Just over a week ago we experienced was a flurry of travel, although I wish it had been a real Michigan snow flurry after we encountered the sweat-inducing temperatures of Singapore. Several weeks ago God began our journey toward Singapore. Finn had an infection, a UTI to be precise. It involved lots of tests. Since then I’ve become a pro at collecting urine samples. But I think Singapore wasn’t really about Finn in the end.
Quick Infection recap: Finn had a UTI. We ran some labs, went to the doctor in a nearby city, and got antibiotics. The infection went away and then seemingly returned. We ran a few more labs, this time a culture too. It showed infection and a nasty strain of E. coli. We were advised to go to get more tests done with a pediatric urologist. God provided some much needed connections, plus some amazing people working on Finn’s visa, and we made plans for Singapore.
I remember when I first found out that this whole infection could easily be something serious and we should probably go seek further help. It left me floored. What if my little miracle boy was really sick inside where I couldn’t help or fix anything? Payton was gone for the day and I was sitting in our dining room nursing Finn. Our house helper was there, and we prayed together over little Finn. That moment where we prayed together made my heart so full. Even though our cultures are vastly different, our Father is still the same. We both got on our knees before His throne to ask His help for the little boy we love. For those moments, the culture gap seemed to disappear and we were eye to eye with the same loving God. I don’t think I have enough language to explain to her what it meant to me to pray together.
At that point in time, we didn’t have a visa for Finn yet, which meant he couldn’t leave the country. Visas aren’t quick. Some amazing people made it happen in 2 days, when usually it takes at least 5 days. God moved again.
We got a room at a guest house within walking distance of the hospital. Apparently, the rooms are always booked and they never have openings. God again.
Waiting at the airport and trying to keep our almost 3 month old happy during the entire ordeal proved to be near impossible. It was small, hot, and loud. The flight was only 2 hours, but it was tough. And that’s when the heat was turned on under my kettle, so to speak. Once we arrived covered in spit up and our nerves strung tight, the contents of the aforementioned kettle began to bubble to the surface. What’s really inside started to come out.
And, thus, a stench began to fill the air…
My patience began to disappear. I got short and snippy. My teeth were kinda clenched. It was ugly. I could give you the “valid reasons” why I felt justified acting like that in those moments, but really it was just sin no matter which way I spun it.
For kicks, here were my reasons for sinning during the trip:
It took far too long to get an Uber driver in the sweltering night heat. Finn was cranky and was refusing to eat, but didn’t want to stop crying. My bag was heavy. We didn’t know how to get into our room after hours, so it took longer and Finn was a mess. He woke me up three times that night to eat, continuing that pattern every night thereafter. We had early breakfast plans and then doctors visits lined up, which meant dragging my cranky self out of bed. More trouble with taxis. Trouble with the GPS on the phone. Loud malls. More screaming. Overstimulated baby who had to “talk-it-out” after each long day–aka screaming. Sore shoulders from holding baby all day. Getting lost in a huge city. Unknown social pressures that somehow still felt present. And so on…
My expectations were not being met. I was not in control and neither was Payton.
Apparently, we were the ones with the real infection. After frustrating each other with not-so-nice words, we realized what was happening. Two lessons stood out after God showed us our “infections”…
One, we still have the flesh and we don’t always act like new creations. We are still very much susceptible to the wiles of the devil and the deception of our own hearts. We often assume everything is great until the heat is turned up and bad attitudes we’ve left unattended have turned rotten in the meantime. We’ve realized we need to be in the Word and allow it to cleanse us.
The bigger lesson was learning to be fully present where we were. We ended up having to stay in Singapore over the weekend to wait for the final urine culture and another urinalysis. If it turned out positive and a bacteria was specific, we’d have to start the particular antibiotics and they’d perform the painful reflux test involving a catheter, dye and taking pictures of his insides. After we heard that we would just be waiting for the culture, we really just wanted to go home, especially once the first urinalysis came back clean. Anyway, it kind of made us question all of the extra chaos, money, and whatnot of staying three more days. After we discussed it, we realized that we needed to follow the doctor’s advice and finish waiting for the culture results. More than that, we needed to not always be frantically trying to run to the next thing. Otherwise, you always end up kind of holding your breath, wishing you were getting more done somewhere else, on to the next thing. If you constantly live in that mindset, it never allows you to be fully present and at peace. This was a HUGE lesson that we have yet to see fully accomplished in our lives, but we are praying for God to be at work in this area. This lesson totally flows into how we walk through the long process of langauge learning, the task ahead, and always having another transition looming. We only really have today in front of us and we need to be faithful and “all there” as we do whatever God has for us.
So, in case you forgot that we were human just like you, now there’s no excuse. 😉 When the heat is turned up under your kettle, whether in Singapore or somewhere else on the globe, what’s inside will definitely boil to the surface! Keep praying for us dear friends.