I’m not a puker. I once went 10 years without vomiting. But that day, I vomited more times than during the rest of my life combined. It was so bad, I couldn’t pick myself up off the cold tile. After one round ended another came.
Unfortunately, I didn’t associate the muffins with Vomitpalooza. Rather, I assumed I’d caught the stomach flu of the Apocalypse. When I recovered, I ate another muffin. Two hours later?
Well, as my friend Tim says, “What you believe matters.”
It was a mistake I didn’t have a chance to recover from. A few days later, I caught an actual stomach bug. Then another virus. Then the flu. Then I found out I was pregnant. Oh, boy.
I enjoyed a few good weeks toward the end of my pregnancy, which was nice, but the labor was long and hard. I was induced before I was ready and suffered a systemic reaction to the epidural, which failed me in the eleventh hour.
I never bounced back.
For the first week of life, Sara was perfect. Easy, even. But then my milk came in and with it a case of colic from hell. She screamed bloody murder every day from 4pm until 1am, which gave my 3 year old son anxiety attacks every night. She didn’t sleep, and she wanted to eat every hour. Every. Hour.
At three weeks, she caught a cold. At six weeks, RSV and chronic ear infections. As I fought to keep her out of the hospital, I was unraveling. Sleep wasn’t a thing for me. My food sensitivities worsened. I began to react to triggers upon skin contact. I dropped weight at an alarming rate. Anaphylaxsis became common. I wondered if I’d live to see my baby girl well.
December 2011-March 2012 are the darkest, most hellish months in my memory. I’ve repressed a lot of it. Life was utter chaos. There were demonic manifestations in my house. When I shut my eyes, I wasn’t sure if I’d wake up. When I slept, I had nightmares. No one was doing well.
And yet…they’re also the sweetest months of my life. I experienced the presence of God in ways I never had before. His Spirit would descend on me as I folded laundry and poured out my heart to him. His Word came alive in new ways. It gave me strength. I was so gloriously, impossibly strong. So gloriously, impossibly joyful. My best worship took place as I rocked my colicky baby. “Be Still My Soul” became the anthem of my life. I pressed into him as the storm raged around me. In his arms, I was fearless.