Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Please can we stop now?

Lord, here I am again asking you please will you heal my little girl. We've just got back from the latest in a distressing line of dressing changes and she's fragile and quiet and not wanting her tea and I'm just exhausted. 

It's been less than a week since her surgery and we've had very sympathetic nurses, slightly sympathetic nurses, brisk nurses and one mean nurse and Katy is thoroughly spooked and she screams and shouts and breaks my heart with things like, 'Mummy don't let them hurt me' and 'Please make it stop, Mummy' and I've had enough. Today's (brisk) nurse said that the wound was still deep and would need packing for some time further though I'd hoped and hoped that after tomorrow's clinic appointment it might not need so much digging and probing. 

Please stop all this, Lord. She's been so brave but she's worn out and so am I. Each dressing change takes so long because she kicks and writhes and she's strong. It takes every ounce of strength I have to try to allow the nurse to do her job. She's got a perfectly reasonable fear of being hurt - and it does hurt I'm sure - and she's only four. Maybe some four year olds are unnaturally brave and stoical but my Katy is just normal. Does this really have to go on so long?

I feel so miserable. I hate putting her through it and I hate coming back from the hospital/surgery and snapping at Lizzie because she greets me at the door with her list of woes and injustices or wanting me to play some energetic game in the garden when I just want to curl up and cry. 

What's it all about? Is this adversity deepening my faith or something?


If you want me to reflect on this and understand more about how you feel as our Father, then I have to tell you that I've got it. I think I have, anyway. If it causes you pain to see us hurt and grieving and suffering then I understand.  It causes me such pain to hold Kate still while someone hurts her. It causes me physical pain to see her terrified face with eyes wide with dread, and hear her begging me to make it stop when all I do is hold her still so that it can go on longer. Every time my eyes fill with tears and I'm kissing her and shushing her and saying pointless unhelpful things that she isn't listening to. And then we pick ourselves up and leave and she dutifully says goodbye to the nurse and I have to hold myself back from giving her treat after treat to try to cheer her up. Today's nurse stuck the dressing too far back so it's got hair under it so tomorrow is going to be a nightmare. 

Is it to show me how terrible it was to watch your beloved Son endure unspeakable things on our behalf? If so I can understand why you turned your face away. My heart breaks every time Katy asks me to make it stop. I would if I could. I'd so much rather it was me. 

I don't know if there's anything positive in this; I know you can bring good out of the worst situation. I know that it will end, that children heal quickly and that in comparison with some her situation is very minor. I used to work with children who had major burn injuries - 60, 70 or even 85% of their body horrifically burned. They and their parents had to endure skin grafts and months or years of reconstructive surgery. In comparison this seems nothing. I am quite sure that when I worked there, before I had my children, I had absolutely no idea how appalling it would be to go through that. I would have a better idea now. 

Give me strength Lord. I could sleep for a fortnight. I don't want to have to do it any more. I know children are resilient. I know that she seems to bounce back. It's me that feels that every time I'm damaged a bit more. Ah I know I'm being melodramatic.

This is my life, Lord; I think I've done an awful lot of moaning recently. How come such a lot of trouble is coming my way for such a long period? It's alright, you know, you don't have to keep sending stuff to give me something to write about in my blog. I could be perfectly happy and sufficiently prolific just burbling on about the garden and the birds and songs I've sung. No need to keep me topped up with adverse material.

I love my girls Lord and I'm struggling to give Elizabeth the attention she needs because of all Katy's appointments and medicine and phone calls and attention she needs because of it all. I'm short of patience (shorter than ever, and that can't be good given my usual level of patience) and even after a decent night's sleep I still feel tired. I'm feeling sorry for myself. 

That's it for now. It's home group tonight and my dear friends are coming round. I'd better go and read what I'm supposed to have read and have a coffee with caffeine in it. I'm sure I'll feel better in a while. Where two or three meet in your name, you said you'd be there, so I'll expect you in the sitting room in about twenty minutes. Not that you're not here now, but you know what I mean. You can have the comfy end of the sofa. I've forgotten to buy or bake any cake though. I made a banana cake last week then forgot it and when Elizabeth found it, it had gone blue. Imagine, me forgetting a banana cake. Usually it's in my mind pretty much all the time. 

Don't leave me, Lord. How good it is to know that I'm not alone, even if it feels a bit that way sometimes. Hold me close and help me to keep on helping Kate and Liz as best I can. Please protect us all from anything else. I can't manage anything else.

PS.  Just had home group. If I had read the chapters of our book that I was supposed to have read I would have read about growing up as a Christian. About character building. About spiritual maturity. About being transformed to be more like Jesus. About life not being a) about me and b) meant to be easy and about you not being a spiritual genie who is here to solve my problems and make life comfortable. It's in adversity that I grow.

I am not sure what to make of this. I am, however quite sure that I will have something to say about it when I've had a chance to lie awake thinking about it tonight.

Character building? Ha.

Lord, just let me off the hook for tonight. Make the hours before morning magically go more slowly as already there aren't enough left to make me into a nice person when I get up at the crack of dawn, even if I nodded off right now, and that's unlikely.

I haven't got anything left, Lord, so I'll come back to this another day. Just let me be a baby Christian for now and sleep in your arms. Is that ok? 

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