Today’s Guest Post came in this week from Laurie Wilks and I knew I had to bump my Friday posting plans to share it with you.
Laurie is a new friend, mother, teacher and fellow Asbury-ite. I promise you’ll walk away in love with her beautiful and brave daughter Abi, as I did. Abi’s perspective on God, Faith and Scars is something that we could all take notes on. ~ Leanne
A big chunk of our family time happens on-the-go, running errands in our sage green mini-van.
It was the week before Thanksgiving and we had several destinations to check off that afternoon.
We had reached the point in the day when sweet treats beckon, but dinner seems far off. The bickering from the older kids in the back seat was noticeably absent. On a whim, we pulled into the drive-thru and ordered two kid sized hot chocolates and a juice box. Cheers and laughter erupted from the back seat. Sweets! With Whipped Cream! Happy day! John and Laurie Wilks: Parents of the Year!
We waited, as patiently as possible. Soon enough, an awkward teenager handed us our steamy liquid goodness. We thanked her and I passed them back to the worlds happiest 8 and 4 year-old kids. They were so grateful, it melted my heart. I hollered a warning that their drinks were hot; and glance back at their smiling faces as John pulled back on to the highway.
I wish I could have frozen this moment and savored it.
Suddenly, I heard an ear piercing, terrified scream from my 4 yr old daughter. She just kept screaming, and crying. Traffic prevented us from turning around or pulling over.
She couldn’t mange word over the primal screams of pain. In a matter of seconds we’d gone from mini-van bliss to utter chaos.
The screaming continues, Ian’s juice box erupted on his shirt from as the volume skyrocketed. He added to the chaos with cries of frustration. Mia (our baby) jolted out of sleep and joined the chorus.
John’s knuckles were white on the wheel and I was still trying to figure out what happened.
Ben’s voice broke through the turmoil to explain that Abi spilled her hot chocolate in her lap.
She shrieked the entire way home and we could not console her. I tried passing back towels and Instructing her to fan the heat away, nothing worked.
Ben sat next to her, repeating “It will be okay” over and over and over again.
John was visibly frayed, “This is just not okay.”
Finally, we parked the car and race inside. Her eyes were red with tears, her voice raw from screaming. Ever the fashionista, she was wearing thick cotton leggings under her dress, which I somehow managed to peel off.
Her entire lower abdomen and upper thighs looked like raw hamburger meat. The treat intended a for tasty, comforting memory had burned through her fair skin. Shreds of broken blisters and dead skin as big as her fist hung to one side of the wound.
I got her to her bedroom after trying to clean things out and understand exactly what were facing. She gripped my hand so tightly it felt that our palms would fuze together. The flailing ceased, but her body was rigid with pain.
I would have done anything to make this go away, would have traded places with her in a heartbeat; anything to bring healing.
John retreated to a quieter zone gone to try to contact a doctor. Due to A storm of circumstances and a broken system we had no insurance coverage at the time.
I wondered why a faithful God who provided so much hadn’t made a way to fix this, this wound on my heart grew as we tended to the ones on her body.
She continued crying as I prayed and soothed. She wailed in words, forever be burned in my memory:
“MOMMY! JESUS! PLEASE! IT HURTS… GOD, I KNOW YOU ARE HERE…. I KNOW YOU CAN HEAL THIS! NOW… PLEASE?!”
Yes, Lord. Please.
The instantaneous healing she fervently requested that day didn’t happen. Four years-old is awfully young to deal with that kind of pain.
There were weeks of changing bandages and checking for infection. We found underwear and clothes that didn’t rub off scabs or impede progress. We stretched her skin to make sure scar tissue wouldn’t impede movement.
It wasn’t instantaneous, it wasn’t easy, but healing did happen and I thank God for that. I thank God for the amazing faith of my sweet Abi that HE gave her to endure this pain. I thank God for the irreplaceable bonding we shared in moments of raw honesty.
I would trade the pain, but I wouldn’t take back one second of the Holy Spirit fusing our hearts as Abi pressed her hand to mine. I would love to erase the injury yet keep the raw reality of the presence of God in every moment. But we couldn’t have one without the other.
My Abigail loves Sleeping Beauty, one night while were recovering from her burns, we popped it in the DVD player. Toward the end, Prince Philip dashes off and uses his sword of truth and shield of righteousness to fight the evil witch. Every time something terrible comes his way it’s thwarted by goodness before it can touch him. Arrows morph to flowers, boulders to bubbles, at one point he’s shielded by a glowing rainbow.
Sometimes we think it should be like that, our quest to follow God. We have our sword of truth and shield of righteous faith so where is that glowing rainbow, the cloud of bubbles?
When it comes to my children, part of me wants to believe they’ll be protected,but I know better, life doesn’t work like that.
In our story, rainbows come as a sign of God’s faithfulness to His people after they’ve been ravaged by the storm.
God doesn’t cause our pain but He has every ability to zap it away if He chooses. In ultimate sovereignty He reigns through our scaring times, present in every moment. Yet, rather than squelching pain from some lofty place, His love weeps with us right where we sit. There is grace in every tear we shed, because the One who thought up tears sheds them with us.
Just the other day, I caught Abi admiring the scar across her stomach in the bathroom mirror, she smiled and ran her finger across the length of the mark.
“I like my scar, Mommy.” she said. “It reminds me of how strong and brave I can be when God is with me. Stronger even than mermaids and legend says they stop ships with one hand. He is way bigger than any scary hurting thing. People need to know that. I can love them, and hold their hands like we did. Besides, it’s pink. More pink is never bad.”
Yep. I do believe the healing is complete.
Laurie Wilks has been described as “somewhat of a mystic” and a “recovering perfectionist.” She seeks to reflect the brilliance of God as it collides with everyday life. Find her blog here and follow her tweets here