Every now and then, life or maybe God gives us all a little reality check. I had one of those this morning. My daughter has been sick with a cough and a fever for 12 days. Once, when the fever reached 105, I called the doctor, but wasn't required to take her in to see him. Things were complicated this last week with me having pneumonia, my hubby being down with who knows what, and our daughter being sick. It was hard to take care of everyone adequately, which bothered me. I did the best I could, but I just got plumb tired most days and ended up in a heap, asleep on the couch.
I had already decided to call the doctor again this morning if my daughter still had a fever when she woke up. I took her temp while she was still in bed and according to the thermometer, she had already been dead for several hours--her body temp was down to 95 degrees. I thought that pretty odd, but at least, it wasn't 105! But just because I was entirely tired of dealing with it, I made her an appointment with the doctor and let her sleep until an hour before we had to leave. She got up, got dressed and went into the bathroom to brush her teeth. I happened to be in there with her because we often brush our teeth together--an Egolf tradition! All the sudden she said that her vision was blurry. I laughed and said, "of course it is! You don't have your glasses on!" Then she started to say "it's going black, it's going black!" And then she started to scream "I'm blind! I'm blind! I can't see anything! I looked at her eyes and her pupils were completely dilated! I yelled for my husband because by then she was shaking and wobbling between the sink and the wall and he got there just in time to catch her before she hit the floor.
Now all that probably took less than 30 seconds, but it's amazing to me how many things can go through your mind in that little bit of time.
-I let her fever go too long and it's blinded her
-She'll be on disability the rest of her life
-Her brain injury as a child weakened her brain and she's having a stroke or her brain is bleeding.
-The codine in the cough syrup has killed her
-Oh no! They'll take her to the local hospital that has a bad reputation and of whom it is commonly said, "yea, they bury their mistakes!"
My husband yelled for me to call an ambulance, so I did something I've never ever had to do before. I dialed 911. I told them that we needed an ambulance right away giving my name and address. And then the goofy operator asked me if Cyndi was spelled with a "C" or an "S". Who the heck cares???!!!!!! What does that have to do with anything? And since WHEN???? has Cyndi or Cindy or Cindi ever been spelled with an "S"??? No one ever spells my name right anyway and I still get all their invoices and bills in the mail! Do they need to know the proper spelling of my name to send an ambulance????? It was on the tip of my tongue to tell them what I was thinking but then reality jolted me back to the task at hand! Oh yes! We need an ambulance!
Fortunately, once she was lying down, her vision returned and she could talk coherently, so I cancelled the ambulance and we loaded her in the truck and headed for the doctor. They ran her through a battery of tests, and discovered that she has pneumonia. We're still waiting for some other things that weren't exactly normal to be looked at by specialists.
Things like this cause you to think, and think real hard! This particular child has been in some kind of life and death struggle way more than once in her short 16 years. So much that, I realize God has something special for her to do or the devil wouldn't be so busy trying to take her out. Even though she can completely tax me out in a day's time with questions, or worries, or anxieties that she has (mostly brain injury related risidual quirks we are still working through), I once again faced the reality of living life without her. If you've never had to face the uncertainty of a child's survival, I pray that you never will. It is THE WORST feeling in the world. It's like that sinking feeling you get when you lose your wallet, but on steroids!
Days like today just help me to realize what is really important in life. Things like:
-Prayer--but not just distress calls but "ferverent, effectual prayer" and making sure that there is nothing blocking my communication with God. Making sure that there is no known sin in my life, nothing unrepented of, no unforgiveness or offense. These can all tie the hands of God, even in those moments when we need Him the most.
-Relationships with people--obviously none of us know how much time we have to know another person. We must treat each other in a way that we will not have to live with regrets that can never be righted if one of us is taken prematurely or without warning. We must accept each other, even with our differences and quirks and still value the life and gifts that God has breathed into the heart of every man.
-Family--we often scold our children for treating their friends better than their family. "Your friends will come and go--mostly go. But you will have your family forever!" But today I realized how little I live with that reality myself sometimes and I've made a note to improve in that area. It's so easy to take what seems stable and normal for granted--until that stable foundation is shaken! Normal can become abnormal in the time it takes to faint or lose control of a vehicle on black ice. This I know all too well.
-Evangelism--people need the Lord! How many people do we know that slipped into eternity unprepared that might not have had to had we swallowed our fear, and our pride, and told them about Jesus? How many people meet God without Christ everyday? Did those 4 policemen in Washington know Christ? Did those who died on highways over the holiday know Christ? Do your neighbors, co-workers, friends, know Christ? Am I willing to look foolish and stupid to the world in order that I might win just one soul to the Lord? Am I willing to lose a job, lose a friendship, lose a customer so that they might hear of their need of Christ?
I thought about all of this today amidst all the doctors and tests. And I'm thankful---yes, even for reality checks because they bring me back around to exactly where I need to be and once again I see and know the wisdom and faithfulness of my God.