Watching our third baby suffer in pain from silent reflux is not any easier than with the first or second child.
A tiny baby writhing in pain, arching their back and screaming, red-faced until they have no more breath, is gut-wrenching for even the seasoned reflux parent.
Silent reflux is still awful.
While this time around we were more proactive in asking for and accepting help, daily, we were in the trenches, trying to soothe our hurting child. And, as I shared before, this time around, we also struggled to help our older children cope.
It was not easy for our children to watch their baby sister suffer either.
Many days, I sat back and observed how our entire family was affected by our baby’s pain. I often wonder why? Now when I say why, I don’t mean the science behind it – I actually understand that quite well by now.
No, I mean WHY?
Why would God allow a baby to suffer this way?
Why our children?
Why is this so hard?
Why isn’t He answering my prayers NOW?
My emotional response is to ask why, neglecting to go any deeper. Asking why only allows me to dwell in a dark place of mourning and frustration. It is not wrong to come to this place on occasion, but staying there long does only damage. There is no hope there, and as your little one suffers, trust me, you need all the hope you can get.
Like many injustices and suffering, we may never know why on this side of heaven, so dwelling there is not a fruitful endeavor.
Instead of asking why, I should be asking where God is as we walk through it.
I don’t know why He allowed this again, but I do know where God IS.
With me. With my husband. With our baby. With our older kids.
He has not looked away even for even one second, even thought there were times we took our eyes off of Him.
God is not surprised that our baby has reflux.
He made her. Carefully. Without mistake.
God is allowing reflux to happen for a reason, even though I want it to be over without all the suffering.
I also need to ask WHAT is God doing?
What is He teaching our family?
What is He working out in me?
What is He equipping me to do?
For now, it is evident He is teaching each member of our family to be more dependent on Him. He is teaching my husband and I to trust Him with each child He has given us, and to parent with His strength.
And to trust His perfect timing.
I am grateful that we have already seen Him work in this situation twice before – and He has an excellent track record. God never changes. I am confident He will work here too. I have already seen how He has used these experiences already to encourage other reflux families, just like I have seen Him work for good in our family’s life because of our son’s food allergies.
I expect Him to show up big here too.
God walks through all suffering with us – comforting, supporting, equipping, and carrying us through the worst of circumstances. He gently, lovingly guides us freely offering peace, kindness, love and forgiveness along the way.
From day one.
I admit, I do not agree with our baby suffering, but God’s character is good, regardless of our circumstance.
I trust Him and believe He will use this suffering for good. The countless hours spent fervently praying over our babies for relief have not been spent in vain, although I do wish He would answer those prayers now.
He answers all prayers in His timing. And I do trust His perfect timing and care. And that His ways are higher than my ways.
He knows the entire plan for my life, my family’s life, and this sweet baby. He is working for good, in something that feels only bad. The Bible is clear that God works for the good in ALL things of those who love Him – And I believe Him. And so I cling to this truth.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
He has shown Himself faithful to me and to each of our children.
So, while we walk through this, we keep our eyes fixed on Him. We expectantly wait for Him to make His presence known.
And every day, He does.
Because He is faithful, still.
*I CANNOT wait to share how God has worked in this situation already – our daughter has improved SO much since I started writing this in July. In the craziness of those days, I never published this – so here it is (With a few more posts to come explaining new lessons learned about infant reflux the third time around, and just how God’s timing was perfect in this situation).