Friday, January 20, 2006
Sometimes I get little reminders of just how fragile life is. It stirs up so many conflicting emotions: at polar ends of the spectrum are fear and gratitude. Fear for all the what-ifs that swirl through my mind like a blizzard, and a deep sense of thankfulness for the precious lives we've been given. It is my children that I feel this most often with. It begun when I was only about 9 weeks pregnant with Peregrine. I was having some spotting and spoke with a midwife about it. I left her office in tears, certain that my child, not yet known but already loved, was going to pass into the arms of Jesus and skip mine altogether. I realized at that point that each day I had with him was a gift from God. Though he was given to me to carry all those months and now to love and teach and nurture, in a sense he is really no more mine than the birds of the air. At that point God gave me peace, and I realized that life is a gift from Him and it is in His hands.
As Peregrine has grown, he has had a few injuries. None of them have been "major", but to a Mama, any hurt that my boy experiences is painful. Just last night he came running out from his room, screaming. I picked him up and was horrified to see blood coming out of his mouth. After a minute we figured out that he had had a metal tube in his mouth and had run into the wall, causing the end of the tube to gouge the roof of his mouth. All at once I felt immense relief and thankfulness that he was okay, while at the same time all of those thoughts tumbled in to my mind, like "What if that had been his eye?
I have experienced this with Erik too. After having cancer three years ago, we are both a little more nervous about things that don't seem "quite right". A few times he has gone in to his specialist, but not before several days of me tossing wildly between peace and all of the other thoughts that go through my mind- like thinking he's going to die, and wondering how I will manage to raise my children on my own. Getting a good report from the doctor is always such a huge relief, realizing again that life is given to us by the moment and that the ones we love are only on loan from our Father. I am always so thankful for my husband, but going through these times makes me realize all the more just how wonderful it is to get to share my life with him.
Alethea seems to bring up different thoughts and feelings, along the same lines, but somehow more intense because she's so tiny, so vulnerable, so feminine. She is completely unable to do anything for herself. We thank the Lord that she has never been injured and has hardly even been sick. But how quickly my mind whirls off into the land of "what-ifs" and I need to be brought back to the reality of today and the grace that we are given moment by moment.
And that's really the part that I need to remember, that yes, life is a gift from God: every moment of every day with the ones we love is a precious gift from His hand. There is no guarantee of how long we will have them in this life, but He has promised to always be with us, to be a very present help in time of need, and to dispense His grace upon us moment by moment, in keeping with our need. His faithfulness is great and His mercies are new every morning. I need to take my fears to Jesus and exchange them for His peace, turn my worries into prayers, and let Him fill my heart with gratitude and grace.