As I explained in my last post, after my recent autoimmune flare-up I knew that I could no longer continue to gloss over my disease to my daughter. She saw her mommy in pain, in tears, and her world wasn't as stable as I usually try to make it. Let me give you a little backstory on previous times this little angel has seen me in tears.
Last winter my grandmother had been having some health problems. I just got off a phone call with her finding out she may need to have some risky open heart surgery. I was upset so I retreated to my bathroom and started crying. Lily, age 3 then, was in the other room playing, but she heard me. She always hears me. I realize that now. She came into the room with her little play princess cell phone and handed it to me and said, "Mommy, call God, he'll answer you." You see we had recently started memorizing scripture with Truthcards and the previous week our verse was Psalm 120:1, "I call on the Lord in my distress and he answers me." So naturally, as I stared at that little princess play phone and I looked up at Lily with her eyes so full of hope and knowing that she had the answer for me... I cried even harder, but then I laughed and hugged her and told her how very, very right she was. And we sat on that bathroom floor together and prayed for my grandmother. She ended up needing a more minor surgery and is doing well.
Several months later, right after Lily tuned 4, I was packing the kids in the car to head to a meeting at church. I was startled to see a dead baby deer on my neighbors front lawn. It had apparently gotten stuck in my neighbor's fence in his backyard and died, but he brought it up front when doing yardwork to bag it up. Great. Thanks for that. And when I saw it I screamed out loud so I brought my kids attetion straight where I didn't want it to be. Nice job, Mommy. Then as we pull out of the driveway, Lily asks me why that man was putting the sleeping baby deer in a trash bag. Was he trash? I felt an urge to make up a story about how deer take naps in trash bags instead of beds, but thankfully that's not what came out of my mouth. I explained that he was dead. We had never known anyone who was dead before and she was too young to remember our cat who died when she was 2, so it was hard to explain what dead meant. I found us having a very sweet conversation about heaven.
"Who goes to heaven, Mommy? Will I go to heaven?"
"Yes, but not for a long time."
"Because I have Jesus in my heart? Will Jesus come with me in my heart to heaven?"
"Jesus will always be with you. No matter where you go."
"Mommy, let's pray about it right now."
So in that 5 minute ride to church my 4 year old was praying for Jesus to come into her heart so he could be with her in heaven. Not quite where or how I had planned on discussing salvation, but there was a reason for that dead baby deer that morning...
3 days later my grandfather suddenly passed away. We found out about it at night, but the next morning I came downstairs before anyone was awake to call my dad and see how he was doing. After I got off the phone the realization that Gramps was really gone hit me hard and I cried. I was crying so hard I didn't hear the pitter patter of little feet come down the stairs. Lily. She had heard me. Of course.
"Mommy, what's wrong? Why do you have water coming out of your eyes?"
"Sweetie, Gramps died last night and I'm sad about it because I'll miss him very much."
"But mommy, why are you sad? That means he's in heaven with Jesus."
More tears, more hugging, more blown away by this little angel.
"Yes, sweetie, he is. You're right."
|Gramps and Lily picking beans from his garden|
So after my flare up I felt a Holy Spirit nudge that I needed to explain to my almost 5 year old what's wrong with Mommy. So my mother watched my son that day as I picked Lily up from vacation bible school and took her out to lunch. After we had ordered, I explained to her that mommy is okay. I said that I have a disease, a sickness that sometimes makes my body hurt even though you can't see a boo boo. I explained that it was just the way God made me. And I said that the disease will probably never go away, but it can be controlled by medicine. She almost cut me off mid-sentence when the word 'control' came out of my mouth.
"No, no mommy. God is in in control. Did you know that?"
The eagerness behind her words showed that this was something that she has just learned and she couldn't wait to share it with me. Naturally, I started crying. I said, "You're right sweetie. Sometimes Mommy forgets."
Thank God for this little angel in my life who can keep Mommy in check. I get goose bumps every time I think of these conversations. The Lord has given her such amazing spiritual gifts and I am so excited to see how she uses them in the years to come.
The past two weeks when I have gotten bummed about my disease I hear those words.
"God is in control. Did you know that?"
It's a reminder we all need sometimes. And you never know what messenger God is going to use. So be on the look out.