The Lord Sustains

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Charlie is just now starting to settle down after a very long and very difficult day.  Starting at about 3am Charlie has not been acting himself.  After 18 hours of steady decline and difficult breathing, the decision was made to reintubate Charlie.  It is usually a bit of a breathtaking event as he is doing poorly, all signs come together making intubation the only option and the room floods with all kinds of people in emergency room fashion.  Within minutes he is intubated.  Even with the breathing tube and loads of pain Meds, it was very difficult to settle him down.  Everyone’s best guess is that we are dealing with some sort of infection.  No results on any of those things yet.  It usually takes 24 hours for something to begin growing and then 48 hours for confirmation.  Oh my little warrior is amazing…the Lord most definitely is sustaining him and giving him a strength that defies my imagination.  He just fights and fights and fights for life.  Praise God, I want this boy to come home and live life with us.  I really really long for a long life for Charlie.  Some of you might wonder if I just want him to go be with Jesus when these intense difficulties fall upon us…ultimately, someday, yes I do!  It’s actually a really thrilling option (eventually).  However, my present heart’s desire is that the Lord would see fit to heal him, bring him back to his family, and glorify God with the amazing treasure that he is.  WE all want to do life with Charlie so badly!  I do rest in knowing that God has numbered the days of his life- isn’t that great!

Days like these cause me to ponder the breathtaking gift of walking in sweet communion with my Lord Jesus.  He has been so good to my family and I.  He has shown himself mighty and strong and SO present, always.   Does that mean I don’t ever question this situation?  No, question’s arise in my weakness- like:

God do you know I have a family at home that needs a mother?  Do you know how painful it is to watch your baby suffer?(HE does know, like NO other!) Do you know that I’ve never just loved hospitals?  Did you know how hard it is to deal with and communicate well with dozens of care givers every day?  By the way did you know that I didn’t get a degree in any medical field? And by the way, do you know that Charlie and I have been here for 6 months!!??  Maybe it’s an oversight???

There are many more questions than these that have appeared in my mind, but over time they are more and more quickly resolved with answers…truth!   As if the Lord lovingly replies:  Yes my daughter, I know exactly how many children you have at home and I even know the numbers of hairs on each of their heads dear, I care for them far more than even your mother’s heart ever could.  I know it’s hard for you to be away from them so much, but I know what is BEST for them.  This is best for them.  Trust me.  I know it’s hard to watch Charlie suffer, but don’t you worry I understand, and I am doing a work in and through him that would blow your mind if you could catch a glimpse.  I also know what is best for Charlie and this is all a part of my special plan for his life.  Trust me.  Honey, I know you have never been fond of hospitals, that is why I chose this special location for this journey.  I love you so much and I want to expand you, stretch you, and grow you into having more of a likeness to me- this is the perfect place to do that, embrace it, be thankful for it.  Herbs and other gifts I have given for health are blessing and I know you like them, but I can also use pharmaceuticals for my glory!  Trust me.  Oh I know how difficult some of the people are that you have had to deal with, but they are the people I chose for purposes far beyond your comprehension.  Love. Love. Long-suffer.  Shine your light, daughter.  You are growing in ways you never thought possible.  If you had a medical degree, this trial would not have the effect that I am after-enter this new territory with gladness.  Trust me.  6 months?  Yes, I know perfectly well, and Charlie will not be there one day longer than I want him there.  This is all a part of my big wonderful and fantastic plan for your precious family whom I adore.  I love each of you with a love that is deeper, wider, and more immense than you can comprehend and none of this is an oversight.  Trust me.  So daughter, I know that today has been hard.  Tears have fallen.  Charlie has had to put up a fight.  The loss of progress is discouraging.  The change in plans was disappointing.  You are tired and weary.  You miss your family.  You do not see that light at the end of the tunnel.  You are watching life move forward for others while your life feels at a standstill.  Be encouraged, you are exactly where I want you, Charlie is right where he needs to be…I am working ALL of this for good!  I love that you are always leaning on me now,  and entering this daily battle with more strength and fortitude in me than you have ever known, this is my desire for you, don’t ever go back to walking in your own strength, discipline yourself to these new and good habits.  I want you to walk this way for the rest of your days!  And by the way, your life is not standing still, the spiritual battle that is being waged is taking far more territory than a relaxing trip to the beach or a ski trip to the mountains would for you and your family right now, so be content with the beautiful story I have written for you, and trust me that it’s value is unsurpassable.

Friends.  What difficulty are you in right now?  Something that seems overwhelming?   Discouraging?  Hopeless?  Take heart, if you trust in Jesus, this dialogue is for you too. He sees your tears.  He knows your difficulties.  He is intimately involved!  Look for him, praise him, delight in him, and embrace your trial- let him transform you into something you never dreamed possible.

Romans 8:37-39 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Luke 12:7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Isaiah 43:2  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.

Rev. 21:4. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

1 Peter 5:10  And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

Eph 3:17-18 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,

Heb 12:11  For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

1 Cor 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Habakkuk 3:16 I hear, and my body trembles; my lips quiver at the sound; rottenness enters into my bones; my legs tremble beneath me. Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon people who invade us. Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

Good night sweet Charlie,  I am so thankful for the lion-heart God has given you, you are a magnificent warrior.  I am thankful you are peaceful now- sleep sound in Jesus my little treasure boy! (Or as my NICU mom friend  would say sleep sound “SO-strong boy!”)

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2 thoughts on “The Lord Sustains

  1. Charlie’s mommy has a lion heart too. Stay strong Debbie. God is using you as an example to all of us that his strength is made manifest in our weakness.

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  2. I cannot begin to fathom what you are going through yet you are so faithful. Thank you for sharing especially your questions that some of us don’t dare think and the response. It is humbling beyond words to us and it has strengthened us. Love and pray for you and family and especially sweet lion hearted Charlie.

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