Micaela's scream made the hair on my neck stand on end. I rushed to the other side of the living room to see my shaking toddler sitting next the the writhing body of a wasp. I snatched her away then ran back to take care of the invader. After I dumped the dead wasp into the trashcan I gathered Micaela into my arms. She was still crying but had stopped shaking. It took me a few minutes to find the sting because it was nestled in the folds around her chunky wrists. I don't know of any cures for wasp stings. I dug into the medicine drawer and pulled out calamine lotion. I dabbed a bit on her wrist but when I tried to lift her into my arms she pushed me away.
Micaela is like that. When things overwhelm her she tends to deal with them by avoiding any extra stimulus. That means that she stops interacting and reacting and sort of shuts down. I forget this about her. In that moment all I could think about is how much pain she must be in. I wanted to distract her from it, give her something else to focus on. I lifted her into my arms again and tried bouncing her but she screamed at me and pushed away another time.
I let her be. Quietly Micaela sat on the floor and breathed in an out. She held her hurt wrist in one hand. Her crying stopped. Five minutes later I watched her give herself a little shake and then strike out on a fast crawl to a favorite toy.
In that moment I thought of a couple dear friends of mine that are dealing with some of the biggest hurts life has ever thrown at them. I have tried to encourage them and offer support but truly I feel at a loss to aid in their healing. It wasn't until that moment today watching Micaela that something hit me. Both those precious friends of mine are desperately trying to simply move forward and march through the pain. They have allowed themselves no time to simply deal with the sting.
I remember that. When I lost Isabela, then lost Mom, then brought home a severely neurologically damaged Micaela, I gave myself no time to deal with the horrid sting of life. I blocked it out and bullied my way through. But the whole time the sting never left and it crippled me emotionally. Nine months later I finally stopped and dealt with that awful sting, truly allowed it the place it already held in my life. I took time to concentrate on healing. I allowed the deep expanse of my wounded heart to grieve.
Today I knelt down and kissed that wasp wound and marveled at the light in Micaela's eyes.
God, thank you for these little things. For that little nudge, that little reminder, that we are allowed to stop and deal with our hurts, our wounds, and seek healing. Thank you for reminding us that we were not asked to pretend pain away or limp wounded pretending we are whole.
We come to You, God, with honest hearts about the stings of life and may we find our help in You.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
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"...and God was already there with me."