Month: May 2017

A DIAGNOSIS

“Hi Mrs. Daruk, this is Dr. Anderson from the gastroenterology clinic. Elijah’s biopsy results are back.”

Usually her assistants call me. Something must have shown up.

“I believe we’ve found the source of Elijah’s pain. It turns out he has a rare immune disorder called Eosinophilic Esophagitis.” she continued.

EOE for short.

“He had a lot of eosinophils present in his esophagus and there should be none.”

“What does that mean exactly? Where do we go from here?” I asked.

“He needs to be seen right away with an EOE specialist. I’ll work on getting the appointment set up and we’ll call you shortly. In addition, I’m prescribing a medication that may provide some relief until he can be seen.”

Rare immune disorder. Oh God, not again.

I suppressed the pain my heart tried to resurface and opened my computer. For hours I read articles and watched videos.

Relief that something showed up was quickly squelched by the fear of what the future might hold for yet another one of my children.

Elijah felt some relief in having a diagnosis, yet his pain was still there.

With a head full of facts and a heavy heart, I shared the information with my son. I reminded him that although it took much longer than expected, God answered our prayers for wisdom and understanding.

He is no stranger to hurting kids. He watched his own brothers suffer. We frequent children’s hospitals because of that and he sees them.

My son courageously wields his sword as a battle rages all around him.

Our enemy is no respecter of age.

Shielding him from the horrors of this world is something I cannot do no matter how bad I want to. Instead, I must prepare him. Remind him that we must wake each day clad in God’s armor.

We must always be prepared for battle.

So, true to his character and with a heart bigger than his tummy ache he asked about other children who might have this disorder. Here’s that conversation.

Thursday June 1st is his appointment with the EOE specialist.

I appreciate your mention of Elijah as you approach our father’s throne. I am humbled that we have a loving, caring father upon which we can pour out our fears.

What face does your fear wear today? Whatever it looks like, may my son’s courage remind you that God loves you and he has a plan for you, even when you can’t see it.

WHEN THINGS DON’T GET BETTER

In a recent post entitled Provision & Praise, I shared God’s faithfulness during my son Elijah’s emergency room visit several weeks ago. What began as a seemingly acute bout of stomach pain that was rather simple to diagnose and treat, is now much more.

Week one came and went and I thought he turned the corner. He did, but around it was only more pain. And no answers.

Today marks day 22 of my son giving me, that look. Day 22 of him saying, “Mommy, my tummy hurts. Mommy, I don’t feel good. Mommy, please help me. Mommy why can’t anyone help me? Mommy, please…please…!”

Still nothing definitive after:

  • Two emergency room visits
  • Repeated lab work
  • Multiple x-rays & ultrasounds
  • Visits to his family doctor, pediatrician and now a gastroenterologist
  • Four medications

Each provider has been outstanding and heaven sent. All are trying hard to determine the origin of his illness.

Hoping his pain level would hold out for next Thursday, when he is scheduled to be put under general anesthesia to have an upper and lower scope ran, tonight, his pain escalated.

It was the worst of the 22 days for him, by far. Holding him in my arms, gently stroking his hair, I prayed silently-desperately for him to have relief.

“God, give us wisdom I pray. Oh God, please strengthen our son,” I wept as I knelt just outside his room.

A great deal of pain has resurfaced at the sight of my son suffering. I know this look. I saw it in the eyes of my son Isaiah as he suffered through pain I can’t even begin to imagine.

I know this place. This place of complete helplessness. When you’re the one that’s supposed to kiss the boo-boo’s away, but you can’t.

So the question in my heart tonight is:

What do you do when things don’t get better?

Why is this question so important?

  1. Because things don’t always get better this side of Heaven. You’ve seen it in your own life or in the lives of those you love I’m sure.

    What comes of our faith when pain slowly tries to chip away at it?

  2. Because what we do then, is indicative of the true condition of our hearts.

    When days turn into weeks, weeks into months and maybe even months into years – what then? 

When Isaiah’s NICU stay turned from days, to weeks, to months and ultimately to almost a year long stay in NICU, my answer wasn’t pretty. In fact, its darkness matched that of my heart.

1 Corinthians 10:12-13 Wherefore let him that thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall.

  • I acknowledge today, in the midst of my own trial, that without God’s grace, I will surely fall. So, I run to his lap and curl up in the safety of his arms.

1 Peter 1:6-7 Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations. That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

  • It is hard to rejoice in seasons of trial. It seems nearly impossible, but when viewed through the lenses of faith, our fires have purpose. Whatever your flames look like today, along with mine, may our faith be found unto praise, honor and glory at our Lord’s appearing.

Luke 22:31-32 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not and when thou are converted, strengthen thy brethren.

  • As I pray for you today, that your faith will fail not in spite of whatever trials you face, would you do the same for me, my husband and our precious son, Elijah? And, after we’re converted, may we each go strengthen our brothers and sisters.

Thank you in advance for approaching God’s throne on our behalf.

 

 

 

 

THE TEA CUP

I came across this story my father gave me while digging through my computer files recently. I wish I could say I wrote this beautiful piece. It was written by Larry Kennedy in his book entitled, God’s Answers to Human Dilemmas Amid Life’s Frustrations

The Tea Cup

The tea cup looked like an ordinary tea cup until it spoke.

You do not understand. I have not always been a tea cup. There was a time when I was nothing but red clay. My master took me, rolled me, and patted me over and over and over. I yelled, “Leave me alone!”

But he only smiled and said, “Not yet.”

Then I was placed on a spinning wheel and spun around and around. I screamed, “Stop it! I am getting dizzy.”

The master nodded and said, “Not yet.”

Then he put me in an oven, and it was terribly hot. I thought he would burn me to a crisp.  I yelled and knocked on the door.

I could see his lips moving as he said, “Not yet.”

Finally, the door was opened and I began to cool. Then suddenly he painted me all over, and the fumes were horrible.

I cried, “Stop it!  Stop it!”

He only nodded, “Not yet.”

All at once he put me back in the oven, and it was twice as hot. I begged, pleaded, screamed, and cried.

But he only said, “Not yet.”

Then at the last minute, just when I knew I would never make it, he opened the oven and placed me on a shelf.

An hour later he handed me a mirror and said, “Look at yourself.”

I was beautiful, really beautiful.

As I gazed at my beauty, my master said, “I know it hurt to be rolled and patted, but if I had left, you would have dried up.”

“I know it hurt to be spun around and around, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled.”

“I know it hurt in the oven, but if I had stopped you would have cracked.”

“I know the fumes were bad when I painted you, but if I had stopped you never would have hardened.”

“But now you are a finished product.  You are what I had in mind when I first began with you!”

Reflection

I need not ask if you’ve felt like this tea cup at times in your life. Haven’t we all in various ways?

If you’re like me, when I feel pain, my first inclination is to flee it. I often can’t imagine any good will come of it.

I’ve felt the burning, the patting, and the spinning and there is sure to be much more.

I am not where this tea cup is but I hope to be one day. I still but clay.

This tea cup saw it’s beauty when God handed him a mirror.

Perhaps, we won’t get our mirrors this side of Heaven. Here, maybe there’s just more spinning. More patting. More painting.

Perhaps though, we’ll get glimpses along the way. And if we do, when the flames get hotter, may we see our hearts growing stronger, deeper and nearer the very heart of Christ.