Eliana, my youngest daughter, came down with a fever over Labor Day weekend. I assumed at first that it was because we'd been in the sun all day Saturday with friends, but then I remembered that there is an epidemic going around our area. In fact, a little girl from our church had been hospitalized after getting sick. The thoughts came fast and frightening, could Eliana have something like that?
Why is a fever so frightening? I know for me, it's because of our history. I have not had easy pregnancies, twice life threatening emergencies, and a third with yet another baby in the NICU. I've had several additional surgeries, we deal with food sensitivities, and the death of our second daughter. For me, every time the girls get ill, I plead with God to spare their lives. I know that He can heal, I also know He doesn't always choose to do so.
My husband said he was sure Eliana was very sick. She sneezed 9 times. A symptom! She coughed twice. Ack, another symptom! She has a fever! That's the third symptom! We began running around: you, look on the internet to find out possible home remedies!* You, what can we do to boost immunity? You, make this! You, read that! You, pick up that crying baby!
Wait a minute, a small thought pushed it's way forward: you are reacting out of fear, at this point, all she really has is a fever. Well, yes, but...
I had been talking with my sister earlier that week about fear. How it can become a controlling factor in my life and the way I respond to my children. I want them to be healthy, to be okay. But often, the best course of action is actually to pause, to wait a moment and just think through what is happening, and to examine different courses of action. If I take this path, will I be satisfied where it leads? It might bring healing today, but at a cost I'm willing to pay for tomorrow? If I let the fever run it's course, (and treat it with homeopathy) what will that result be?
I asked Dave, can we just sit a minute? Just take a few minutes to pray and be still before we decide what we should do? He readily agreed and as we paused, I had a great sense of peace. Yes, something bad could happen. Something bad might be already happening. But, we were doing what we could for what was right in front of us. We ultimately decided that was all we could do. Treat what was right in front of us and get additional help when, and if, the time came.
Tuesday morning her fever was gone. No coughing, no sneezing. Nothing. A week later (and many hours of crying) her second tooth popped through.
What about you? Are there areas that when the fear starts you find that you often over react? That you really have a hard time keeping collected? How does it affect the problem? Has it ever helped? Have you learned any lessons or strategies to help yourself pause?
Until next time,
*We have had many major medical crisis, for which we are grateful for modern American medicine, but generally we have moved very much in the direction of home treatment and natural remedies.