I took Caleb to the doctor today AGAIN. I’m not positive, but I believe I may have taken one child or the other or the other (or possibly two at the same time) to the doctor every week for four weeks. But who’s counting?
My poor boy has sported different shades of gray over the last six days, and his big, beautiful eyes haven’t carried their normal twinkle. He looked as if he hadn’t slept for days with dark shadows underneath his big saucers, and the rims of which were lined in a more bright pink.
Today his color shone brighter, but his eyes still were not right. In fact, his eyes actually looked a little bloodshot. So, given the fact that he had a 103.6 fever last night and eyes that didn’t look like they should, I decided to make another appointment. Of course, right after I made the appointment, Caleb ate three bowls of cereal and asked to run races around the house.
Well, I’m glad I kept the appointment. Apparently, Caleb does not have the flu as he was originally diagnosed on Friday. Instead, he has a flu-like virus that often ends in an ear infection, and as luck would have it, Caleb has both an ear infection AND pink eye! What kind of Satan-inspired virus starts by causing one to feel like he’s been run over by a truck and ends with pink eye?!! My poor baby!
I had asked the doctor if we were safe from this virus since none of us had caught anything yet. His answer was not reassuring–no, we could incubate the virus for six days, so we aren’t in the clear until the middle of next week. As I was sitting in the parking lot of the pediatrician’s office, a slight panic swept over me. How was I going to prevent the other four of us from getting pink eye or this horrible virus? I was barely able to stay on top of my normal chores much less attempt the hard-core, virus-killing, deep-cleaning required to kill all of these nasty germs. My other two kids were too little to battle anything like this bug, and if I got sick like Caleb, how would I handle my three kiddos? Thinking about it made me nauseas.
At that moment, I started to pray, “Dear God, please don’t let…,” and I stopped. I didn’t want to bother God with my request. There were more important, real problems in the world. And almost immediately after I stopped, I felt God prompting me, almost as if He were saying, “Finish the prayer.“
I’ve had this problem before–I don’t want to say my prayers because I’m afraid they’re selfish. While I’m asking God for patience to deal with my kids, another lady is asking God why she isn’t able to have kids. It doesn’t seem right, and, yet, God wants me to tell Him what’s on my mind.
When I talk to my mom, I tell her how I feel. I’ve told her this week how tired I feel and like I’m going a little crazy having been stuck at home since Thursday. Well, God is my heavenly Father, and He wants to know how I feel, too. The beauty of Christianity is that it’s not a religion with a distant god who will weigh our good works against our bad deeds when we die. Instead, because of the sacrifice of Jesus, we have a God who doesn’t see our bad deeds and wants to mold us to do good while we live. But we need to remain in a relationship for that to happen.
And that means I need to have a true relationship with God–I need to pray honestly. Of course I don’t want my kids to get sick! Last night, Caleb woke up hysterical, Chloe was up three times before 11:30, and Hannah Grace wandered into our room around 10:00 eating a pear. That was our night with only one confirmed sick kid! Matt and I are exhausted, and for no one else to get sick, we definitely need prayer!
There is definitely a balance that needs to be achieved. God is not a genie in a bottle here to grant my wishes, and to treat Him as such is irreverent. However, He wants to hear from me, and to withhold my honest prayers because I think they are insignificant is also irreverent. God doesn’t need me, but He wants me FOR me. I need the relationship, and any good relationship starts with communication.
So as I sat in the parking lot, I finished my prayer: “Dear God, please keep us from getting sick. I’m scared of us catching this virus or pink eye because I don’t know how I can keep the kids away from each other. Please protect them. Please protect Matt and me. I’m afraid of feeling as miserable as Caleb was and having to take care of the kids.”
As with any prayer, God may answer mine with ‘no.’ He may let nature run its course, and in two days I may be looking through the slits of my gunk-filled eyes. And if I am, I will ask God for the endurance to get through the day. I’ll never tire of hearing my children share their honest concerns and prayers, and neither will my Father tire of hearing me.