Sometimes I am a cry baby. I hate when that happens to me.
If you would ask me to give a detailed recollection of Jaycee's delivery and the moment I got her diagnoses, then I would probably cry or at least fight back the tears.
I have had to publically tell this story on a few occasions, and I had to rehearse the story several times in order to detach from my emotions. Once, I had to give my story spontaneously in a group setting, when the emotions of my story overtook me. I had to pause because I was crying so hard. Yikes!
I was embarrassed that I was crying about something, that at that time, happened 6 years ago. I was also frustrated that I seemed stuck in the despair in that moment. Yes, that moment in my life was sad, unexpected, and emotional. However, I have moved on. I'm not that scared new mom who is upset that her child has Down syndrome and a heart condition. But, I feel like when I cry while retelling the story that I really haven't moved on. I ask myself, "What's wrong with me?"
I've had a similar reaction to Jaycee's serious illness in 2013. She almost died last fall from septic shock and heart and lung failure. It was a scary 4 weeks in the hospital with Jaycee on a ventilator for 3 of those weeks. There were so many scary moments. There were a few times when Jaycee had sudden worsening of breathing or blood pressure drops. The doctors would rush in. Alarms would go off. I looked in horror. My body had a physical reaction to the stressful situation: My heart raced. My body had shakes that I tried to fight off so the medical people wouldn't notice me being so afraid. I would get really hot or really cold. As a parent, this was my worst fear possibly coming true. But, it didn't. After 4 weeks of hell, the story had a happy ending.
Still, there have been times in the past few months when I have thought about the time when she was in the hospital or had something trigger a memory of that illness and I have cried. Sometimes, it has been a soft whimper and sometimes it was sobbing. I taped a video recording of this testimony for church (after rehearsing), but I wouldn't dare talk about this story in public yet. It's too fresh. The memories are too emotionally powerful. When they played the video testimony at church, I needed those Kleenex stuffed in my pocket!
After crying my way through the church viewing of our testimony, I thought again, "What's wrong with me?" The story has a happy ending. Why can't I focus on the happy emotion? Don't get me wrong. I am happy, but the tears seem to erupt out of deep rooted pain in my soul.
I think part of the issue in both situations was that my joy came back over time; it wasn't instant. The fear and the panic was instant and powerful. It was a strong emotion in an unexpected time. Those feelings became associated with those memories. But, those negative feelings are not from God. If they aren't feelings of God, then they are a hindrance to me.
I started praying about my memories. I want to look back on times like with the attitude of, "Wow! That was bad but man we made it! Thank God," with nothing but joy in my heart. I don't want to cry out of the memory of the fear. If someone asks me about these tough situations, I want to share my story of strength and courage, giving God glory instead of some person who appears weak and defeated by the fear from that moment. In other words, I want the tears to stop. I want those fearful and painful feelings from the past to be in the past. I want my current feelings of relief, thankfulness, and joy to be ones coming through.
I have been praying that God would help take away those feelings that aren't of Him and that only Godly feelings of joy and triumph are left. So, that's my new motto: Just say no to tears!