I’ve been following Under the Big Topp for a while now. It’s from a missionary and mom who is committed to honestly blogging about what she calls her “very unremarkable journey in God’s remarkable mission.”
I appreciate her willingness to let us hear her deep thoughts and feelings, and that is what she does in a recent post, “a secret reluctance of faith.” It’s a look back to the time this past May after her 16-month-old son (whom she calls Roo) pulled a cup of boiling water onto himself, giving him second- and third-degree burns over 25% of his body.
Her story tugs deeply at me, as it brings back memories of what happened to my own son while we were in Taiwan. When he was 14 months old, he grabbed a hot clothes iron, burning the palm of his hand. At first, the hospital staff thought it was not so serious, and we went home with his hand wrapped in bandages. But then he developed an infection and we found out that he had third-degree burns. That led to a hospital stay of over 40 days for him—and because in Taiwanese hospitals the family provides much of the day-to-day care, that meant that my wife spent more than 40 days there, as well. All of this led to several surgeries, skin grafts, and therapy sessions over the next two and a half years.
Mrs. BigTopp writes that her son was flown by air ambulance to a neighboring country for treatment. The surgeon there “predicted months of specialist care, a surgery or two and then more outpatient care. . . . But then suddenly, Roo was healed.”
She then shares what she wrote down the night before flying back to her host country, as she struggled with her emotions. As is often the case, the emotions surrounding trauma are confusing and seem to betray us. With the healing of her little boy came the reality that he would no longer need long-term care back home in Australia. But that also meant she would not be “rescued” from the difficulties she has faced as a missionary.
She apologizes for the “full on” nature of her words—unedited and, she says, unsanitized.
Man! I should just be happy. Happy that Roo is well and safe and healed, and I know I am happy…
….but I am not ready.
I scared again. Inwardly I’m screaming again.
I am hyperventilating and screaming.
I’m screaming, ‘No! No! No! Please God, please’
outwardly I’m quietly packing suitcases and booking flights.
We are going back.
I am so tired and scared and full of guilt and I’m hurting.
And then they flew back to the mission field.
Please go to her blog and read the full post here. What I have shared above is only a small, small taste of her story.
[photo: “Reisdagboek,” by Audringje, used under a Creative Commons license]