Stories of God's intervention, encouragement, grace....
(April '10): Noah, my mom and I arrived at Birmingham Children's ER at about 1035pm last night. After a traumatic experience of a failed port access, a chest x-ray to make sure the port was still in place (just as traumatic!), a successful port access, labs, antibiotics, and an ice cream reward, we were able to rest a little while we waiting to be admitted. Noah and Mom were both asleep, and I laid awake beside Noah in the ER room bed, thinking about how tired and miserable I was. I heard a soft familiar melody in the room beside me, and gradually I realized it was the song, "My Redeemer Lives" by Nicole C. Mullen. I felt the Lord's presence in our room as I sung the words in my heart:
"Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning
Who told the ocean you an only come this far?
Who showed the moon where to hide 'til evening
Whose words alone can catch a falling star?
Well I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
All of creation testify
This life within me cries
I know my Redeemer lives
The very same God that spins things in orbit
He runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I'm broken
They conquered death to bring me victory
Now I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry
I know my Redeemer, He lives
To take away my shame
And He lives forever I'll proclaim
That the payment for my sin
Was the precious life He gave
But now He's alive
And there's an empty grave...."
It was 230am on Easter Sunday, and in my selfishness and weakness, through this song the Lord reminded my soul, "I am alive; I've conquered death and the grave, and now I offer you My freedom and My love." What an appropriate time for me to hear that song, a "divine appointment," if you will. And how often do I forget that in the middle of my struggle and weakness I must think on God's goodness and all He has done for me, and sing His praise in order to distract myself from my momentary struggles and be filled with joy and comfort? Quite a bit. So I thank God for His persistence in reminding me. :)
(Nov. '09 - Jess) A week ago today (Sun. 11/22) I was at home w/ Noah not feeling well so I missed the Sunday service. I found the service of Calvery Assemby church in Decatur on tv and the message was basically "Who will you turn to in crisis?" He referenced the story of King Asa in 2 Chronicles 15-16 (which I had been led to study the week BEFORE). In reading Asa's story you see a man who was encouraged to seek the Lord in his distress and to be strong and not give up, for his work will be rewarded. Asa TOOK COURAGE because of the words of the prophet Azariah and he and his people entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, w/ all their heart and soul. Because of Asa's faithfulness to the Lord, he and his people had God's protection. At the end of Asa's reign, he suffered a loss of faith and made a bad decision that led to disease and death. I wondered all week, what in the world did that mean for my life? Asa came to a crisis and for some unknown reason decided that he could not rely on the Lord to help him. Well he lost his battle and I'm not going to lose mine.
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. -Matthew 6:33
(Nov. '09 - Jess) Noah's pediatrician is located in Huntsville across from the Hospital. I got tired of driving 45 minutes for an office visit so I called a dr. in Athens in an attempt to get Noah an appointment on Thursday to have his leg examined. They weren't accepting new patients. Reluctantly, I called his regular pediatrician and they scheduled an appointment for him on Friday 11/21. Friday morning Noah began vomiting. When we arrived at Dr. Johnson's office at 245, Noah's vomiting was more frequent. The dr. said he was dehydrated and needed to be admitted. She had a theory about his leg and said they would check it out. After contacting Women & Children's, Dr. Johnson told us that the attending physician for the weekend was Dr. Knight, a friend of hers. I should also add that Dr. Johson was my pediatrician as a child, and we have mutual family friends. Dr. Knight was the physician who broke the news about the mass, and the compassion and empathy in her eyes made it....well, what it was. Dr. Johnson also came to the hopsital Saturday morning to check up on Noah, and when we realized they were doing a ct, she asked them to call her w/ results. When she realized he had to be transfered, she came back to the hospital to talk with me about the situation and express her sorrow and hope; she offered her prayers, and offered to spread work to others to pray. Praise God for the 45 minute drive - I won't complain again! Praise God that Noah began vomiting - he wouldn't have been admitted. Praise God that Dr. Knight and Dr. Johnson had a connection, and that connected her to us. Praise God that we had a sympathetic dr. to share the devistating news. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
(Nov. '09 - Jess) About our nurse Katie -
Katie was assigned to Noah's room at HH on Saturday for the 7a-7p shift. She was very sweet, very respectful of us, just had a great spirit about her. When we found out he was being med-flighted to Birmingham, she came in to check on me, making sure I had eaten lunch, wanted to see how I was holding up. Katie's parents live here in Birmingham, and we talked a little about the area surrounding Children's Hospital, and how to get there. As Noah was being prepared for the flight, Katie talked w/ my mom. She said, "I'm really not supposed to ask, but are you guys believers?" Mom shared w/ her our story, and Katie said she would have her brother, who is a pastor of a church near Birgminham, send out a prayer request for Noah to his congregation. She even offered to come visit us in the hospital when she came down for Thanksgiving. Thank you sweet nurse Katie for not just doing your job, but for encouaging us in the Lord, and sharing Noah's story w/ others.
(Nov. '09 - Jess) On the way to Birmingham John and I were emotional basket cases. We did have enough sanity to realize that freaking out would get us nowhere. We quoted scripture to ease our anxiousness and grief. John turned on 91.3 the Fix (thanks Mark Allen!) and every song we heard was about standing strong, trusting the Lord, hope....and we were encouraged. John reminded me of why Noah has his name. About 10 years ago, God impressed on his spirit to name his first born son Noah. He would be a righteous man in an unrighteousness generation, and lead many to Christ. He would live and not die. In believing that God has a great plan for Noah's life, I knew John and I had a big responsibility in raising him. Just about every night after Noah goes to bed, I would sneak into his room and pray for God's protection on him, for the Lord to bring him to Christ at a young age, for peace and the Holy Spirit to live in his heart, and for God to use him for His glory. God is answering my prayers - not in the way I expected or would prefer - but God is using Him. And healing Him. I also trust that Noah has peace in this surgery (which he's in as I type), and that Jesus is with Noah. I'm reminded that a couple of weeks ago Noah and I were heading into church for a Thanksgiving dinner we shared with our young adult bible study...we passed the big stained glass window w/ Jesus holding a baby, and other children scattered at his feet. He raised his hand to the window and started singing, "Bible, bible, bible!" (that's his version of Jesus loves me). I know that in Noah's sleep, Jesus is holding him, and singing "you are weak, but I am strong!"