Some calls are easy to receive as a mother. The first one came around 3 o’clock, the school office saying that McClaine was running a low-grade fever and that he couldn’t stay for extended day care. A sure sign that the virus that he had been fighting for a few days had not nearly run its course, though the thermometer that morning indicated it had. Also a sure sign that God’s providence was at work, Avery and McClaine being picked up earlier than expected, freeing Caleb up for what was to come. This call was easily handled, a simple text message to Caleb, not a second thought, I continued to peruse the pictures of mommy’s cradling babies in the midst of rubble. Those images are so hard to stomach- caring for our babies and loved ones is what we mothers do, and when we can’t do it well- when temperatures drop as quickly as the snow, when blankets can’t be found, when there is no food for hunger pangs, when there is no water for parched mouths, when waves crash and earth still trembles…
I looked over at Audrey, still warm with fever, but content to lay on the couch and watch Dora, cup of cold water in her hand. I was so thankful for all that I had. Caleb had brought Reece over to his grandma’s house that morning, giving me an opportunity to rest and recuperate from this virus that had hit our household. I remember reconsidering that morning if I should let her go, she was one of the few that hadn’t yet shown signs of being sick, she was lively and happy and ate a full breakfast. My body was still aching and my cough was deep, so I smooched her cheek and passed her into loving and capable hands- thankful again for the many provisions, family nearby and ease for me, so I could rest that day.
I was reading this very thoughtful post (please go back and read it) when I got that second call, the one that was not so easy to receive. I can barely sort the details, but it was my sister-in-law, Leigh. “Tyne,” she said calmly, but I could decipher she was anything but calm, “has anyone called you yet?”
“What? No. I mean, what?”
“It’s Reece,” her voice started to quiver, my heart started to race, “She’s having a seizure, they are on the way to the ER.”
I couldn’t delay by asking too many details, I determined exactly which ER and I hung up. Moisture leaves mouth, lips crack, heart in my throat, mind fathoming every possible worst-case scenario. I scooped Audrey from the couch, super-mommy strength restored to my fevered body when one of my babies is far from me, not known to be conscious or alert, seizing for the first time. I am terrified, panicked, parched. And then it washes over me,
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.” Isaiah 43:2
I remember His sovereignty, I am calmed by His love and the Truth that He is mindful of all details.
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; If I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’
even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you” Ps 139:7-12
Prayers well-up, panic calms, I feel peace. I know that God is in control. I know that He is aware of all of Reece’s needs and my needs. I put my shoes on and Audrey’s shoes on and we get in the car. A bottle of water in the car wets my lips, I offer gratitude. Enough gas to get to the ER, thanksgiving rises to the God who is able to heal. I think of those in Japan without water, without gas, without an escape. I ask for that same God to bring them peace in the midst of trial. I begin to praise God in the midst of the valley, for all of His provisions. Reece was in town today, close to the hospital and not far like me and Audrey; in the care of three nurses (Oma, Margaret and my Aunt Carol); that Caleb picked the kids up earlier than he was planning and could come straight to the ER. Aunt Carol greeted me at the door of the ER, took Audrey and led me straight to my youngest. Thank You, Lord, You are so mindful!
She was clinging to her Oma, face flushed and only in her diaper. When she saw me, she looked relieved and sad at the same time- but SHE WAS ALIVE and CONSCIOUS and she recognized me! I was so thankful, those thoughts that first invaded my mind were not true- that I may never see that precious smile again. They ran thorough tests and as I held my sweet sleeping baby against my chest waiting for the results, I thought of other mommies clinging to babies, holding them close to chest. Snow falls in Japan, homeless, a mother clings to her babe. Rubble all around, mother rocks her babe in Haiti. We want the best for our little ones, and I breathe deep and cry, overwhelmed by the dichotomy of emotions, gratitude meets devastation.
Reecey’s febrile (fever-induced) seizure was caused by the flu. They prescribed Tamiflu and sent us home, with such ease. I only wish it were so easy for other moms. I am so humbled by the care and love that we received and the prayers that bathed us with His peace. I pray for His awesome peace and provision over all those suffering around the world…
These are some personal accounts from friends of ours who experienced the earthquake, you can read their testimonies and pray for them, and please take a minute to encourage them…