About a week ago, I took my 2 year old in for a cough. It wasn’t just any cough–the poor kid could hardly catch his breath before another coughing fit would come on!
And just like that, we were told that the most likely cause is asthma.
I was incredulous. But as the doctor explained how he reached his conclusions and I asked more questions, it all sank in.
A lot of kids have it. In fact, it runs in my family. It’s a pretty common diagnosis and very manageable for most children. Many even outgrow it. I know this. It shouldn’t have been a big deal to me and it shouldn’t have taken me completely by surprise. But it did.
I switched into autopilot mommy mode. We filled prescriptions, did breathing treatments, fed kids, put them down for naps, and baked a cake for my husband’s birthday.
At some point, I finally had a moment to breathe. And I just burst into tears. The next minutes were spent in tears and prayers for my little guy.
I’m still not sure why it hit me so hard, but I’ve got a few ideas.
I didn’t expect it that day. I debated with myself a lot on whether or not to even bring him to the doctor. I expected a viral diagnosis, maybe breathing treatments in the meantime, but definitely not a long-term chronic problem.
I never expected it in my healthy kid. I expected it in my child who has food allergies. He’s the same one who had half a lung removed as a newborn because of a crazy rare lung defect, so a respiratory issue would not surprise me. But my youngest? My healthy son? Not him.
I like to think I’m in control. And anything that I can’t control bothers me. A lot. That’s why we spent an entire month talking about letting go of perfect. I guess I still have some perfect that I need to let go of.
I like things to be easy. Now hear me out–I can do the diligent nurse mom thing–I’m such a task-oriented person that it comes naturally. But honestly? I don’t like having to monitor my child’s respirations to make sure he’s OK. I just don’t like that level of concern and I like it when my kids are healthy and things run smoothly.
I don’t like being tired because I’ve had to do breathing treatments every four hours during the night (you moms with infants can laugh now, but I’m out of practice!). And I don’t like having to stop what I’m doing to give another breathing treatment–we’ve had to do treatments in the minivan!
And I don’t like leaving a restaurant because my child is responding to the air with a coughing fit. Yes, this happened–it was the first time in 6 years of parenting that we had to pack up our food to-go. But you know what? I may not like these things, but I’ll do them if it means taking proper care of my children. Honestly? I just prefer it when my kids require less maintenance.
I worry. It’s actually a spiritual battle for me. I was never a big worrier until my son’s rare lung defect and emergency lung surgery, but I became one in the aftermath. But recently I’ve been doing really well with not worrying and being fearful and in many ways I felt I had overcome it. That could’ve been my first mistake–I have to be aware that the sin of giving into my fears is always going to be crouching there.
How am I going to respond as soon as worry enters my head? How do you respond when worry and fear begin to envelop you? I’d love to hear how you handle it.
For me, it starts with prayer and scripture. I practice taking my thoughts captive so that my fearful thoughts don’t overrun my mind and my heart. This time, I also texted a few friends to ask for prayer, not just for my toddler but for me too. He answered those prayers. He gave me so much freedom from fear and worry that day and in the days since. I don’t have to be a worried mom.
We don’t have to be fear-filled moms. We can trust God with the What Ifs. I can trust Him with my children–the very children He made. He formed them. He was not surprised about my son’s lung defect or this child’s asthma. In fact, He made them this way.
We can trust our loving, sovereign creator with the tiniest of asthma diagnoses or the big scary lung defects in life. He loves our children even more than we do. They are his.
Do you struggle with worry and fear? I would love to hear from you about how you approach it. I’m working on printable scripture cards that I’m going to share with you that are perfect for those fearful mama moments. Be sure to subscribe to MamaGab by Email so that you don’t miss those!