I would trade spots with you in a heartbeat—but I cant. I am not going to pretend I know how this feels for you, because I have never had this surgery, and even if I had . . . it wouldn’t be the same. But I need you to trust me—as a person who wants to help you, and actually has the tools to give you relief—I need you to trust me right now that this medicine is the only way your aren’t going to be in so much pain. I need you to let me help you. I need you to let me—your mom—love you.”

I thought for sure my braveheart speech would help him come to his senses. I had played it all out in my mind. I would motivate him to see things the way they were, and he would see clearly that my love for him was going to help him. I did—after all—have the tools that would help ease his suffering.

But he refused. I felt helpless. I spent the rest of the night watching my son ache in agony—and there was nothing I could do about it.

He had to be the one to make the choice to take the help—and the love—I had to offer. No matter how many times I squirted that liquid into his mouth . . . he had spit it out. NO matter how may times I had begged for him to let me ease his suffering . . . he had refused to let me do my job—as his protector, as his designated nurse . . . and as his mom.

The night soon turned to morning and the stubborn little man was still in pain. Not because we had no options to ease his burdens . . . but because he had refused to see that a minute of pain—swallowing that medication—was going to be the very thing that would have taken the pain away.

I knew a girl once—I think you might too—who didn’t believe in something that was right in front of her. She suffered, for years, wishing for something that was already there all along. Grace. Hope. Healing—the easing of her burdens.

So parents—as we spend a lot of time wondering why our children cannot see things the way that we see them. Why they can’t see the help—we are so willing and able to give . . . just know this: we weren’t the first parent’s to ever sit back and wonder why sometimes they have to figure it out all on their own.

Because just like each of us, watching our babies struggle in ways we could easily have taken it all away—we all have a Father who has had to the same.

He watched as angry men crucified His Son, and He watches each of us—at one time or another—take the hardest road. Sometimes, not believing in any other option . . . we have been the children stubbornly hurting and crying out all night long for relief.

And just like I didn’t leave my son’s side that night, I know that Christ doesn’t leave ours. He doesn’t walk away and say, “You know what idiot . . . if you aren’t going to do it my way—then you can just suffer alone.” NO. He sits there—with that medicine in His hand, waiting for us to decide when we are ready to take it—to receive Him.

Some of us have taken all night to let Him help them—other’s are still trying to decide if they are ok with a plan different than their own. Some are still waiting for proof that He is really there. And that’s ok. He doesn’t make us take His help—because that was the plan we agreed to long ago. He would be there—on those dark nights full of all the pain and fear of the world—so we never had to be alone.

So maybe you are that parent, wondering why you keep failing the things you created . . . because you have to keep watching them hurt. Maybe you are the child wondering why your parent’s failed you—never could take away your pain.

Or maybe we are all just imperfect children and parent’s who are doing our best.  Maybe if we could see each other’s pain—the way that Christ does—we would be a little more generous with our love—the way that Christ is.

So today, I want you to remember that perfect parent’s don’t exist. Perfect, obedient children are not real. What’s real is LOVE. Love for all the imperfect parents and children we have been blessed to cross paths with.

Some might not be around as long as you think—so make sure those imperfections don’t keep you apart too long. This Mother’s Day we don’t celebrate or glorify a job that is easy—because it rarely is . . . but it sure is worth it.

And that’s what He thinks of you too.

Happy Mother's Day. 


carla said...

Wow! So inspired! Thanks!

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