Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Oink, Oink

This little piggy went to Disney on Ice
This little piggy had fun
This little piggy caught swine flu there
This little piggy's undone
This little piggy cried hack, hack, sniff, sniff, wheeze, wheeze, moan all the way home

Well, it didn't happen quite like that. The symptoms didn't manifest for about 36 hours.

And suddenly, without warning, we'd lost eight days. No idea where they went. Buried under medicine doses, hourly temperature readings, high fevers that wouldn't come down, listlessness, animation marathons, and lots and lots of fear.

I was scared James would die. His fever lasted eight days. Eight. Don't tell me that's nothing to be concerned about. Don't tell me that's normal for this type of flu. Don't tell me I'm being ridiculous and my fear is unfounded. People are dying from this flu every day. Of course I was afraid.

From the very first morning of James's high fever, I prayed desperately for God to heal him. "Please, Abba," I muttered while cleaning out medicine dosing cups, "don't take my son."

His reply: This is for My kingdom.

"But, Abba, this is my son."

All day, for eight, long, uncertain days, Mark Schultz looped in my head:

Can you hear me?
Am I getting through tonight?
Can you see him?
Can you make him feel alright?
If you can hear me,
Let me take his place somehow
See, he's not just anyone
He's my son


Partway through the week, God reminded me He'd given His own Son for His kingdom, too, and He knew how I felt.

Small comfort. "So... what are You saying, Abba? Are You saying You're going to take him?"

Silence.

I tried to give James to God, no matter what might happen. Sometimes I left him in God's hands, and sometimes I snatched him back. I knew I was consumed by fear, but I couldn't get around it.

Every time James coughed, with his face contorted in pain, a scream rang through my mind. "Nooooooooooo!!!" I found my fists constantly clinched in helplessness.

Finally, at the end of the eighth day, with an ache so heavy I could actually feel it pressing, I laid my hands on James's chest and poured out my heart to God. I begged Him, in surrender, to comfort and heal my son, and to give him rest and peace.

The next morning, Day 9, James awoke with no fever.

Finally.

I should have been relieved, but all day long, I kept nervous watch to see whether or not the fever would return.

It did not.

That night, James slept in his own bed. I didn't need to sleep near him to monitor his breathing and temperature, and he didn't need to sleep sitting up. He fell asleep peacefully.

The next morning, still no fever. I decided to go ahead and let myself sigh with relief.

We're on Day 11 now, still weak and dazed, but improving steadily.

For God's kingdom.