Today is week four in the “Love Showed Up” series, every Monday for the foreseeable future for more on what that means, go here. Today Briana Meade is sharing a story with us, one that will make you gasp at the beginning (especially if you’re a parent) and tear up a bit at the end because she nails it beautifully.
We spent the good part of the last Sunday of 2013 in the Emergency Room. While we were there, we received several offers to come to the hospital, the promise of a frozen lasagna left on our porch, and a church family who came to pick up our frustrated and nap-deprived toddler.
That Sunday, we arrived at church in the pouring rain. It was raining so hard that rivers were pouring down our windshield before the wipers could swish them away. Our 5-month old Kaiden was wet from putting him into the car to get to church. He had screamed so pathetically as I shushed him that I wanted to keep him from receiving another dose of cold water down his back.
When my husband pulled the car up to the church, I wrangled Kaiden out of his car seat, put him in my arms and tried to run to the nearest dry spot. What I didn’t see was the giant curb that stopped me short, cutting my legs out from underneath me.
I can see it now. It was the scary fall, fall, fall of his tiny little body, the moment I realized I was about to crush my baby into the pavement and tried to steady myself as his body left my hands. The traumatic crack of his head against the cement. The fear that stopped me from breathing for a brief second as I let myself fall to his side without any additional resistance.
I did the only thing I knew how to do in that moment: scream for help. I collapsed next to my little boy and screamed and screamed. For those brief moments, I thought he was sure to have severe brain injuries. I yelled like I imagine many mothers have over the centuries: in utter helplessness. It was an out-of-control scream, a where-are-you-Jesus scream.
We drove like mad people to the Emergency Room. He seemed calm after a brief bout of screaming, but I kept searching his eyes for signs that he was slipping into sleep. His hands were cold. I couldn’t think. We just drove.
We arrived at the ER. It was the second time this year that we sipped OJ out of hospital cups with aluminum on top and took pictures of ourselves on the cot. We smiled tentatively into the phone camera to commemorate yet another ER visit even as we waited for a diagnosis that could potentially break us back down into tears.
We called our family and our pastor. Our pastor prayed on the phone with us and it felt good to be doing something out loud. To have someone else besides angry, guilty, inconsolable me covering the situation with God. I wasn’t even sure God wanted to listen to me anyways in the incoherent state I was in. It was intervention of the best kind.
It was someone praying for us, with us, through us, behind us.
It was accepting when we are not enough. The faith that someone else might be the lifeline and anchor to pull us closer to God’s throne-room when we feel like we not in the right place to ask God for anything.
There was good news, then potentially bad news: a CAT scan. In the meantime, a family from the church came and picked up Zoe. They had heard what was happening from our pastor and drove all the way to the ER to take our toddler off our hands. I put Zoe into the all-ready prepared car seat and watched them drive off knowing that I had nothing to give back for the effort they had put in to drive there and for their kindness.
The CAT scan came back. His skull, his brain, it was all fine. We went home with a happy boy and two exhausted parents and thankful hearts.
The ER this year became a lesson in falling into God’s lap and sitting still instead of even attempting to pray or give back. We’ve taken a lot more than we’ve given this year.
Sometimes it’s okay to accept as others pray for you and intervene with many people gathered before a kind King. Sometimes it’s okay to step back and be loved.
Briana Meade is a 25-year-old mother of two. After college, Briana immediately married her best friend and now-husband. A few months into her first year teaching with Teach For America, she found out she was pregnant. Briana and her family live in North Carolina, where Briana blogs about her Christian faith, marriage, family, and young motherhood. You can find her blog here and follow her on Twitter @BrianaMeade. She is also a regular contributor to Early Mama.
If you’re interested in guest posting for the “Love Showed Up” series, I’d love to hear more. Get in touch with me via email and we can chat about your story. I’m leannerae (at) gmail (dot) com.
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