Yesterday we spent the day at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital having tests done on Cora. She had an ultrasound and a VCUG (Voiding Cysto-Urethogram) which basically involved a catheter, dye, tons of x-rays, and lots and lots of tears. It's a very invasive, frightening test for a little person, and Cora had it done on no sleep, right in the middle of naptime (not my choice).
We found out that Cora has something called VUR (vesicoureteral reflux), which is a pediatric condition that allows urine to flow backwards from the bladder to the kidneys. If untreated, this condition can cause kidney infections, kidney damage, scarring, high blood pressure, and other issues. Fortunately, we should be able to keep problems at bay with a daily low-dose antibiotic and monitoring by a urologist until she outgrows the condition. If you want a simple, easy-to-understand explanation of VUR, check this website.
This diagnosis comes on the heels of a lot of other medical stuff we've had going on. Cora has been sick on and off for about a month (related to the VUR), and before that, if you remember, I hurt my back and had to have x-rays and chiropractic care. To add to the fun, Jim had to have a root canal and a crown a few weeks ago, to the tune of $2000.
We haven't had too many breaks in these last twenty-one months and neither has our bank account. Colic, reflux, milk protein problems, ear infections, tubes, VUR... It is all starting to take its toll. I'm tired and I'm discouraged. I'm concerned about money and how we will get through any more emergencies.
Each day I find myself scheming for ways I can make a few dollars. I've looked into tutoring and selling craft items as well as a few other things, but none of them seem right. Deep in my heart I know that my attempts to find a financial solution are really just me not trusting God. I truly, truly believe that I need to focus on my family this fall. We are on the brink of so many changes: kindergarten, seminary, women's ministry, and several other new things that are new to our plates. And every money-making thing I think of feels like more of a distraction than a blessing. Unless I can find a job I love that pays me to work only two days a week while Cora is at Mother's Day Out (also a potentially new thing this fall) and doesn't require extra time on the side, I can't see how the income could be less than a hindrance.
And still I fear.
Last night I led a Bible study on the parable of the sower from Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8. This is one of Jesus' more well-known parables about the seed being scattered on different types of soil. At the end of his explanation of the parable, Jesus says this:
"But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop." Luke 8:15
I LOVE that when I looked up verses yesterday for my own life (unrelated to my preparations for the Bible study), I found Jeremiah 17: 7 and 8:
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
I just don't think these connected verses are a coincidence. I can't claim to be good soil and have God in charge of my life if I'm not bearing fruit. And I can't bear fruit if I'm afraid and trying to control everything. So even though I don't know where our money will come from, I will try to stop worrying and trust that God will provide. (Matthew 6:25 - 33)
Even though I don't know what will happen with Cora's health and kidneys, I will believe that God has a plan for her life and wants to prosper her and not harm her. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Even though I'm intimidated by this huge time of change our family has ahead of us, I will believe that God is leading our family and will honor our desire to serve Him. (Matthew 6:33)
I'm eager to produce good fruit, but some days I just crave chocolate.