Lessons from the NICU

Twenty-one years ago, after 23 days in the hospital, I gave birth to my daughter three months early. I’m reflecting today on the kindness of God, the many answered prayers, the love of family and friends who helped us through those many months, and a few lessons I took away.

Remember What You Believe.

When I first was admitted to the hospital, labor started and couldn’t be stopped, even with the drugs, and I was going to deliver her around 24 weeks when she likely wouldn’t survive. They rushed in prepping me for surgery that night. It scared me. A sweet nurse came over and basically said in a kind way, “I know you are a Christian. You need to remember what you believe.” With that, I was able to calm down, to pray, to breathe, and the contractions started to slow. We got three more weeks.

Just for Today.

Every day, the chaplain would come in my hospital room and say, “You made it another day. Just for today.” And she’d encourage me to go one day at a time, waiting on and trusting in the Lord. That chaplain was so kind. When I finally had the surgery, she stood in the operating room and prayed over me.

God is involved in all life’s details. 

I’ve written about this before here, but this was such a key time in my life of seeing how intimately God was involved in all the details. It convicts me again: why should we fear?

God works miracles.

We saw many miracles, too many to list here, some of which I’ve likely written about before. The situation was rare and life-threatening, one most doctors never treat a case of. The high risk doctor told me after everything was safely over, “Your daughter is a miracle. People don’t believe in miracles today, but she is a miracle.” 

God can use suffering.

God can use suffering and the events of our lives so uniquely to draw us to Himself, to know Him in ways we never would have known Him otherwise, as we turn to Him.

After my son’s birth two years prior, I had been very sick, and my response at that time was to be angry about it, at one point to literally shake my fist, and to feel as though this wasn’t fair because I deserved to be “enjoying my baby” like everyone said. When my heart was rebellious toward God, I didn’t learn much and in fact grew in bitterness of heart.

But in this next incident with my daughter, as I faced my own mortality, I turned to God, realizing I didn’t want to repeat that same response of a hard heart. I came to know God more and find that HE was the gift that I was looking for all along, not just the gifts He could give me. I praise Him and rejoice in Him, our miracle-working, personal, loving God who is writing stories with our names on them, for our good and His glory. He is so worthy of our praise and trust!

A Good Friday / Easter Poem

Father, thank you for sending your Son
to “save a wretch like me.”
Lord Jesus, thank you for giving your life on Calvary.
And Spirit, thank you for filling me.

What wondrous love is this?”
You felt the betrayer’s kiss.
Our sinless Savior—despised, rejected, a man of sorrows,
carrying our sin upon your shoulders.

On the cross, you bled and died,
yet three days later you would rise,
defeating death and giving new life.

You’ve shown us what abundant life is like.
A life of surrender, obedience, and faith in Christ
leading to great joy and blessing,
everlasting life and peace.

This is what true love looks like, you upon that tree.
But will we deny and reject you, too?
Will we doubt and question you?
Or bow our knees and worship you,
with all the praise that you are due?

Soften our hearts, wash us clean,
give us faith to believe, for you are our saving King.
I rejoice and thank you and proclaim your praise,
may this be my song all of my days.

Happy New Year 2021

It seems the whole world has given a collective sigh of relief to see 2020 reach its end. With all the isolation, distancing, and even divisiveness, have we yet not all gone through something together, something understood, somehow bonded together and unified in our struggles, no matter how we have each experienced it differently and been uniquely impacted? Here we stand, at the start of a new year, with new anticipation, new hopes, new expectations. Thanks be to God!

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Happy Thanksgiving 2020!

I hope your Thanksgiving was a special time of giving thanks and being with those you love. We had a much smaller gathering, just my family of four, plus my mom. It was my first year to ever make the turkey! My mom brought the most important dressing and gravy, along with a pecan pie. My son made the pumpkin pie. And I made the rest of the sides. It was a joint effort and sweet time together.

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Go First to God… or How a Chihuahua from SoCal Stole Our Hearts

Last November, I got a FaceTime call from my son who was attending college in California. He and his friends had just picked up a piece of furniture that one of them had bought online. As the music played and the friends drove, he was calling to introduce me to his new dog. What?!

When his friends picked up the piece of furniture, the seller mentioned, “I also have this dog if you know anyone who wants it.” And my son had readily agreed: “I’ll take her.”

Despite my appeals for him to take the dog back—”you have no idea what it will involve, the cost, the care, etc.”—it became clear she was a new member of the family.

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