Hospitals, Wakeup Calls, & the Love of God
Last Thursday began like such a normal day. I got up and helped get Joey off to preschool, before getting Gavin out of bed and down for some breakfast. I noticed right away, though, that Gavin had a very nasty-sounding cough. I got concerned, but not too much. I called our pediatrician and his nurse suggested I bring him in to be checked out. Alright, I thought. I would have to reschedule my hair appointment that I had planned on for our family Christmas pictures that afternoon, but I could deal. After all, the boys come first. Upon going to the doctor’s office, however, I began to get increasingly more and more concerned, as the doctor did a lot of frowning and “hmm”ing. He said he thought sweet Gavin had RSV, a respiratory infection, and that since the two breathing treatments they had given him there in the office had not helped his rapid breaths and low oxygen levels, they would need to admit him to the hospital.
I am extremely familiar with this experience where I am the one on the end of the hospital sentencing. This was the first time, however, where I was forced to know this side of the equation: to be the mom of the patient. I felt such a chilling fear when I realized my sweet little 18-month old would have to go into the hospital. I know that sensation of fear in my chest, where my lungs start to tighten and I feel a coldness spread through my body. This fear was different, though. It stung my face, and caused my extremities to go numb. The tears were pouring down my face and I think I probably frightened our poor pediatrician with my emotional mama bear crazy antics.
Upon arriving at the hospital, I was still a crying mess. There are a lot of traumatic memories associated in my mind with this particular place, and to be there with my child was overwhelming. More than anything, though, I felt an overwhelming sense of conviction when I saw all the children who were there on the same floor as us. Many of them were long-term patients or had already been there for over a week or more. One such patient, a sweetheart 10 year old boy named Caleb, knew all the ropes of the place. Clearly, this was not his first trip to the hospital. He instructed Jason on how to use the pinball machine (hey, we were bored!), and even made us this incredibly adorable drawing:
For me, it was a wakeup call. I had been so upset by the thought of my baby having to spend even one night in the hospital, and yet, as we walked around the hallways with Gav in a push car, we saw so many kids who were far worse off. I began to pray for them all. I am still praying for them, and I ask you to do the same.
The other overwhelming impression I take with me from Gavin’s 48-hour stay in the hospital, is an overwhelming sense of awe at God’s love in sending Jesus to atone for our sins by dying on the cross. I only had to watch my baby be fitted with a nasal cannula and bothered by shots and breathing treatments before I was broken and ready to jump in to save him. I felt such a sense of God’s sacrifice in that moment. To give up His Son for you and me? To see Him suffer a death the likes of which most of us can’t even stomach to imagine? It’s unfathomable. I am in awe that the Father loves us that much. I never need doubt God’s love for me. Just in that one act, He spoke enough to carry me for life. He is a good God, and may we never forget it.
Our Gavin is doing well and is happily back at home. Thank you all for your prayers in keeping our boy lifted up to the Father. I can only sit here and thank God for His mercy when I look back on this experience. He is so gracious, and, above all, He is love.