Thursday, April 30, 2009

Consider It Pure Joy...

Do you ever pray those prayers that the Lord would teach you to trust Him? That you might find joy in trials and become second with Him as number one in your life? That you might learn to persevere and gain wisdom? That you might be single-minded in your wholehearted devotion to and following of Him?

And then, when He brings the very things you need to have your prayers answered, you want out. Pronto. You want it all said and done. Thanks, God, but I was really kidding and wanted you to teach me in my way not in yours. Oh, and when I said single-minded, I really meant double-minded but in a way that looked single.

I was doing quite well as we processed things like selling our home that we had planned to live in for the rest of our lives, simply adding on as more space was needed. I was willing to give that up. And then the Lord gave it back to me.

I had absolutely no doubt or fear when the doctor and midwife said, "You're having your baby tonight," despite the face that I wasn't quite 28 weeks yet. And then the Lord saved my life and my daughter's with mere minutes or hours involved in the time from when she was born and we were both fine and when we both could have died.

I knew my daughter was in His hands as she struggled to develop and couldn't breath without the assistance of machines. And the Lord helped her little body to develop to the point of skipping one step in the normal process for beginning breathing on her own and brought her to the place of never going back to the machines.

And now, as this time seems to drag on. As we get results back on testing that her heart murmur is just a standard, small PDA, completely normal for premature babies that will merely require follow up with a cardiologist until it closes. As she holds her own temperature and continues to breath on her own. As all she has to do before going home is get to the stage in her development where she can get all of her feeding from a bottle. I want out. I'm done.

Ever have times like these? I don't want to sound totally hopeless. Don't worry, I'm not. I praise the Lord for His blessings in my life. Especially for the wonderful and supporting husband He has given me who is going through all this while working full time and going to school. And especially for that beautiful little baby girl in the NICU who, despite often seeming like she really belongs to the hospital staff who just let me visit her occasionally, really is my daughter.

Sometimes it's just hard. And I'm weary. I want to be able to hold my baby girl all the time. I want to be able to change all her diapers. I want to be able to do all her feedings. In essence, I want her to be all mine. But then I remember, she's isn't all mine. She's God's precious gift to me. And He has plans for her that are greater than I could ever imagine. Just as He is working in my life to change me into the one I was made to be, He has plans to do the same with my daughter. And those plans involve a NICU and patience on the part of her parents as they await the words, "Bring in the car seat because she's coming home soon."

I want to stand strong, to persevere in this trial, and to bring glory to God in doing so. I honestly couldn't do this without Him - not because He's my crutch or something I've created to help me cope, but because He is the Creator of the universe, He is my Savior and He is God.

Please pray for us as we continue to endure. Pray that we finish strong and that all glory go to God for both our daughter's healing and our ability to make it through stronger for the trial.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4


Amanda said...

What you are going through is completely normal. It's HARD! Especially when everything appears to be going so great so the intense drama and stress of the medical fragility is gone and you are just waiting for her to grow it allows you to just really focus on the situation and how unlike it was the way you thought it was going to be, if that makes sense. And then you are conflicted because you realize you are so blessed and you want to feel grateful and not sound whiny, but darn it, this is getting old and you want things to be different by now! You want your baby to be YOURS and HOME with YOU! I get it, I really do. And I could say that God doesn't give you more than you can handle, and that eventually you will get to a point where you will barely remember these days and yada yada yada, but the fact is that in the here and now, it is very frustrating. Emily you are doing AMAZING! Your strength and faith and your joy in celebrating the blessings big and small is so inspiring. God is proud of you! And so am I! And hopefully I'll make it home this June and I can meet you and your sweet family and you can meet my little miracle baby too.

Claire said...

Praying, praying, praying.


Mandy Gramkow said...

wow. it brought tears to my eyes to read this post. I so was there just a short few months ago. So hard, the adjustment, the waiting. I understand it's hard. And now that we're home...I do hold her all the time, I do pick her up when I want to...and continually thank God for saving our little Ellie. Proud of you! You're so on the homestretch!