I’m watching my son sleep peacefully in his hospital crib. We’ve been here since last night. Tomorrow he will have surgery. He’s getting a port implanted in his chest and it will remain there for the foreseeable future. His doctors have promised me that once this procedure is done, his quality of life will improve, and things will be so much easier for the entire family. His infusions will be a lot less painful, his veins will be saved, and I will be able to give him his treatments at home; as opposed to the 3-4 hour hospital visits that we currently endure twice a week. This hour-long procedure will benefit my son for a lifetime.. so I’m ok with having it done.
At least that’s what I’ve been reassuring myself for the past two weeks. “I’m ok.. I’m ok.. I’m ok..”
I remember when I was a small child, every night before bed, my mother would have my sister and I recite our prayers in unison. “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray to God my soul to take…” It was as if we were on autopilot; not fully aware of what the prayer really meant, but we knew to say it, without even thinking twice about it.
When I got older my bedtime prayers slowly transformed into prayers of convenience. “Dear God, please just let me pass this test..” and “Dear God, if you make this hangover go away I promise to never drink again…” were probably the two things that I prayed for the most. I look back on those moments and I can’t help but to think to myself.. what if God only hit me up when he needed something? I’d be fucked.
I’ll admit that sometimes being saved is an inconvenience. It gets in the way of my selfish desires. It wasn’t until I became a mother that my prayers became less self-serving and more subservient. The Bible says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6). It’s hard to not be anxious about anything, but I’ve learned that taking the selfishness out of my prayers and focusing on God’s glory really does help.
Instead of asking God to “fix” my baby, I pray daily that he covers and protects him. Instead of asking God why did my first baby have to die and my second baby be born with Hemophilia; I thank God for blessing me with them both and giving me the strength to bear all that comes with being their mother.
And tonight… I find myself reverting to that same little girl that got down on her knees and said her bedtime prayers on autopilot, without a second thought. The only difference is that my prayers are now affirmations.
My son needs me to be strong, so I am. My sanity is important, so I’ll keep it. My faith does not fail, so I won’t. My baby will be ok, it’s God’s will.
This is my prayer. That’s all I know.