A Tummy Mystery

May 13, 2016

Abby's Pigeon under her medical care.

See the sucker? :)

Tummy troubles have kept Abby in my bed two out of four nights since Joe’s been away. She tried for a third, but fell asleep before I went to bed. However much I love cuddling with my babies, I can’t take any joy in it.

My easy-going child is feeling anxious.

The night of the third attempt, she’d been on the phone with Joe.

Joe’s been busy during his week in Wilmington, working at the new job during the day, visiting middle schools at lunch, and house hunting and neighborhood scouting in the evenings.

Wilmington is bigger than Williamsburg. There are more schools in tighter districts. We narrowed our potential schools down to three, but we wanted to learn more about them. So, Joe set up meetings with each school’s guidance counselor.

On this particular night, Joe reported to Abby about one of his school visits. He shared all good things, but as she sat there listening, her face turned pale. By the time she got off the phone with him, nauseousness took over.

“Abby, are you okay?”

“I think I’m going to throw up,” she muttered as I hightailed it to the kitchen for a bucket.

She never got sick, just as she didn’t the other nights. Maybe she was struggling with a weird virus that week or she ate something that didn’t agree with her. I can’t say. It's a mystery.

All I know is that when I was little and nervous about something (for me it was often gym class), my stomach twisted into tight knots until I felt queasy. The pain was real. The cause was in my head. It took me a long time to realize those two could be true at the same time.

Abby never said she was anxious, but I smothered her with love and attention and filled God’s ears with prayers anyway. What else can you do? “Please help us find the perfect school for her. Let her feel confident and good about the move. Ease her tummy troubles and any anxieties she may feel.”

Whenever I thought of her, I prayed these broken-record prayers.

Friday night, Abby and I went out to dinner. Ethan was working. Joe was traveling home. It was a good opportunity for what we affectionately call Ga Time (Girl Time). We went to the Sportsman’s Grill. While we waited for the food to arrive, I moved to her side of the booth. We looked at pictures of houses on Zillow (we’re sorta addicted to it now). Our heads leaned against each other. We made fun of cheesy wallpapers and pets that made it into pictures. We ogled granite countertops and pools.

“Are you starting to get excited about the move?” I dared to ask.

“Yeah,” she answered.

All I could think was Thank God! She turned away from the tummy troubles (she’s had none since, knock on wood) and started thinking of all the possibilities.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

John 14:27