Wednesday, September 11, 2013

When Motherhood Knocks You to Your Knees

There really is nothing that prepares you for the magnitude of parenthood. I had three young siblings that I fed, bathed, taught, disciplined, and did a whole lot of parenting stuff for. I knew a whole lot of practical parenting stuff before I ever became a parent. But, I was woefully ignorant.

Mothering can knock you to your knees. You feel ignorant and helpless. You have no idea what to do. Desperate. Overwhelmed by shoulda, woulda, coulda...

Last Thursday night I found out that LC had a fractured foot. And she had had it for over a week. And I felt like the worst possible mother in the history of the world.

Almost. I mean, that mother in 1 Kings who slept on/smothered her baby, and then wanted to split her friend's baby in half...I guess I haven't gotten quite to that level yet. Sigh...

Long story short...when we were camping the week before Labor Day weekend, LC fell off the picnic table and kicked the metal support with her foot. She cried, but went on to play and live fairly normally. Occasionally she would complain of it hurting, but I saw no bruising or swelling, so I figured she was fine. And being the empathetic mother I am, I told her to suck it up.

I know, I know...

Until last Thursday when we were walking home from the library and she was walking in front of me, not alongside of me. So I could get a really good look at her. I noticed her gait was really odd. Like reverse pigeon-toed on the one foot. She was limping and couldn't walk with her toe pointed straight.

I got this horrible sick feeling in my stomach. Something was obviously very wrong.

Here is the thing. I don't believe in well child visits. If my child is healthy, why bring them to the doctor? All four of my kids have been born at home-complication free births. They have been immunized because of our overseas trip. They are very healthy and healthy looking. Only one child has ever been to the doctor.

We also don't have our children insured. Our income fits into the Medicare bracket and Medicare covers retroactively. So, if anything catastrophic ever happens, we would got that route.

My first impulse is never to run to the doctor or the emergency room. It is to heal naturally and to practice preventative medicine.

Because of these things, I have prayed often, that if my children ever have an issue that needs addressed by a doctor, that God would impress that on my heart. And that I would be open enough to hear and obey His prompting.

God burdened my heart on Thursday. That sick feeling was accompanied by a burdened, "I've got to take her to the doctor." I heard and obeyed. We went to the urgent care, they ran x-rays and found two fractures-one on her 4th metatarsal and one on her pinky toe. The doctors put her in one of those shoes, and she is on a three week probation. We'll go back in at the end of September and make sure everything is healing right. A good end to the story.

Motherhood more than any other situation in my life has showed me how much I don't know. It has showed me how much I need God. For the physical, emotional and spiritual situations that cross my path.

Motherhood has literally knocked me to my knees, over and over and over again. Which is a pretty good place to be. At the end of myself and my common sense and wisdom. Totally dependent on the mercy of my all-wise, all-powerful God. The God who is the Great Physician.

Is the moral of this story that I am getting my kids insured, taking them to well child visits and be less "suck it up-ish?" No, not really. Though, I do not to grow in empathy.

The moral of the story is that I am going to keep praying the same prayer plus pray that my heart will continue to be sensitive to the Lord's leading. Pray that my confidence will not get in God's way. Pray that I am teachable in all parenting situations. That my first response is to go to God. That I allow Him to be my first responder, not my last resort.

Like they say, it's not what you know, but Who you know...

How has motherhood knocked you to your knees?