You know how often as believers we talk about how God’s answers to our prayers are always better than what we expect? And you know how sometimes it feels like that’s not true – the answers we get don’t feel good. Even though we know in our heads and in our hearts that the answers that feel hard are still good answers because they are from a Father who knows and loves us intimately and beyond measure, who knows what we need and when we need it.
I thought I was having one of those kind of answers last week…
It had been a rough few days. First [Thursday morning] the fridge broke. So that was a several day adventure in transferring food to coolers and researching fridges, trying [and failing] to keep the floor from getting ruined, trying to find a truck to borrow [so that we didn’t have to pay the $79 delivery fee], and replacing all of the food that was ruined. We looked at used and new fridges – we ended up going with a new one for a few reasons. 1. I was beyond frustrated with this used fridge because we had already had a few issues with it and 2. God came through in a HUGE way! We found out that we had been given some money by an awesome company called Ambassador Solutions – enough to cover the cost of the fridge! So Saturday we went out and bought the new fridge and Sunday our dear friend Leo went with C to borrow a truck from some awesome friends from our church.
Meanwhile [Thursday afternoon]…
V broke out in some sort of a rash-looking thing — you know, the kind that could be million different things, and your mommy brain always jumps to the worst case scenario. Well, by the end of the day I had calmed down and was fairly convinced that it was Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease [turns out we were right]. Just to be sure, though, I got an appointment at the doctor’s office [the one I had been avoiding because of my terrible experience with a doctor there — turns out that doctor “is no longer practicing with our establishment” — another HUGE praise since I’m no longer afraid to take the girls to the doctor!] The appointment [Friday] went fairly smoothly and the doctor confirmed the Hand, Foot, and Mouth diagnosis. She said that L would probably get it too, but not to worry too much about her. And she said that I almost certainly wouldn’t get it because adults rarely do [clearly this woman is not familiar with my immune system — or lack thereof.]
Sure enough [Saturday], L broke out with the same rashy sores starting around her mouth and then on to her hands and feet. As for me? I got it in my throat. Um, ouch!!
That night [Saturday] L was up late with a fever and throwing up. At the time I assumed it was side effects of HFM….
So it’s Sunday evening and I’m exhausted! And looking at the prospect of C heading to work in the morning, leaving the girls and I all feeling puny.
I decided to call in reinforcements.
The only problem was, she had a bunch of stuff to get done on Monday. Then on Tuesday she had to take Grandad to a doc’s appointment [just routine stuff]. Then Wednesday they were leaving for the lake. So basically she didn’t think she’d be able to come up and help.
I was disappointed. And
maybe definitely a little mad.
I don’t often ask people for help, and I felt like God was letting me down – leaving me out to dry.
Mom called back to say she could come Tuesday – Dad could take Grandad to the doctor.
I wasn’t sure I’d still need the help on Tuesday – surely by then we would all be feeling more energetic – but I appreciated that she was willing to come.
C decided to take a half day off on Monday to help me out in the morning. I was able to get a little more rest, and we were able to make it work. I could feel God’s peace and strength through it all, and I really felt like all in all we were doing pretty well [with a whole lot of His help.]
Monday night rolled around. In the evening, C started feeling crummy, but we thought it was just something he ate [read, chicken that had been in the fridge that broke and was maybe slightly questionable, but he ate it anyway.] Then he started throwing up. You may be thinking “No big deal, people throw up all the time.” This is the first time he has thrown up since I’ve known him! That’s 5 years! So this was a pretty big deal. Then he got a fever. Then around 1 a.m. I started in with the throwing up. Have you ever tried feeding a hungry baby in between vomit sessions? UGH!
So we were pretty darn miserable. And then at 5 a.m. L decided she wanted to go ahead and be awake. C and I barely had the strength to stand, let alone rock a fussy baby to sleep.
All night long all I could do was pray. Pray for strength to deal with L. Pray for just enough time to get through feeding her. Pray that I wouldn’t throw up on the floor and then have to clean it up [seriously, being sick when you’re a mom is awful!]
At 5 a.m. [when L was refusing to sleep], I finally broke down and called my mom. Now this is where God’s better answer to my prayers comes in. Because if I’d had my way, Mom would have come up on Monday to help out. And she would have been gone by Tuesday. And I’m not exaggerating when I say we would NOT have made it through Tuesday without her!
Sometime Tuesday morning, I finally stopped throwing up [C stopped sometime in the middle of the night. It gave me hope that this thing would end.]
When V got up around 8, though, she started in with the throwing up. So while C and I were passed out in bed, Nana was diligently taking care of sicky V and needy L.
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were recovery days. Nana left Wednesday around noon. C worked part or most of each of those days [his boss actually sent him home one day because he looked so bad..] We were both just exhausted and weak. Another huge answer to prayer was that C’s boss worked it so that he “borrowed” sick time so that he’s still getting paid for a full week’s work.
Finally by Saturday we all felt back to normal. Just in time for the long weekend, which we were very thankful we got to enjoy together as a family. We went to the zoo on Saturday, then on Sunday we drove to my parents’ house [who were in Tennessee, by the way!] and swam in their pool. On Monday we went to Conner Prairie and swam in the pool some more. It was exactly what we needed after the miserable week we had.
God was so good to us throughout this whole process. I felt His peaceful presence despite the craziness going on around me. I am so thankful for all of the many ways that he provided for us in this time.
Riding the train at the zoo: