Last Monday I was in turmoil. The fear of the unknown sent me spiraling downward. I could not talk or pay attention my children. I was just grateful my husband was home. I went around in a trance if I was not avoiding my son all together. He was sick, but likely with a cold, nothing I recognized as too dangerous, but we don’t call him “Sneaky Pete” for nothing.
And the next day he was fine. Monday afternoon I felt like I was being hit in the head with a 2×4 of my trauma: the trauma of what happened one year before, the trauma that happened one week before, the trauma that happens when the first time you see your baby you know she is dead. The fear paralyzed me.
And then he was fine. Nothing happened, nothing changed. His labs show he is a little more dehydrated. His doctor is trying to figure out why he is losing fluid, but we passed a normal week at home with him crawling around the place like he owns it, eager to follow and find his siblings who run so fast.
I reflected on this. I was so afraid. My reaction was so big and so out-of-control. I lost all peace I had. I need to learn how to stay cool when these things come up. It is exposure therapy. If I work through the worry, I will learn to not let the trauma control me. The words, Searching for and Maintaining Peace, came to mind. I have that book. I picked up that book.
The author writes, maybe the goal of spiritual combat is not to be invincible and victorious. Maybe, for those who seek to follow the will of God, it is to maintain our peace in all things. We are weak enough. At times, we will fall into temptation, sin, make mistakes, but God calls us not too worry too much. He calls us to pick up and keep moving. Isn’t this just what God has been asking, that at each turn Peter takes, that I adapt and maintain peace to get through it? Isn’t that the project I saw with each new set of bad news, with each return to the hospital? We move back and forth, requiring more and more flexibility, more and more understanding that we are not looking to flip the switch and wake up, but simply to turn the corner and keep moving.
So he threw up this morning and I am waiting for the doctor to call me. But Peter is playing and all signs point that he is probably okay. We will cover our bases. I can stay calm and attentive in this. The fear of the unknown need not paralyze me. I will keep walking.