I seem to remember reading somewhere in the Mama Handbook Revised Edition that mama's aren't supposed to get sick. Our job is to take care of our young ones when they get sick. Sniffles and perhaps a slight cough are allowed, but full on flu or sinus infection or, in my case, strep throat! I'm sure that's on the list of banned illnesses.
When my children are sick I pull out my "sickness bible" Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child, and usually whip up some concoction to bring "ancient" healing to my child. I mean St. Luke was a physician and I'm quite certain his medications could be found in his garden :) Don't get me wrong, I definitely believe in Western Medicine but I also believe in climbing the care ladder one rung at a time and not jumping to the top rung at the first sign of a non-emergency condition. Many times these lovely remedies work and that makes me feel like a capable mama. I try to pray for my sick children and anoint their heads with holy oil. It feels like a gift to me to be able to care for them. But when I'm sick I can't drag myself over to the bookshelf to look at the grown up version of the "sickness bible", I forget to pray and the oil doesn't cross my mind.
But what if this illness is part of what is necessary for my salvation? What if this mama getting sick is really a gift? How could that be possible you ask? I'll give you a few examples.
1. This illness has allowed me to see what capable young adults my daughters are becoming. They stepped up right away and have blessed me so much during this time!
2. Last week my 8 year old said he didn't know if he wanted to be a Christian anymore because after confession he always found himself doing the same wrong things just a few days later. But during my illness he was the one who though to get the holy oil and add three capfuls to my water to aid in my healing.
3. My husband has had not one complaint about me being sick. He doesn't grudgingly take on 9 kids (okay, only 6 count as "kids" anymore). He looks at me with my Brillo pad hair and grungy clothes the same way he did on our wedding day.
4. I had to stop. Yep. I had to stop everything and humble myself and LET people take care of me. I had to LET them bless me.
Now, this is just a little illness and I know there are many a mama with chronic or even terminal illnesses but I did learn a lot. The chapter in the Mama's Handbook needs to be updated to include the the verse about all things working together for the good of those who love Him. The illness isn't what was good, but God took that bad thing and did work it together for my good. When my friend was dying, the Lord brought her family together and worked in such a way that she, who had mothered many, was cared for so lovingly by her family. God is merciful to us, even in sickness and for that, even with all the aches and pains, we can rejoice!