One year ago today we were doing the same thing we are this morning: getting ready for our boys’ Upwards basketball games. Except last year it was their first basketball games EVER and I had delivered our twin babies just one week prior after an unexpected emergency Caesarean section. It was a very rough morning physically and emotionally.
I was dealing with my milk coming in full force; pumping for one baby and nursing another, but not very successfully at this point; several clogged milk ducts causing severe pain and rock-hard breasts that produced no milk when pumped even though they were clearly full of it; cramps and incision pain from, well, everything; lack of sleep; hormones (that needs no explanation); emotional breakdowns from Baby A still being in the NICU and at that time not know when he’d be well enough to come home, but the rest of our four children needing me/us at home; the three year-old had a run-in with lice, which was discovered when we gave her a bath after she got the stomach bug and vomited all over her bed (all of this on the first night we brought Baby B home); exhaustion from running back and forth between the hospital and home; living out of duffel bags; and I think that’s about it???
[I don’t know how many run-on sentences were in that last paragraph, but forgive me. I consider myself a grammar-Nazi, but run-on sentences with potential improper use of punctuation are a weakness of mine.]
But it was our boys’ first basketball games ever and they were so excited and neither of us was going to miss it! We had spent Friday with our kids so that they could spend the night in their own house and beds before their games. I was also so anxious and struggling that no one was with our Baby B. The doctors and nurses had encouraged us to go home and spend time with our older kids who need us- and who know we’re not there- and that our son was in good hands (we never doubted that) and that he wouldn’t even notice we weren’t there for a bit. Although that didn’t make it easy to cope with yearning to be in two places at once when you can’t be.
Despite that distraction, the games went wonderfully and we were so proud of our older boys! They had a blast and it was so fun to see them so excited and into their sport. We had a few errands to run and had to take the kids back to their grandparents before we could return the hour drive to the hospital. My husband’s sister and her brother-in-law were meeting us there to visit and I was afraid they’d get there before we would. A friend was texting me about bringing us dinner and when we would be home. I was texting another friend to pick up some essential oils from her to combat the lice and stomach bug that had hit our home. All the stress that had disappeared (mostly) that last two hours started flooding back. We got to my friend’s house and she opened the door, my kids immediately ran into her house to play with her son; my husband was outside talking to her husband. She asked a very silly question. I think it was, “How are you?” That was it. I collapsed into her arms a sobbing mess. I don’t remember what I said. Lots of babbling and rambling, I’m sure. Maybe some apologizing for unloading on her and being such a mess (and possibly giving her lice when we hugged, just kidding or getting snot and tears on her shirt, I don’t know). Of course she said something like, “That’s what friends are for.” After some chatting we got back in the car and I just continued stressing out, being short with the kids who didn’t deserve it and raising my voice to my husband who was trying to be more calm and sensible about everything (as always) than I was being. I started inconsolably crying again.
At that point I remember hearing my daughter in the back seat singing along with the radio.
“There is power, in the name of Jesus….”
over and over and over. That resonated with me so much. Why was I hanging onto all this and not giving it to Him? I knew that our baby boy would be fine; it was just taking time for him to get strong enough to come home. I knew that eventually all the chaos
would be gone would be different and we would get through these [small but many] trials. I needed to trust that God knows what He’s doing and He’s holding our hearts, that all of this is shaping us and preparing us as a family. It took the innocence and sweetness of a -my- three year old girl to get me to stop and calm and hear His voice. I started thinking about those words and reassuring myself that all of this would pass, and I need to let the worry go. I felt a peace come over me that I couldn’t explain. He did what He said He would do. He bore my burdens. There really is power in the name of Jesus. I had to stop and take a photograph of that exact moment, that sweet singing face. Here it is.