I wrote this 3 years ago when we all got the flu at the same time. Well, here we are again, and 4 out of 5 kiddos are puking. I needed this reminder yesterday as my shaky hand gripped my third cup of coffee and my puffy eyes looked out on the masses who were falling around me, left and right. This was familiar to me…
The Family Flu is About God
I opened my eyes and blinked a few times. Was she really awake? Was I just hearing her cry in my dream? Am I still asleep? I was stuck in the mommy fog: when you’re wondering which land you’re in, the sleep one or the awake one. The monitor crackled and gave its normal feedback, then I heard it loud and clear. “Mommy, mommy? Mommmiiieeee!”
After trying to rock Adley back to sleep, I finally brought her into our bed. She nuzzled up to me and I smiled. I was sleepy but I always like any alone time I can get with one of the kids, especially if I can sleep at the same time. But then came the gagging.
“Oh it’s okay sweetie,” I said as I sat up.
Gag, gag, I could hear the liquid making its way up.
“Alright, alright, alright,” I always say this gently to the kids when I don’t want them to see me panic on the inside.
After wiping off a few places. I laid back down and Adley was ready to close her eyes and sleep.
Then I heard another monitor.
Little Ernie couldn’t go back to sleep, I brought him in on the couch in our room. I kissed him and began to walk back to bed and then I heard the gagging.
“Ernie? Sweetie, are you okay?”
Up came the chunks. Twice, actually. My poor boy is only 3, throwing up is so confusing and terrifying. I still feel this way and I’m 28. I cleaned him up, laid him down and told him that mommy cries when she throws up too.
When my husband woke up with the flu also, items were soaked in puke, and our washer stopped working, I had to take a second. I locked myself in the bathroom to see if God had something to say at this point.
I felt like Moses before a burning bush, called The Flu, and God was telling me to take on the task of caring for his sick people in my house. By myself. And I was saying “oh, I can’t do that.”
“I will be with you.” I remembered he told Moses.
“But, I didn’t sleep last night. The washer doesn’t work. There will be more puke. I can’t do this!” I walked out of the bathroom with about as much faith as Moses started out with.
I really felt this was all about me. Of course this would happen to a mom, I had thought, caged in by the sickness around her and bouncing around from person to person, changing her clothes after getting thrown up on and tossing them in the “we will wash these when the washer works” pile, and trying to entertain the other kids that are healthy and going stir crazy.
I was acting like I had been dealt a bad hand, like my life was a game of cards and this week was just not my week. But God is gracious as always, and revealed to me what flu week is all about.
And I can tell you, that whole week brought more vomit, the virus finally took over me too, but God was with me.
The Lord brought us very low in weakness to show us that he’s the one who cares for our family. He’s the one who brings the sickness and he’s the one who allows it to leave. He brings it in the middle of the night or at nap time. He can allow sickness to stay for a week or 24 hours.
During a family flu, his goodness and mercy are still following us all the days of our life. Our flesh is failing during sickness, but He is our strength and our portion forever, and that is what helps us get up and clean off our sick child. The Lord being our strength, trusting his care in allowing the flu, gives us the hope to make it through a very long day. And when another member of the family announces that their tummy hurts, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ will be your strength to run them to the toilet in time, or not in time. And the hope of Heaven where sin and sickness will one day be no more, will help you get through the moments of mopping the floors, or scrubbing the carpets .
As the season of much sickness sticks with us and invades our homes, remember Who allows the sickness and that he’s the strength and hope for those who trust in His Son.
Now I’m off to drink some Emergan-c. Cheers.