At one o'clock this afternoon I sat in a small hospital outpatient room. For fifty-five minutes I waited, while doing my best to entertain my preschooler and my toddler. Finally, the person in charge was ready to do what we came for. Three vials of blood were going to be collected for my youngest's genetic testing. A familiar nurse, from our NICU days, who happened to be on the fourth floor today, was called in to assist with holding my sweet boy still.
I stood off to the side, and the minutes it took for the procedure seemed so much longer than the waiting we had experienced all afternoon. He cried and cried and cried. And I had to just stand there, doing nothing but waiting for it to be over. Unfortunately we cannot help our son without this pain being part of the process.
I will not forget the sound of his cries. I will not forget fighting back my own tears, the queasy feeling in my stomach, as I had to wait for the nurses to finish. I know I will not forget because three and a half years ago, one floor up in the same hospital, my firstborn cried similar, gut-wrenching tears. For our oldest, it was when his feedings were taken away for a few days while doctors tried to determine what was causing the concern in his premature belly. A mother doesn't forget this type of waiting, these kinds of tears.
I don't know of anything worse as a mother than hearing my babies cry and not being able to do anything about it. Especially when deep down I know it is for their own good. Knowing that doesn't take away the pain of having to wait it out. Just because something is for the best does not make it easy.
Today, in my little bit of waiting, God showed me a little bit more of His heart. I know we always refer to God as Father, but I think William P. Young got it right in The Shack. God has a mama's heart, too. I can't help to wonder if I got just a tiny glimpse of the pain God Almighty felt on Good Friday, allowing His Son to shed His blood for our benefit. The waiting He chose to endure instead of stepping in. All because of the depth of His love for us.