by Chris Carter, MOMtor Regular Contributor
“Mommy, am I going to die?”
My daughter asked me this question earlier this year when she was battling yet another asthmatic flare up that is impossible to treat, as days unfold into weeks of an agonizing sleepless nightmare.
We were facing an upcoming surgery of opening up her tiny malformed ears, cleaning out her abnormally formed sinus cavity, and taking out her destroyed adenoids from severe Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR).
My baby has suffered her entire life with medical issues and continues to go through countless medications and doctor appointments, procedures and scopes, tests and evaluations, surgeries and more sickness. It’s been unending and painful.
“Of course you are not going to die! Why would you think that?”
“Because I am always sick and I never get better.”
Oh, the pain we mothers feel for our children when they suffer. I believe there is no greater struggle — when we watch our child go through something so difficult and so agonizing and we can’t change it or take it away.
For my daughter, it’s been her medical issues. But the wounds that afflict our children may not be medical. Wounds also come from those dark places that penetrate our world. Bullying, academic struggles, low self esteem, loss, betrayal, mistrust, broken spirits, broken homes, empty dreams, facing fears, making poor decisions:
Failing, falling, faltering, fumbling through life’s difficult passageways…
When I think about my daughter’s long, twisted difficult road of illness, I see this journey as one that has built our faith through those desperate moments of anguish and fear. While on my knees crying out in despair, God met me there. Through each turn in her painful path, God met her there too.
And as we conquered and survived each trying day, little did we know that God had chiseled and molded our hearts for His purpose. He had allowed us to be broken, so He could re-build our faith.
And there is nothing more important than that.
When there are pieces all around the battleground of a crisis, it becomes impossible to pick them all up and put them back together alone. Have you ever been there? Begging for God to take over? Surrendering your terrifying grasp on the trauma in a desperate prayer for help? I have. And sometimes in the muck of things, we don’t see Him there with us…
That’s the really hard part.
It’s even more difficult to teach your child that His plan is greater than ours, His love is greater than ours, and His purpose is greater than ours.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14
My daughter is constantly reminded of this truth. She is told this verse over and over again…and I pray she can live out His workmanship through each day of her life with bold, everlasting trust in Him. I remind her of our journey and how God has blessed her with His love. I try to open her eyes (and mine) to see His Light, through all our darkness.
Threading our faith through every trying turn is what we are called to do. And as battle after battle is fought on our ground over here, our faith is constantly intertwined in our everyday and sometimes every moment. Where we find weakness, we must find strength…in Him. Trusting that our wounds will make us warriors, in Christ.
This morning before school, my daughter asked what I was going to do today. I told her I was going to write about the idea of “wounds make warriors” and I asked if she understood what that means…
“It means that even when you go through hard times, you need to push through it and always believe that God is with you.”
Yes, dear child. Yes. Please don’t ever forget that.
Before having children, Chris Carter worked as a music therapist for several years in Chicago’s inpatient psychiatric hospitals. She also managed creative arts and recreation programming for four group homes, which was an amazing experience. In that time of her life, she learned and grew to know the pain and suffering of so many people.
She is now a stay-at-home mom and currently spends her days running kids to and from school four times a day, volunteering in various kid programs at school and church, and keeping the house in some sort of order! She has a thriving blog, The Mom Cafe, where she regularly shares her mothering experience and wisdom.