Miss Ravenna in the outfit she wore to her blood draw today!
My heart is raw this afternoon as I write and churning over all this day has held so far. We had another blood draw for Ravenna and it was again brutally hard. She had to be restrained by 4 people, trying three different restraining methods before they could get the draw. What finally worked was her being forced to lay on her back, me pressed up cheek to cheek with my full weight over her torso, another grown woman fully laying on her legs and yet another pulling her arm straight and nother doing the draw...and she still was bucking enough to make it hard to get her arm still.
I feel so broken on so many levels. My heart feels seared with the image of her screaming looking into my eyes, her tears wetting my cheeks as I kissed her cheeks, forhead, eyelids, everywhere saying over and over "I love you, I love you my baby". Then her not letting anyone near her after the draw, whimpering on the lab table, eye swollen from crying, pushing my hands away when I came to comfort her, then grasping them close if I moved away...pushing and clinging all at once. Finally her looking up with big wet beautiful eyes saying, "I want you to hold me" and scooping her up to melt into my arms... then spending another 30 minutes in the waiting room holding her as she still breathed sobbing breaths.
As I was talkng with God about this blood draw yesterday, I heard Him whisper, "watch the whole picture." As I held her on that waiting room couch, I just could not understand what that could be.
As her breathing slowed, I whispered in her ear, "let's go check out the gift shop." She leaned hard into my arms and nodded her head. As we wandered down the hall she pointed and in a voice so tiny and small said, "bubbles!" Up ahead was a volunteer in a crazy shark hat blowing ridiculously large bubbles. She inched her way over, still pressing almost all of her weight into me, clinging hard to my hand. He greeted us with a smile, showed us some crazy hats that she could have and mentioned there was a bracelet making table on the other side of the fish tank...and I saw her smile. Tears swam in my eyes as this sweet gesture began to bring some life back to my little girl.
Then somewhere between the beads and the gift store a transformation happened. Where her little hand clung in grief to my arm, she began to lovingly rub her hand up and down it. The tiny frail voice was overtaken by giggles. Head back, laughing she would flit, twirl and skip her way down the hallway only to circle back and wrap her arms around me loudly claiming, "My Mama!" to anyone walking by. We found a courtyard and she ran, again twirling with arms open wide, head thrown back in joy as she giggled up to the sky saying, "I love you Mama!" and I again fought back tears...so astounded by what I saw.
Then we played and ran and danced like crazy people around that courtyard, Mama and daughter just lost in love with each other.
Driving home gave me time to think and pray about what happened today...and as crazy as it sounds, walls came down down in her heart today. Somehow in the midst of the pain and the fear and the trauma new trust began to bloom. Where I feared hurt would grow, something else sprouted instead. I think she began to somehow see a little more that I am her Mama and I will be there no matter how hard she kicks, how much she cries, how hard the task, how scary the moment...I will not let go, I will hold her and kiss her and tell her over and over that she is oh so loved.
Isn't it the same with us? Sometimes it is through the pain and the darkness that we learn that God is not letting go. Because we all have built walls in our hearts, the places that we just do not want to go to, places we would rather avoid or hide, raw places we do not want to see. Sometimes it is in the times that we hate the most that the walls we have built start to come down. And then we start to get it. Sometimes it is after we have screamed and kicked and done everything we can to push Him away that we realize a little bit more just how much He loves us and will never, ever leave. He will stoop right down into our pain, our tears on His cheeks.
It seems to be when we let Him begin to tear those walls down that His love and healing can come rushing in. We then begin to run and leap and dance with the joy free from the walls that held out that love.
As I was finishing writing this, Ravenna snuck out of bed wrapped in her big pink blankie for "just one more hug and kiss." Then, tenderly placing her hands on my cheeks she kissed my cheeks, eyelids and forehead over and over and said, "I love you so much, past the moons and the stars, to all the planets, even pluto and waaaay past infinity to my every single day."....inexplicably, trust from hurt, healing from pain...God bringing healing in His timing and His way.
This third I will put into the fire;
I will refine them like silver
and test them like gold.
They will call on my name
and I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are my people,’
and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’”
I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.