Remembering God’s Perfect Love
In the spring of 2008 Andrew had just turned two. You know that feeling moms get in the gut when something is not right; I had one of those feelings. I took Andrew to the doctor's office thinking he might have another ear infection, maybe a sinus infection or maybe a virus. It is so difficult and frustrating when your child does not have the words to tell you how he feels but you know by their behavior and attitude that there is a problem. It is like a guessing game as you eliminate this and that hoping you can arrive at an answer or at least a clue.
After a doctor exam it was determined he had a virus. I dismissed my gut feelings for a little while as his appetite continued to decrease and he slept more. One afternoon as he awoke from a nap I noticed his face looked funny. As I tried to make him smile I noticed that the right side of his face was not moving. Panic arose within me as I called the doctor. Anger towards myself because I had dismissed my “mommy feelings” began to arise! Truth was, he was listless; he had not really eaten. How long had it been? A week? This was more than a virus!
The doctor only could see him the last appointment of the day. I will never forget the feeling as she stepped into the hall, called other doctors over, and they whispered amongst themselves. I was told that an ENT in Sugarland had agreed to stay after hours to see us and I was to drive directly there. Sure enough he was in surgery that very next morning. Andrew had an unusual ear infection. It had infected his facial nerve. Tubes were placed in his ears and the doctor had to spend much more time than he expected cleaning out infection from his ear and face. The infection ended up taking over six months to clear up with series of antibiotics and steroids.
Though the infection was clearing with medicine and the tubes, the right side of his face had paralysis. The doctors did not know if it was permanent or not; we had to wait and see. Those months were devastating as I kissed him each day not knowing if I would see his sweet smile again. Questions plagued me and my heart hurt for my sweet boy.
The ladies in my COTHA Bible studies and my friends surrounded my family through this struggle. A friend helped us learn about a new physical therapy that reduced inflammation and aided his healing. Each week our family would accompany little Andrew, as he would toddle up to the prayer team in the back of our church. They laid hands on his ears and lifted our family up to the Lord.
Through this struggle I had to come to a place in my heart where I could accept that Andrew might have permanent paralysis. I had to come to a place yet again where I had to allow God to be enough for me. I had to choose to turn my anxiety, disappointment, anger, and sadness over to Him instead of carrying it around. I learned to focus my energy on being a Godly mommy for my awesome child who: smiled each day with that silly half smile, who laughed at almost anything, and was learning and growing as if nothing had ever happened.
So slowly it was hard to even notice; a small twitch in his lip at first and then the movement started returning. He was regaining control. He was smiling ear to ear.
Andrew still struggles with scar tissue, ringing, and has routine hearing tests to make sure the loss of his hearing is not digressing. We went to visit a new ENT two weeks ago and with his trained eyes he picked up straight away the facial weakness in Andrew’s right side. He told me he had studied cases like this and Andrew was very fortunate to have healed so well.
My mind was filled with memories of all the prayers and encouragements during those times six years ago. My heart reminded me that no matter if today is easy or hard I can choose for God to be enough for me. He has been trustworthy in the past. He is trustworthy in my present and in my future. His love for me is perfect. And I know as much as I love my kids, He loves them so much more with His perfect, complete love.