“You have a very sick little girl here. When should I take her to the hospital?”
We had landed in Texas for my sister’s wedding. After finding our hotel and settling into our room, we made the call to my Mother In Law to check in on my baby.
Days leading up to this, I had been in that desperate state of decision. My precious daughter was sick, and I was leaving her to be in my sister’s wedding. This weekend was about my sister’s celebration. Her big day. It was about all of her family leaving their lives to be in hers. It’s what you do when you love someone.
But my baby was sick.
How do you make a decision like that? How do you wrestle between your baby and your sister’s most important day of her life?
I was a mess.
I knew how this unfolded… it already had turned downhill and I knew the speed and momentum it could take to go further. I hated leaving her behind, and I barely caught my breath every time I thought of her.
Anxious to have an update, we called as soon as we got in, and this is what my MIL has said. You must know that this woman is one of the few people that always always always has her heart in the right place. She knows my anxiety, my fears and above all that my leaving her was the hardest thing I have ever done. This makes her statement more profound, because she was scared and shared her concern with bold honesty…
Leaving no room for encouraging appeasement.
After we discussed all the medicines and breathing treatments and signs and symptoms that would ultimately get Cassidy to the hospital, I hung up the phone and began sobbing.
We frantically started to look up flights to get back home as soon as we could and forfeit this big day to the urgency of being with our “very sick little girl.”
Flights were either booked or atrociously expensive, so Derek and I sat in silence both trying to grasp what to do next. I paced…and cried…and held baby Cade while he slowly drifted off to sleep.
We decided we would check in first thing in the morning and take it from there.
From that moment on…through the long long long torturous night…
I laid awake and prayed.
I begged for healing. I pleaded for mercy. I cried for help. I clung to the sheets and trembled underneath as my heart never stopped pounding in my chest. I pictured my girl gasping for air and wondering where her mommy was. I envisioned the long dark hours grandma would hold her and rock her and put the mask on her red sweaty face. I imagine the fear they both had doing this all alone.
It was the longest night of my life.
The next morning I called her at 6:00am, terrified of what was to come on the other end of the phone.
“How is she?” I whispered with a rattled breath.
“She’s doing okay! It’s amazing how she just took this turn for the better last night. She’s still sick, but she slept some last night and it seems she is improving.”
I was floored. My entire body lifted into this new sphere of existence that sheer words cannot describe. I asked rounds of questions to both confirm and prove to myself that this was real. I told her I had been up all night praying…for a miracle.
“Well you got your miracle! She’s doing just fine. ”
I tell this story because it has been the sole focus of my last few weeks. Memories have this grip that seem to never truly let go.
That is the one traumatic trip I have to draw from, and it triggers both anxiety and peace at the same time. I have tried to let go of this memory, because the anxiety overwhelms me to go ‘there’ and take off on the runway of-
But as I write through this memory, I realize why God has retrieved it so strongly in my heart, my head…
My most unbearable “What if?” happened…
And He answered.
Perhaps I need to use this memory for what God intended.
For me to have Faith in Him.
God is here.
Even if the unbearable “What if?” happens…
I am leaving my children, for the first time since this fateful trip. For fourteen years, Derek has traveled to countless beautiful cities for work in various jobs, while I stayed home to care for the kids. This time? It’s Prague. And because my man knows what is most important in this life, he has convinced me that I should go with him. This will be our first trip together, away from both kids.
Oh. My. Heart.
The stakes are high.
The playing field now has two children.
The respiratory virus that has left countless kids in the hospital is furiously spreading through the air.
Between the two of my children, there is a literal spreadsheet with maps and dates and times of events, practices, games, clubs, drops offs, pick ups, and a relentless schedule my precious MIL will endure.
And the biggest chip of all in this gamble?
We are leaving the country.
Far far away…
For a week.
So my list of “What if?”s is long and gritty. Many of which are unbearable…
The imagination knows no bounds. Anxiety feeds it and launches it into soaring heights…
So I will hold on to that memory.
The one where God came through…
I’m scared, so very scared to leave my safe world here- full of comfort in what’s known, going out into the unknown. My anxiety is rearing its ugly head as I near the time of departure, and I frantically pace and pack and plead for it all to go smoothly. I’ve gone over the week’s schedule in full detail, mapping out each day and all the intricacies of our full life are left to the schools, my friends, and my precious MIL.
It’s a lot.
And as I am stepping into fear and taking off to a far away land, where I know nothing… Where there will be no familiar ground to go on…
I’ll look for footing in my faith.
I’ll find comfort in knowing that God has already planned this trip and every day that it entails. I’ll find assurance knowing that all the “what ifs” are already written and the answers already given. I’ll find solace in knowing that when I begin to peel away my grip, one finger at a time…
His Hand holds on.
Becky Danielson says
Leaving little ones, and even bigger ones, home is stressful for moms. But it’s also good for them and most definitely great for you and your husband. 🙂 Have a beautiful trip with Derek! Cassidy and Cade will be held in palm of the Father’s hand, with your sweet MIL guiding and guarding them until you arrive back home.
I LOVE the heart in every word you write Chris! xo
Oh Becky! Your precious encouragement was such a blessing to me as I took those steps away from my kids and it ‘all’!! Thank you so very much for your beautiful words at the perfect time. <3 It was a glorious trip and the kids were safe and healthy!!! Praise GOD for that! 🙂
Becky Danielson says
Awesome! I’m so glad you had a great trip! xoxo
another jennifer says
Chris! This is going to be an amazing trip. It is never easy to leave our kids. Ever. And your experience, I am sure, makes it that much harder. God has your back though. I’m sure they will be fine. You will be fine. You deserve some time alone with your husband! I’ve been to Prague. It is absolutely gorgeous!
I love you for your precious encouragement and support Jen!!! I love for oodles of reasons… <3 I'm so so so glad all went well!!! 🙂
I can imagine your anxiety.
But you know what? You are meant to take this trip. Your kids are in good hands. Go, and enjoy yourself, you deserve it. xoxo
Thanks SO much for taking your mama time to encourage me Alison!!! You are SUCH a dear friend to me!! We had a glorious time and the kids were safe and healthy!! 🙂 Praying you are the babies are too!!! All four of them!!! <3 Can't wait to go catch up and see how you are doing sweetie!!
Jennifer Kaufman says
I love this. I related on so many levels, right down to the sweet little one with the mask, though ours have always been fish 🙂
I especially love the reminder you’ve already begun to give yourself – He has been faithful before, He will continue to do so. Thank you for sharing this story!
Thanks so much for your beautiful encouragement Jennifer! When I’m in that ‘fear mode’ I rely heavily on God’s past record. It gives me comfort in knowing how faithful He has been in my life. And once again, I am BLESSED with an amazing trip and the kids were safe and HEALTHY! 🙂
Janine Huldie says
Aww, Chris, I know the feeling and even though my kids were never sick when I was away, I still have a hard time leaving my girls to go even for a few hours to a wedding, but sometimes we just can’t control all even though we want to to and think we can. Wishing you a wonderful trip and sending you a few extra hugs now, too!
Thanks so much Janine! It was so hard to leave… and yet it was an amazing experience that was worth every step into the fear! God blessed us ALL during the trip… the kids were safe and healthy! And Derek and I embraced the magic of Prague and the blessing of each other!! 🙂
So grateful that Cass is much healthier now. I’m praying for peace for your Mama heart, for health for Cass and Cade, for strengths for your MIL, and for the time of your life with Derek in Prague.
Love you so much!
Your prayers mean the world to me, WPB! God blessed me with a wonderful trip and health and safety of us all!! <3 Thanks for praying me through love. I am SO grateful for you!!!!! xoxoxo
What a terrifying experience! How hard it is to not be the caretaker when your baby is ill. And what a difficult division of loyalties you were in. So gals it all turned out right.
Thanks Sarah… me too. Oh me too. <3
I won’t bore you with the details, but I have struggled with my own faith lately. Domino effects of bad things happening will do that, but just know that I think maybe divine intervention brought me to your blog, and I thank you for sharing this story of your own faith.
I can relate to this though. My husband earned a trip to Bora Bora a couple of years ago. That’s a long way away, and I had a one year old and a preschooler. It was really tough to leave them, but I did, and I think I came home a better mother for doing so. I bet you will feel the same way when you get home. I hope you enjoy it and only get positive happy messages while you’re away.
They are precious gifts from God, but they are also His children, and we can appreciate that He holds them close and keeps them safe when we are away and unable to do it ourselves.
Oh Mandi! I love your comment… First of all- I LOVE that you took that amazing opportunity and stepped into your fear with such bold steps and embraced such an incredible trip! I also adore your faithful encouragement- our kids are HIS kids. And I constantly need to put my trust in Him to take care of them!
I hate that you are struggling with your own faith lately, hun. Domino effects of bad things are SO difficult to navigate with our God. Where IS He in all of it? Why? How? It’s almost easier to shut down… I have been there, my friend. Many times.
I will pray that God finds you where you are at- and meets your heart with His Presence and His Grace and His Love. He always seems to. Hold on. And your view will change in time… God has a way of transforming us if we are willing. I remember a post I wrote a while ago- let me go look it up and share it with you. Not sure if it will resonate, but hey- it’s on my heart now, so I am going with it! 😉
Sandy Ramsey says
I get this. I get this. I get this. I have taken the good trips with my husband for the past few years and every time I have to leave my kids I worry myself sick. Will they get sick? What if they do? Will they get everywhere they need to go? It’s the loss of control for me. I’m a Mama. It’s what I do. I can tell you that each and every time, my fears have been a waste of precious time. Your kids will be fine because there is no doubt you will leave them in very capable hands. Do your best not to worry, keep the faith, and have fun!
I love that you get this Sandy! There is comfort in knowing I am not alone!! After my anxious anticipation… we took off and ended up having a wonderful trip! The kids WERE healthy and safe… What a blessing!!! Thanks for your sweet encouragement, my friend. Letting go is never ever easy!
Aw… I get it. So much.
And Scarlet was SO sick during my sister’s wedding. She had to go to the ER. It was terrible. And it wasn’t chronic or something I had experienced before, but my anxiety was suffering. Not as badly as I would have thought.
It all turned out ok.
This is very important for you and Derek, clearly, and you know it. Your kids are older now – they can contact you. They can come to the phone. They’ll be ok!!!
I really hope you have a wonderful time.
We had a GLORIOUS time!! Aside from some minor mishaps and one major five hour vomiting session for me all alone in the hotel one morning. That kinda sucked. But all in all? AMAZING. And I am SO grateful the kids did great and stayed healthy and safe! 🙂
Simply could not be more thrilled for you (and only just a teensy bit, fine a lot, jealous!)….seize the day my friend and know that your sweet babies are going to be FINE!! And you are going to have an amazing experience! 🙂 Cannot wait to hear all about it!!-Ashley
It WAS amazing Ashley!!! And I am SO grateful the kids were safe and healthy while we were gone!! I posted lots of pics just so you could ‘pretend’ you went with me!! lol 😉
Katie @ Pick Any Two says
You are so right that God already knows every little detail of this trip, and He will be right with you, and your children, from start to finish. It’s definitely an opportunity to strengthen your faith and rely fully on Him, even amidst the fear.
And what a blessing it was, as we had a glorious time together and the kids remained healthy and safe! Oh, I am so grateful!! Thank you for your precious insight and encouragement always, my friend. XOXO
God gives good gifts!! And He’s not only given you the two precious lives — but a pretty amazing one for a husband and wife after many years of “What it”. I think you can rest easy in His loving and caring arms my friend. 🙂
I DID!!! After the anxious anticipation hit the runway… we had a glorious trip! Everyone stayed safe and healthy, and we were BLESSED!!! Thanks for your sweet encouragement Leslie. You are such a gift to me!! <3
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
Oooh, those what ifs. I have those sometimes too. Anxiety is my biggest enemy and through Christ I am delivered from it daily. It’s never gone… it’s always there, to be handed over to Him.
God is so good. He gave your daughter healing so you could go to the wedding. I am so glad you chose to share this because it’s not just you who will be praying. I (and I’m sure others) will be joining you in prayer as you take this week-long trip.
Sending you love (and of course prayers).
Oh the prayers are such a comfort when we are ‘in our heads’ and can’t seem to fight our way out!! Thank you SO much for your encouragement and your faithful prayers Jennifer!! The trip was WONDERFUL!! And the kids were safe and healthy! What a BLESSING!!
Chris, I’m so happy that you are going with your husband. I know it is hard but also good for you (and him!!!). I hope that you are able to leave everything in God’s hands and enjoy your time in Prague with your husband!!!!
We did!!! It was a GLORIOUS trip Kim!!! Thanks for you sweet encouragement, my friend!!
Rabia @TheLiebers says
This trip will be good for all of you. And the kiddos will be fine. It sounds like you’ve got a great MIL to take great care of them, and you!
It was GLORIOUS Rabia!! Thanks for your encouragement, my friend! We are back and the kids were safe and healthy and so were we!! 🙂
I hope you have a brilliant trip, Kitty. Hold onto that incredible faith of yours, my lovely.
I did and I did!!!!!! It’s good to be back… still getting my footing back. Good LORD it’s been a furiously fast re-entrance into reality after a week of being gone!! Trying to pace myself…baby steps right? I am LINING my way through it all, Tigger!! You’d be proud of me. <3 🙂
Give yourself as much time as possible before you start expecting yourself to keep up with life. I’m glad you had a super time (just off to read your post). Keep finding those SilverLinings.
Proud of you anyway, no matter what.
I will pray for health and safe travels for you and your hubby! God blesses you for honoring your marriage and investing quality time into it. You won’t regret this!! God has it ALL in His hands!!!! Can’t wait to see pictures!
YES Karmen!! YES!! We are back and God DID honor this decision with health and safety and a glorious trip!!! I feel so blessed!!!
Keep the faith, my sweet friend! You are going to have an amazing trip. What a fantastic opportunity! I will be praying for your family :). I completely relate to the anxiety though. I went to London recently with my hubby leaving behind my epileptic son and diabetic daughter. Everything was fine and we had an incredible trip. The same will happen for you!
Thank you SO much for your encouragement and prayers my friend!! It WAS a glorious trip and all were safe and healthy! What a HUGE blessing indeed!
Oh my goodness, Chris! I totally relate. We’ve left from time to time, just for a few days at a time, and it pulls on my heart so much. I can’t imagine having such a memory like that! But I am so excited for you and this trip. It will be amazing and they will be happy and healthy and everything will be fine. I know it. Enjoy!
You called it Tricia!! Everyone WAS happy and healthy and we were blessed with a GLORIOUS trip!! Whew!
Oh what a decision you had to make! I can see how making the decision to leave the country would be influenced by this incident, but the thing about life is there is so much uncertainty, always. That said, I think this sounds like a well-deserved trip for you, and I imagine everything will work out!
It DID work out Bev!! YAY! It was glorious…
Yes! I am so glad you are doing this and I will be praying like mad for you and your kids during this trip. That’s the way we Mommas need to power on–and make important stuff for ourselves happen too (because this does matter). Love you and ENJOY!!!
It was AMAZING Meredith!!! Terrifyingly so… but God is GOOD and blessed us with safety and health for all!! What a trip of a lifetime… 🙂 Thank you SO much for your precious encouragement and prayers my friend!
My Inner Chick says
I love you more. I do. Really. Like crazy. xxoo <3
Sure brings back memoories. And then we had Nathan was so sick! I can still can remember leaving my babies. And then there were all the trips with all u girls…u were sick in hospital in Burmuda and locked yourself in the bathroom in Pheonix…Mom
Yeah- poor Nathan!!! It was a crazy weekend indeed. I can still picture that place in Phoenix mom! the pool and locking myself in the bathroom and the firetruck having to come and get me out! HA! Memories… 🙂