I ran through my village screaming my husband's name and "Zyrtec, now!" I clutched her hot, little body close to my chest, trying to use the panic to my advantage. I needed speed.
Her neck was rapidly swelling. She had a severe allergic reaction earlier this year, and I feared the worst.
My poor husband couldn't find the Zyrtec because it is already packed for our trip to the States. We leave in a week and a half. I dumped out a suitcase and rifled through the medicines. I couldn't put her down.
Please don't take her, Lord. Please.
By the time I got the medicine in her, I was back on the porch. There wasn't enough light in the house to see to give her the correct dosage. I was surrounded by neighbors who had seen me running. I finally caught their words bit by bit.
"It's normal in Cambodia for the neck to swell like that if you are sick. Look, she's ok. Oh, she smiled at me!" In the background, funeral music blared. Another moto accident. I looked down at my little girl and saw the swelling was only on one area of her neck. She was breathing normally.
My fear slowly receded, but my heart would not slow down. Just today I had taken her to school with me, put her feverish body in the carrier on my back as I taught, then caught a moto into town to see the doctor. He wasn't in, so I got to spend a bit of time with my littlest child as I ran errands. One-on-one time with children is priceless. We finally got to see the doctor that afternoon, and the diagnosis was pneumonia. That word gave me chills as I remembered the last time we had had that diagnosis: following the birth of our fifth in Thailand when such a diagnosis can be deadly.
We drove home, the aircon hardly working in our old car. Today was hot, and I worried about the kids with their fevers. We arrived and started up the generator to run the washing machine. Probably from the market, bedbugs had invaded all the clothes and jackets we had packed for our home assignment. We needed to wash everything.
The clothes were in the washer, so I took the feverish kids on a walk in the coolness before the oncoming storm. I had just sat down with a neighbor when she pointed out the swelling neck of my 16-month-old. I just ran.
When the neighbors left, when I had comforted the older children who I had scared, and I had talked with our doctor in the capital city, I sat holding my baby. She put her sweet hands on my tear-covered cheek, said Mama, and kissed me on my nose.
The tears were hard to stop. I'm tired, that deep down kind of tired that sleep doesn't help. I've thought I could handle all this, that living in a village with six children should really be easy. I thought if I could just exercise enough, pray hard enough, work hard enough, my life would be smooth sailing.
Let's just call that what it is: PRIDE.
I've had so much belief in my ability to be strong, I haven't allowed myself to really believe that this life I have willingly chosen is HARD, very, very hard.
It's not that I don't want my life, it's just hard. I must stop telling myself that I can make it easy. I can't. No amount of "If I just" sayings will change the fact that eight people need three meals a day from scratch from the market, and said meals might just give us food poisoning. Every move I make in our outside my house is monitored and analyzed. How much power we have is constantly on my mind, so simply turning on a switch takes a good deal of mental effort.
In my pride, I have yet to embrace truth, yet to accept my inability to make my situation easy. My pride has made a difficult situation more difficult as I have constantly beaten myself up mentally for struggling. Sin has a way of doing that, stealing our joy and dependence on God. It's time I threw this sin off.
This is why we are heading to the States, heading to LinkCare, and to rest, and to a few months of non-stop electricity. This decision has hurt my pride immensely, but I cannot keep going without a real break. So, good riddance pride. My plane ticket just told on me: Weak and proud of it!
How have you tried to deal with difficult life circumstances? Has your pride kept you from joy and dependence on the Lord? Do you find yourself saying "If I just..." life will be so much easier?