|photo by Rachel Lyn Wilcoxin|
Saint Patrick’s Day before Dawn
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
My husband and I woke long before dawn the next morning from a night of fitful dozing.
Saint Patrick’s Day had been a time to consider our Irish heritage, but Joshua’s soldier heart had left the battle of life on Earth.
I leaned against the headboard and sobbed. Within minutes of waking, the phone rang at my bedside table. Candy Arlington, the coauthor of the suicide survivor book Aftershock, was on the other line. When she identified herself as a friend of a friend, I said, “Please, pray for us right now.”
She began to pray the Lord’s Prayer loud enough for both of us to hear. And I will never, ever, forget how comforting that moment was. God’s tender mercy came in the form of a person, Candy, to meet with us in our loneliest hour.
I knew right then, God heard us and saw our need.
After the prayer, Candy spoke reassuring words and ended the call by saying she would mail her book to me. Later, I would find hope within its pages. As I read Aftershock, it became clear to me that countless mothers had been losing children since the beginning of time.
Eve lost her son Abel, and I had lost my son Joshua.
Father, You sent Candy to us. A divine appointment. You use Your saints to show how much You care and to prove You will never leave or forsake us. In Jesus’s name, I’m grateful. Amen.
A Mother’s Memories
Within two weeks of bringing him home from the hospital, Joshua caught his first cold.
More colds and ear infections followed throughout his first winter. The side effects of the antibiotics tore at his stomach.
When Joshua was four months old, we moved out of the house for two days and a night and had the house sprayed for fleas, thinking that these insects had caused the red welts on his body. The next morning he had a fever and was covered with even more dime-sized welts.
My husband picked up Joshua’s bottle of liquid antibiotics. “What’s in this?” When he read the label and saw that it was cherry flavored, he said we had to take Joshua to the hospital.
The doctor ordered a blood test. The results showed Joshua had an infection in his blood system, most likely caused by the cherry flavoring. The doctor prescribed a mint-flavored antibiotic, warning us to allow no other flavoring in Joshua’s medication.
I sighed in relief and took my baby home.
Father, thank You for hearing my prayer to help Joshua. In Jesus’s name. Amen.
~Your Mother Memories~
~Your Prayer of Praise~
~A Scripture of Encouragement~