September 15th was one of the most rough nights I have had as a parent. We were camping for my family reunion, and got there pretty late that night. We had been to the camp site no more than 45 minutes when Charlie, my mom, and I were walking back from the bathrooms and heard a child in the distance screaming an awful scream. I was making light of it so as to help Charlie from being too scared at bed time. As we got closer I realized that what I was hearing was my middle child Rienn. She was screaming an awful blood curdling scream I had never heard come out of her before. As soon as I realized that it was my baby, I darted for the camp site as fast as I could. Turns out the poor girl was tired and asked her dad to put her to bed in the tent. When she got up to walk to the tent she tripped, and fell right into the fire. Had Kody not been standing with Rienn at the fire, her burns could have been so much worse.
Thankfully we had my mom with us, so we were able to leave our oldest and our youngest with her at the camp site, and take Rienn to the emergency room. The whole night was just rough, as you can imagine. The drive to the hospital felt like a lifetime as I held Rienn and cried along with her. I knew she was going to be fine, but it is so hard to watch your baby be in so much pain and be able to do nothing to help them, or make it better.
Rienn ended up with what the doctors said were 2nd degree burns on both hands and both wrists, and her shin. After she got all taken care of and bandaged up at the hospital, we got back to the campsite and managed to get her comfortable in the tent, letting her know that once we were up and ready we could take her home rather than camping the rest of the weekend. By the grace of God and through the power of prayer, Rienn slept through the entire night and woke up with the best attitude and in the best mood, and wanted to camp the rest of the weekend rather than go home. In fact, that is how she faced this entire experience. Crying out when she was in pain, yes of course. But her attitude through having bandaged hands that she couldn’t use for weeks, starting her first ever day of preschool with hands still bandaged up, not being able to join her preschool class in swimming lessons every week due to her burns, the doctors having to peal the skin off of her healing burns…. was amazing.
I believe that if we allow it, we can learn so much through our children. We can learn about life, and love, and Christ, and so many things. Sometimes we go through the fire, sometimes we have trials and tribulations, sometimes life is so painful and hard and we just don’t understand and don’t know what to do. And during those times, God is right there with us, guiding us one step at a time. Our attitude throughout the process makes a big difference in where the process takes us. I want to choose joy in the midst of trials. I want to choose to seek out the positive in what feels like a completely negative situation. I want to allow God to mold me and shape me and give me his endless joy through all different types of experiences I walk through. I want to be like Rienn and choose to focus on the positive, even when I am hurting. And I will be the first to admit that I do not always do that.
Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.