Sickness in the family can be devastating. Parents and grandparents who have cancer, heart disease, or kidney failure can be disheartening and scary — what more if it happened to a son or a daughter? A sick child can be a true test of faith, but it can also an opportunity to love unconditionally despite fear and doubt.
Delay Questions of Faith
You don’t need the patience and faith of Job to weather your ordeal. Doubts on the grace of God are normal when facing adversity. However, manifesting your doubts through anger and fear can have dire consequences that you may regret later on. Don’t let your doubts take hold, and bask in the love of your family.
Faith can be reassuring, and seeing a mother or father losing it can devastate a sick child. Faith can be an anchor that gives your child the strength to persevere through all their tribulations or just a comforting blanket that reassures them that everything will be well no matter what happens.
Once you put aside feelings of anger and hopelessness, you’ll find out that your faith will eventually return. It might come through the smile of a loved one, memories shared in conversation, or precious moments with your sick child. Faith is a powerful tool, especially in times of doubt and hopelessness. Losing it can bring you to spiraling despair that isolates you from your family and friends. Talk to family members, friends, or your priest. Sometimes a willing ear and a shoulder to cry on can relieve the pain and doubt in one’s heart.
Cherish Every Moment
Don’t let sickness get in the way of caring for your child. A serious medical condition doesn’t mean you have to feel constant sadness and fear, especially if your child doesn’t feel the same way. Play games, tell stories, and do all the activities (to the extent that they can) you previously did before the sickness. Treating your child like a fragile object will only cause them to feel lonely and guilty.
Sick kids feel their parents’ emotions, and most blame themselves for causing the grief and anger their parents experience. Keep your child happy by giving them a sense of normalcy, with no thoughts of sickness or vulnerability. Just spending time with family is enough for most kids. You can do more by making their favorite dish, buying their favorite athlete’s jersey, or just watching an old nostalgic movie. Happiness has a healing effect, and the will to live often factors significantly in survival rates.
Get Help When Needed
Burnout is a big problem when tending to a sick child. Working to pay for medical bills and coming home to spend time with your kid can leave you with little to no time for yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether medical, financial, or spiritual. Relatives and close friends can serve as emotional support to your kid when you need a day or two to rest. Opt for hospitals that extend management services for taking care of patients undergoing hemodialysis or cancer treatment.
Hospitals and health centers that use specialized management services often provide better service while also limiting the financial strain on their patients. If expenses become overwhelming, your congregation should be more than willing to chip in a few dollars to help you in your time of need. All you need is the courage and humility to ask for help. A short break can invigorate you physically, emotionally, and spiritually, allowing you to care for your child with clearer thoughts, more energy, and a better outlook.
Explore Every Safe Option
Miracles happen as long as you don’t lose hope. Almost every condition has its treatments. Doctors and scientists are constantly finding new and better ones. Stick to the normal guaranteed procedures, but don’t hesitate to ask your doctors for alternative courses of action that are open for you and your child.
Prayers are good, but God has also given us the ability to influence the world we live in through medicine and technology. Serious conditions and sickness might seem like insurmountable tests from a callous God, but we have always had free rein on our destinies. Have faith in God, but don’t ignore the tools and knowledge he has provided.
Sickness comes with fear, doubt, and sadness, but what you and your child need is faith and hope. Use all the tools that God has provided, and don’t be afraid to seek help when you need to.