Fear can be a lonely place. Probably because it happens in your mind and the human mind is a dangerous place. The devil knows that. He rejoices in the vulnerability of the human mind and uses it to his full advantage. He’s eager to plant doubt in our minds, sending his demons in. And once those demons are in, it’s hard to ignore them. Peace of mind comes to each of us in a different form. Some of us are fortunate enough to be extremely strong willed, never giving in to the tempting thoughts; never giving the devil the satisfaction of being afraid. Others of us need a little extra grace. A little back up support to quiet the thoughts. Some find it in prayer. Some find it in another person…a spouse, a friend, a parent. Me? This time around, the only peace I could find was at the doctor’s office.
On Friday, I tripped. It was a ridiculous thing to do. I was wearing a big pair of fluffy red socks (remember the ones I was wearing in my last daybook?) and rather than untying my shoes to fit those big fluffy socks in, I crammed my toes in and thought I’d put my shoes on properly once outside. I had a baby seat in my hands so my hands were not free to catch my fall. The cards were stacked against me. The toe of my shoe caught on the threshold of the back door and I, literally, went flying out the door. My face took the brunt of the fall.
At first I was simply shocked. After checking to make sure I hadn’t lost a tooth (I hadn’t…it was just my busted lip that was the cause of all the blood in my mouth) and seeing a huge goose egg above my eyebrow, I grabbed an ice pack, headed back outside to be with the kids, and called Daxson. I was a little shaky, but I seemed fine. I was worried that I was going to pass out, but I knew Daxson was on his way home, so soon I’d be in good hands.
After cleaning up my wounds (I skinned quite a few spots), Daxson went back to work and I set out to finish up our night. I cooked dinner, bathed the kids, and got everyone ready for bed. I had a little headache, but mostly it was my ego that seemed to suffer. I knew I looked like a wreck and I felt pretty silly for tripping.
The next morning I had a terrible headache and as the day went on, I felt so much pressure in my face. Daxson tried to reassure me that it was just a black eye and it looked worse than it was. I sought support from friends and family and with good intentions, they each expressed concern that perhaps I should see a doctor; some made suggestions as to what could be wrong. That’s when the door apparently opened for the demons. It was no one’s fault…that’s just the way the devil works. He sees weakness (in this case, my doubts) and he feeds on that. And those demons were quite happy to take up residence in my aching head.
It started with simple thoughts. Thoughts like “maybe there’s bleeding in my head…bleeding I can’t see” and “what if I’m ignoring some obvious sign?” The thoughts grew worse. “What if, by my own stubborness, I don’t go to the doctor and it progressively gets worse and becomes fatal…what if I had just gone to the doctor at the beginning and fixed it right away?” “What if something happens to me?” and then those demons went in for the kill…”Joseph. William. Andrew. What will they do without their mommy?” Now the devil was in there…he’d found my soft spot and he wasn’t going to let go.
Now if you’re one of the lucky few who are extremely strong willed and can fend off the demons before they take hold, then you probably think I’m being very dramatic. But that’s the thing about the mind. It’s quite powerful. Fear, for those of us with weak minds, is very real. It may not be logical. It may not be factual. It may not make sense. But to the one experiencing it, it’s real. It’s alive. It’s consuming. And it’s extremely scary.
Daxson tried time after time to reassure me that it was fine, but Daxson’s words were no match for the devil. The devil’s been at this a long time. He knows just want seeds of doubt to plant and he knows just how to water those seeds so they grow into uncontrollable weeds. And trust me, those weeds were growing quite well inside my mind. I was scared and no words were going to assure me. I needed proof that I was fine.
Maybe at this point, you’re asking about my faith. I don’t have a good answer for you. I do have faith. I did pray. A lot. The demons persisted. I did not feel peace. I’d like to think that it was God’s gentle nudging that led me to the only peace I had all weekend…when late Sunday night I made up my mind that I’d go see the doctor Monday morning.
And I did. And I thought maybe I was overreacting. But the moment the doctor looked at my face, I knew I made the right choice. He explained what could possibly be wrong (who knew that tripping and landing on your face could be the potential for so many serious things?) The doctor took x-rays and ran a CT scan. He was concerned about broken bones, busted sinus cavities and bleeding in the brain. He ran scenarios by me that I did not even know I should be worried about. He confirmed that it’s better to be safe than sorry. I waited and waited all day for the results. The demons in my mind had quite a day. I prayed. I sought comfort from those I love. I waited some more. Then finally the call came. I fractured the orbital bone around my left eye, but there was no bleeding or fluid in my brain; no busted sinuses; no unusual swelling. In that moment, the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders…or more precisely, the demons in my mind were forced to leave. I finally had peace. I had no reason to listen to those awful thoughts that had plagued me all weekend.
I do not know if I made the decision you would have. I do not know if in the great scheme of things (especially now that I know it’s simply a fractured bone which will heal on its own) a doctor’s visit was warranted. But I do know that it’s what I needed. I still have an awful headache and I look like a mess. But the demons are gone and I have peace of mind. God provided.