This week my seven-year-old son asked me if I would be here for Christmas. In years gone by, my answer would have been more complicated. I would have explained my call schedule at the hospital and how all of the obstetricians take turns so that even on Christmas there is a doctor on call to welcome new babies and help sick people. We would have had a lengthy discussion about all of the activities we would be filling the holidays with and how much fun we would have.
This year my answer was so much more straightforward. I simply said, “I really hope so.” This year he wasn’t asking about whether or not I would be working on Christmas. He was asking a much bigger question. He was asking if I would be home, or back in the hospital, or if I would be gone. Would cancer have taken his mommy just like it did Terry Fox who he learned about in school this fall?
So I answered the only way I could… honestly. He looked at me quietly, nodded his head and then in the way kids do when they have all they can handle, he changed the subject and moved on. I’ve marveled many times over the past year at this ability kids have. This amazing gift to know when they are at their ‘coping capacity’ and seemingly change their focus in an instant.
While I made every attempt to change focus on the outside, his question continued to bounce around in my head like a ball unconfined by the rules of physics.
I am the mother of three small children who I love more than anything in the world. I am living in a rapidly failing physical body ravaged by a terrible disease that will consume it unless God intervenes with a miracle.
I believe in a God who is capable of performing any miracle, but He is not a genie who is obligated to give us what we ask. I believe he is a loving God who will work everything out for good, but that we often can not understand or see that good with our human eyes.
The greatest tension I’ve ever experienced revolves around my physical condition and the hope I know I can have in Him, both here in the physical world and ultimately in eternity. At times the internal struggle between being a brokenhearted mom and a hopeful child of God feels like it’s tearing me apart. I feel joy in the beauty of my children, but this conflicts with the idea that I may not be with them as they grow up, sharing with my husband in shaping who they will become. It is overwhelming.
I continue to come back to Paul’s words in Philippians 1:19-20:
“Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.”
I was sitting by the tree watching the kids play last night thinking on this. Instead of this season making our situation more painful, maybe I should have a different perspective. Christmas is a celebration of the greatest miracle this world has ever known.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. – Luke 2:11
Jesus is the one who will make all things right. God decided to rescue us from ourselves by entering His creation as one of us, to suffer and die in our place. Ultimately, I can rest in knowing that whatever days I have here on earth, whatever my future holds, He has rescued me. I will spend a beautiful eternity with Him.
I pray for physical healing so I can be there for my children, but as painful as it is to think I may not, I have hope in spending eternity with them either way. I pray that everyone reading this post will have that same hope.
Thank you for your prayers, and Merry Christmas to you all!