I'll not soon forget Corene's 5 year well-child visit at the Pediatrician. Corene has some sensory issues, as well as some anxiety struggles. So her reaction to the idea of getting needles poked into her was even more dramatic than the "typical" reaction of a 5 year old. At that time (last summer), her sensory issues were yet undiagnosed, so I was ignorant. I also had all 3 kids with me at the visit, which when I look back was STUPID, but we'll just call it ignorance, ok?
She had to have several shots as well as a blood draw. When the time came to do the shots, I will never forget her reaction. It was involuntary, not like a temper tantrum or a willful action. It was adrenaline, the fight, flight or freeze reaction. Well, in this case, it was FIGHT. Picture with me for a moment, a full-blown 2 year old melt down with arms flailing, kicking, the whole works. Now transfer 50 pound, very-tall for her age-5 year old into that mental image.
It was ugly.
In lieu of a narcotic sedative (What were they going to do, shoot her with it with a spit gun? Pump it in gas form through the ventilation? Bring in a bouquet of poppies? OK, so opium was not an option) the nurse suggested we have ME, little old ME, lay my body on TOP of her body, on top of the table, effectively pinning her under me. So she's looking straight into my face. Screaming bloody murder. And her eyes, those eyes... were screaming louder at me than any voice could ever do. They were saying, "Mommy!" "Help me!" "Save me!" and "Why are you doing this to me?" "Why are you letting them do this?". She never took her eyes off of me, and I just could not peel my eyes away from hers.
It was torture. Pure torture. About halfway through, I started crying. Not crying. Actually, sobbing. OK, I'm crying now as I type. It was AWFUL! The whole ordeal lasted probably 5 minutes, because you know they never find a vein on the first poke. Did I mention it was awful?
I can confidently report that the one most traumatized by that event was ME (followed in a close second by Ava, who watched this all in horror - I'm already saving up for therapy for her). Corene snapped out of it fast enough and didn't have any lasting anxiety from the ordeal. But I was traumatized. Deeply affected by the image of her eyes, boring holes into mine. Pleading with me.
I knew this was for her good. I knew this was to keep her from bigger "hurts". But she didn't. She just had to trust me and know that I loved her, even in the midst of pain and confusion.
Which, y'all... she DID! She knew I loved her. This did not damage her trust in her mommy at all. I think, if anything, it reinforced my love in that I WILL go to great lengths to make sure she gets what she needs to be healthy. Isn't that just amazing? That she would feel loved by me through her pain and my restraint? Not just loved by me in spite of her pain, but because of it.
Later, as I reflected (read: couldn't stop thinking about) those moments, the Lord spoke truth to me:
"How much do you love Corene?" He asked me. "My love is deeper." Eph. 3:18
"How much compassion do you feel seeing her suffer?" "I also have heard your cries, and am compassionate" Exodus 22:27
The experience of being a mother and all of the passionate "mama bear" emotions that come (who knew I could feel such deep love?) are teaching me about how much MORE the Lord is. So you may say, well yeah, duh Jenny, he's more... he's infinitely more. Well, sometimes I need the basics reinforced!
So in my painful situations, when I'm effectively screaming in God's face, pleading with him, is he angry with me? (Like I'm prone to believe) Or does His compassion overflow? (YES!)
When I don't understand why God is allowing something in my life. When I feel abandoned. When I am pleading with God to let this trial end, and it seems to never end.
And I'm having a meltdown.
His voice speaks truth to me.
You, Lord, know what shots I need, what medicine I need. You have a purpose in this pain, even though I haven't a clue what it is. I trust you, I trust your Love. I trust your eyes, they can not turn away from mine. I can feel your compassion and your deep, deep love.
And, I am comforted.
In this way, we can feel loved in our trials. And, even more profound, we can feel loved through our trials.
Ding, ding. That was the lightbulb in my mind. Learning an incredible truth.