It’s Monday. This is the day Kiki was born. “Monday’s child is fair of face.” She was. It’s also the day she began to vomit and run a fever with a stomach bug. It’s a day for memories, memories that burn. They sear you like a steak. There are days when it’s not too bad, when you’re a rare steak, still red inside. Today, I’m a well-done steak.
I’ve been able to stave off the memories. I hold them out from me, tentatively moving toward them, but pulling away when the heat pricks my already blistered heart. The paramedics asking Kiki questions, lifting her to the gurney. The way the woman at the hospital pulled me aside to tell me my daughter had a massive seizure and went into cardiac arrest. Standing outside the ER cubicle, peaking through the curtains, watching the monitor for any signs of a heartbeat. I hold on to my sister/friend, Theresa. I’m crying. But the tears don’t obscure the monitors. I wish they did. My daughter hooked up to machines. Tuesday night, her eyes were still reacting to light. She was still there. By Wednesday morning, I had the feeling I was holding hands with a corpse. You shove those feelings back, deny them, bury them, and hope against hope you’re wrong. Unfortunately, Larry told me that night she was most likely brain-dead. My husband is an ER doctor and is rarely mistaken. He allowed me to cling to hope, but I realized that I was hoping for a miracle.
Wednesday night I folded laundry. I hate the way the world goes on when you’re crystallized in a crisis, suspended between hope and grief. I was praying—well, it’s my idea of prayer. I have a running conversation with the Lord going most of the time despite whatever I’m doing—He’s never minded. In fact, my Lord has always encouraged me in this. I swear, He loves folding laundry and He certainly likes cooking. So I told Him I hoped He would show mercy to me and give me back my daughter. His answer was that this kind of hope was a two-edged sword and would only cut me up because I was hoping in the wrong thing. I was not to hope for a particular set of circumstances to happen, but to hope that He was sovereign, that He was good, and that He had a plan. That was a hope I could bet on for both my daughter’s life as well as my own. That’s what I hang on to. Of course, the Lord was right. So even in my darkest night, or the grayest morning, I cling to this. I sometimes wish He would give me a few hints about the plan. He knows I read the ends of books first. Okay, so I do know the end of this story, but I’m missing a few details about the middle and that drives me crazy.
My brother, Tim, once wrote, “Trouble can take anything away from you except God. Therefore, if God is to you a greater safety, a deeper security, and a more powerful hope than anything else in the world, you fear no trouble.” That explains Habakkuk! “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.” Habakkuk 3:17-19
This might not be the Morning I long for, but it’s the morning God’s given me for right now. So excuse me, I need to go climb this mountain of a day.
Elisabeth Elliot Quotes
April 9, 2019
Jesus slept on a pillow in the midst of a raging storm. How could He? Because He slept in the calm assurance that His Father was in control. His was a quiet heart. (Keep a Quiet Heart, p 17) Mark 4:37-39