Wednesday, 26 December 2012

The Difference

Here she is. 

She's doing really well, a bit of a cough but still super-cute and she likes Christmas dinner. 
Soundtrack to this post: Um. Taylor Swift. Don't tell anybody.

So here you go:

This week I am very aware that we are different. On Saturday we walked into the hospital carrying our little bundle of poorly British baby and were told that our medicines were wrong, my techniques were wrong, my perspective was wrong and I felt very out of place indeed as I handed the life of my kid into the hands of people that I don't understand. And who don't understand me.

With no internet, nobody to check with and no British doctors to reassure me it was a case of suspending control and just choosing to trust. No idea what that medicine is. But here you go, fruit of my loins, have something on a spoon. Praypraypray.

I don't want to dishonour the doctors that served us by slagging off their working environment, so i'm not going to write a lot about the hospital. You can skype me if you want details. The care we got was great and my baby is better. And we got home in time for Christmas. We had a lovely Christmas day full of skype and chicken and chocolate and Christmas movies...

But, and this is the point of this post, we do not fit here.
I've got a friend from church, she's called Oksana Kastanda and she translates stuff for me 'cos i'm mono lingual. (Go team England and our terribly arrogant education system.) I've got very used to her raising her eyebrows to the ceiling and seeing her eyes turn into saucers when I do something odd. Which is often. You still breastfeed? You let your baby feed herself with her own hands? Your hospitals don't make people wear plastic bags on their feet? You wear that? You don't wear this? You cook that? You don't eat this? 
(Oksana loves Jesus. A lot. She walks in the Spirit and doesn't even know it half the time, she turns up with exactly what you needed and she gives exactly what you were missing. And she likes hanging out with foreign nutters, and I appreciate her and like her a lot.)

But that raised eyebrow-ness follows me around, and never more so that in the hospital. I got tutted at a lot for things that in my Britishness I consider to be entirely my business and definately none of yours, mrs nurse lady who comes in without knocking at 6.20am to tell me my room is untidy while my sick baby tries to sleep and I lay in my sleeping bag watching to see if she can breathe ok. Get out.
So the downside of this post is that i'm wrong here. Different. My baby looks different, my pyjamas are different, my shoes and my coat and my scarf and my accent and my attitude are different. My baby's bed is different. Big old foreign wrong person who doesn't fit the mold.

You know what though? Take that wrongness and explode it from our fingertips and see the light spill out. Because damn straight i'm different. I'm God's. I'm saved, rescued, redeemed, crowned, held, blessed, taught, guided and indwelt by the Spirit that raises people from the dead.
I belong to Jesus.
So as we walked those corridors he came and gave me stupid peace, peace that stands out and is reflected in my baby's grin in the face of the doctors who are confused by her happiness.
'You are funny happy people'.
Smiling is different.
And I will laugh my way around this ward as you scowl and I will hold your gaze and like you even if you don't like me.
And you will end up liking me and finding excuses to come into my room and play with my gorgeous baby who 'is a missionary baby with so much freedom'.
I will sit and eat your manky food and I will read my Bible by the light of your bulbs and you will look at me and ask my friends why someone would leave their lovely country and come to yours.
You will not believe me when I say I like Ukraine and you will fall backwards when I say I have chosen to live here permanently.
You will be offended by my purpose because 'nobody is that good'
and you will be confused by the presence of my husband who will not abandon his family.
You will laugh with me as we try to catch a wee sample in a jam jar. 'Your baby likes everyone, Ukrainian babies scream when they see a doctor'.
You will giggle with me when I try to speak Ukrainian and you will stare at the mental foreign mum who does really weird things.

Yes, I am different.
And as evidence of this difference? This whole week I have felt fine, sometimes my hands have been shaky as people talk around me about my child's lung 'spasms' and often i've been confused by my own peace but this whole time I haven't cried or freaked out or punched anybody. I've barely prayed because of busyness but I have been contained in that calm that comes from Jesus saying 'I got this'. He's got this. 
And that's funny because two days before Beth went into hospital I said to John 'I don't know if I could handle it if life got any harder than it is right now' (I am indeed one for the melodrama) and then we had to take an emergency late night snowy taxi ride to a hospital. Turns out life wasn't that hard when I was complaining. It got harder. But I'm fine. It makes no sense. I'm actually really happy, and had a good few moments of genuine mirth and joy in the middle of it all. Did I mention catching Beth's wee in a jam jar? Don't try putting a sock into a nappy and then wringing it out. That doesn't work. You end up with an empty jar and wee soaked hands. 

So, the difference.

I'm weird and English.
But with Jesus that weirdness turns into light and love and something beautiful.
And i'm different because i'm ok. Because of him. 

peace. xx

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