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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanking Whoever . .

. . out there sent up some specific, directed, effectual prayers between late-Monday and mid-Tuesday.
Because we were enveloped in a cloud of grace. I picture this like the glory-cloud that fills the temple, the palpable presence of God. Monday night, I was on call, only I didn't get called. At all. This just does not happen. When my alarm went off at 6 I sort of panicked, the way you do when you're a young mom and your baby never cried all night. I had left two babies intubated in the ICU and the ICU ALWAYS CALLS. I got out of bed and re-checked the call schedule, and only then did I realize that the ICU doctor on call was one of the few who handles paeds cases (much better than I do I might add). And the intern I was on call with is extremely competent, so she just messaged me in the morning about what she'd done overnight. Wow. Then I went to work and discharged 6 more patients, in addition to the 9 from the day before, with only 1 admission, bringing our service down from 24 to 10. When we have 24 patients, you really can't even eat lunch or go to the bathroom, it is nonstop. When we got down to 10, I actually took my medical students to the cafeteria for chai and had personal discussions about paediatric medicine and their lives. An idealistic consultant moment. Then I went to the office to check on next month's call schedule and found out I was NOT ON CALL for Christmas, and it looked great. One of my patients whom I've cared for his whole life, Bedan with major malformations, smiled at me. He is much better and ready to go home, and sat in his bed beaming from his little yoda-like face. This was not my typical day at the hospital.
Then I got home and found out the best news of all: Caleb was nominated by one of our VA Senators for the Air Force Academy. This senator received 740 applications, offered about 30 interviews (Caleb's was by phone last week), and then selected 10 for nominations. Only one of those ten will be appointed by the academy, so he still has some odds to beat. But this was a huge relief, to know he still has the chance. (He has not heard from the other Senator, or our Congressional Representative, or the Vice President, so if any of those also nominate him his chances go up). About 4000 kids are nominated and 1000 admitted in a given year. He's such a great kid, I see deep things happening, and I hope for the best for him, wherever that is.
And did I mention that my Kindle, which had been in a deep unresponsive coma which I feared would be fatal, revived after my neighbor advised me to hold the on switch over for a full 15 seconds? And this happened later, but still counts in the tally of super-thankful: Julia was chosen for the Varsity Girls Football (soccer) team, and Acacia for JV. This is huge.

By Tuesday evening, going up the hill to the jazz band concert with Caleb after having actually managed a creative and nutritious dinner ON TIME for the whole family, I thought, someone is praying, and why do I ever worry?

Which was, of course, a short-lived triumph. Because that grace-cloud did not last very long. In the last 24 hours, life settled back a little towards normal. That beautiful call schedule, it turns out, had to be totally changed when other doctors objected to being on call Christmas, so now Scott and I are (though we're working out a way to share so others take Christmas Eve and Boxing Day). Internet issues slowed me down, went to watch soccer scrimmage and ended up with a student with a broken arm, fighting general single-parent tiredness, one kid forgot to turn in homework, another bombed a test, finals-week edginess as everyone struggles to get things finished.

Yes, my thankfulness is very fickle. Just like the Israelites. God might part the Red Sea one day, but the next I'm ready to complain about food. A 24 hour stretch of an amazing series of things-going-right is quickly forgotten when I get back to a normal day. You'd think I would be on a faith high over that senatorial nomination for weeks, instead of worrying about the next nomination or application.

I suppose I'm learning that thankfulness is a daily discipline. Like manna, one day's does not spill over to the next. I think that a "series of fortunate events" will inspire me towards perpetual thanks, but it doesn't. I have to be thankful again the next day, and the next, even when (especially when) the circumstances are less ideal. Perhaps if days of triumph worked thankfulness in us, God would give us more, but He knows that we haven't changed in several thousand years, and no matter how richly He blesses us we still have to be prodded towards thankfulness.

But I'm still grateful for whoever prayed, and would welcome you to do so again.

1 comment:

Mrs. Hiccup said...

Thanks for this post!