As my friend and I were talking about how we often fear for the health and safety of our children, I told her that after losing Silas, I was terrified that a normal, ordinary moment would turn into the worst moment of my life…again. Now, I could usually talk myself through these fears and differentiate between which were rational and which were irrational. But, the logical approach still couldn’t ease my fears because we lost Silas out of nowhere, unexpectedly, in a controlled medical environment with all the equipment needed to stabilize his life.
I knew trusting in God was the answer. I tried. I didn’t want to hand everything over to Him, think I could block out my fears and become ignorant to the situations that need attention and quick action should one happen to us. But, the hyper-vigilance the fear created was exhausting and I didn’t have the stamina to stand guard every moment of every day. I was in constant “fight or flight” mode and no one’s nervous system should be taxed like that.
Finally, I asked God to give me peace in the moments that were fine, but to allow me to know with absolute certainty when something was a true emergency. I started to be able to trust and hand over the fear knowing that He would help me in those times.
So often, I wonder what I would’ve done if we’d been at home when Silas slipped away. Would I have had him in my arms like I did at the doctor’s office that day, or would I have looked at him in his bouncy seat and seen my worst fear? Would I have been helping one of my other children and been unaware that he was leaving us? When would I have known it was necessary to call 911, because, when I handed him to our doctor that day, he was still breathing, but something just didn’t feel right. I didn’t know he was dying, and that alone causes me fear of possible emergency situations.
For months and months I wished I had taken Silas out to the doctor just moments sooner, thinking I had dropped the ball, that I had missed the window of time in which he could have been saved. I felt like I had failed him because I lack medical training. Tonight, as I was thinking back on these thoughts, I wished that before that day, I had known to ask God to help me to recognize a true emergency.
But then, I felt a peaceful reassurance as He said to my heart:
But you did recognize and know something wasn’t right. Not only did I show you that, but I placed you in the doctor’s office that day.
I have always felt as though God held us in the palm of His hand and protected us by placing us in the office that day. Many friends have said we couldn’t have been in a better place or in more capable hands at that time and that they were so grateful we were there that day. Being there allowed us to have every reassurance that everything that could’ve been done for Silas was done. It assuaged a small piece of the unfounded guilt I felt. I knew that Silas had been taken home by his Heavenly Father. I just didn’t know why.
Tonight, I saw that providence had not only placed us in the doctor’s care that day, but that God was also answering a prayer that I would ask of Him in the future, for He helped me recognize the need for help while providing that help for us.
I still fear for the lives of my children. I constantly have to hand that fear back over to God. But, my trust in God is growing…