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Monday, July 4, 2011

Back To Our Story

Well, lets get back on track to tellin our story. I had said many many things happened in 2008 that touched my very soul. I spoke of Emma's ordeal  and still have many blanks to fill in, and  I will continue later. But that same year it seemed every one of our children had some sort of threat toward them. As a parent it seems as though a cloud hangs over you when it comes to your children, what if they get sick, and its fatal, how will they deal with their first heart break, what college will they attend, who will they marry, the list goes on and on. I guess it is all about "fear".  We never run out of things to, not just worry about, but to absolutely
become immobilized by.  Part of the modern wisdom, we have all been taught, is the idea that "our" children have to have the best of everything, they have to have the best of education, health care, surroundings, jobs,
friends, clothes, cars, experiences, family, emotions, blah, blah, blah....It is only limited by our imaginations.
Beyond that, it will only grow as we grow in money, status, and social standing.  The point is, what and when
is "enough", and over what and when should we genuinely be worried?  We had done no better than most in these regards and our "worry" list was far too long and way too insignificant!  However, in 2008, the first year of the television broadcast, our worries became all too real, and all too genuine, and it incorporated "all" of us.Well I had been shopping and Kenny had the kids and I got home and he said Cole and Bella had been playing most of the afternoon outside, so I got undressed and un loaded my things, suddenly Cole came running in and was screaming, "Dad, get outside NOW, Bella got into fire ants!" Kenny ran out and found her standing in an pile of leaves with ants crawling all over her legs.  Amazingly, she had only about nine or ten bites.  Kenny brought her in and  put her in the tub, bathed her, and she had stopped the wailing and panic, and was beginning to calm down.  She got out of the tub and went into the kitchen to the little dresser where we kept her clothes. After a few minutes I came into the hall and she was sitting on the floor in the kitchen, still in her towel and underwear, and she was scratching and acting a little irrational. I yelled out to Kenny and asked him if she had acted odd when he brought them in. He said, "No", but as I watched her she became more and more odd, she was waving her arms about and speaking out of her head. Well, when I pulled her towel off her she had a rash starting on her face. I had been very sick that day and I did not feel like doing anything, but I could not help but sense she was going way beyond what should be "usual" in this kind of situation. I called for Kenny and he said they had played hard and maybe she just needed to be put to bed and we discussed just putting her to bed and seeing how she was in the morning.  But, you know as a Mom you have those inner voices, well this was one of those times, I had a very strong voice inside of me telling me I had to take her to the Doctor, and right away. I kinda felt silly even suggesting it to Kenny, because their really wasn't any obvious sign of real danger, but I just really could not get a good sense about things.  It was just turning eight o'clock and I felt a strong impulse to just snatch her up and get her to the walk-in clinic, and I felt it was a time urgent matter. So I grabbed her, loaded her in the Denali in my pajamas, and straight to the walk in clinic we went. The walk in clinic was only about 1 mile and within a block from the house she started to fall asleep and her breathing became very labored. I began to panic. I called Kenny and told him to meet me there because I would not be able to carry her with my back. When he heard she was falling asleep he said he should have just put her in bed and let her sleep it off, but he would come up in just a few minutes. I pulled up to front door, left my purse and the keys in the ignition, grabbed her, ran through the front door, and began yelling for a doctor, what I didn't know was, they closed at 8:00 and it was 8:05 and somehow, (which the nurse said in the four years she had worked there they had never done) they had not locked the doors, I ran to the back still calling for a doctor, one look and they knew she was having a reaction to some sort of allergen, by this time her eyes were swollen shut, she was covered in a raised red rash, and her breathing was shallow and very labored and she was very, very lethargic. I told him she had been bitten by several ants, and as I looked down I saw her feet and saw that she had been bitten about 10 times, so  at least we knew what was causing the problem. He gave her a shot and, I kid you not, with in 5 mins, she was up and talking! When Kenny got there had he not seen the pictures I took with my phone I don't think he would have believed the severity himself, besides, when he got there Bella Jewel was sitting up, completely alert, and doing something she was already very, very fluent at, talking her head off.  The doctor told us we would need to follow up with a specialist the next day, because obviously she was highly allergic to whatever kind of ant bit her. So off to our dear friend Dr Rand Malone. Of course, it is very rare to be allergic to fire ants, and yes she was! The good Dr. said that in over 3,000 to 4,000 kids he had seen in the previous few years there were less than 5 who were allergic to ant bites. They did the panel, and had I not driven her to the doctor, had Kenny put her to bed, he said she would had lapsed into a coma and she would have died, just that quickly, I would have went in to get my baby up and found her dead. I was soon to see my eldest on a computer screen, in handcuffs, soon to change the future of her life, what I was rolling over and over in my mind was that we were within hours of having to arrange for the burying of our youngest, and, maybe, most tender-hearted, child!  I am not a skilled writer and I don't have the words to even begin down the road of verbally describing how I felt the moment Dr Malone was telling me how close we came to losing Isabella. An innocent afternoon of playing in the yard with Coleman, he had a wheel barrow and he was dumping her in leaves, I was shopping, it was a Saturday, but we could be waking Sunday morning to go to church and finding her dead. I just sat there, thinking how quickly, in a split second our life could have changed. Losing the house, losing the Denali, being away from Kenny, all that is bad, but the death of a child is one that, without the absolute touch of the hand of God, I don't think a person ever recovers from. The timing of what had happened, and the "How" it had all happened, forced me to think of how God protected and made provision for us that day, how easily Kenny could have put her to bed, the clinic doors could have been locked, every minute counted and God was with us every minute opening every door. It seemed as though the universe had set itself against us, and somehow it had been with the permission of the one we served- God. But, even with His permission, His protection was never far from us. I think, so often,  evil does set out to destroy or wound or even kill the ones who are trying to do what is right, and there may be a time or a season in that persons life when God says ok, for this "time". "You may try or test them, but, you cannot destroy them, I have given them the power to over come (maybe just to survive), My spirit, that lives in them, is sufficient to over come whatever may come their way". I know that all may sound mystical, but its really not. It is very basic, really. I think about Emma's situation and how it tore my heart out, 3 yrs later, looking back, what a necessary journey for Emma that was. So valuable for her future. It just about killed me, but , would I go through it again for her benefit, you bet I would, I love her that much. Isabella, almost dying from a common ant bite, it caused such fear in me, God how will I keep her from getting ant bit in FLORIDA! Another one of those moments when God whispers, "Angie trust me". So all these things, that it seems were meant to destroy us, God took them and made them, not only not "harm" us, but, also, to become of great value to us. The beauty of that still makes me wept as I write it today. I feel so small and inept as I sit here now, God has seen from the beginning of time and He sees until the end, and I trust that He holds my future with the utmost love and concern, so much that He didn't just tell me what to do, (that is give me a long list of prohibitions and laws), but He became personally involved in the suffering of human-kind, He planned for a Personal sacrifice of His own, One which would cause Him the most horrid and painful affliction of heart and soul. That means it is very hollow when I tell Him about my pain as if He could not possibly understand the kind of pain we suffer! So as I reflect on our story I tell it to bring hope to those who face day to day crisis and feel they have no hope. There is hope, true hope and it lies only in One- God. Someone asked me if I was bitter at how the church (and that means a number of different churches) had treated us. And they asked in a question, but it was meant to be more like a statement and then they said, "Well you must not be in church anymore with the way they acted toward you". I said, "Absolutely we are in the church, it is our life-source, it is our childrens' source for life, we certainly have no hope without the church". Where in the world would we be without the hand of God in our life during these difficult times. Churches are just a reflection of the grace of God, they are filled with insecure and broken people.  The greatest problem the Church seems to have in our culture is some over-arching sense of being "special", of being "deserving", of having been chosen by God because there was something unique and special in "them", that is, of course, the most egregious and hideous of ideas!  It is All about God!  What God has done, He has done because it is His very Nature to Love and Rescue.  The Church is just the place where we assemble to celebrate and worship Him for His Grace toward us, but when it all goes right, when the Church abandons it's sense of entitlement, when the congregants surrender their Pride and haughtiness and simply applauds Him for His mercy toward a rigid and contrary human spirit, there comes "life" to us and strength!