In An Instant

Mom's Lessons From Children's Hospital
In an instant, all of our comforts and familiarity can slide out from underneath us.

Trust me. We know.

A few months ago -- while we were already navigating some complications with my pregnancy -- we found ourselves at the local children's hospital trying to process some hard, unexpected news about one of our daughters.

We watched our beautiful, courageous girl get pricked and prodded with more needles and blood draws than I can count. The 3-hour appointment felt like an eternity.

We waited tirelessly by our cell phones day-in and day-out to receive updates on test results and referrals for specialists.

We scheduled appointments and waited, scheduled more appointments and waited.

We put on brave faces for our daughter while she underwent uncomfortable and scary procedures that no child should have to go through.

We cried. We cried a LOT.

We held onto hope that we were not being thrown more than we could handle, and prayed that our precious daughter would be okay.

That we would all be okay.

We were tired.

We were worried.

To say this particular season was isolating and overwhelming and terrifying and emotionally draining...those are all understatements.

The emotions we processed were hard. The list of possibilities we could expect in the future was daunting. We found ourselves digging deep into a pot of strength we didn't even know we had.

We leaned on family members and a handful of dear friends for support, childcare and unexpected but thoughtful pick-me-ups like meals and snacks and flowers to help us feel like we weren't completely falling apart.

Those moments and these people made our daughter smile; they made us remember that even in the midst of chaos and hard times -- very hard times -- there is still so much good.

In the past few months, we've gone through various procedures and testing. We've put on brave faces even though our hearts were breaking.

And while our daughter will be okay -- we'll all be okay -- we've been reminded that not all children are.

And not all families are so lucky.

We've seen families in the lobby of the children's hospital in tears. We've seen parents on cell phones pacing the hallways. We've seen courageous faces of beautiful children in wheelchairs getting on and off elevators. Waiting to get labs drawn. And clenching the ribbon of a bright balloon bouquet as they make their way back to their home away from home in the hospital.

We've watched parents in waiting rooms with tired, worried eyes brew pots of coffee at all hours of the day.

We've walked by the chapel and prayed not just for our daughter and our family, but for every family facing a level of uncertainty and fear; for every family in a season of waiting. In a season where they, too, may feel overwhelmed.

If you are one of those families, my heart and my prayers are with you.

Related content:
What I Learned in the ER
Life Changes in an Instant

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