During my first pregnancy, I recall being at a routine prenatal checkups and the doctor (smiling), consulting his pregnancy week checklist, and saying something to the effect of, "most women experience hemorrhoids either before, during, or after childbirth." He again consulted his checklist of likely conditions during pregnancy, moved on the next one, and that was that. I also read about hemorrhoids in one my gazillion books, magazines, and articles that I honestly though (ha!) were going to prepare me for childbirth and being a mother. Each of them just breezed over the topic as to say, "No big deal...you get it, it goes away, move on."
Fast forward to delivery and coming home with baby. I remember being in the worst pain of my life. Pain worse than childbirth, no doubt! I thought, "Something must be wrong because there was only one itty-bitty paragraph devoted to this subject in my books and the doctor didn't seem to think it was a big deal." I got on the horn and called some girlfriends who confirmed that they too have been through this and yes, it is very painful. Tearfully painful. What? Why didn't the doctor or books or ANYONE tell me about this. I guess people just don't like to discuss tushy boo-boos.
Moving ahead a few years, we were once again 'well-prepared' for the arrival of two new Ethiopian bundles. We took all the precautions, received the vaccines, traveled with our emergency medications, and took proper hygiene measures while in country. So, when ten days after returning home I noticed what appeared to be a skin infection, I was caught off guard. Hoping it was just an insect bite, I waited two days before scheduling an appointment with our pediatrician. She laid to rest my worst fear (that we contracted some flesh-eating bacteria that would eventually consume us), but did culture our daughter's dry scalp and pointed out a teeny-tiny rash near our daughter's ear. She believed it could be a fungal infection, but had never seen anything like it. (Great...we always love paving the way! As I learned in the military, you have to lead from the front.) Our pediatrician believed the rash near our daughter's ear may explain the spider-bite-looking-mark (which was not a spider bite) on my chest.
I like to think of things like these as small battle scars, a tiny price to pay for the immense blessings we receive from God everyday. God has watched over, led the way, and continues to walk beside us every step of every day. The same God who handpicked each child we will parent, will certainly help us get through these minor nuisances. Hemorrhoids and fungal infections, while uncomfortable to discuss, are nothing compared to the poverty, hunger, and disease that cripple nations and kill tens of thousands each day. They are certainly nothing compared to the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for us. I have chosen to accept these scars as badges of honor. A small reminder that God trusted little 'ole normal me to watch over, protect, and parent four of His children.
By focusing on things out of this world, God puts the things of this world in perspective!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5)