Tuesday, April 19, 2011

a day in the life (12)

His haircut made him look like such a big boy. Calvin sat on my lap, still in his jammies and turned his head towards the daylight streaming through the windows. His neck rested in my palm and his arms hung loosely. It was just me and him again, and all the good folks on the tenth floor of Helen DV Children's Hospital. We were there for another 24 hour EEG to evaluate his seizure activity.

The hours passed. Comfortable silence. Contentment with one another. His eyes couldn't find me but he could feel me there. Today was an opportunity to come away for a little while, just what I'd been hoping for. When the noise fades from the people on the streets, and the shoes scuffing in the halls, and the children clamoring in the kitchen, there's room for the quiet parts of the heart to find their way out.

Last night I'd dreamed again about the day the doctor found something wrong with Calvin's head size. The day I knew our lives would never be the same. Noah and I had gone to Bangkok together, the rest of the family was to follow in a week. "Mommy, can the doctor fix our baby?" Noah had asked in a perplexed way as I tried to keep breathing and stuffing the tears. "Why are you crying? Are we going to the doctor again because our baby is sick?" These things were too heavy for a three year old. They were too heavy for me. And all I could do in the taxi was cry silently, Lord Jesus. Help, Lord Jesus while Noah munched his chicken nuggets and counted pink taxis. 

It was the beginning of a road of pain that plunged depths I'd never imagined. It shakes me still many days. When I see a boy in a Kohl's ad that looks Calvin's age or when I want him to reach out and put his arms around me. 

When we started down this road I didn't want to hear about all the wonderful things that God could use this for. Nothing could have merited what was sacrificed. I didn't want to hear about other people triumphantly rising above incredible odds. They didn't understand the depths of this pain, this loss. And I didn't want to hear of healing. These wounds were so deep and the chasms kept going further down and down and down. There was no way back up.

God surprises. God is gracious. He doesn't fill those chasms but He goes down into them with us. Really, He does. At times things were so difficult that we could relate to Paul who "despaired of life itself". I did not turn with admirable faith to God. Instead I screamed at my husband, "If this is what God does to people that follow Him then I don't want this. What good is God? He took my son." I tried to make Darryl answer to me for God. He couldn't of course. We wept together. 

There was nothing to do but go back to our silent Father. And go back again. And again. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.  -Psalms 27:14

His Word was our mainstay when the hand of providence seemed against us. Walk by faith, not by sight. His promises of consolation were our very breath. Slowly He worked healing where we never thought healing to be possible. His tremendous grace sought after us even when we turned to run away. 

We still struggle with overwhelming grief. We get frustrated with lack of progress, suffering, and the lack of ability to do so many things we want to do. And mostly we still grieve Calvin's loss. His loss and suffering is so hard for us to understand. 

But there's something new. It's that peace I didn't want to hear about. It's that comfort I didn't think possible. It's that trust I didn't feel safe with giving again. He has graciously filled our hearts with hope. Hope in Jesus. Trust in Him and His plan to take the most difficult things and flip them upside down for good. He's given us a glance to see how minuscule our faith is and how patient and gracious He is. Desire to praise God. Delight in the way Calvin is and who he is. The loving kindness of the Lord pursues us.

The road is hard but the flowers of His healing are springing up.


KarenKTeachCamb said...

Praising God with you as He continues the healing process in your hearts and minds, and knowing that He is holding you. Of the blessedness of His peace that surpasses anything we could possibly understand or imagine!

Thanks again for sharing from the depths of your heart Kara. I miss you, but know that you are right where God wants you to be at this time, just as I am. Love you heaps.

cindy haas said...

Hi Kara! I was so convicted and humbled by your post. I've been going through some anger and disappointments as well towards the Lord but was reminded again of His patience and love for us. Thank you for opening your heart and allowing God to use you the way He is. I love you Kara and continue to pray for you and your struggles. Please remember me as well. My problems seem so petty but they steal my joy and hope thanks!

Rachel said...


Kara said...

Karen-thanks for your constant encouragement, you are a blessing to us. We enjoyed a lot of the little animal books today that you gave. We love them!

Cindy-So glad to hear from you! I know, the small things are just as hard to be faithful in although big things may have more intensity. That's why it's comforting to know that He knows all the tiny details of our lives, even the number of hairs we have. You have been such a blessing to SO many people, Cindy, including me (many times over). Love you much, will pray for you tonight.

trmills said...

Thank you deeply for your honesty, Kara. I am so moved and always sad to reach the end when I'm reading your words.

I also wanted to tell you that we began the children's catechism book that you guys gave us, and it is really great. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

As I've posted before, thank you for sharing so honestly. You are so real & your faith is inspirational!
May God bless you and your family,
Trish Anker

Anonymous said...

You are such an inspiration to me.You have such a way of putting into words God's goodness not only to you but to all those who follow Him.Wishing your and your family Blessed Easter!

Christy said...

Thank you, Kara, for writing these words. I saw my parents' hearts cry out the same thing you shouted to Darryl when my brother died at 14 (cancer). My heart still doesn't quite know what to do with it all. Listening to you, and to my parents, and to another friend who lost her son is helping me learn, helping me to not live in fear (still a work in progress). I'm still afraid, but I have hope that my God is not cruel or callous, though I confess to wondering sometimes. But if my brothers and sisters in Christ could live through such pain and suffering directly and see His goodness so clearly, who am I to doubt it?

Teresa said...

Beautiful, Kara, just beautiful. You spoke from the heart.