the sacrifice of waiting

The Mom is a little nervous this morning, as she realizes the time has come.  The one post left on this Sacrifice Theme from last year, that we wanted to work with again, and today’s (present) Nouwen devotional–they both talk about waiting/patience.  And, fittingly, it is The Freshman’s first day of holidays.  (This is about him.)

You see, a year ago, in this very post we’re talking about, The Mom said:  “someday perhaps, my son will recover from being run over by this truck.”  We thought at the time that is was a “bug”–a very bad bug.  The hard part is remembering just how bad it was, but if we didn’t share that with you, you could never appreciate how much things have improved!

Perhaps it really started the year before.  The Boy had been having upset stomach so often, and was missing so much school, that we finally decided to try this cleansing diet for three weeks.  Through that we came to the conclusion that he had a sensitivity to wheat, so The Mom revamped her menu, discovered new recipes, found stores that sold gluten-free stuff, etc. etc.  Just when the cupboards were all nicely stocked with all this, he got sick again–very sick.  He couldn’t eat at all for two weeks; then for weeks on end he couldn’t eat a meal without having pepto bismol beforehand, and months went by before he could eat any kind of fresh fruit or vegetable.  It was agonizing to watch him forcing himself to eat, taking deep breaths in between mouthfuls, etc.  It was one of those times in life when The Mom had to, some days, ask for strength moment by moment.

“In the beginning, when that candle-flame [of hope] was at times a very small pin-prick, a song about Waiting was one of the ones that meant a lot to me:

“Strength will come,
-as we wait upon the Lord,
-as we wait upon the Lord,
-we will wait upon the Lord..”

The song starts with these words, and the tune is low and repetitive—easily bringing to mind the picture of a dark room, where someone is praying, and the Spirit is whispering: “wait… wait… strength will come”. The song continues, the crescendo rising victoriously to remind you that our God is a Strong Deliverer, who does not grow weary and will not faint—which may seem obvious, but it’s the comparison to our own weariness and fainting that highlights the Hope necessary for the Strength to come…”

When The Mom first discovered the special diet, she felt it would be impossible–no sugars, no starches or grains of any kind, etc.  But as The Boy kept getting sick, and still wanting to begin university in the fall, we were desperate enough to try it.  A month later the symptoms (intense bloating and nausea; and the pain that comes with Crohn’s was just beginning) had almost completely disappeared.  Now, he can eat all the things that he wouldn’t dare try before (fresh fruit & vegetables, beef)–things that are still allowable on the diet. And no medicine!

He has felt so good lately that we are sometimes tempted to say we don’t need this diet anymore; but they suggest that you stay on it for a year after the symptoms have stopped.  The prayer from the devotional booklet fits here perfectly:  “O God, before we act hastily and risk doing more harm than good, give us the patience to wait prayerfully for your wisdom and guidance.”

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord…” (Psalm 130:5-6)

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