When I was going through the roughest spot with this sweet girl, a friend said, "Kenj, someday she'll look back and realize all you did for her." And of course that's not why I did all that I did. It's not why her daddy slept on that awful pull-out chair with the bar in the middle for so many nights. It's not why faithful friends and grandparents spent hours with her. But at the time, it was a comfort to me.
I could not have guessed that Caroline would feel gratitude before we'd even left the hospital to come home. By the time we'd reached the peds floor, she began to look at me differently. We shared sweet moments, happy conversations, and laughter over silly situations we'd get ourselves into amongst the cords and drains and a walk to the bathroom. We had favorite nurses and nurses' aids. We shared similar annoyances at the not-so-funny LOUD doctor who made his rounds at 5 a.m. "GOOD MOOOOORRRNNINNNG! Caroline, wake up! Wake up!" She'd wake up and begin to cry and then the guy would actually say, "No crying. I can't hear your heartbeat if you're crying". Can I get a collective, "DUH!" from my readers?
The first weeks home were mellow for Caroline. She would take at least six weeks to fully recover, much like someone who has mono. But she showed an amazing sweetness of spirit that had come about by the realization she now has that God gave her life back to her in that hospital. That surprises me in one so young, because I think there are a lot of us adults who don't understand the brevity of life and how ours could be snuffed out in one heartbeat.
This All-Knowing, All-Powerful God we'd taught her about since she could remember was now real to her on so many levels.
Just a week or two before she got sick, I had mentioned to my husband that I wasn't sure she understood the Gospel. I had taken the time one evening to talk to her about her sin and grace and Jesus' redemptive work on the cross. But could he do the same with her? Beautiful how God presented him with so many opportunities night after night in that hospital. She knows the Gospel now, and she owns it, too.
Have you taken your children to the cross? Do they know the Gospel? Purely, simply. Do they understand that we are dead in our sin and only Christ can raise us from death to life, from slavery to freedom? Now is the time. Give them hope!