It’s hard to believe, but we have been home from the hospital with Claire four days now. It’s been bitter-sweet and a bit chaotic of a homecoming, which is why I have not posted anything until now.
We no sooner unpacked our hospital bags, when a family member who was gracious enough to watch the boys for a couple days while we were in the hospital, called hesitantly to inform us that they had possibly been exposed to COVID-19. My nervous system shocked itself right back into panic and worry mode, as I frantically tried to come up with a solution to this new problem with Justin. He grabbed my shoulders (as he always does when he attempts to snap me out of it) and with a small chuckle (because if you don’t laugh you’ll cry at this twisted turn of events) said, “look at you Alisia. You just got done worrying about Claire’s surgery for the past seven months and the second its over you begin letting your mind torture you over something else to worry endlessly about.”
Now, in my defense, and I think you all would feel the same here – my other two children possibly having Corona, and the thought of them bringing it home to my third child who is fresh out of an intense surgery, would halt anybody in their tracks. “Are you kidding me, God? Right now!” I lashed out. I thought I wouldn’t have the strength to handle Claire’s surgery, but I did. Then, I questioned my emotional strength to make it through our hospital stay as I watched on helplessly, doing the best I could to soothe her. I came home exhausted and needing, no feeling that I rightfully deserved, a day or two of reprieve.
And then, I remembered the Apostle Paul. Known formerly as “Saul,” Paul was a major persecutor of Christians who himself converted to Christianity after an encounter with the resurrected Christ. He would become one of the most influential leaders of the early Christian Church and was a man who knew suffering well. Paul was beaten three times with rods, stoned, shipwrecked, imprisoned and experienced a multitude of other sufferings, Yet, through all he endured, Paul’s directives in a letter he wrote to the Philippians was this:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
I may feel like Paul at the moment, suffering one blow after another. But, if I can recall Paul’s words of wisdom and then practice what he is advising by making a conscious effort (hard as it may be right now) to truly rejoice in the lord when what I really feel like saying instead is, “why me?” Or “why now?” It can and will “bring me peace that surpasses all understanding” and circumstance. It may not work every moment of the day, because Lord knows I have had my bouts of self-pity and exhausted tantrums over the situation of not being able to bring my boys home; but there is peace to it and that peace I will continue to pray for, with thanksgiving to God for the work He has done and will continue to do.
So, where do we currently stand with seeing our beautiful boys and re-uniting them with their sister?
Because the results from the COVID test our family members took came back positive, my parents (who took the boys later into our hospital stay) have agreed to keep them until we can safely bring them home. The silver lining to be found in all of this, because they are getting some uninterrupted quality time with Nanny and Grandpa they wouldn’t normally get. We have a referral for them to both be tested at Children’s Hospital on Monday and are praying for a negative result.
We will of course still take conservative measures whenever it is they are welcomed back home. I desperately need to hug and snuggle my boys though, and I know they would benefit greatly from some much needed time with Mom and Dad and a good nights sleep in their own beds.
I titled this blog post, “Sometimes we need a great storm in order to have the chance of seeing an even greater warrior” and I can now truly appreciate this trial we have been through. As I mentioned in my first post I wrote “Where our journey began,” after being baptized and accepting Christ into my life I really did not know how well I would be able to anchor myself to Him when life dealt me my first real storm. As that storm passes and another one rolls through right behind it, I feel grateful (in a way that is hard to understand or articulate) for everything we have been through recently. It brought God so near to us, in a way that only a crisis like this could, and for the first time I was able to see God as the Great Warrior that he is.
My favorite stories in the Bible have always been ones involving water and by far my favorite is the story of Jesus in a boat with his disciplines when a raging storm appears. In Mark 4:37-41 it is written:
But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.
Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”
When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”
Whatever you’re going through right now, there is a storm greater than the one you’re facing now, and His name is Jesus Christ. He is the sovereign storm over heaven and earth to whom every storm in your life humbly yields and submits.
I am finding peace and comfort as I allow myself to surrender under these recent, uncontrollable circumstances; circumstances that have whispered in the past to me, in my deafening thoughts of fear and doubt, “You cannot withstand this storm.” Except now, I find myself recalling the response, “I AM the storm.”
** God is referred to by many names in the Bible, one of which in fact is “I Am.”
God Bless each and every one of you. Claire is doing absolutely wonderful! She is back to exploring every nook and cranny of our house, putting everything in her mouth and babbling away.
I will be sure to post a joyful picture of our family once we are all united and together again soon! Thank you for continuing to lift us up in prayer, and please, if you need prayer for anything, we would love to pray for you and lift you up just the same!