Refine us

She is better today, fevers persisting, but with a dose of energy from the spinal tap and the antibiotics flowing every 3 hours. Dark circles under her eyes, she shuts them against the fluorescent light, showing off her new owl teapot with eyes squeezed shut.

The flurry and adrenaline of the initial decision making fades on hospital day 2, and we and the doctors begin to contemplate those hard questions that still persist without answer. Why does she get infections in her brain repeatedly? It's nothing like the question "why does Caleb have allergies all year every year". This has such significant consequences to her health, intellect and quality of life that we must find an answer.

Aaron says it, anguished, as we walk to the hotel for a few minutes alone, kids happy in hospital with Auntie Rosalie. "Why, whenever we start to thrive, why does something like this always happen?" I don't know. I can only offer what I'm learning about accepting your cross without fighting it. Carrying one cross - the one given - instead of two - the one given paired with the anxieties we let sneak in like foxes in the vineyard.

I don't ever want to lose this little life. I don't ever want to wait too long, or miss the symptoms, or run into doctors again who refuse to treat in the early stages. How do we function like this? The older girls and I have a long talk after Caleb sleeps this evening, and talk about refining gold and silver. How it requires high heat. How God is allowing that high heat through trials into their young lives. We read the verses in Malachi that were like timber beams holding up the sagging sanctuary of my heart this morning, before I headed out to the hospital, head shiny and cold in the winter-like winds.
Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

The truth remains. He has always rescued us. We are all alive together still. The needleprick on Amelia's back is just a dot, no bleeding, no complications. The antibiotics seem to be working. We have every cause for praise in this, as in all the previous trials. God is great and good, here in this day of suffering. What a lesson to learn, at 6 and 8! May these children grow up with a deep, visceral understanding of what it means to wait on the Lord, trust in His mercy and grace in the most difficult of circumstances.

Come, come and meet us here 
Come and touch our tears 
That we may weep no more 
Come, come and meet our pain 
Come and lift our lame 
That we may limp no more 
Come that we may want no more 
The doubters pray for your signs and wonders 
All the cynics say 
You’ll let us go under 
But we’re here to stay
God, will you come by here? 
Come, we have nothing else God 
And having You we want for nothing 

No death, life 
Angels or demons 
No depth, height 
Can come in between us 
And Your love, Your love, Your love, love