At some point in our life we wrestle through the tougher questions of faith, we move through hard times and it raises questions deep inside of us that have us asking us, is God there? Can he hear me? Am I alone? Why is this happening to me?… it’s a normal process of the faith journey, hard as those times are these questions either make us or break us in our faith.
I spoke with a pyschologist today about Josh, he’s been having nightmares and talking about scary noises in his head and asking things like ‘am I going to die’. I told the Dr. all of these things and her response was to begin by changing the term ‘broken’ heart and ‘fixing’ it to ‘special’ heart and helping him to have a heart a little more like Mummy’s so that he can have more energy like Mummy and Daddy. She suggested looking at pictures of a heart, getting him to draw pictures of things that make him feel happy, sad, scared etc. to give him an avenue to share his concerns with us.
So I did. I started by saying that I spoke with a doctor today who told me that Joshua’s heart is special. Then he asked me to see a picture of a heart so I googled it and we looked at ‘Mummy’s heart’ and he asked to see the special part of his own heart. He asked where his heart was so I showed him by tapping him on the chest and he got angry ‘don’t poke my heart, it’s goona be gone’. So we talked about how his heart would never move, that it was safe in his chest. The we started to draw, happy was a train, scared was a scribble that he said was a song. This surprised me so I asked him to sing the scary song and what came out was the song Jesus loves me, the same song I sing every single night to him. He said ‘we have to change the song’! I thought I was mishearing him so I sang it to him to see what happened and he got upset and said ‘change the song’. So I promised I would stop singing the song. Then he said ‘God is sleeping’ and then ‘we need to pray louder’.
There is a reason we call it ‘child like’ faith, there is supposed to be an innocent belief in God that isn’t questioned… how is it that Josh has already begun to ask these tougher questions of faith at five years old. Sadly, he didn’t want to talk about it anymore so I was forced to stifle my questions and let him go play but I couldn’t sit with it so I called Tim. (A pastoral call we will say). He suggested we pray louder so I took Josh in my lap and said let’s wake God up. He was pretty excited about that, he pulled me upstairs to his bedroom and together we yelled really loudly “GOD! Wake up!” We told him to stop the scary noise, to make the bad dreams stop and then Josh said something unintelligible that ended with the word dying. He wouldn’t elaborate on it so I have yet to discover what he said, and I am thankful God can decipher.
I think in an effort to help Josh work all this through we have opened a can of worms, one that maybe needs to be worked through but I’m second guessing our timing. Often as parents we learn our mistakes too late, after the damage is done. When Josh did so well with the catheterization I thought if we talked him through the process as it happened then it would help him, and he was so worried that his heart be ‘fixed’ that I started those conversations too soon. Now the little man is scared, worried, anxious and apparently questioning if God can hear him, and wondering if he’s been sleeping on the job.
I told him about the red photos, showed them to him and now he sees red and says ‘they are praying for me?’… He told his Grandad yesterday that even Spiderman was praying for him and wearing red. So today, after all was said and he was finished wanting to discuss it further I told him that all those people wearing red were all talking to God, and that it must be awfully loud to have all those people talking to him. Josh agreed and for now the discussion is closed until another day.
All of this to say that I am adding to my prayer request for Josh, and us. Please, pray he feels God’s presence, pray that nightmares ease, pray that he somehow knows God is hearing all of us.