Sunday, March 22, 2015


I'm not really the right person to write about suffering,
because I'm terrible at it.
I should be good at it by now, but I'm just not.
This above picture of Jesus really hit me this past week.
To follow Jesus, like we all want to,
literally means to pick up our own cross, like Jesus!
You know, to "follow Him"?
Like follow the leader and do all He does.
I know there is joy to be found in suffering.
I have  not found that joy yet.
I know that joy will come.
Maybe it comes when we die.
I'm a big baby.
I never want suffering, the suffering I'm being given.
(it is a gift you know)
Whether it's someone close to me suffering and I'm helpless to help,
or it is myself, my own inner and physical suffering,
I don't want it.
OH, I tell myself, that my suffering is meant for me and
that I couldn't handle anyone else's suffering.
But I still don't want it.
I try to bargain and beg God,
"Please God, let me coast a while with no suffering."
"I'll give up something, I'll sacrifice something, I promise"
"No, please God, not this!"

"Really?  God, I can NOT handle this! YOU think I can, but I can't!!"
I have tears just typing that.
I'm right back in the emergency room with little Simeon here.
A week ago Simeon ended up with an eye infection that
turned into dacrocystitis.
He had a pocket of fluid beside his eye. 
This is something that could, I guess happen to anyone at anytime.
Lucky us.
Let me back up here.
Wednesday that week, I took him in because his eye had swollen almost shut.
The doctor put him on some drops.
I gave him the drops for 1 day.
The next day, his eye did not get any better, it even seemed worse.
I took him in again, but it was Friday afternoon by this point,
so in our smaller-ish town, there was no way to get a CT Scan
except to go through the emergency room at the hospital.
so off we went.
They found he did indeed have dacrocystitis, only treatable with
IV antibiotics.
We in our smaller-ish size town
do not have any pediatric ophthalmologists
so they sent us via ambulance to the University of Minnesota Hospital,
because it was very likely he would need surgery.
This long ride has to go down as one of the very most hardest things
I've had to do.
Ride in the front of an ambulance, with a complete stranger,
trying to make small talk, while my baby is in the back,
and all I want to do is cry. And pray. 
(not enough seatbelts in the back in our ambulances in our smaller-ish size town) 
Here we are at 3 a.m. finally in a room for the "night".
I tell you, watching your child suffer in any way, never ever gets easier.
It's such a helpless feeling,
as the doctors and nurses are poking and prodding and hurting him,
he looks up at you and you cannot do anything.
It's a feeling of betrayal.
a feeling of abandonment.
I'm right there, telling him they are helping him and that he's such a good boy,
but he's looking at me like, "Why don't you make them stop?"

 (waiting for the MRI)
They put him out twice.
Once for the MRI
and an hour or two later for surgery.

Waiting in the waiting room while your baby is in surgery,
is another one of those very hard things.
I cry and pray.
And cry and pray.
I memorize the pictures.
Children are so resilient.
Here he is the night after surgery.
2nd night, still needed to keep a patch over his eye.

 His eyes are very very sensitive to the light now.
Mornings and evenings are the worst.
He has a lot of drainage still coming out too. 
We go for his 1 week check up Monday (tomorrow).
Hoping all is well and his sensitivity to light gets better.
This little boy is making me a saint.
We came home to 3 kids with the flu.
I have a bladder/kidney infection I can't seem to get rid of.
Suffering, if it does one thing,
it brings us closer to Jesus.
He gives us just a little more than we can handle,
so we have to turn to Him.
He will see us through.
He is a gentle and loving God.
I can't remember what saint said this,
"If you do not have any crosses in life,
you better get down on your knees and pray for some!"
Suffering has meaning.
It can be a gift.
An incredible gift.
If we just let God give it to us.
Strength, that is.
And maybe some wisdom to better help others.
Maybe it's just GRACE.
Grace to offer our sufferings for others.
Grace to better our souls.
There is Grace in suffering.
“It is not so much what people suffer that makes the world mysterious; it is rather how much they miss when they suffer. They seem to forget that even as children they made obstacles in their games in order to have something to overcome. Why, then, when they grow into man’s estate, should there not be prizes won by effort and struggle? Can-not the spirit of man rise with adversity as the bird rises against the resistance of the wind? Do not the game fish swim upstream? Must not the chisel cut away the marble to bring out the form? Must not the seed falling to the ground die before it can spring forth into life? Must not grapes be crushed that there may be wine to drink, and wheat ground that there may be bread to eat? Why then cannot pain be made redemption? Why under the alchemy of Divine Love cannot crosses be turned into crucifixes? Why cannot chastisements be regarded as penances? Why cannot we use a cross to become God-like? We cannot become like Him in His Power; we cannot become like Him in His Knowledge. There is only one way we can become like Him, and that is in the way He bore His sorrows and His Cross. And that way was with love. It is love that makes pain bearable.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen (About Crosses)


  1. I agree. The hardest suffering ...the hurt of a child.
    I was praying and thinking of you through all of this.
    He is just the sweetest little boy and this is so hard and really quite scary with eyes having an operation on.
    I am so sorry the other kiddos are sick.
    I hope his eyes are healing.
    After that nice vacation, I imagine it is so hard to be back in this cold and hurt and sick kids.
    Hugs. big{{ BIG HUGS}} Praying all kids are healthy for Easter.

  2. Oh, Jamie Jo! You're having quite a Lent. I'm so with you -- I'm horrible at suffering. Poor Simeon. I think one of the hardest things about motherhood is watching your children suffer. I'll be praying everyone at your house gets better quickly.

  3. I think most of us are at the same level as you with suffering. I feel like I have enough to handle, I want to pick and choose my crosses. But when God gives me one without asking, it's tough. But you have the right attitude about it. My mom told me one day, "Don't fight it. Just let Jesus form you."

  4. Jamie, you were on my heart last week.
    I kept thinking of name was tugging at my heart.
    I will pray for you. And hope that somehow, across the miles, you will feel your cross becoming just a bit lighter as we here all help you carry it.
    Hugs from Pa.
    And a bladder infection? The worst.

  5. Just want to hug you.
    You have such a great understanding of our faith and honesty about how hard it is to suffer. I continue to pray that you feel the Lord's nearness while carrying this cross.
    Praying, too, that you are all well soon.

  6. I'm so sorry Jamie Jo! You and your family will definitely be in my prayers. It's so hard to see our little ones hurting.

  7. I'm with you on suffering. But boy, we are so blessed to have such a beautiful faith that not only gives meaning to suffering but a purpose for it. Prayers for total healing and for good health to finish Lent!

  8. Praying for you! I'm so sorry he had to be in pain like that, but I'm glad they were able to help him. This has been a difficult lent for us too. Andrew keeps getting reoccurring double ear infections and John Paul had to work two weeks, 12 hour days straight, including weekends, it has been so hard taking care of the kids by myself while battling some rough morning sickness, it was only with God's grace I'm not too crazy yet :) I'll be praying everyone gets well soon and all is well with little Simeon's eye.

  9. You remain in our prayers, all of you do!

  10. Jamie, I'm so sorry to read about this. I'll bet you'd give just about anything to be back on the beach looking into the sunrise today. But, God love you, you'll give your suffering up with Our Lord's, and some day you'll be a saint. Offering prayers for little Simeon.

  11. Sweet Jamie, you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. I stink at suffering. I hate being mildly uncomfortable and when life gets a little 'too much' for me, I am so weak. You are such a faithful soul and so close to the heart of Jesus and His mother. I know you are. May the prayers of those of us who love you so much help to carry you through. Praying for continued healing for Simeon, but also the rest of your family and YOU! Much love and hugs.

  12. Oh no! So sorry all this is piling on at once... but that little guy's resilience & smiles are a great sign of hope in getting thru it. I, too, ask the Lord if I could just "coast" sometimes. I think of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof: "Would it spoil some vast eternal plan..." (except, to take away the pain)? Well, probably. Prayers for you and your dear family!

  13. oh lady, I am praying for you. so much

  14. Hugs and prayers! What a little sweetheart.

  15. So sorry to hear about all of this. Agreed - watching your children suffer is the worst. I always think about Mother Mary watching her perfect Son carry the cross and die. I know that she understands and ask for her intercession to help me be strong. I am a total baby as well, but would gladly take any suffering from my children upon myself - if only it worked that way.

    You can count on our prayers!

  16. Your poor little man! Praying that he continues to heal.

  17. Oh Jamie, I teared up as I read about you having to ride in the front of the ambulance. I took many a ride with Ben, but they always let me stay with him. My heart and prayers go out to you and Simeon and all your family right now. Prayers for a speedy recovery. (Therese woke up with her eye all bloodshot this morning, so every time I look at her, I will be thinking of Simeon and saying a little prayer.)

  18. This month's Well Read Mom book selection is The Hound of Heaven at my Heels. Such a good read! And plenty of suffering. When I came to this line, I knew I had to share it with you: "Pain, which came to man as a penalty, remains with him as a consecration."

    And also, "How many among us, after repeated lessons of experience, refuse to comprehend that there is no special love without special pain?"

    You have that special love, sweet Jamie. You are right: you're being made a saint.

    Love you.♥

  19. Beautiful Jamie, I know how you feel and that may not really help but you are not alone. Seeing our babies suffer is almost unbearable. Suffering is never something I have been able to welcome, but it comes all the same. I am praying for you and Simeon right now.


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