Tonight, Samantha had a hard time going to sleep. I let her cry awhile, simply so she'd wear herself out, and then I went in. I wiped her face. I picked her up. And I held her. She allowed her body to give a little bit and as I stroked her long silky hair, she slowly melted deeper into my right arm and chest. Things became so still. So calm became her breathing, so quickly, that I stopped to make sure she was, in fact, still doing so. She was. Relief. So I continued running my fingers through her hair. And...it hit me. Life is incredible. And I'm not just talking of ... ohhh the blessings of life, and the joy of motherhood and raising a family and "life" in general is incredible. That's all true -- according to me. But what I felt was the WOW about LIFE.
I mean, what is it that makes our hearts continue to beat?
Why is it that this little girl who was born under such "different" circumstances, with the odds against her, is still alive?
What is it that causes us to take those calm breaths?
Why do we breath from moment to moment?
The science behind it all is what fascinates me. But it's so much more than science. Even one of Samantha's pediatrician's once told me that the more he studies and learns, the more he delves into medicine, the more it's confirmed to him that there is a God. I thought of King Benjamin from the Book of Mormon. And I specifically thought of these words:
I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning,
and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath,
that ye may live and move and do according to your own will and
even supporting you from one moment to another—
I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls
yet ye would be unprofitable servants.
And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments;
and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should
prosper in the land;
and he never doth vary from that which he hath said;
therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.
And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives,
for which ye are indebted unto him.
And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you;
for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you;
and therefore he hath paid you.
And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever;
therefore, of what have ye to boast?
We've kind of had a lot going on in the family lately. Nathaniel (nephew) has been struggling with his own breath. He's been in and out of the hospital...oh..I can't count how many times. Right when we think he's doing alright, he crashes...another call to 911...another stay in the PICU. The nurses are becoming too familiar with him. And for a kid just over 1 year old, it just doesn't seem "fair" that some of his best friends are nurses and doctors in the hospital. It's sad. And it's been very difficult, most especially for his parents and grandparents. Where is God in all of this? Everywhere. In every breath.
Tonight, I watched Samantha fall into a deep sleep in my arms. I watched her breathe. I remembered the times when seizures sucked all the breath out of her and color left her body...and then the relief that filled my heart as breath brought life again to her body. Tonight I silently thanked my Father for the breath He grants Samantha each day, fully aware that those breaths are gifts, every. single. one of them.
Tonight, I also thought of little Nathaniel, who is struggling for breath -- who is dependent, not only on machines, but so obviously on his Father as well. There are times when it's easy to question where God is while we suffer, or ... why we even have to endure certain things, especially when we feel like we're doing what He wants us to do. But, tonight, in this moment of clarity...a moment that is so much harder to explain in words as opposed to how I actually felt...I felt the Spirit confirm to me of the power of God, His kindness, and mercy as He grants us breath.
Even if Samantha's life had been taken during one of those seizures, as horrible as that would be, as much as it causes my own breath to weaken just thinking of it...I. Trust. Him. (Even when I don't like it.) I have faith in a greater purpose for those pains that we endure. (Again, even when I don't like it.) It's not up to me to determine what I can survive. He grants us the breath, and we do His work...even if that just means hanging on for a period...or a life time. I can get all the answers to my "why" questions at a later time. Until then...I gratefully watch Samantha breathe.