My husband, Craig, has been on his sabbatical for the last 5 weeks in New Zealand. I have been at home caring for our 4 children. As we were preparing for this time he would be away, I had three prayers that I believed would make the time he was away go smoothly for me. One was that our children would stay healthy. Another was that I would not have any issues with my Crohn’ s Disease. Lastly, that we would not have any car troubles. I felt like if those 3 things were in place, I could handle Craig being gone.
However, God did not answer my prayers on any of those accounts. Sickness abounded. Each of the children had a respiratory virus. Paul’s virus developed into pneumonia, leading to some scary moments at the emergency clinic. Lily’s virus became an ear infection, and her ear drum burst. My three youngest all got the stomach flu, which occurred in the middle of the night, of course. I had a flare up of Crohn’s disease that resulted in dehydration and nearly a trip to the hospital . The van door broke and I was unable to get it to close the last 3 inches, and the power steering system developed a leak resulting in a whining sound.
When I dwell on these circumstances, I am a bit disappointed. I had planned many fun events and activities for the past 5 weeks. Most of them never happened. I mentioned my sadness about this to my children, and they viewed it in a completely different way. They saw our time as full of fun and time spent together. I guess so often, I try to orchestrate experiences to promote fun, while three weeks stuck in a house with the attention of mom, is fun to my children. I think I forget the value of time. The 8 jigsaw puzzles we completed, the double couch creation, baking linzer cookies, reading together, playing games, and just being present with each other…is perfect!
This time alone made me realize, that I am much more capable than I had ever thought. If you had told me 5 weeks ago, that all this would happen, and I would still be smiling, I would have thought it impossible. With much anxiety, I took Paul to the emergency clinic, pushed them to get him on oxygen quickly as his lips were turning blue, and woke every 4 hours for a week to attach him to a breathing machine. Thankfully, by the grace of God, he is completely healed. I sat at urgent care with Lily and received treatment for her ear. Which is restored, as well. I spent 3 sleepless nights holding buckets and wiping up throw up. Now, the triplets are feeling healthy and eating again. I struggled through Crohn’s disease, and am on the other side. I sat at the repair shop on two separate occasions, trying to understand what the mechanic was explaining to me. The van door now shuts, and the power steering system no longer whines. There are so many other things. But my point is, if Craig had been here, I would have relied on him. However, I was forced to trust God and just in faith move forward each moment of every day.
Granted, a lot of things did not get accomplished that I had planned. I missed meetings, lunches, and church events. I did all I could, under the circumstances, and have to have peace with that. I wanted to make a photo book of 2014. That can happen later. I wanted to clean some closets, but I just maintained life. I wanted to read. I wanted to write. However, I just survived! I guess that was Gods plan.
I don’t know why God did not answer my prayers….nor do I need to. If I look at the past, there were many times in my life that my prayers were not answered, yet, when I reflect back on those times, I am thankful they were not. As in each of the situations of the past, I have to trust that He knows what I need even more than I do, and find my strength and peace in Him.