I rock his 40-pound, eight-year-old body back and forth as he punches my chest again and again to the melody of his desperate wails of, Why, God? Why?
He's screamed to the point of exhaustion, where he can bring himself to quiet.
So I beg God to quiet my soul for the both of us.
It was four full years ago that we said goodbye to the treatments, to the meds, to the endless appointments.
The first week after his first birthday, I watched my middle son writhe in pain as he went from a 18-pound baby, to an 11-pound shell.
It took almost a full year to adequately diagnose. 365 days of poking, prodding, and scoping to discover a rare digestive disease had crossed with a rare complex food allergy, leaving his body to fight all nutrients rather than absorb them for his benefit.
This was the space that broke us, that led us to leave all on the altar and say, Lead, Father. Whatever, Whenever, However.
For the last four years, his body's enemy has laid dormant. It buried itself into remission, only to sneak it's ghastly head once again.
In a blink every symptom is back, and my son looks at me with tears in his eyes to say, Mommy, I thought God wanted me to be happy.
Tears spill from my eyes as I whisper, My son. Our God is so much bigger than our happiness. You are made for so much more than happiness. You are made for Jesus.
He wraps his arms around me and cries, That's not fun though.
No, it's not, Benj. Some days it's down right nasty.
Six years ago he couldn't tell me the ways his stomach writhed in pain day in and day out. He couldn't explain how it filled him with fury, never allowing him to rest.
But now he can, and this mama's heart is hurting for her son.
We journey through a world that tells us and whispers to our children that our purpose in life it to be satisfied, to be healthy, to be happy.
Even among our Christian circles, some whisper that with enough faith, the right prayers, and the exact confessions, we will attain satisfaction and fulfillment on this earth. We mask it in the word, Blessing.
But not one of those people has the courage to look into the eyes of my son and tell him, he's not praying right; his parents don't believe enough; he was made to be fully happy here, so maybe he's missed the boat.
But I take his face, cupping it into my hands and look into his eyes, Buddy, I want to take this from you with all my heart. But this is your story. God can heal you, and we will beg Him for that without stopping. But when I rubbed my belly to feel you inside of me, I prayed that God would make your body in the exact way that would bring Him glory and you good through the story He wants to write only through you.
This is your story.
You will know Jesus in a way no one else can as we fight this fight together. And Daddy and I won't leave your side.
Maybe, just maybe, it's time for us to leave our settled dreams of happiness for our children at the altar and begin dreaming bigger, allowing them to own the story God is weaving through them already to bring Him glory and them good.
Clinging to Jesus ~