Sunday, November 16, 2008

Breakfast with Kim

Late Friday night an email came in from my neighbor, Kim. I've mentioned her before as the proud mother of fourteen children. After emailing a couple of times back and forth we decided to meet for breakfast early Saturday morning at the nearby Denny's. We left our phones on at the restaurant because Kim has to keep tabs on the night shift nurse leaving the house and the day shift nurse coming to help her care for her special needs children. I left my phone on so Paul could call me with questions about Qavah's morning medications. With one ear to our phones we relaxed into a conversation that lifted my spirit so high I decided to blog about it. Kim gave me a pep talk.

I explained to Kim that no sooner did we arrive home from the best medical appointment we have ever had for Qavah, when a series of discouraging events started pounding in like murky ocean waves. What had promised to be a simple series of testing became complicated by a disagreement between Qavah's doctors, and questions about moving forward with treatment. As I was telling this to Kim and looking to Monday morning when I am "going to the mat" for Qavah, I found myself exhausted and faint-hearted. Kim talked about her experiences and by God's grace I was poised for a learning experience. As she described the resistance she has had with the medical field at times over the care of her children she said, " Dawn, courage will keep you from being swallowed up by fear." I thought that was so profound that I wrote it on the back of my shopping receipt. She suggested that I not only pray for wisdom, but for courage. It was such a simple concept that my courage rose as we finished our third cup of coffee.

Remembering to have courage at the right time is the key. In one of the books from the Narnia series written by C.S. Lewis, Aslan gave the children three things to remember at the beginning of their journey. He told them they must repeat those things everyday or they would forget their objectives. I arrogantly thought, "just for fun I am going to memorize these myself." It wasn't long before I was caught up in the adventure of the story and in a riveting moment one of the children asked, "Oh, what was it Aslan told us to remember at times like these?" I set the book down and try as I might, I found I had forgotten them also. Isn't that like life? I was so caught up in the challenge of Qavah's health care and my own fears that I forgot that the power I need for this task is already within me.

On Monday morning I'm trading my fear for courage. It may rear its ugly head a time or two but through Christ, "Who did not give me a spirit of fear but of love, power, and a sound mind," I will proceed. As perfect love casts out all fear, my love for Qavah will keep me fighting this fight. I choose to yield to courage. I just sent myself an email that I will open first thing tomorrow. It says, "Dawn, you can do all things through Christ Who strengthens you." And the heading of my email reads, "Courage!"