A couple of weekends ago, David & I were sick.
Then, the whole next week, Henry was sick with a fever & cold symptoms, culminating in an ear infection diagnosis on Friday, and blessed, blessed antibiotics.
I hate it when Henry is sick. It's just awful. I'm sure it's hard for everyone when they have a sick baby, it's a universal difficulty, but I just feel like its such an emotional and spiritual hit for me.
When I pick him up and feel that fever, hear those whimpers of pain, it all comes back.
All of a sudden, I'm back in that ambulance. I'm back in that operating room, and they're pulling my arms away from my belly. All of a sudden, I see his little body in that plastic cart again, covered with tubes and tapes. It makes me remember, and I really hate to remember.
When he is sick, it's so much harder to believe the lies that I love so much.
Everything is fine!
It'll turn out okay.
He's fine- don't worry.
Because, honestly, it's not fine. And it won't be okay. It MIGHT be fine, it COULD be okay, but there's no guarantee. There's no promise of that. At least not in this time, on this earth. It will be okay, eventually, on an eternal scale. I believe that one day it will be okay and fine and perfect. Just not now. Just not here. Just not today. But, I really prefer the lies. They give me such peace.
When he is sick, it reminds me again of how fragile his little life is. All our lives are fragile, I know, but his life, I just don't want to think about his life being fragile. I prefer the lie: He's going to be fine! He will always be okay!
But, when I hold his hot little body in my arms and feel his fever, or his coughs, or his squirms, or discomfort, I am overwhelmed with the fragility of his body, the ephemeralness of his life, the tenuous nature of all life, and it makes me feel so desperate.
I think Henry's birth forced me to realize, from the very beginning of his life, that I am so. not. in. control. That I cannot protect him from all that I want to. That earthly life is a gift, not a guarantee. But, most terrifyingly, that my faith in God cannot be contingent on the circumstances of my life, or of Henry's.
If I believe that God is good, he has to be good even when people I love die, or are broken by tragedies, or suffer deeply.
If I believe that God protects me, then I have to believe he is a protector even if tragedy befalls me, large or small.
If I believe that God loves me, I have to believe he loves me even when it doesn't feel like it. Even when life is difficult or bleak.
And if I believe that God loves Henry, that he is the Lord of his life, the author of his salvation, his creator; if I believe that Jesus loves Henry even more than I do, then I have to believe it no matter what.
I have to believe it if he lives a long, full life, or if he dies tomorrow.
I have to believe it is his life is full of joys and triumphs, or a series of disappointments and sorrows.
I am slowly realizing that if my faith is conditional, it is not faith. It is only religion.
And I really hate religion. So, I'm working on faith.