Watching someone suffer is a life-changing experience. Especially when they are dear to us.
After nearly 4 decades on this earth, I’ve seen plenty of suffering.
Like when Mama endured a year of cancer treatment, and she finally passed peacefully in her sleep while hooked to an oxygen machine.
Or when a close friend worked consistently at a new job where she was persecuted not because of her dark skin, but because of her love for Jesus.
Or when my prayer partner was ditched by her husband and had to persevere through years of loneliness and financial hardship.
Heartache is part of life in this fallen world, and it’s tough to see others endure hardship. But when a mom has to watch her child suffer, that is the most heart-wrenching pain of all. We want to swoop in and save the day, but there are times when we just can’t fix it for them.
I have heard many stories of children who fought illnesses, and I have to say, those are some pretty amazing parents. Watching a child suffer and knowing there isn’t much that can be done is absolutely agonizing. I’ve never had to watch my child suffer physical pain, but emotional heartache is just as tough to endure.
Like when my mother-in-law passed away, the only grandmother my children ever knew, and I had to face not only my own sorrow, but theirs as well.
Or when my children’s cousins, best friends for nearly 10 years, moved several states away, and they felt the loss keenly for months.
Or when one of my children was bullied and belittled by another child at school and my attempts to intervene did little to stop the manipulation.
And now I face a new challenge; the loss of a beloved pet. We were just informed that our 5-year-old boxer has lymphoma. They’ve given him 2-4 months to live, and up to a year if we do aggressive and expensive treatments. I’m heartbroken, but more so for my son than myself, because Tucker is the only dog he’s ever owned.
We as a family have some tough decisions to make, and I as a mom, have to really pay attention to the needs of my teen. As I contemplate how to navigate these next few weeks, I am reminded that:
1) God is in control, and He knows what is best, even if it doesn’t make sense to me.
2) God comforts those with broken hearts, and we don’t have to face suffering alone.
3) God knows what it feels like to watch a child suffer; He understands better than anyone.
4) Loss and death are part of life, and no one is exempt, not even children.
The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21