Monday, October 7, 2013

When The Demons Come Back

"You could no more kill the darkness than you could raise the sun, and the night was cold and black like the barrel of a gun. And I remember the tremble in the words you spoke as you balanced there on the brink at the end of your rope. And you came so close to letting go." 
Baby Z and Baby S
 “You Came So Close”- Andrew Peterson

It started with the noise.

The groaning, throaty, gurgly noise. We termed it "griping.”  The real word is reflux. You can read about our experience with GERD in my previous posts. 

I had listened to it for months as Boo tried, without success, to settle the fire in his tummy, his throat, his whole little body.

It sounded like someone was squeezing his throat and choking him while his stomach tried to erupt through the tension. The sound meant sleepless nights, crying all day, bone-tired parents and an unhappy, fussy baby.  It meant doctor visits, blood work, tests, expensive medicines. For me, it meant a place of darkness where I was imprisoned and (at least in my mind) alone. A place where prayers went unheard, cries went unanswered, and desperation nearly gave way to hopelessness. It meant loneliness, worry, fear. For years.  Like the song says, at least mentally, I came so close to just letting go.  It is a place that I vowed to never, ever return to.

After years of battles, tests, procedures, medicines, we figured out the right combinations to end his suffering. He grew into a happy, wonderful boy. I thought I'd never hear the noise again.

But then along came twin pregnancy. Even with that, I told myself we wouldn't have to deal with it again. Surely, this time we'd be spared.  Surely.

Baby Z was 10 days old when I heard it. The very same noise. The very same face, body scrunched, legs pulled up. The struggle. The wrestling. 
Oh, so tired!
A few more days and it was confirmed. Z had reflux just like Boo. My peaceful, sleepy newborn transformed before my eyes into a fitful, miserable, uncomfortable creature who could not be soothed.

And then 3 days later, Baby S followed.
life is hard

That noise, it makes my stomach sink. It makes tears spring to my eyes.  It makes me feel this pit inside me- a deep, dull place of aching and fear.

I have told you the facts of what we went through with Boo, but not the emotional depth of my own struggle. My crying out to God- my pleading, then demanding, for healing. The endless days and sleepless nights that produced an almost-delirious, mind-torturing exhaustion that felt like it would end me.  The crying in the shower in the mornings- God, how can you expect me to stand up today? And the faith wrestling within me. Why would He not answer? I prayed and cried in every way I knew how- there was no relief.  

After months…years of that, a few good friends and the voice of God himself pulled me out of that self-made pit.  Yes, the circumstances were external, and really really hard.  Everything outside of me was truly suffering- my marriage, my friendships, my sick child, my older child, my house, my work, everything. But the inside of me was a self-made prison of darkness.  Finally, light poured in, joy returned, strength came in the form of realizing that God himself stood right beside me- carried me- in the weakest of my days.  No, He didn’t rescue me quickly or give me relief I demanded, but He never ever left me

And that writhing, struggling creature turned into a boy I have loved like I never knew possible.  I remember when we found out about the twins, I looked at Boo and said, “Yep. I’ll take two more of you!”  His real name is a tribute to a story in the Bible about hearts being turned back to God.  And that is what Boo and his struggle did for me.  I thought that was the end of that story. But it has happened again- the same struggle is staring me in the face.

So what do you do when the very same demons come back? When the noise returns and this time, it’s double?  What do you do with those demons who want to drag you into your pit and destroy you?

You scream in their face and refuse to be taken back.

I stood in church yesterday with my newborns and sang those worship songs at the top of my lungs.  Because this time I know, no matter how hard the external gets (and trust me, it’s hard again), the internal knows “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”  I will not be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1). I will choose light, joy, hope, and wonder. I will snuggle fussy babies and feel the warmth of their skin and be grateful.  I will choose light. Hope over fear. 

And Baby Z? His name means “God Remembers.”  He remembers me and the previous struggle. I have not forgotten either.  I will not forget Him this time. 

We still need help and encouragement and I am praying for fast relief for these little sick ones.  But I know there is an end.  I didn’t know that before.  It wasn’t a quick end (even though people tried to tell us it would be- Boo is not “typical” by any means), and maybe it won’t be this time.  But we will come out of this.  We will come out of it with two wonderful kids added to our family, and stronger than we were before.  Not that it won’t hurt.  But it won’t destroy us.

The rest of the song from above goes, “So don’t let go, cause this I know; don’t let go, cause this I know for sure; So don’t let go- cause this I know…this I know for sure:  There’s Still Hope.”

I do know that for sure. 
More about our twins later...


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