Wednesday, September 12, 2012


i am thankful that last week is over.
there was fear, panic, anxiety and more anxiety.

...a little background first, 
olivia has had severe stomach issues all summer.  
we have seen several doctors, 
hospital visits and specialists...
all summer.

these people here ^ are just the best kind 
of people you could ask for! 
 they were amazing with olivia!

after getting her on the right meds,
her stomach is finally starting to feel better!
but, then school started.

now, anxiety has kicked in, 
telling her that her stomach will start hurting all over again-
and a crazy, consuming, obsessive cycle has begun...
not to mention, when i asked 
the pharmacist if her meds might
be adding to her emotional state, he said yes. :(

the week before school started,
 we would run into the normal question 
of what grade she was going into...
as soon as she said, "First",  
these well-meaning, friendly people 
would get this huge happy grin on their face
and say, "What a big girl you are...
going to school for the whole day!
You must be so excited!"

 she would muster up a smile 
and return a quick nod.
i could see her conflict. 
she just told these complete strangers a lie.
going along with them just to 
get them to stop talking about 
how awesome a whole day away from 
her safe haven is completely spectacular.
it started her crossing paths 
she hadn't even considered yet.

the night before school started:
as soon as there was any mention
 of school, big, fat crocodile tears
made their way into hysteric sobs.
it broke my heart. 
 i always loved school!
art, reading, working on projects, writing
-they were my favs...
and then there was the complete social 
benefit of being with friends all day long.

not so for olivia. we were on two different tracks:
i was so excited to make her 
a healthy, beautiful breakfast. 
 she could hardly get the words out...
i think i am going to vomit. 
 it was written all over her face. 

 luckily, her daddy took her on her first day-
she is always brave for him.
i picked her up- expecting that things 
were sure to have improved throughout the day.
nope...she had cried all day long.

day 2...
10 minutes after i left the building,
 i got a call from the office.
she was lying on the cot...
covered in a beautiful quilt the principal had made 
and used to make her feel more comfortable. 
 i had them send her back to class
 as i went crazy waiting 
until i could get into my car to go get her.

day 3...
she was not having it. 
 sobbing, resisting, dry heaving...true anxiety. 
there was no talking her through or around it. 
 and yes, i carried her to the car, hoping and 
praying my neighbors down the street 
weren't going to call CPS. 

 she was so bewildered...
she could not believe i would force her 
into such discomfort. 
 it was as if i had performed the ultimate betrayal. 
 i got her into the building, left her in the bathroom 
and went down to the office.
the secretaries took one look at me, 
offered their support and a few kind words 
and i crumbled. 
 they suggested that i talk to the counselor
 and get him involved. 
 he immediately came to help.

i left that day without a hug or a kiss from my liv.
 that was a long day.

that night, we were reading Bible stories-
we had just finished the story about Jesus 
calming the storms with one command...

isn't that amazing olivia?
 that Jesus can command the winds and the sea 
to hush and be still?
mommy, please pray that i will stop crying at school.
i really want to stop, but i can't.

she climbed on top of me and just sobbed. 
on top of school stuff, she is really missing her amma.
the strength in me was gone, within seconds,
 i was joining her with my own tears...
missing her amma with her 
and wishing life could let up a bit for her.

 we both just laid there-
wondering where God was in the midst of this storm. 
 we kept asking Him to take this anxiety...
this fear- and hush it....
banish it from this little peanut of mine.

day four...
she willingly got into the car...
tears and heavy sobs the entire way to school. 
 she had an ounce more confidence 
than she had the day before. 
she had made 2 new friends...
her counselor and her first grade teacher.

when i picked her up after school, 
i got a thumbs up from her teacher..
which sent relief straight through my entire body.
relief that she hadn't merely survived the day, 
it meant that she ate more than 2 crackers all day, 
that she forgot about asking every 5 minutes when her mommy was coming to get her, 
that she enjoyed a game of bingo, 
found a friend to share a swing with, 
anticipated the end of a chapter book
 that her teacher was going to finish that day. 

 God has created olivia, all of us really, 
to be more than survivors...
more than just trudging through life 
begging for it to get easier.

{and believe me, i have been begging
-the poor pathetic-hands-and-knees kind of begging
for this to get easier.}

 more than likely, it won't.
we are still in the thick of it.
we are grateful for the help we are receiving 
and the way God is meeting our every need.
everyone at our school has been
incredible to us.  we are right where we should be!

in the midst of grief and tough, 
heart breaking moments...
there is no rescuer like our good God.

liv is at the beginnings of something really spectacular. 
i am confident of that.

 i can't wait to see how He shows up and surprises her.
because that is just like Him...
to show up with a better plan
than she or i could have ever imagined.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


mindy peterson said...

jaren.... i just love you and your transparent and incredible heart!!! liv and will are so blessed to have you and ben as parents. i will pray for liv right now that tomorrow Jesus will help her be brave and that her anxiety leaves her body to allow her to have fun. you know, like you and i did in school. :) love you, friend. xo

Jaren nash said...

thank you min! i was so teary reading your words...they mean so much to me! i think about you and your kiddos all the time. missing your mom with you and for you! love you too gURl! ;) xo

Jeff and Joyellen Hazard said...

Oh Jaren, thanks for sharing. I had no idea what a rough week it was for you! I will be praying specifically for Olivia (and your Momma's heart too!). I, too, have an anxious child (and WAS an anxious child myself) so I understand the tension of wanting your child to succeed, yet being compassionate at the same time. Such a hard struggle! Saying a prayer right now for Sweet Olivia.

Homey Home Design said...

Oh Jaren! I was crying right with you when I read this! I have a 3rd grader who was that sobbing mess on the first day of 3rd grade (every grade really~though each year it gets a little better!) Its so had being a mom and seeing your baby in such angst! Praise God He is in control. I have had to remind myself many times that He is with them and in the end it will make them and hopefully their faith stronger! I will be praying for you and Olivia!

Tami Marek said...

Jaren I'm so sorry you both have to go through this. My Caleb has always had stomach problems as well. When he was in third grade I finally was able to get the pediatrician to refer him to an internist. It was a difficult year for us and that Christmas we had to "put our cat to sleep". When the internist decided to scope Caleb's tummy, I explained to him that they would "put him to sleep" and then take pictures of his stomach. He just solemnly agreed to the procedure. As the time came closer I again explained what would happen and told him we could go to McDonalds on the way home. He looks at me and says "so I get to go home afterwards?" That poor darling thought we were going to put him out of his misery because he had stomach issues. I think I won "stupid mom of the year" that year.
I'll being praying for both of you. I know how heart wrenching it is to send a sick baby to school