“He had 43 seizures at school today.” Titus’s teacher said these words to me just over an hour ago. I hate those moments. They are the ones where I am not surprised at all, yet shocked at the same time. They are moments that fill up quickly with fear, sadness, frustration, doubt. Counting the ones I’ve seen today, we are easily crossing the 100 seizure count line before the night comes. And a word keeps echoing in my mind…. remember.
About a week and a half ago I was sitting in a staff meeting when our lead pastor, Jeff, asked us a couple questions.
1. When has your joy been stolen? and 2. We need to remember what God has done. What has God done in your life?
When he asked those questions, inside, I was actually angry. Because I could remember. I could remember A LOT of ways God has shown up in our lives. And the passage Jeff had brought to us that day was about a dad begging for his son who had convulsions and foaming at the mouth to be healed. And Jesus healed him. There is obviously so much more to the passage of scripture, but all I could see was Titus and what he looked like when he had those kinds of seizures and the fact that he is not healed. The fact was, I was sitting in that staff meeting with my joy stolen from me and I couldn’t figure out how to share what God had done. But, I am ready now, because this is one of the ways in which I continue to find hope and heart change… through remembering.
So, I’d love to pick up in a part of our story about our mischievous little boy, Ely and I’d like to remember with all of you.
I’ll spare details here as the story of remembering begins when I am in labor and about to deliver Ely. The Dr tells me to push, so I do. I’m so ready to see my son, it’s been a loooong night and day. But what I see is not my son, but complete shock across my doctor’s face and then something inside me snapped. It all happened so fast, I had no idea what was going on, until I hear this, “Oh my gosh, the cord was really tight around his neck. Your cord snapped away from your placenta allowing him to be delivered, I’ve never ever seen that happen.” He was quickly rushed over to receive oxygen. Danny paced, I cried, the Dr kept mumbling “I’ve never seen that happen, I’ve never seen that happen”… we waited for words of comfort that our son was going to be okay. We didn’t get any. We heard no cries. It was painfully heartbreaking. Finally, I hear my son’s voice and the nurse looks at me, smiles and says, he’s going to be okay, mom. I cried even harder. I couldn’t process it in the moment, but I believe God cut the cord. I truly do. He protected my son and brought us such joy through Ely in the process.
We are headed up to Comer’s Children’s Hospital in Chicago with Ely. It’s been a really tough road for him thus far and he is slated for surgery due to malrotation of the intestines, which was discovered on an upper GI test performed just a couple weeks before. I’d never heard of it before, but quickly learned this was non-reversible, completely fixable, yet very dangerous if it wasn’t identified and fixed. Leading up to that day, Ely had started throwing up green color, not pooping (sorry I can’t talk about a baby without throwing this stuff in here!), and had many of the signs that this had gotten very bad. As we were sitting in the waiting room for the medical team to take one last look at his intestines before sending us to the surgeon, he had the BIGGEST blow out diaper I have ever seen. Right there in the waiting room. Awesome. So inconvenient… but wait, he POOPED! That was a big deal! We head in to the room where they run a second upper GI. The doctor comes in to report their findings, “We see significant reflux, but no malrotation of the intestines. Surgery is not necessary at this time!” My first reaction was that the first doctor got the test wrong. But then our pediatrician tells us, at a follow up visit, that she saw both tests and there was malrotation and then there wasn’t! And that she has never, in her 20 plus years of practicing, seen malrotation reverse like that. She kept calling Ely her miracle baby. So that is what he has become… our miracle baby. We got to go home and be with family for Christmas and thank God for the way in which he showed up in this circumstance.
There is more to Ely’s story. But I’m going to stop here for now because I want to say this… lest you think the only way God can show up big is through these kind of unexplained physical events, I have more.
I remember God showing up through my boss who cut our grass when my husband was gone for a week and I had two sick boys to take care of.
I remember God showing up through the family who stopped by to give hugs and enough money to pay for the insane parking fees in Chicago at our next specialist visit.
I remember God showing up through my second moms who made us dinner, loved on and sang to our boys, supported us through prayer, helped me put the boys to bed at night when Danny was out of town.
I remember God showing up through my MOPS group, both past and current, who let me talk, cry, and laugh through it all and invited me in to their stories.
I remember God showing up through the man who I had never met who faithfully cleared our driveway of feet of snow when it was just me and the boys and there was no way for me to get out there to do it.
I remember God showing up through friendships that quickly became family in a place that shouldn’t have felt so much like home, but it did.
I remember… and that is why I have hope. So when your joy is threatening to be stolen, remember.
Thanks for listening…