Tag Archives: going through hard times

A Microcosm of Cosmic Chess

On a cold but cozy afternoon, my daughter and her husband were sharing their birth experience from last week, more like debriefing; and seeing the counterplay of bad and good, I commented, “This was clearly cosmic chess.”

Even though her delivery was scheduled to give greater control, her doctor got called out to an emergency c-section which caused her staff to try to delay her labor. But she was so exhausted from being in light labor all night, she was not ready for extended labor, and started passing out with the contractions. Her nurse thought an epidural would help her, and so she agreed.

However, that caused her blood pressure to  drop to 70/30, and her frantic nurses worked long and hard to get it back up. Suddenly the whole floor was slammed  with patients, and a new doctor was called to cover for her chosen doctor. However, my daughter liked her even better, and felt more comfortable with this lady who was definitely in charge, knew her stuff, and got the bleeding stopped.

With her hemorhage history, the dark side had been trying to  scare me for months, as they always do, and I had been refusing their fear fairly well. (Fortunately,  I didn’t know her bleeding started again during the night.)  The last lie they had pushed was that something would be  wrong with the baby–disfigurment or something, so it isn’t surprising how they set things up, and that the drop in pitocyn had confused both Mom and baby hormone processes. The baby kept turning and getting stuck.  The doctor had to reach in and move her shoulder so she could come out…  when she  did, the chord was wrapped around her neck twice and she was blue, but they were swift in dealing with it, and turned to mommy’s bleeding.

However, at home the hours dragged by, and I was praying, trying not to  be afraid. I was sure she would deliver by noon!! (Her last baby had come 45 minutes after they broke her water!) Then came Jeremy’s text at 2:30 and she was still only at 5! Now it was hard to be calm. What was going on? I was glad I only had Jack–the three older boys had  stayed with their dad–it would have been hard to hide my stress from them.  Finally came the first picture her daddy sent at 6:30, Eileigh was slightly banged up and swollen, and her color didn’t look good, but at least she was born!

I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to go see them—it was too late and they wanted to have the first two hours alone, also to make sure Lox was ok. Jack needed to go to  bed—he’d had a runny nose that we were successful arresting with alkaline food. I was sure with good sleep he’d be well tomorrow.

But his dad wanted us to bring him, so we did. And  I was so happy  to see my daughter and get to hold the baby during  her optimal bonding time (the first four hours).  It was a bit unnerving to hear my daughter say she was sure she wouldn’t have made it if it had been 100 years ago. Or even if she hadn’t been in the hospital. Baby Eileigh had a scrape but looked beautifully like her mother.

Also unnerving was Jack screaming uncontrolably all the 20 minutes home. I was sitting in the back with him an nothing worked, so I finally moved to the seat in front of him and then felt like I’d abandoned him. I don’t remember how he went to bed but it must have been ok, he was exhausted. I was too, but I was amped and couldn’t get to sleep til 1:00. The next morning the alarm went off at 5:00. (They’d asked us to sleep in their room so we could hear Jack, but forgot about the alarm.)  And then I couldn’t go back to sleep.

Jack was fine the next day until he facetimed with them at the hospital and melted down again. This time putting him in his room worked, telling him to scream as long as he needed to and to come out when he was done. But I already knew I wasn’t taking  him to the hospital again. Actually I knew better the night before and wished I’d been strong enough to tell his father. He was happy and would have been fine if he hadn’t seen him.

So I suggested Jeremy come put him to bed that night, which seemed to be a good idea, till Jack dragged it out. Finally, he went to sleep, and Jeremy left, asking me to check on him. My husband and I were already in bed so I went in immediately–afraid I’d fall asleep. I pulled up another blanket ever so lightly and he woke up and started screaming for daddy! (Once again I should have trusted my instincts and gone too sleep!) This time it only lasted about 5 minutes or less,  but then he woke up cold 3 hours later probably from kicking while screaming, and I felt like the world’s worst grandma! He woke again 2 hours after that, but no screaming.  And no more sleep for  me.

The next day they came home and we started to sleep again, but I still got his cold. He hasn’t yet. I’m amazed, but remembered hearing that colds are just uncried tears. I’m sure he had gotten them all out! But I hadn’t!

However, God prevailed, as They always will with our choice. My cold is gone, Jack is sleeping through the night again, and even Lox is doing better. I’m glad I’m still here to help and give her a couple more hours sleep in the mornings. This place can get loud even with the best intentions of four boys (three tracted out of school). And baby Eileigh is wonderful, beautiful, and looks exactly like her mommy did as a baby. It’s amazing and bonding! It’s going to be hard to leave.


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Seeing is Believing Unfortunately

When you are suffering loss, it is so hard to see it as an opportunity. And yet it is. It can be “the site of your next miracle” (Graham Cooke)–it only depends on choice–your choice.

The thing is God can’t (won’t) choose for us. And if you go into discouragement or anger, it will take you down a completely different road–one that gets darker and darker. Physical hormones cause it! So use your beautiful power!

It’s hard, I know. Negativity is so natural to us. The hardest place for me to fight discouragement is when people don’t choose what I can see would be so good for them. Still? After 25 years of doing therapy with people, I still want to make them choose? I know they have to do it. I KNOW it. And yet it can get to me. They can’t see what I see. And I can’t choose for them.

You know, wars have been fought, people died, because people can’t make other people choose what they want. And most often it is fueled by fear or greed. What is it that gets to you? And more importantly, how do we get out of these potholes? How do we choose our next miracle?

Stop the negative thoughts. Anything that is against you, anything that scares you or stifles your energy and motivation. Switch tracks. Remember there are Four on your side fighting with you and Three of Them don’t lose unless we don’t choose.

If nothing, but fear and negativity, is in your head, ask God for a positive thought. If you are already too negative to hear Him, just start saying thank you for the most basic things–sight, movement, food, clothes, a home–many, many people are without or losing these things. By the time you’ve given thanks for three things you will feel better. And if even that can’t get out of your mouth, start jumping around saying “Praise God!” “Thank you Jesus!” That will make you smile and you will open up the channel to God and the dark side will leave.

By that time, you will be able to do what you need to do: ask God for vision, a plan, perspective on your situation, or give yourself to Them: my Three Favorites: Abba, Adonai (Jesus) and Ruach.

Then practice Their presence by asking, “What do I do with this?” or “What should I say now?” or just by tuning in every time you feel good (praise) or less than good (asking for help).There are Three gracious and glorious beings who are crazy about you all the time–even when you mess up! Even when you’re negative and feel like a worm! They are still waiting to hang out with you! How cool is that?


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Release and Trust Makes “Hard” Easier

If you want to experience how good God is, walk through something scary holding onto His hand! Would I be saying this if my story ended differently? I think so. My experience would depend on my response, so I hope so. My husband had emergency surgery Friday morning.

We couldn’t figure out why his foot kept getting cracks that wouldn’t heal. But I knew enough to know that it might have to do with the fact that he is diabetic, so when things that had helped turned to a reverse effect, causing pain, I asked if he thought he should go into the hospital. Thursday morning we asked God together to show him what to do, and an hour later he decided to take my sister’s advice to see a specialist. He’s a vet, so he called his VA doc, but had to get authorization, so decided to go to a podiatrist meanwhile. He got an appointment the same day, and discovered his situation was urgent and needed immediate attention: he had no blood flow to that foot! No wonder it was cold!

Between my 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock client he told me, “We have to make a decision tonight. I need surgery now.” We were flying to NC for a vacation the day after. He told me what the doctor said, and I said, “We’ll go after I finish with this client. Get ready.” So he canceled our tickets and rental car, and called the hospital ER in L.A.

The receptionist said they were slammed, and when I heard I groaned inwardly. I’d had four hours of sleep the night before because of his pain, and I knew we would be sitting in a waiting room all night. But I said to God, “You must have a way to get through this.”

Almost immediately my husband said, “Let’s go to the VA hospital in Loma Linda!” We had lived in Loma Linda and met there, and were both familiar with it, so the fact that it was a half hour further didn’t matter. We knew our way around, knew people there.

“Ah yes the Jerry Pettis Memorial! Can you go there?” He called and he could. We put some things in a bag and left.

Two hours later he was checked in, and a half hour later had a room seeing the ER doc, who called in a vascular surgeon. By 3:00 a.m. he was scheduled for surgery at 7:00 a.m. He was in a hospital bed and room by 4:00, the nurse had gotten me a recliner and told us, “You can get two hours sleep before they come for you,” and turned off the lights and shut the door. We were so grateful.

However, I lay in my recliner thinking, what if this is the last time we have? The surgeon had given us sobering info. She had finally found enough pulse to schedule surgery, but she couldn’t guarantee the results; his kidneys weren’t strong; finding the blood clot, that was obviously there, would take dye that could cause them to fail; and they might end up having to amputate. So the simple installing-stints surgery had suddenly gone from a 3 to a 10 on the fear scale.

I crawled onto his bed and said, “I have to sleep here. If you don’t come out of this (we had talked about that in the ER) I’d always regret that I didn’t.”

He got a roommate at 5:00, and there went our sleep. At 5:30 he called our kids to tell them he was going into surgery. A surgical nurse came at 6:00 to prep him.

He was in surgery from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. without a word of how it was progressing. I had slept in the empty family room until 9:30, and woke up, expecting to hear something soon. I went back to his room–the chaplain came and prayed, and vascular support came in to tell me they would take him directly to ICU–they always did for vascular surgery–so it would be longer than expected. That helped. Texts from friends and my daughters helped, I went to the cafeteria and ate.

But by 1:00, God and I had a talk about what it would be like for him to live adjusting as an amputee, and I released him into God’s hands for whatever was best for him and us.

Shortly after that my friend Ev came, just when I was beginning to want her there. She had said I could stay at her house, and I had told her she didn’t need to come up, but she did as if on cue, and I was so glad she was with me when the doctor called. I was nervous after seven hours with no word.

The surgery had been a great success! They had found the big clot, cleaned out plaque, and put in stints. His leg was basically fillayed but he was doing well! Thank you Jesus! What relief! His kidneys hadn’t failed and he still had his foot.

Could I have said God is good if any other outcome had happened? God IS good. Hopefully I could have said it and believed it and felt it no matter what. Maybe we can learn that by release and trust rather than hard, very hard experiences. But even if He takes you that way–hang on to His hand. It makes hard times easier to know you are loved.

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