You are Not Alone

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Wednesday night I came home from my dinner party to discover that my ten year old had shingles. Yes, really.

I recognized it from ten years ago when FishPapa had them. The three boys at the time got chicken pox. This particular child was just a baby and got the worst ever. All that anxiety and worry came back to me. I went to sleep that night, fretting over how bad my son might feel in the coming days.

A trip to the pediatrician the next morning confirmed my amateur diagnosis. The doctor assured me he would be fine.*

The rest of the day was not without its stresses. Everywhere I turned, it seemed like I was being confronted with errors and mistakes of my own making. Compound that with a sick child, and let’s just say that I was overwrought by the time the sun set that day.

I even posted a facebook status, lamenting my uncanny ability to suck at everything.

What followed was an outpouring of love and encouragement from friends, old and new, virtual and real-life. It was just the love bomb that I needed. I was humbled that so many people loved me and cared for — and also that most of them could relate to what I was feeling.

Why am I telling YOU this?

Well, because you probably need to know that you’re not alone.

Because you aren’t. None of us has this parenting gig down. And I’ll hazard a guess that as stellar as you are in all things, your other responsibilities (work, family, home, church, etc) probably don’t go down with textbook perfection. Now do they?

(I know mine don’t.)

And what do we do? We take a deep breath, we trust that God has a plan for even our failures and shortcomings. We turn to Christ, who truly does no what it to be tempted, and we do the next thing.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. — Hebrews 4:15-16

*Aside from a little itching, you wouldn’t know this kid was sick.

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  1. I know I feel alone in my journey with a child who has autism – in the physical environment we call earth. I am blessed that I still have God to push me forward and He eases the pain of loneliness with the presence of my husband. Because no matter how ppl try to comfort or understand, they wouldn’t be able to.

    1. Lydia,

      I do understand. As alone as you feel, and as alone as we have felt on our journey with our child with autism, we are none of us alone. Your faith is everything, and it will bring you through this. Please know that there are others out here who have some sense of the pain and the joy, and the “differentness'” of your journey. Peace to you.

  2. Somebody super smart once reminded me that, when everything feels like it’s collapsing around you and you just CAN’T juggle the pieces, He’s got this. Hmm… who was that again… ?? Oh, yeah– YOU. 🙂 Love you.

  3. When it rains, it pours! First of all, hope your kiddo is feeling better very soon! There’s good news and bad news for parents. The bad news is that no parent is perfect. We’re all works in progress. The fantastic news is that kids don’t require perfect parents! They only require “good enough” parents! Parents who make mistakes (and we all do!), learn from them, and move forward! Thanks for being honest and encouraging other parents! Well done!

  4. If your child can handle it, give him cayenne capsules…one per dose, on a fulllll stomach. That really helped wipe out my shingles.

    I am so sorry for your baby…and for Mama…I would much rather be the sick one than one of my babies. 🙁

  5. You are definitely not alone. I just pulled my youngest out of public school and will start homeschooling tomorrow. I am scared to death that I am going to mess up and ruin his life totally.I wish I could find someone in our area that homeschools but there are no groups listed.At least I have a year and half to get it together before we have to start doing transcripts for high school.I’m praying every day that God will send someone our way so that he will have some companionship as we do this.We all need to take life one day at a time and remember,he is holding our hand, even if we can’t always feel it.

  6. So sorry your son has shingles. My husband had them a few years back and he was miserable. You are a wonderful mom, Jessica. Not many people could handle 6 kids as well as you do! I had trouble with 2! Know you are loved at home and online. Keep trusting God.
    God bless, Kathy in Illinois

  7. Thanks so very much for this post, Jessica. I REALLY needed to read these words today. Sending prayers your way for a quick and easy recovery and for peace of heart and mind. Blessings to you & your family on this first Sunday of Advent.

  8. I’m glad the shingles aren’t bothering him much. They can be painful.

    And I can so identify with you about finding mistakes of your own making everywhere. And often I cannot figure out how to prevent them. We had a hardhitting sermon on the 2nd commandment yesterday (from our very gentle pastor who never preaches like this), reminding us that the sins of the parents do affect the children and the grand children.

    But it was so good to be reminded what to do when we notice more of our sins:

    “And what do we do? We take a deep breath, we trust that God has a plan for even our failures and shortcomings. We turn to Christ, who truly does no what it to be tempted, and we do the next thing.”

    With my oldest child in rebellion against God, I sometimes feel desperate, because this sinful Mama has 4 more to raise. I really, really needed to read your post this morning. Thanks, Jessica.

  9. Thank you so very much for your post! My children are in their early 20’s and I worry constantly how I have screwed up their lives, I wasn’t patiet enough, too hard on them……..I know though that God gave them to me for a reason and that I was and am doing the best that I can. I keep praying for God to stretch me more, Sometimes the strecheing insn’t fun, but His grace and strength, keep me going. I have my down days, especially with my oldest.

    I am so glad that your child is doing well. I pray you are too! It is hard to see your child however old sick or making bad choices…

  10. I’m sorry, Jessica. That must have been stressful, especially smack dab in middle of all this holiday stuff.

    In times like this, I’ve found that my weaknesses are highlighted to me in the worst way possible. It feels like I can’t seem to do anything right when bigger issues are clouding my brain. But I think that’s because I just don’t have control over the madness in the way I’d like to have control over it. We all need to give ourselves a major break when life throws us some nasty curveballs we didn’t plan for, or it can mess with our self-image. And beating myself up is the last thing I need in the stress of it all.