So, getting to retreat was a small miracle in itself. Taylor had the flu for the entire week with relentless fevers, lots of moaning, crying, and whimpering- it was awful. Then he had an ear infection that was making him miserable. We took him to the pediatrician and that afternoon, on Wednesday, his eardrum ruptured. It was hell. I was so stressed and anxious and literally on the brink of a panic attack (which I’ve struggled with in the past). Thursday my mom took my daughter so that I could tend to Taylor’s pus-seeping ear, and tend to calming my spirit. One reason this was so particularly anxiety-producing for me is that I have a long history of ear infections myself starting around 18 months. My own eardrum ruptured and I had 2 sets of tubes which let to a deadly fear of doctors and hospitals, not to mention a permanently perforated eardrum. (This is a problem for anyone that likes to take normal baths, showers, or go swimming, snorkeling, water skiing, etc in any body of water. My ear problems have defined the activities in my life in a serious way.) So this particular event with Taylor sent me into worry tailspin that if he didn’t heal correctly he would be doomed to surgery (Which is what I could do to be “normal” again, but then there’s that problem about being deathly afraid of all things doctor or hospital related.) or a life of ear issues like me.
Throughout this previous week of hell worrying about and caring for Taylor, I had been praying for him. Once it was confirmed that he had a bad infection I started really praying that he would get better. I couldn’t believe that God would hit my hottest hot button by allowing his eardrum to rupture. If I faithfully prayed to Him, and prayed out loud with Taylor so that God would glorify Himself by healing Taylor and Taylor having the 1st hand opportunity to see and experience God’s healing power, and that STILL happened, how much hope can I have that He’s going to heal his ear correctly. I realize this sounds so faithless and rude to God. God please forgive my frustration. My fear. My shut-down trust.
Okay, so retreat. Wednesday, Taylor slept through the night for the first time in 3 nights and Thursday my mom had Selah and I just had time with Taylor. He really seemed to be improving, so I was hopeful that I could leave on Friday. In the late afternoon Taylor’s fever came back as he fell asleep for a nap. Thursday night Taylor FINALLY wanted to eat. He seriously had only eaten like ½ day’s worth in the last 4 days. Friday morning his cotton ball was soaked with pus and liquid, but he was doing okay, and was sitting up and walking himself to potty and smiling again. Praise God. So Friday afternoon we loaded into Dylan’s truck and headed to Murrieta Hot Springs! Yay!! BUT I was still so worried. I had to surrender control. I was worried how Taylor would do without my watchful eye reading his every movement. I was worried that his antibiotic ear drops wouldn’t be administered correctly, or that he wouldn’t be encouraged to drink enough water, or get his vitamins, or that he would be allowed to consume sugar…
Friday night at retreat we stayed up until 1 am playing games. It was so fun! I gave myself permission to sleep in Saturday for a couple reasons. 1: I like sleep. 2: I hadn’t been sleeping while Taylor was sick because he would either wake me up with crying and whimpering about one of his many ailments (my poor baby…), or I would wake myself and check on him, feeling his body for fever or check his draining ear.
I slept until 9:55 am Saturday and it was glorious. I figured I would check on Taylor and how things were going and start my quiet time early. I missed breakfast and Session 2, if that wasn’t obvious. It sounded like Taylor was ok, but Merrell was at work, so Merrell’s mom was at our house, and my dad actually was with Taylor for a couple hours while Taylor went to Opening Day for baseball. I was so worried that this was a far too ambitious event for a kid that couldn’t walk himself to the bathroom 2 days ago…
I sent all my texts checking in with everyone and began my quiet time on the grass, sitting in the sun with a short prayer, and jumped into the book, Believe, that I’ve been reading with a Bible study group. I had a revelation during this reading. I had never understood the significance of the curtain being torn when Jesus died on the cross but I finally GOT IT. That curtain separated the people from God in a lot of ways. People couldn’t have direct access with God, and a LOT of people weren’t even able to have relationship with God even through the priest. Jesus changed all that for when that curtain tore it made it possible for ALL of us to have direct access to God. What a huge privilege!!! Although I had heard this before, I just didn’t get it before. I was so full of thankfulness and awe, and with eyes closed, I turned my face to the heaven (the sky), knowing with full confidence that I could pray right to my God and that He loved me and would hear whatever I had to say. I said in prayer to God, “Please God, please heal Taylor’s ear”. Then it happened. That rare moment when you hear God speak to you. Or think you do at least. I heard/saw Him- it was odd, but cool! The response:
Whoa. So I pause, with my eyes still closed and pointed to the sky “God is that YOU?! Did you just answer me?!??!”
“Oh my Goodness, God. You’re answering me!! ‘I am’ That’s amazing because that’s like your name, kind of, in the Bible! You say that!!”
So cool. I realized God and I were communicating. I don’t have these moments often. Very rarely, actually. Like a handful of times in my life. I mean I’ve seen God move through answered prayer and things like that, but not in this format. It was exhilarating. Then there’s always that little doubt- like did I make that up? But in my heart I knew. I knew the Great “I am” had just answered me that he was healing my Taylor, and that he really was talking to me!! Amazing. So during session 4, when they were singing that song: “Hallelujah, holy, holy, God Almighty, the great I AM! Who is worthy?, none beside Thee, God Almighty, the great I AM”. I was just so touched. Blown away, and in awe that God would commune with me! Praise the Lord!