Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Don't Waste Your Flu

It has not been a whole lot of fun around our house for the past week and a half. I got the party started on Friday when what I thought was just another allergy attack quickly turned into a high fever and chills. I spent the next three days in bed, which sounds lovely, but the feeling that death was imminent really sucked the joy out of it. My last day of fever was last Monday and Asher's first day was Tuesday. And then Jude took his turn beginning on Thursday. Simeon got a piece of the action over the weekend. I am here to type these words because of God's abundant grace poured out to me in the form of my husband and my mother. Kris single-parented while I was down and then my mom came during the week to help with the sick boys as I recovered.

I usually tell people I absolutely love having children so close together. It's challenging and very busy, but a small span of stages to contend with normally makes things easier. Exception: when the flu hits. Total game-changer. It's hard. And I had lots of help.

But having Family Flu is what God ordained for us. So obviously there are some things He wanted me to think about and learn from during this process. So taking my cue from this, I decided to write out those things and hopefully, not waste my flu.

1. I am more grateful now for the health and well-being I experience 99% of the time. I forget to give thanks when I wake up in the morning and there is no pain or sickness. But what a blessing. I usually feel great and that is something, in this cursed world, that God gives in his great mercy.

2. I was reminded how much I love my role was a wife and a mother. When I was lying in bed, listening to life go on outside my door, I longed to get up and join them. I wanted to be the one caring for my children and taking care of my house. I wanted to come along side of Kris as he played with the boys and got them what they needed. But I had to isolate myself from them. Before this, the idea of closing my door and getting to rest from my normal duties sounded amazing, but I discovered that being in the middle of their lives is what makes mine joyful.

3. My husband is phenomenal. I already knew this, of course, but he jumped into the role of primary caregiver of us all and he did not miss a beat. We are used to tag-teaming and giving each other breaks, but he was on his own for four days and I could not be more impressed with him. He served us all selflessly and is a true picture of the love that Christ has for His church. I think I may have fallen in love all over again :)

4. The flu is no fun, but it only attacks your body. My real illness is sin--the true sickness from which I need to healed. It is pervasive and it is fatal. Just like the flu knocked me down, sucked the life from my bones and robbed me of energy and rest and ease of mind, sin does the same to my soul. Enter Good News. I have been healed. The deadly soul flu that threatened to consume me has been removed. Christ suffered. He was stricken, smitten, and afflicted so I could be made well. I give him praise for the relief I feel in my body now that the virus is gone, but I fall to my knees and worship for the relief I have from my dead soul being brought to life.

5. There is not enough that can be said about the blessing of healthy children. It's frustrating to have to slow life down and deal with sickness, but I realize that after some medicine and rest, life will go back to normal. But about 30 minutes away from my house is one of the nation's biggest cancer treatment facilities for children. There are parents that are watching their children suffer, some with no promise of them ever recovering. I have been reminded to be so thankful for the health of my boys, to pray for those that face much scarier diseases, and to realize that even if God permits that which I fear most, He will be enough--in the flu, in cancer, in death--he is all we need.


We're still quarantined over here. Asher is fever free today for the first time in a week and Jude is still feeling pretty crummy. If Simeon could just get that second top tooth to break through, he'd be doing much better, too. I'm ready for things to get back to normal.

But I am thankful that God uses the flu to bring out about grateful hearts, the opportunity to serve and care for each other, and (Dear God please) one hell of a souped-up immune system.

7 comments:

Sheridan said...

Jamie, thank you so much for this post. It is such a wonderful reminder. For me it can be very easy to moan about simple day to day tasks like keeping the house clean, getting the baby fed and dressed, taking a shower... But the flu is a reminder like no other that being a stay at home mom and being entrusted with our kids' care is a great joy, pleasure, and service to God. Also, it was a great reminder that other than the occasional cold (or less occasional flu), praise God, our kids are HEALTHY! I don't want to take this life for granted!

Cliftonr said...

"The deadly soul flu that threatened to consume me has been removed. Christ suffered. He was stricken, smitten, and afflicted so I could be made well. I give him praise for the relief I feel in my body now that the virus is gone, but I fall to my knees and worship for the relief I have from my dead soul being brought to life."

Excellent words. We have been praying for all of you through this, and are glad to hear that things are "on the mend."

Kimberly said...

So happy to hear you are on the mend. Praying for a really boring week for your family!!

Bill said...

Well put and well place. I'm glad we're friends.

Patti said...

#2 made me cry.

Thanks for this. I'm glad the mending is almost complete.

hilarylarson said...

Amen sister. :)

Cheryl said...

Great post, my friend.
I hope we can join you in the Land of the Living soon. ;)

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