Friday, March 26, 2010

"When You Pass Through the Waters, I will be with You."

(please disregard typos and mistakes in this. I am too tired to proof it and I don't want to read the part about Lake because it makes me so sad. Angela, just send me a message with all my errors. :)
I am not sure I will ever get my bearings again after last week but I need to write. It helps me process and this blog is the only place I write anything down. I don't want to forget these days and I know I will. However, I would kind of like to forget last Monday...
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I WILL BE WITH YOU; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior"

Isaiah 43:1-3

Sunday night I was up ALL night with Hope. It was a really long night. I was now at 5 weeks of no sleep. It was bad. My friend came Monday morning and I told her that I really needed to take a nap if I was going to make it. I slept for an hour or two and woke up to Lake saying, "Momma, I'm sick". I said, "what's wrong honey?". I had heard him coughing but he coughs a lot because he is our allergy kid. I decided to go get the nebulizer and give him some albuterol. We don't have to do that often but it seems to help him. I started the treatment and he began throwing up. It was bright yellow bile. He seemed very tired and weak. Tim was home for lunch and I yelled for him to come in here. I said, "something is wrong. I am calling the doctor."

My doctor had nothing available for the day. I asked them to send a note back to see if he could get us in. Our doctor is amazing. He is older and very wise and a gift from God to our family during these young years. Think Doc Baker from Little House on the Prairie and that is him. I always talk to him about Scripture and have the boys recite their verses to him. He got us in at 1:15. It was almost 1:00 then. I had on my pajamas, needed to feed Hope and figure out what to do with the other 3 children (my friend had left already). I asked Tim if he could take them to his office. So, I was still in a fog, threw my hair in a ponytail, fed the baby, Tim got the boys dressed and I put Lake's clothes on and jumped in the car. Lake had a bowl that he was throwing up in on the way there. It was so sad because I wanted to hold him and help him but I was driving. His breaths were very short and very labored. I was so worried about him. He kept trying to fall asleep but I would say, "look at momma, baby, keep your eyes open".
I HATE THIS TYPE OF FEAR. We went through this with Bubba when he was a baby. He was lifeless in the car as we drove like crazy to get him help in the ER. We thought he died on the way. We have also had numerous trips to the ER with the older two because they used to spike crazy high fevers. Record high was set by Reece at 105.4.
So, here we go again. Mommy panicked and driving Lake to the doctor... We got there and the doctor immediately checked Lake's oxygen levels. They were hovering around 80. They are suppose to be 100. They put him on oxygen and started breathing treatments. He seemed to perk up. The doctor said "I don't know about this... I am concerned you will be making a trip to the ER tonight if he doesn't snap out of this. But I think he will be ok. Just watch him." He gave us our check-out chart and left the room. As soon as the doctor left, I watched the color drain from Lake's face. His lips even lost color and started to look bluish. I asked the nurse to get the doctor back in there.
He came back in and took one look at Lake and very calmly said, "Ok. I see what is going on here. I am going to call and ambulance and we need to keep him on oxygen and get him to the ER where they have more sophisticated treatments for this."
The ambulance arrived and put my tiny little Lake on a huge stretcher. That is when I started to FALL APART. They rolled him out and put him in the back of the ambulance. They told me I had to ride in the front because they needed 2 EMTs back there with him. Ughhhhhhhhhhh. My heart broke. I got in the front and kept looking in the back. I couldn't see him but they kept reassuring me he was ok. I called Tim and my mom. I told Tim to meet me at the hospital. The EMTs liked Lake and gave him a stuffed duck. They followed us in to the ER room and said, "Bye little buddy".

When we got to the hospital, they put him in the room and continued oxygen. He was so lifeless. His arms and legs would just fall like he was paralyzed when I would move him. I guess it was from low oxygen and being dehydrated. I am not sure but, oh my goodness, it was terrifying. Then the IV had to be put in. The first one he did ok. He started to scream and the nurse said, "it blew". My heart broke again. He was SCREAMING and he is tough as nails. Doesn't even flinch at shots. They tried a second time. Now, he had stopped screaming and that was even worse. I just watched tears rolling down his face. My heart was breaking. I wanted to scream and throw up or just crawl in the corner in the fetal position and cry. I was crying and asking God to take his pain away and give it to me. I was praying and praying. I started singing his favorite song, "What a mighty God we Serve". My tears were landing on his face. And then, I heard a voice singing with me. One of the nurses? in the room started to sing with me. It was so comforting. Just to know there was another Christian there made Jesus feel nearer.
(When you pass through the waters, I will be WITH YOU).
They said, "I am so sorry, mam. That vein just blew too". That was it. They should have just shot me with a tranquilizer gun at that point. I wasn't sure who had my other 3 children and or if they knew where milk for her was. I walked out of the room and just sobbed walking in circles. I wanted Tim to be there. I couldn't do it any more. One of the nurses walked out and I said "can I use the phone?" and she said "what?" in a very annoyed tone. I snapped. I said, "THE PHONE. I WANT TO USE THE PHONE!". (my phone battery was dead). This same nurse had seemed aggravated when I asked for water earlier (I was dying of thirst due to nursing and not drinking anything in so long). I called Tim and said, "you have to get here. I cannot do this".

He said, "I am walking in the Emergency Room now".

They finally got Lake's IV started. I never want to think about that again. EVER. I couldn't handle seeing my child in pain. What God did by sacrificing His Son and seeing Him suffer and die is beyond my ability to ever comprehend. I hardly survived an IV being put in. Imagine watching someone beat your child, spit on your child and kill him when He did nothing wrong. Not only that, He was dying for the very sins of the ones who beat Him and spit on Him. (Praise the Lord we are reminded this Sunday that the story doesn't end there :).

When Tim got there, he saw the nurse I had yelled at about using the phone. He said, "Hi, ??". After she walked out, I said, "do you know her?". He said, "yeah. she is one of my patients". I said, "oh, that's great. I yelled at her about the phone". I have felt guilty about that since. I need to send her an apology note. I am so embarrassed. God didn't let me get away with that one. My flesh can be SO brutally ugly.

*Side note: The boys and I are memorizing Galatians 5:16-26 in the NIRV. It is a cool version (R stands for Readers). You may want to try it with your kids and see how God uses it in YOUR life. I know He has used it in mine since we started memorizing it:

"So I say, live by the Holy Spirit's power. Then you will not do what your sinful nature wants you to do.
The sinful nature does not want what the Spirit delights in. And the Spirit does not want what the sinful nature delights in. The two are at war with each other. That's what makes you do what you don't want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the authority of the law.
What the sinful nature does is clear. It enjoys sexual sins, impure acts and wild living. It worships statues of gods. It also worships evil powers. It is full of hatred and fighting. It is full of jealousy and fits of anger. It is interested only in getting ahead. It stirs up trouble. It separates people into their own little groups. It wants what others have. It gets drunk and takes part in wild parties. It does many things of that kind. I warn you now as I did before. People who live like that will not receive God's kingdom.
But the fruit the Holy Spirit produces is love, joy and peace. It is being patient, kind and good. It is being faithful and gentle and having control of oneself. There is no law against things of that kind.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed their sinful nature to his cross. They don't want what their sinful nature loves and longs for.
Since we live by the Spirit, let us march in step with the Spirit. Let us not become proud. Let us not make each other angry. Let us not want what belongs to others."

I love "let us march in step with the Spirit". Tim showed them the beginning of A Few Good Men to help them understand what it means to March in Step.

Click HERE if you want to show your kids. This has really challenged me to desire to march in step with the Holy Spirit in my life.

Back to the story...Lake was in the hospital for 3 days. I stayed right beside him watching him breathe and holding the oxygen mask over his face. I cried as I grieved for him. I cried because of how emotionally exhausted and physically exhausted I was. I didn't change clothes or leave him at all. I loved sleeping in the uncomfortable bed with him. He was so sweet the whole time. Kind to the nurses (unlike his mommy). He let them come in and bother him and never cried. He did his breathing treatment round the clock and never complained. It was a miracle my most rambunctious child stayed in a bed for 3 days.

I remembered this as I was laying in bed with him in the hospital. 2 nights before he got sick, I had just gotten Hope settled. I was so tired. It was my chance to FINALLY go to sleep when I felt like the Lord spoke to my heart to go upstairs and pray for Lake. If you follow me on facebook, you saw that I had asked for prayer for him. I didn't want to get out of bed. I was so tired but as I continued to lay there, I knew this was an obedience issue. So, I got out of bed and went and got a little tiny jar of oil someone gave us a while ago and walked upstairs into the boys bunk room. They were all sound asleep. I walked over to Lake and got down on my knees. I made a little cross on his forehead and prayed over his life. For his healing from food allergies, for his protection, for God to bless him and draw him to Himself. I always pray for Lake to be a worshiper (as I do with all of my children) but I think Lake has been given musical gifts. I walked out of the room and got back in bed. I will never know what I may have caused or prevented by that prayer. But, that was God using my prayers because He knew what was about to happen and I didn't. Did I summon angels on Lake's behalf? Did my prayer save his life? I bet God will tell me in heaven.

Pretty cool, huh? How I wished I was much more obedient in prayer than I am.

I also thought of the worship song, "This is the Air I breathe" by Hillsong and continued to pray that Jesus Christ would be the air Lake breathes his whole life.

I loved getting all that one-on-one time with Lake in the hospital. My love for him went to a whole nother level even though I didn't know that was possible.

After 3 days of treatments and seeing a bazillion doctors and nurses, they let us go home. My mom had taken care of Hope and the boys. Tim came back and forth to the hospital bringing breast milk. It was NUTS. Life was out of control once again. I just hate that feeling. I like to be in control. I like to have everything happen the way I planned it. I DID NOT plan this asthma.
They think this severe asthma attack was triggered from a cold. He will have to be on breathing treatments for years and maybe life. I am SO SAD for him.

But, I know that God can heal him. I also know God can use this in Lake's life to reveal Himself to him. And, Philippians says that God works in us to will and to act according to His GOOD PURPOSE. Sometimes when God is at work in us it doesn't feel good. I hate this for Lake. If I could take it away, I would. I will never stop asking God to take it away.
I know God still supernaturally heals. I believe (time will confirm) that God has miraculously healed me. If you have a chronic illness or know anyone who does, it makes life very HARD. I have suffered for almost 5 very long years. I begged God to heal me everyday. I believe He has said "wait" until now. I am still afraid to believe it and was hesitant to write this but I truly believe God has said, "You are free". I am free of pain and free to serve Him! Praise His glorious Name! It is far greater than I can think or say!!!
"Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."
Mark 5:34
I want to encourage you to KEEP ASKING. KEEP PRAYING. You don't know when God will say, "Yes". He knows the perfect timing and He is perfectly faithful.
"O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago."
Isaiah 25:1
(That verse makes me think of my daughter, Hope.)
Now, even if he hasn't healed me. HE IS STILL PERFECTLY FAITHFUL. But
I have been off of all medications for almost 3 weeks. I am deeply fatigued from being up all night for 6 weeks and LIFE but the symptoms I have dealt with for 5 years (arthritic pain/ headaches/ muscle twitching) are gone. I am able to nurse! Last time I was too sick and on too many medications to be able to breastfeed. That ripped my heart out. This was a HUGE prayer request of mine!
I have been reading and thinking about the passage about the 10 lepors that Jesus healed. Only one came back and thanked him. I want to be that guy. Let's look and see what we can learn about this thankful guy.
"As he [Jesus] was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him-and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."
Luke 17
1. He asked Jesus to heal him and obviously believed that He could.
2. He was healed.
3. He intentionally came back to praise God.
4. He praised God in a LOUD voice.
5. He threw himself at Jesus' feet (symbolizing true worship and gratitude).
*He worshiped the Person who healed him. Not the miracle.
King James says "And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks"
There is MUCH we can learn by this man's life. First of all, this should be our constant response to Jesus if we are born-again Christians. He has healed us SPIRITUALLY. Leprosy in Scripture is a picture of sin. We have been healed of our sinful condition! Set free from it by the blood of Jesus!
But, now, I believe I have experienced a physical healing. So, I want to express my heart of gratitude by...
Praising God with a LOUD voice and falling down on my face at His feet. Throwing myself at Jesus' feet committing myself to life-long service and use. I am His bondslave. So happy to have been chosen to be His servant. He has given me gifts to use and I want to use them! I want my life to reflect Jesus Christ and to bring Him glory.
I don't want to forget what He has saved me from.
Sin & Chronic Suffering.
The list could go on forever but those are the 2 biggies in my book. I am sure I am clueless of all He has saved me from.
Be encouraged. Just because your trial has lasted years (maybe many many years). You don't know when God will say...
"Yes. I will save your marriage". or "Yes. I will give you a child". or "Yes. I will free you from the bondage of drugs and alcohol". or "Yes. I will deliver your husband from the chains of pornography". or "Yes. I will perform a miracle and deliver you from your chronic illness". or "Yes. I will give your child a heart to love Me". or "Yes. I will heal your child of asthma".
He will cover you and hide you under His wings until then. He will be your refuge.
Keep asking. I know I will.
This blog post is a step of faith for me as I do have concerns that my symptoms will come back.
If they do, He is still perfectly faithful. But, I must praise Him with a loud voice.
"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his FAITHFULNESS will be your shield and rampart."
Psalm 91:4
"O Lord God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O Lord, and your FAITHFULNESS surrounds you."
Psalm 89:8
God is Mighty to save and perfectly faithful. Trust Him!


Becky said...

What an amazing and heart-wrenching story! The thing about you praying for Lake just a couple of days before this happened amazes me.

Thank God you are all ok.

Stephanie said...

Stephanie, thank you for taking that step and speaking your thoughts. i believe, too, that you are healed and that Lake will be too. Thank you for giving the rest of us eyes to see what God can say "Yes" to. I have learned and continue to learn so much from you. Thank you for letting us in on your lives. God Bless You!

Conor and Koren said...

AMEN!!! Thanks Steph! I love you and am praying for you!

Claire Hamilton said...

WOW!! You continue to be an inspiration!!

Ann Katherine said...

Praise God!!! I am so glad Lake survived! AND I am so thankful to hear you are experiencing healing! Praise God!

Erin Southwell said...

Praise God for healing in His time. I can't comprehend what you went through with Lake-you are a pillar of strength!!

"Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them."
Deuteronomy 4:9

E said...

WOW!! I love to read how God is working in your lives. God is truly AWESOME and He NEVER ceases to amaze me. You are a wonderful servant Stephanie!! God has used you to teach me... thank you for being obedient to his nudges and writing this blog!!