Monday, June 29, 2009

Fear Not....

If only it were that easy. I am a card carrying, anxiety-riddled, worrier of the highest degree. I confess it. I have periods of time when the terror wanes a bit, but out of the blue it can come back with a vengeance. Here's a story from last night's news. I do not know this family. I know their friends--customers of mine. But as I think about that sweet 3-year-old wandering into the water, not to return, my stomach literally gets sick. I can not, do not want to imagine that kind of anguish. I should explain here that I am using this blog as a bit of self-therapy, so brace yourself or just close the box if that sort of thing bothers you.
Moving on, I have an UNNATURAL fear of one of my children dying. Yes, I am medicated for this anxiety, and it allows me to function normally but I still have incredibly irrational fears. I come from a line of worriers, so I do get it honest. Add to that that my 2 half-brothers died in their 30's & 40's...not a good combination. I saw my dad bury his sons. It changed him.

So what does that do to me? I can not watch certain TV shows (Law & Order SVU) or read certain books, or I will dream about it for days afterward. If you have looked at our ticker on the bottom of the page, you will see that Brandon and I are taking a MUCH NEEDED cruise together in 2 months. Well it just recently it hit me that I might not be able to call home and check in several times a day, and what if something happens? I got a full on panic attack, and my first thought was--"well, we just can't go". Now that is no way to live. I had to talk myself down off that ledge, but it didn't keep me from having horrible nightmares all night about Braylen being near death with a heart condition, and me not being able to get to him. I would wake up, regroup and as soon as I went back to sleep, the dream picked up right where it left off. All-night-long. It was horrible.

Part of my fear is legitimate. Almost 3 years ago, Brandon's mom was in the last hours of her fight with M.S. and we traveled to Mississippi for her funeral, leaving the babies home with friends. During the receiving friends for Marie, I got a call from Barbara saying Kynsie was in the E.R. at Children's, not sure what is wrong, but they now have her stabilized. I was 8 hours away and my 9 month old baby was 'stable?'. Had she been unstable?! It was all so much to process. So as I set out to make a blazing trail home in the 4runner, Brandon's relatives suggested I try to get a ride with a local pilot. Long story short--he agreed and within about an hour I was cruising down the runway in an airplane smaller than my mini-van with 2 men whose names I can't even recall. As we began the run for take off, I mentioned to the co-pilot that his door was open and he said "yeah. I'll close it in a minute". I decided at that point it was best to take off the headset and let the Xanex do it's job and just pray that I got to Knoxville in one piece. As we were flying around lightening and thunder in this sneeze of an airplane, it occurred to me that these men could be terrorists for all I knew. Thank God they weren't. Absolute angels is more like it. They got me to Knoxville, where a friend picked me up and took me to the hospital.

After I arrived close to midnight and held my sweet girl and saw that she was OK, Barbara told me that she had a UTI and had gone into septic shock. She had turned blue from the elbows and knees down and we almost lost her. So, on the one hand, I have reason for fear. On the other hand, I need to tell you the whole story. If I had been at home that Tuesday, I would have been alone due to normal schedule, and things might have turned out very differently. Instead, there were 3 adults and 1 10-year-old at my house when Kynsie got sick, and all of the players and pieces fell right into place perfectly. Time was more critical than anyone knew until after the fact. According to the doctor, there was a 2 minute window, and she would have been gone. THANK GOD everyone was in place. Everything went our way that day. So, I should realize that even with all of my planning and preparing, and controlling, I can not out plan God.

My problem is that God allows children to die. Why didn't anyone see little Patrick wander off last night? I understand on a head-level that children are gifts and we don't decide how long we get them, but I can't understand why God still allows suffering, or why babies die. I am not alone. In fact the issue of suffering is very often the stumbling block that keeps people from Christ. I know that Adam & Eve's choices led us down this path, but it is still hard for my human brain to rectify suffering and dying children with a loving God.

I hate to live with the paralyzing fear that my sweet babies won't wake up in the morning. So I wrestle with my fear, and lose more times than not, but I am trying. Apparently God gets that people struggle with fear. He evidently knew this long before self-help books and talk shows, because there are a lot of verses in the Bible that address fear. As for me, I am trying to grab on to those verses with both hands and hold on tight. Maybe they will help you too. I suspect I am not the only one in this boat.


Mindy said...

I'm right there with you in that boat (although not quite to the extent that you describe). Some of the absolute worst nightmares I have had were about Wesley getting hurt or dying (I don't recall any about Ella, but I'm sure there have been some). I have moments when he's gone when my mind can create all kinds of horrible scenarios. It's hard to turn those off. I think that's just part of being a mother. I'm glad the medicine helps you.
I certainly don't have an answer as to why God allows such horrible things to happen. I can't understand it. It's one of those things I have to just say, okay, I'm taking it on faith that You (God) know better than I do, because I can't possibly see a purpose behind this.

Mindy said...

I also meant to say that I think having preemies in the NICU & on monitors even when they came home more than likely caused or at least added to a lot of what you deal with as far as worrying about the kids. I'm certainly more of a worrier with Ella than I was with Wesley (& she was only in the NICU & having issues for a few days) - I should be less worried with her being the second child. Seeing her stop breathing & turn purple is something I won't ever be able to forget.

Tothblog said...

Losing my children is my worst fear. Me not being here to raise my children is my 2nd.
"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8

I believe satan definitely uses these fears against parents. I will pray for you. Marty and I just went to CA for 8 days and had a blast! I worried about the plane crashing and leaving our kids as orphans. We are not promised tomorrow. We can just live for today. I hope you will go on your trip.

I also hope you will never get on one of those planes again. I felt sick when you told me about it the 1st time.


Tracey said...

I have often wondered this same thing. Why so much sufferering in this world. Why doesn't God intervene? I guess it is to let us know how truly powerful Satan is and help us draw closer to God as a result. My mother passed away in 1990 when I was 18. I don't understand why she had to leave. I only trust that for some reason it is part of God's plan for me. I think God uses these events to teach us and hopefully pull us closer to him. They can be very painful though.