But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord ~ Gen. 6:8
|Going into surgery|
I keep a memory box for each of the kids. In it I put whatever I think will be fun to see again when they're older. A little bit of baby things, a little bit of art, etc. The other night I was putting something in Owen's box when the boys asked me what that red one was. I took it down and showed it to them. It's Noah's memory box from his open-heart surgery. He was only 3 when he had it and next Weds. marks 3 years since he had to have it. I've never gone through this with him before and realized, now that he's reading, I should take some time and let him read all the cards and letters people sent him during this time. I pulled one email out that we had received from Pepere. I read one line and burst into tears and had to stop. You would think that something that happened so long ago would not affect me so much anymore but it still does. I keep asking myself why. I mean, he's fine now, totally fine!
|Noah after surgery|
When each of our babies is born, Ben and I pray and give them to God. We know that, really, they belong to Him. God has given them to us as a gift, to raise for Him, until He decides he wants them back. We are not guaranteed to have our children for the entirety of our lives...some of you know that reality all too well. It's so easy to believe you have given your child to the Lord until He brings you through something that makes you realize you really hadn't. That is what this trial did for me. God was showing me that I needed to let go and trust Him to care for my children. God had to bring me here to show me how weak and helpless I really am to protect my children. Definitely there are things He wants us as parents to be doing as far as raising these children He has given us. But ultimately, HE is in control and HE is the one who will take care of them. It was such a hard lesson to learn. To realize that I really hadn't given my kids over to God. I would give them, then take them back. The months leading up to Noah's suregery I had to get to a point where I could accept the worst. I had to be able to say, "Lord if it's your will for Noah to die that's ok. I give him to you". I had to be prepared for anything and I had to know that whatever God's will for Noah's life was, I could still love Him and trust that He only wants good for us. And what a gracious God I serve. Not only has He allowed us to keep Noah, there was so much peace the day of the surgery in my heart. Of course I was a little scared, of course I cried...I'm human after all. But God's word was so comforting. And He gave Ben and I two special friends who were there with us the whole time in the waiting room. These two people are so precious to us and they were exactly what we needed that day. God was providing for us what we didn't even realize we needed. Early on Ben claimed the verse above. And God answered...Noah did find grace in the eyes of the Lord.
|Ben prays with Noah|
I think the moment we saw Noah for the first time was the hardest point for me. God had one test left. Do you really trust ME. Noah was in the room straight ahead as we walked into the PICU. Normally the surgeon would meet you at the door, explain to you what to expect, how the surgery went and then bring you to your child. He was on the phone so we had no idea what to expect. All of a sudden we see him, tied to the bed, yelling out, "mommy help me, it hurts." Any parent reading this knows the pain in our hearts at that moment and even now thinking about it. Then Ben passes out! The rock that I was depending on to get me through seeing my child for the first time after the surgery had just crumbled and I was alone? No, I wasn't. God was there reminding me that HE is all I needed in that moment. HE was going to carry me through this. I had a decision to make. I could feel sorry for myself that I was alone and there wasn't anyone there to take care of me or I could turn my eyes upon Jesus and believe that HE was there to take care of me. So I left my husband on the ground (I really did) while the nurses took care of him and went to my baby. Ben quickly came to...passed out again upon seeing Noah and then was asked not to return to the PICU for a few hours! I don't say this to embarrass Ben at all. I really think God used that to show me how to rely on Him and Him alone.
|Noah in better spirits!|