Friday in St. Louis was close to 70 degrees. Beautiful. Sunny. I hit 40 hours at work before my scheduled off time, and since I’m an hourly employee, I received permission to leave work an hour early. I had an ingenious idea. Go with the Hub, get Six and have fun at the park for a bit. Six is a bundle of energy that loves outdoors.
We pick up the kid, and notice he’s coughing a little. We get to the park, and aside from some ig’nit people who teach their children racism and didn’t like anyone of color, we had a great time. Fortunately, my son didn’t notice. I, on the other hand, wanted to respond but I got distracted. Distracted by the coughing that occurred more often than not. The breathing that became a bit more labored.
After a tantrum, we got Six into the car and decided to get food. The coughing had intensified. We stopped to get cough syrup, all natural of course. We get home. Dose the kid. Feed the kid. The kid’s coughing doesn’t improve and greatly intensifies. There’s barely a minute between coughing fits. Then the kid chucks his dinner and since I don’t do upchuck, Hubby took care of it. At this point, I look at Six’s body, and it’s clear he can’t breathe. Hubby doesn’t think it’s serious, but I had no peace. The Word says we are to be led forth with peace, and when there is an absence of peace for me, I know that it’s the wrong decision. So…we saddle up and ride out.
I chose to drive because I couldn’t just sit in the passenger seat and do nothing. Mind you, I’m usually very calm when something is going on. I usually take things in stride and have zero reservations about doing what is needed. But not this time. Something about this thing, this circumstance, this cough had me worried. Uneasiness gripped me tight as I slid behind the wheel and took off like a Nascar driver to the hospital.
As a child, I suffered from severe asthma. The kind that made me miss school for weeks, and almost killed me on a few occasions. The kind of asthma that made me limited, changed the way I saw myself. I did not want asthma to be a part of my son’s life. After all, he already had severe allergies and eczema. Having asthma on top of this was not something I desired for my son.
We were less than five minutes away from our house and Six says, “Mommy, can you pray for me?” My three year old asked me to pray for him. The voice he had when he asked made me afraid. I gripped the steering wheel and realized tears were rolling down my face. I kept trying to form the words, but inside I was screaming, ‘Lord, save my baby.’ Yeah. That was the best that I had for God in my heart. I couldn’t get my lips to move and I didn’t know what to say. The Hub took over. He saw I was crying and couldn’t give my son what he asked for. So, he prayed for both of us, Six and me. He kept my baby talking until we got to the hospital. Four and a half hours later, several kid movies and albuterol/prednisone treatments later, the doctor called it an asthma attack, and gave us prescriptions for meds and sent us home with a nebulizer.
I felt defeated and angry. I kept telling myself this was not supposed to happen to my son. Hub saw I was upset and kept telling me everything would be ok. He also recognized I was tired. It was pretty late and we opted to skip picking up prescriptions until the morning, since Six was going to be fine for the night.
The next morning, I woke to a sinking feeling in my stomach as I remembered the few short hours prior. As defeated as I felt, I refused to give up. I kept praying and asking the Lord to deliver my son, that this not be ongoing, that this not happen to him. The phone rang. It was the doctor’s office calling to say they wanted to see him that day to make sure nothing had gotten out of control in those few short hours (our doc is great!). The doc wanted to see him again in a week to see if he needed further meds and to check his progress. I became more angry, but still asked God to deliver.
We had noted Six had some pretty nasty looking rashes, and the doc chalked it up to contact dermatitis. This wasn’t new to us. It happens whenever the weather goes nuts and things begin to sprout and release pollen. Makes Six miserable, but usually doesn’t break his skin out the way it had. We went to pick up prescriptions, get food, and run a few errands. Since the hub and I had a total of four hours of sleep, we were both exhausted. I fell asleep on the couch and he made me go to bed at 4pm in the afternoon.
When I woke up at 9pm, Six was sleep…until he woke up screaming at close to 10:30pm. The ER had tested him for RSV test (similar to a flu test) and he had a nightmare about it. And he was scratching. Everywhere. I gave him some benadryl. A generous serving. It didn’t work. The rashes were raised and angry. He couldn’t stop scratching. After an hour I asked the Hub to go get some hydrocortisone cream. If that didn’t work, we would be returning to the hospital. Six fell asleep on me in the living room, but while he slept, he scratched and couldn’t be still. I coaxed him into his bed. His dad returned at 2am. We were both up watching and listening for the kid. I fell asleep around 2:30am, his father 4am. We were both up at 8am because Six was up and scratching…again. He was in misery.
I almost cried. Almost. I asked the Lord what to do. He told me to give him a shower and put the hydrocortisone on him, get him dressed, change his bedding and feed him. While the results weren’t immediate, by the time I fed the kid oatmeal, he was no longer scratching. Yet I was afraid to give him his breathing treatment. So, I prayed. I gave it. I watched him. I thanked God for watching over him. We stayed home from church because a kid on albuterol and prednisone with an itching problem isn’t something that goes over too well in children’s church.
It was gorgeous today, again. I’m sure it topped the 70’s. Six wanted to go outside, as all kids do on beautiful days. I almost didn’t let him go out. What if he broke out, started breathing weird, got hold of an allergen???? His dad took Six outside where we watched our neighbor’s back yard catch fire and he got to see fire trucks. For him, it was totally cool. His appetite returned, and he ate oatmeal, animal crackers, water, milk, juice, mac n cheese, spaghetti and stalked me while the pound cake was baking. Then, he passed out in his room promptly at 7pm. He had a great day (his words).
As his dad got ready for work, I felt robbed. I was. I was robbed of date night, good family time. Let’s not even talk about how much prescriptions are and how they dipped into our grocery money, gas money and necessities money.
I felt like I failed the test. Couldn’t believe I couldn’t pray for my child. That I …panicked. I heard the Lord say, this is what war and life look like when you don’t have hope. What happened was allowed to happen. It was an attack on your child to get to you, to get you to react. To see if the words and actions line up. You didn’t react the way you thought you should. But your husband did.
Those words are simple, but it unfolded quite a bit. The Lord reminded me of what physical ailments I had suffered the week prior, and all of this is related to the prayers that we’ve said over our family. While this was an attack, it wasn’t ‘recourse’ so to speak. It was simply warfare for a greater cause. Anything you ask for will be done (if it is in the will of God -that is the word of God), and yes, it’s on the way because the promises of God are yes and amen to the Glory of God the Father.
I’m not doing a good job of explaining it, so let me say this. When there is a gift or blessing or cause greater than you or your direct sphere of influence, someone must be willing to sacrifice to get it done. I thought this meant that sacrifice would come in the forms of time management or inconvenience, not real life …warfare.
In less than 36 hours, we encountered racism, near misses with cars (accidents), financial challenges, challenges on our children, strain on our relationship and missed going to actually see/gather with our heavenly Father and family. But what we’ve gained is strength – I have a newfound respect for my husband’s abilities under duress. I learned he can and is able to carry me beyond my wildest imagination. I learned that while I belabored having a child at 38, when my life was supposed to finally be about me, I am so very happy he is mine, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I also learned I’m teaching my child the correct legacy – he knew to call out to the Father in distress. And he knew I could help him do that. He also learned his father could do that, too.
What I learned most of all this weekend is that NOTHING is outside of God’s reach, influence or will. NOTHING is impossible for God (Jer 32:17, Matt 19:26) . He has a plan, it is good and for a purpose and expected end (Jer 29:11). No matter what siege is coming against you, I learned in a new way this weekend, that the Lord will hear and deliver you from all the troubles and distresses (Psalm 107). If you walk with Him and take a stand, expect hell to take pot shots at you. What Satan meant to harm you, the Lord will work for His glory (1 Peter 2:20). Now, either you’re going to let your mouth and attitude derail the plan, or you’re gonna get on board and hang on for the ride. It will be an adventure, that’s for sure.
Yes, I still believe Six IS healed from all these allergies and that no weapon formed against him will prosper, that healing is the children’s bread, that he will prosper and be in health, even as his soul prospers. All of that is the Lord’s promise to me and to my seed. I pray the Lord gets all the glory, honor and majesty due from this weekend, and beyond…even from Six’s life. That all these things make him trust and obey the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind and all his might.
Was this easy? No. Battle is ugly, bloody. Yet we have this hope, that the resurrection power of Christ lives in us and all the riches and stores of righteousness in Him are available to us because we’re His.