When Your Child Hurts

Tears streamed down his sweet face, his little hands squeezing mine as he doubled over in pain.

There is nothing, I repeat nothing, worse than seeing your child in pain.

Actually, I take it back. There is something worse – seeing your child in pain and being completely powerless to help.

In my experience, it doesn’t really matter what kind of pain.

It can be a toothache, a broken bone, undergoing a much needed treatment, or even a tough social situation that did not go well. It really doesn’t matter the type of pain my child is experiencing. When it happens, I find I start to panic and feel an ache so deep, I almost feel the pain as if it were my own.

When Sourdough was four weeks old, he was inconsolable. He screamed and cried and screamed some more all day and all night for weeks. I was completely out of my mind with postpartum hormones, no sleep and this then unfamiliar, deep ache for my child who was tortured by something the pediatrician didn’t understand, and specialists were trying to figure out.

I distinctly and so very clearly remember one night, late at night, trying to nurse through his tears and my own. I had the TV on, to try and keep myself awake, and a preacher from New York City was randomly on the late night broadcast. I didn’t change the channel, although I never would’ve listened before.

He was talking about praying when you feel like you have no words. He said sometimes, it’s enough to just pray through a Psalm or two and make it your own. He used Psalms 70 & 71 as an example and prayed:

Lord Jesus, have mercy on us.

Make haste to help us.

Save and rescue us.

Your will be done in our lives.

I immediately, although I had not been to church in years and did not consider myself a true Christian, began to pray this preacher’s prayer for my little one.

Lord Jesus have mercy on my son.

Make haste to help him.

Save and rescue him.

Your will be done in his life.

I repeated it over and over again. Miraculously, within minutes, he fell asleep in my arms and stayed that way until morning. This had never happened…and it didn’t happen again for years.

It was a small, yet powerful gift from a God who loved me even when I didn’t know or love Him.

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Fast forward to this morning…

My youngest son, Bacon, had to go in for oral surgery at 7:45 AM. It was unplanned and somewhat of an emergency. He did really well until the anesthesia started to wear off. Then, it was not so good. In fact, it was awful. He was crying, moaning, and writhing in pain.

He screamed at me and at God, asking why and begging for relief.

In that moment, I felt just like it was eleven years ago. I had no idea what to do and how to help. There actually was nothing to do. Then, slowly, the words to that prayer, uttered so long ago, came back to me.

I closed my eyes and gripped my sweet little one’s hand and prayed.

Lord Jesus, have mercy on my son.

Make haste to help him.

Save and rescue him.

Your will be done in his life.

I repeated it over and over again. Within minutes, just like so many years ago with his big brother, my sweet little man fell asleep in my arms.

Through tears, I whispered in a small voice, “Thank you.”

In this post, I am hoping to say it in a much louder voice.

Thank you to a God who sees my little boys and knows my mother’s heart…

A God who heals my children and answers prayers…

A God who protects me from what I thought I wanted and blesses me with what He knows I need…

A God who takes something empty and sad and hurtful and wrong and somehow, in a way my human brain cannot fully comprehend, makes it beautiful.

A God who loves us.








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  1. Amy @ Hope Is the Word says:

    Thank you for sharing that. Praise God for his faithfulness!

    I’ve just found your blog and have been encouraged by it. I don’t have special needs children, but we’ve been through a tough time emotionally/spiritually/mentally with one of my children this year, and your journey has encouraged me.

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