Bats, Fears and Tumors

Confession time. I have a fear of bats.

Their erratic flying, squealing profusely.
Tiny eyes, flapping wings. The SCREECHING. Yuck. No thank you.

[chills as I type, not even kidding]
Here’s me being a little bit vulnerable and obedient.


My first memory of WHY I now have an issue with bats started about 13 years ago. We had two boys at the time. Noah was about three years old, ready to turn four and Dom was just a baby. Life was simpler then, or was it really? (Nah, that’s another subject for later.) Anyhoo, Dominic was tucked into his baby swing, content as he usually was, so I took time to get myself put together and showered. I was in the bathroom, blow drying my hair and in comes Noah yelling, “Mom, there’s a BIRD in the house?!” Confused as to how that could be possible, I head out to the hallway to find this bird he’s describing. Obviously, that was NOT what I found! A bat nearly shaved the top of my head! Ducking immediately (while letting a loud scream escape) I quickly closed Noah in the bathroom. Luckily for me, we spent many years living next door to my parents. With Adam not being home at the time and my dad RIGHT next door, I sprinted over BEGGING for help. Definitely a bat and not a bird. *shriek*

Fast forward to Sunday at church where our Youth Pastor, Shawn Vandemark brought the preaching that morning. Man, he was filled to overflowing and the passion and Word was brought. Amen. Amen. Amen! Shawn was bringing truth I needed to hear again. It seems I need repetitive messages?! Anyway, AMEN’S come easily! Especially when him and I share share the same fear of bats. You have to take a listen to his BE STRONG and COURAGEOUS teaching (<— click for link) to hear his hilarious (sorry Shawn) own bat story. Why is it funnier when it’s NOT you personally? Also, kudos to you for knowing Nora was actually talking about a bat and not a bird before going looking for it.

That was Sunday morning.

By Sunday evening, I was Cleveland bound with Elyse and Carvelle. At 6:30a Monday morning, she was scheduled for her 6 month check up and MRI of her tumor at Cleveland Clinic. It’s in the middle time between her scans and check-ups that life seems to become normal and it’s only from time to time that I even remotely think about her neurofibromatosis.

Between scans, in this last six months, we’ve had to increase the dose of her pain medicine. She’s starting to become more vocal about her pain, but that could be because she can now grasp the words to use to vocalize it too. “My elbow hurts,” is something we hear kind of often now, almost daily. Shawn’s teaching about being STRONG and COURAGEOUS was exactly what I needed in so many ways.

By Monday evening, we were back from Cleveland and watching a soccer game. Back into my everyday ordinary life in a snap. But the receiving the results of our morning testing wasn’t far from my mind. If you haven’t read WHY I choose the hashtag #myeverydayordinarylife and why my blog site is titled that as well check it out here—> [NEW] Normal. Intentionally giving the regular everyday moments to Him, back to my regular life by that evening.

Okay, now for Tuesday. It finally rolls around and head to work for the morning and then make a 2.5 hours one direction with our oldest two for their wisdom teeth consultation. Back home another 2.5 hours and then picking kids up from soccer practice and the babysitter too. All of this to say, we had a few very long days in a row. By the time I had gotten all the kids settled for bed that night, Adam finally made it home from his own very long day. If you have been married for any sort of time, you’ll recognize the recipe for a potential fight. One small, out of tone word from my husband sent me off to the grocery store. When we fight, I go to the grocery store. When I need to be alone, I go to the grocery store. This. This is me. Just call me Rosita. Watch this—> Rosita movie clip

… and then it happened. He texted me. I’m cruising the isle in Meijer at 11:30p and get this photo:

and then this…

Oh. My. Geeeeeee. The second time we’ve had a bat in one of our homes. THIS TIME, I wasn’t there hallelujah. Oh how appropriate of a reminder to be strong and courageous right in my own home, two days after Shawn’s teaching. I hate bats.

I blamed Shawn. His preaching on being STRONG and COURAGEOUS and of course I get multiple opportunities to put in to practice what I learned in church. MULTIPLE times in only 2.5 days even. SERIOUSLY?! I’m supposed to rejoice about this aren’t I? #trials #forthelove It could be worse than bats. It could be worse than a check-up MRI. My faith muscles are being strengthened. I’m learning always. The strength muscles of faith have been toned through the years but are FAR from where they should be. I love this quote, it feels like my life:

This time my kids were able to see something directly relevant to the teaching they heard in church and an extremely practical application from their parents. I have to say, I probably would have failed when it came to that bat this time too. Maybe He’s showing me how much He loves me while also showing me how amazing of a husband I have? <– I’ll choose that! Still doing the happy dance that I wasn’t home, I’m not gonna lie.

So now, we’ve made it through our Cleveland Clinic trip and the testing this time around. Test results came back that her tumor has changed very minimally from the last scan. Her super amazing doctor (whom I love to pieces) is taking her scan results and comparisons to the tumor board she is a part of every week. Fear says, “My daughter is part of a tumor board!” Faith says, “She’s HEALED by His stripes and He’s with us wherever we go and she is in the palm of His mighty hand.”They are going to discuss and let us know thoughts and options (if anything) at our next appointment on September 28th. We are praising God that all seems well and stable for now… minus the reminder of her pain.

I am thankful that my faith muscles are growing and I’m beginning to get my breath back after a very long hiatus. Be strong and courageous. He IS with you wherever you go! He comes in close. Whether it’s the grocery isle, Cleveland Clinic, your comfy chair in your own home (even as a bat flies around your head), or even if you are watching the news with hurricane season in full swing. He is with us. He will NEVER leave nor forsake us.


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