(Originally posted on our former blog site on 12/15/2012)
This time last year I was preparing for our second son's arrival. Questions raced through my head all day; what would he look like, would he have the same crazy hair as our first son, would he be independent or a momma's boy, would he be a sleeper... Dear God, please let him be a sleeper! Waiting for answers was the worst part. And then he was here. All 8 pounds 6 ounces of him. White as can be, nearly bald but for the blonde fuzz that stuck to his head. Nothing like our first son, Michael. No, but in his own way Jacob was perfect.
We spent that first night together. I should have let him sleep in the plastic wheelcart they push around for newborns that they call a basinet but I was too much in love to let him leave my side. I don't know that I got any sleep that night, I just remember staring at him. The morning crept up so fast and before I knew it Rich was out the door getting his energy drink fix and my favorite Starbucks drink while nurses paraded in and out. The pediatrician stopped in to see our little man and I couldn't wait to hear the words- you can take him home today! I waited for what seemed like forever as he examined his little body, and what started out as a normal check up turned into a concerned look on the doctors face. He didn't say anything at first, he just rushed out of the room to find the nurse.
Waiting for answers was the worst part.
As they both came back in they put Jacob in his wheelcart and as they were pushing him away they told me that our son had a problem with his heart and needed to be rushed to the NICU immediately. They wheeled him upstairs and a nurse held my hand as I tried to keep up walking behind him. I didn't understand what was happening. And I was all alone.
I remember walking into the most severe of the NICU rooms and seeing him there with wires and IV's coming out of him, surrounded by the tiniest babies I had ever seen. One of the nurses greeted me and pulled a chair out for me to sit on next to his station. She told me that one of the doctors would fill me in with what was happening once my husband had arrived.
Seeing Rich walk through the door was the only relief I had that day. His strength. His faith. His hand holding tightly to mine as they told us that not only did our son have a few holes in his heart (an anatomical problem which was common in some babies) but there was also a third degree heart blockage (an electrical problem that would cause his heart to skip every third beat). I looked up at the monitor in disbelief. My questions from the night before seemed insignificant and I was now wondering; would my child be able to play baseball, will he need surgery or long term medication, will he even have a normal childhood?
Waiting for answers was the worst part.
The doctors were just as confused by the condition as we were because they had never seen it before in the NICU. Our pediatrician had only come across this condition once before, 30 years ago, and that baby had needed a pacemaker.
I knew that God had a plan for our little Jacob. I knew that somehow He would heal him. Whether it was a pacemaker or a miracle- Jacob would live a full life.
I wished I had the answers right then.
I wished someone could have told me exactly how God planned to help our little boy, waiting for answers was the worst part.
We were released from the hospital and for six days we were given little hope by doctors and nurses as his heart showed no change in rythm. I had to drive back and forth every 3 hours to feed Jacob and the one true comfort I had, I found in the Word. I would find a way to hold him close, not to tangle his cords, and I would speak a new verse into his ear everyday. A verse of healing, a verse of hope and a verse of strength. It was like a fog had settled over our lives and the deepest of sorrows filled my heart but I refused to let it shake my faith. "Don't be confused by my tears", I remember telling my seemingly unshaken husband, "I know that God will heal him."
Jacob was released on December 23, 2012 into the outpatient care of a heart specialist. The nurses couldn't believe they were letting us go but I knew that it was God- it had been my one and only Christmas wish, to have our family home. In the months that followed we took Jacob in to get scans of his heart, each time hoping that something had changed.
On the morning of his three month checkup, I remember an overwhelming peace that came over me. This was different from the peace I had felt that had comforted me through this whole situation. It was a peace that knew this time something was different.
I made sugar cookies shaped like hearts and brought them with me to the appointment. The specialist brought the machine over, and as I sat there looking at the screen the only thing I could think of was that the waiting for answers was the worst part.
And then he looked up. He smiled. And he told me that Jacob was completely healthy, there was no trace of any heart problems at all. He would live a long, happy, normal life.
I cried. Then I wiped away my tears, smiled and handed him his plate of cookies to thank him for his help. I walked out of there sure of what I already knew- that God can still do miracles.
Now besides the fact that it is almost Jacob's first birthday, there is another reason that I wanted to share his story. After going through the loss of a miscarriage I have heard many well meaning people say that "we don't always understand God's will" or that "there is a reason for everything". I am deeply saddened by this. I am saddened that they would serve a God they would believe to allow a woman to get pregnant and then cause her to miscarry because t's His will or that there is some cosmic reason that I should have miscarried. Friends, sometimes the "reason" is that life sucks and it has nothing to do with God's goodness. This is not the God we serve.
The bible says in James 1:16-17, "don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.". His plan was not for me to miscarry or for Jacob to have a third degree heart blockage. And He doesn't just sit idly by while His children suffer. No, God is WORKING all things for our good even when they aren't good (Romans 8:28).
I don't know why we miscarried and if I was waiting for the answer then I would be waiting a long time. I don't think any answer would be good enough but it surely was not His plan. He is good.
I know in difficult times we often search for a reason "why", believing that the answer might give us some closure.
I can assure you that it does not. It does not take the pain away. It does not give us back what was taken. It does not cause us enough strength or peace to carry on. When there are tragedies that cause insurmountable pain and no answers to be found, hold on to hope. Hold on to the words of a loving God. Whether the situation comes out like Jacob's story and you find a great victory, or whether you are left after a tragic situation (for us- a miscarriage) pulling yourself together from what feels like an incredible defeat- just know that if you are looking back waiting for answers then you will never truly embrace what is surrounding you now. Waiting for answers is the worst part.
John 16:33 I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.