Advocating for a child with chronic illness is a full time job. You have probably spent hours that add up to years on the phone with doctors, nurses, hospitals, insurance companies, representatives of different companies, and so on. Just when I began to wonder how many more years I could really keep doing this, I started to see my daughter begin advocating for herself. Quietly, I thanked the Lord because I needed some help in this process.
Every once in a while, there comes a day where my daughter gets off the phone in tears and my heart goes out to her because I know what that discouragement feels like. It is a realization that you are not getting anywhere in the conversation with the person on the other end and in walks utter exhaustion. She and I help each other now on days like this and it makes life manageable.
I have always despised speaking on the phone. I tend to get really nervous and my throat tightens up, making me feel out of breath. I know this is one of my weaknesses and yet I have had to do it anyway over the years. I do a lot of praying before making difficult phone calls. Prayers do not miraculously make my body feel complete peace, but God has given me a clear mind during these times and given me words that I know are coming from Him. I am also fully aware that He is orchestrating circumstances during these phone calls for our good.
Even when the conversation makes no sense to me humanly, when it ends with what feels like a loss, it’s a win for me! Just yesterday, to help my daughter out, I made a phone call on her behalf to a doctor’s office. It ended in the fact that we will have to find a new rheumatologist. My daughter was devastated because the process of starting at the beginning with a new doctor is a huge hurdle since many doctors do not know about Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I assured her that when things don’t make sense, God is up to something. He has done this enough in the past that I have seen His goodness in meeting our needs by sending us in a new direction. So, I am excited for where He is sending us next. When I get there, I know it might feel to me humanly like God made a mistake, like He sent us to the wrong person, but He is doing so much more behind the scenes that we cannot see!
Be strengthened dear Mama if you find yourself feeling anxious with the process of phone calls and advocating. Exodus 4:12 ESV says, “Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” This was God’s promise to Moses, but He is the same God to us. He will equip you, strengthen you, and give you the words to say.