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Facing the Storm with Babies on Board

I can imagine a purple sky, rippled with black clouds that collide and spark thunder. I see waves stretch up high above me, and just when I’m ready to surrender, He says – Be still. The Creator of the air and water and my lungs that breathe; He commands the storm. Be still.

How can a Mommy be sick and not sink? How can a storm rock all sense of control and planning and breath out of me, yet bring a peace that passes all understanding? I’ll tell you.

I have four incisions on my belly.

A week ago today, I kissed my baby boys and headed to the hospital. A date that I had anticipated and delayed since first learning I had gallbladder disease five months ago. After months of pains and problems, it was time to sign the paperwork, take the medicine and the cuts to feel better.

The days leading up to surgery were filled with hugs and squeezes and cuddles that I knew would need to wait after abdominal surgery. I cried almost daily in secret.

The surgery day came quick. Overly sensitive to all things medical, I sensed a supernatural peace as my husband held my hand, and we walked toward the admissions floor. I said the Lord’s Prayer in the tiny bathroom before they wheeled me over to anesthesia. Thy will be done.

Praise God, a success. The surgeon described my gall bladder as a “hackey sack” filled with stones. Thank God it had held together as long as it did.

The first night of recovery was painful, and the next day, the doctor wanted us to come in. He sat us down and showed an X-ray of my bile duct, with spots he had concluded were air bubbles. A relief. If they were instead stones, he described another procedure and used the term “deadly” and all else went quiet.

Though he was optimistic, he explained there were symptoms to be on the lookout for. And one of those symptoms came early in the morning four days later.

Purple sky. Black clouds. Climbing waves.

My husband and I googled, we hugged, we prayed.

He left for church with our oldest son. My sister came to help with our youngest. We prayed together. I surrendered. I told her that I knew God was going to use whatever was happening for good. We cried.

Not even an hour later, the Lord replaced the morning’s concern by removing the symptom that had scared us. I raised my hands with thanksgiving and tears of joy. Be still. I could hear Him. He who made me, who made the winds and sea. He said to give it – my all – to Him, and He would take it and give me peace and hope. If even for only that moment. I loved and enjoyed Him in a way I never could have otherwise.

Since that day, I have felt sore, but no other alarm. The physical pain hasn’t been as difficult as the emotional sadness of not being able to pick up my toddler when he raises his arms up for me. The biggest hurts have been listening to cries I could not rush toward to hush and being unsure of my milk supply when returning to nurse our youngest. Yet, my God is bigger.

He has placed others in our lives to walk along side us and lift us up. There are so many to thank for meals and hugs, for doing laundry and picking up, for flowers and magazines and taking off work to spend time here, helping. There have been people praying and still are tonight as we lay down to sleep and for that, I am forever grateful.

In this chapter, He is making me well. He has told me to surrender – my health, my family, my all and to enjoy Him. And even on days when I am waiting, waiting for a sense that all is okay, waiting to hold and scoop up and hug my babies I love so much, He is good. I want them to know He is good; He is in command, and I trust Him.

“That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat.There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”

Mark 4:35-39

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