“No Pain No Gain”: Rough Week Rewards

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The popular sports motto used by athletes that promises greater value rewards for the price of hard and even painful work, “No pain, no gain”, could sum up this week.

This week was rough.

But I am so thankful.

I was forced to ask for help. Something I usually avoid at all cost. I absolutely hate asking people for help. But because of this, I have isolated myself from a very crucial and treasured component of life– growing a VILLAGE.

We are NOT meant to do life alone. We NEED one another. And I love helping other people out so why do I not allow others in to help me?!

Galatians 6:2– Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

This week SO many people stepped up to “bear our burdens”.  As our family adjusted to life with a newborn foster love & prepared for welcoming her sweet older brother (we will call him “Little Man” to preserve anonymity), we were thrown a little curveball.

Wednesday, I was at “Little Man’s” doctor appointment with “Precious” (newborn foster love) seeing some specialists. I had just met his current foster mom and him for the first time in the exam room when suddenly I started feeling ill. Talk about bad timing. It started with moderate pain in my abdomen and left back, nausea, and that feeling you have just before you may pass out. Embarrassingly, I interrupted conversation to excuse myself to the restroom because I thought I was going to be sick. I sat on a cot in the restroom and debated what the heck to do. I had texted my husband “I think I am dying” (lol) and eventually found the strength to make my way back to the exam room where I apologized and explained that “something is not right, I may need to go.” My husband called and said he was on his way. I explained where I was and an employee (a sweet Child Life specialist) asked what car he drives and soon after saw him running towards the area and escorted him to me. I’ve never been so happy to hear his voice (ha). He wheeled me out (the sweet Child Life specialist insisted I could not walk) & took me (and “Precious”) to the ER across the street. By that time I was vomiting and shaking uncontrollably. We were greeted by a not so nice “well it will be at least a 4 hour wait…I’m sorry but we are busy”). We waited maybe 10 minutes there and then decided to leave and try a different ER near home. My poor husband was my “ambulance driver” & had to put up with my moaning, vomiting, and shaking (which rattled the wheelchair making quite the racket ha).  He said he got LOTS of looks pushing me around & sitting with me…poor guy lol. We rushed to the nearby ER and long story short… after a CT scan, I was told it was kidney stones. A couple of doses of Morphine and Toradol later and the pain was more manageable. At that point I spoke to my husband about what all happened during the crazy couple hours prior. He had called neighbors to pick up the baby (before we decided to switch hospitals and run by home first… because we did not want a 1 week old hanging out in an ER). Said neighbors insisted on helping and checked in with my aunt to offer help and brought dinner later that evening. My aunt continually assured me that she was fine and to STOP worrying. My phone was blowing up with people asking if I was ok. My husband cancelled his work trip for the next day and took care of me and drove me and the kids when I feared the pain medications may still be in my system the next AM.

I think God allowed kidney stones because I needed to be knocked on my butt (big time) to surrender my “I’ve got this” mentality & to instead admit that I NEED other people to help us on this journey. We NEED a village. We ALL need a village.

Ecclesiastes 4:9&10–Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down,one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.

SO while kidney stones brought me MUCH pain (like worse than labor) & embarrassment (for me AND my husband sidekick– he said people probably thought I was seizing or withdrawing ha), they also brought MUCH GAIN.

I learned that my husband is the best partner I could ask for in hard times. I knew that but this was reinforced.  

I let people in our lives and in turn am growing our village.

I saw once again how beautiful life is when people come together– and felt so much love & support being on the receiving end.

THANK YOU to our village. Thank you neighbors, family, and friends who have offered to bring us meals. Thank God for aunts like mine who insist I am not burdening them by asking them to watch our 3 (soon to be 4) kids 4 and under. Thank you friends who have offered to help with preschool drop off and pick up (so I don’t always have to get 4 kids in and out of carseats). Thank you to neighbors who gave us crib mattresses and baby baths and bottles etc. Thank you to friends who have sent messages of encouragement and checked in to see how things are going. Thanks to all those who have been praying (definitely felt!). And thank you to that Child Life Specialist (wish I caught her name but I was too distracted by pain) who went above and beyond to get my husband to me and to be sure I was comfortable (as comfortable as possible with kidney stones).

You never know how seemingly small acts of kindness can make ALL the difference in someone’s life.

Update: TOMORROW, “Little Man” moves in! He visited with us Saturday to play and get to know us more to hopefully ease the transition and we loved having him. We will certainly have our hands full but I trust God will provide.

Please pray for Little Man as he transitions to our home. Pray for his and “Precious’” mother and family. Pray that God draws us and others closer to Him through this journey.

Have you been thinking about fostering? If so just know that God will fill in the gaps, He will show up when things seem impossible, He will equip you, and He will place people in your life to be YOUR village. There is no perfect time or perfect family for fostering. And there are LOTS of reasons why NOT to do it. But just trust me– the pain (loss) is worth the gain.

♥Angela

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