On the Battlefield

The last few days were brutal. And yet I have said that phrase over and over and over the last 10 years…… Hemorrhages, transfusions, infections, pneumonia, pulmonary edema, de-saturation, and pain, oh the pain.

How Lord, how, could I possibly survive another day? How much more do you want me, want my child, to take? How can I find a sliver of an unexpected miracle in this?

I flood heaven’s gates with these questions while pouring my grievances out to the Lord. The analogy of a soldier running through my mind….

I go to battle every day.

Each morning I put on my uniform, apply my war paint, and step into a minefield of unknowns. Every unexpected explosion brings its own fresh version of hell.

Today was a gruesome reminder as I stared into the bloody crater now existing in 32 staples running across the length of my child’s abdomen. I have witnessed events I would give anything to “unsee.” Multiple hemorrhages from different sites of my child’s malnourished body. Feverish deliriums. Screams of agony, hour after hour.

Death looming around every corner…

I never understood how men in war could experience the horrors they did and survive emotionally. After watching and enduring Rebecca’s torture, I realize there is an acceptance to the battle you are facing as well as a certain numbness. You have no other choice but to face the abomination in front of you and pray you make it through alive.

I am certainly not alone in these trenches, there are plenty of others fighting beside me—trying to rationalize what possible meaning could exist behind this … war?

Recently, I read the phrase, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” Contrary to that belief though, I have found numerous atheists in hospitals. Most of which consist of parents crying out to a God who seems deaf to their pleas—mute to their hearts.

My hospital neighbor from Africa has a baby with brain cancer and now failing kidneys thanks to a medicinal side effect. This mother worked hard to pay off her mortgage before having children. She will now lose her home as a result of the expense of her child’s chronic illness.

My PICU neighbors had a teenager born with severe autism. Although unable to speak, her family recognized pain in her expression. Turned out, their child had pancreatic cancer. After a horrific recovery, the parents were told a mistake was made—the pathologist was not given the results during surgery and her cancer was not fully removed. Another procedure would be necessary after her body properly heals while her aggressive cancer continues to flourish.

A friend we made at the Ronald McDonald House lost a biological child to leukemia. They adopted another child only to learn of that child’s diagnosis of the very same disease their biological child just died from.

5 patients coded last night from COVID in less than 3 hours – without their family comforting them in their last moments.

Blow upon unthinkable blow.

There are no words for the sorrow I feel walking these halls; it presses upon me to the point of breathlessness.

How do I believe in a Creator who oversees such bloodletting, such cruel and incomprehensible carnage?

Is my God excessively cruel, or do I believe there is a purpose in this version of cruelty I am enduring?

This is every warrior’s thought and yet every warrior still has a choice. Do we follow our Commander into the fray—the hailstorm of gunfire? Even if it makes no sense from the view of a field wrought with slaughter?

But maybe that is the key to blind-faith—the realization that my vantage point is limited, incomplete.

I am not the general—I am merely a private. I can only see what is directly in front of me while my general, my omnipotent, all-knowing God sees every field of every battle at all times.

And, even better, this same God knows that it is He who will win this war.

When David was going to battle against the Philistines, David inquired of the Lord what to do, and He responded, “As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, move quickly, because that will mean the Lord has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army” (2 Samuel 5:24).

Yes, I am going into battle with Rebecca’s body, but I am not entering this battlefield alone.

My Lord has gone before me, and is preparing a miraculous way for me to win this unexpected war.

            Thank you for your continual prayers on behalf of our war-weary family.

We are forever grateful,

C

29 thoughts on “On the Battlefield

  1. I am sobbing as I read this current narrative…..my heart is aching as I read this and all I can do is give thanks the way our God holds you together……..holds dear Rebecca together. Oh Lord, please heal this dear girl!Please!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Christyn: We’ve never met. I learned of Rebecca through a Facebook friend (Martha Fernández-Sardina) a few months ago and since then have not stopped praying for Rebecca and your family. As a mother, I can only imagine how unbelievably excruciating and unbearable it must be to see the pain and trauma your beloved child goes through. With much humility and honesty you continue to share your struggle with all those who love and pray for Rebecca and we are honored to have you do so. Through it we are given the opportunity to do our small part in praying for you, her and your entire family. We are also encouraged by your constant witness to your faith. yes, it is difficult to find meaning in suffering, but you remind us that God is the constant upon whom we may rely not matter what we go through. How lovely and significant are the first five letters of your name. How fitting. Whether you feel like it or not, you are truly Christlike.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dear Christyn,
    My heart aches for you, Rebecca & family, as well as for all those whose bits of stories you shared.
    Your post took me back 30 years when my family was at war for my infant nephew at UTMB in Galveston and then Texas Children’s in Houston.
    I also met many families in the nearly 2 years between the two hospitals, before my nephew, a week shy of 2 years old went to be with Jesus. I know I’ve spoken of him before to you on this site.
    But reading your words about all the pain and sorrow surrounding you made me think of our time “at war”.
    The irony was that the Gulf war was raging yet the war that was consuming my family was the war in the hospital.
    I imagine you and yours are facing similar feelings…in a way our country is at war, so divided and so much hatred…and you just want a healthy body for your baby girl. And because of your heart and the relationships you’ve formed, you want that for all those patients and families you mentioned.
    I’m praying Isaiah 40:31 for you and all those you mentioned and for all at war in hospitals:
    “But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (NLT)
    I clung on to several verses during that time ( & still do) and that was one of them.
    Praying for healing, praying for renewed strength and hope. Praying for pain relief for Rebecca. Praying for peace and comfort 24/7…. but in my opinion, nights in hospitals, be it ICU or regular rooms…are different, even more difficult than the days…so I’m praying special protection this night and those to come…for God’s Light to bring comfort to you in many forms, from caring and dedicated medical staff to seeing improvements in Rebecca’s condition.
    Sending so much Love and unceasing prayers. God bless🙏❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As I have said before, our God is not surprised by any of this. He’s is in charge and our duty is to follow and listen for His command. Easier said than done! But it is what we have to do. Oh Lord help me with my lack of faith and unbelief as I know you are in charge and heading up this battle. Even though I have never had the honor of meeting you or your family, I am praying for complete healing for Rebecca and peace for each of you. I find myself being nudged by God at 4:30 in the morning to pray and to pray hard for Rebecca and the family. Know that these nudgings are felt by so many of us and we are faithful to follow thru with these prayers. God’s many Blessings on and for you and your family.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am so very comforted by your faith. We are exactly like soldiers following our leader into war every day. We all fight different wars, but they are all led by the same Great One, the Almighty Hand. God never promised to give us more than we can handle; He did promise to walk through the storm with us, by our side. I am so thankful that Rebecca has gotten as far as she has and it can truly be said that it is because of the faith that she and your family and all those who pray for her have in our Father. God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My first thought each morning is to check on Rebecca. I pray for her throughout the day and before I sleep; I pray for her healing and for your strength.
    I also wonder at a God who allows such suffering of children. Of anyone. Then I read your posts and while I don’t find understanding, I am comforted by your faith.
    You, Christyn, have brought me closer to God by your example, your words, your faith. I don’t know how you continue to endure all that has been thrust upon your precious daughter. But you not only endure, you also find the strength to share your battles and include us in your faith. There is so much beauty and grace in your words…I cling to them as I pray for you and implore God to heal your precious angel.
    I have had times in my life when I’ve questioned God’s thinking that I could handle the situation I was in. I’ve told Him that He was wrong to think I could bear such things; yet I lived through them and later could see the silver linings in each one.
    I humbly suggest that one silver lining in Rebecca’s and your suffering has been to bring many of us closer to the Lord. Now when I pray, I feel like He is there, listening lovingly. Through your battle and my prayers for you, I have been reminded that our God has prepared a beautiful home for us and that our suffering here will give way one day to a place in His arms in His heavenly home. My cousin, who is a nun, told me that our questions and demands for explanations about situations on earth will become unimportant and melt away when we see Him face to face. She says that our sufferings will make sense when we find our place there. I find that hard to believe, yet I cling to it with a child-like faith as I witness the tragedies and suffering here on earth. It gives me hope in a sometimes hopeless world.
    If the suffering we endure here makes way for a place with Him in heaven, you and Rebecca will have a majestic home there. Our Lord loves you and is so proud of you for your love for your daughter and your family. He knows your tears and your suffering. And He is grateful for your words that bring us closer to Him. He promises that one day you will again know joy.
    With great love for you and Rebecca, my sister in Christ, Julie

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My heart is bleeding and saddened by the pain of your Mother’s heart. I am reminded of the Blessed Mother’s heart as she watched her son walk the Via Dolorosa to Calvary. Then, Mary watched Jesus nailed to the cross. This was God’s covenant to send a messiah. He sent his son and his humble Mom watched and pondered, the sword pierced her heart. Heavenly angels with Our Lord Jesus and his Mother are the their in that room. Why the pain and suffering of so many, only God knows, but I know without a doubt he does not want to lose one soul. May God give your family strength. Praying for Rebecca and your family.

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  8. Christy, Your love and devotion to your daughter, your friends and your Heavenly Father are an inspiration. We are sending prayers heavenward that you, Rebecca, and all those now struggling will find peace, comfort and endurance.
    Your heartfelt writing brings to mind a hymn, “Onward Christian Soldier”. The first verse is
    Onward, Christian soldiers!
    Marching as to war,
    With the cross of Jesus
    Going on before.
    Christ, the royal Master,
    Leads against the foe;
    Forward into battle,
    See his banners go!

    You are indeed a Christian soldier fighting a very personal war. May the banners that go before give you strength.
    Brandi

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have been following your journey through my friend Lynn Trigg. I look everyday for an update and I am in tears ready your post today. We are lifting up many prayers for Rebecca’s healing and for your precious family. I find strength and my faith has been strengthened even more by reading your post. God has this and may he continue to shine his blessing upon all of you.
    We are REBECCA STRONG!!!!
    Many hugs and love.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “I’m in the army of the Lord”….we taught our kids/grandkids that song sometimes not even realizing what “fighting the fight” and “keeping the faith” was all about. We’ve got all the equipment needed to fight…I’m praying today for peace as you again follow the Lord our God into battle. Peace for Rebecca…peace for Brian…peace for your sons…and peace for all of us who aren’t on the “front lines” but who are fighting this battle with you! Peace, perfect peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I pray for your march. It is lonely and long. I pray for peace in the midst of this storm. March on with the knowledge He never leaves you. May His arms hold you close and bring you to victory for each moment.
    ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Christyn,

    I want to make sure you know I am thinking of Rebecca and you and the whole family and praying for you all. Your words are beautiful and inspiring. I can’t imagine what you are going through. Sending strength and love,

    Megan

    Megan Golden, Co-Director

    mgolden@mission-cure.org • (917) 584-4369 mission-cure.org ( http://mission-cure.org/ ) ( https://twitter.com/Mission_Cure )

    Sent via Superhuman ( https://sprh.mn/?vip=mgolden@mission-cure.org )

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Reading this, my thoughts go to Ephesians 6. Could it be all of those classes you taught other folks, were also preparing you for this warfare.
    God uses every moment, every offering. My Spirit groans for you, your baby, those you meet in similar battles. So I’m sharing these words, Eugene style! Blessings today for healing and comfort to all in the trenches!
    Hugs, Sherry
    Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. And don’t forget to pray for me. Pray that I’ll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all, the Message that I, jailbird preacher that I am, am responsible for getting out.
    Ephesians 6:13‭-‬20 MSG

    https://bible.com/bible/97/eph.6.13-20.MSG

    Liked by 1 person

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