It’s been almost nine months since my son was in the hospital.
He is doing so much better. He can function again. His health is returning, slowly but surely.
He is joyful.
I am so grateful my heart wants to burst.
But as grateful as I am for all the progress, the truth is, my heart hurts all the time.
My dreams are haunted by emergency rooms, trying to explain to doctors over and over again, pleading for my boy, and having to leave him, crying and in pain.
I tear up all the time, over the smallest things that six months ago would’ve seemed easy (especially in comparison to my little boy’s struggles).
I am on edge, waiting, hypervigilant and holding my breath.
Yes, things are finally calming down – I am so grateful.
And I find that I am only now beginning to process it all.
It was one of the most traumatic experiences of both of our lives.
The haze of doctors, medicine adjustments, blood tests and medical equipment is beginning to fade now, just as all the feelings are intensifying.
In a way, it makes sense.
At the time, although I was overwhelmed and desperate, I was also focused on just getting through the next thing. There was no time to feel, to process, to grieve. There was only the next result, showing whether or not his organs were still failing. The next night, holding his hand and soothing him to sleep. The next morning, praying in the hospital chapel with the smallest words.
When A Mother’s Heart Is Breaking
When my son was in the hospital, I felt a strong and ever-present comfort that my son was in God’s hands. I cannot describe it except to say that I knew, all the way down to the bottom of my toes, that my boy was being cared for and loved by Jesus.
The first night in the hospital, my son was sobbing and calling out.
“Why God? Why me? Help me.”
I prayed him to sleep, that first night.
The next morning, I came across the passage in Genesis 21 about Hagar and her son being cast out of Abraham’s household.
When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite of him…for she said, “Let me not look upon the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite of him, she lifted up her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God heard the voice of the boy where he is.”
He hears my boy, right where he is.
It sustained me for the entire hospital stay.
I’m sharing this passage with you today as much for your encouragement as my own.
I think it is appropriate to now grieve a little, to feel all the feelings, and to allow myself to fall apart for a while.
And as I struggle with all the emotions, I need the reminder of those difficult days.
He hears my son – right where he is. In the hospital and at home. Struggling and in pain. Joyful and doing well.
He has my child, in and through it all.
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.