Funny thing is...this blog is something that God has been stirring in my heart for weeks. It's only funny if you know the details of my week. And, then, it's only funny in a really sarcastic, ironic kind of way. I'm really not in the mood to write a blog. I'm not in the mood to share my heart. But, when God moves me to blog, I just have to. It's unbearable to have it all rolling inside of my heart until it comes out on the keyboard. This week, I am emotionally, physically, and mentally spent. I don't remember ever feeling the way that I do now. This week definitely did not end the way we had hoped.
God tends to teach me in themes. I can look back on so many times of my life and tell you what He was teaching me at that particular time...and all the events in my life at that time would revolve around a theme. The theme for this fall has been "His Timing." We have had several big things that have been heavy on our hearts for a long time. Things that we have spent HOURS praying about. Not for days. Not for weeks. For MONTHS. Heart-wrenching prayers and pleas that have driven me over and over to God in tears, in confusion, in frustration, in anger (God sees me at my worst, for sure!), and in pain. The wildest thing to me is that this Fall is the season that God chose to answer a few of those...within a few short weeks. And, He answered them ALL beyond our expectations. But, He sure didn't answer them in OUR timing.
One, that most of you know, was for Gabriel. Most of you know the story of our son's little life...or at least part of it. When I was five months pregnant, we had a day that I will never forget. First, you are having a BOY! Yay! Then, as the doctor closes the door behind her, the realization that all is not well. He has hydronephrosis...in understandable terms...he has a dilated kidney. In really simplified language, one of his kidneys doesn't drain as it should. Much later down the road, we would find out that it was "severely" dilated. Talk begins about all that it could mean...it could be a simple fix...unless the good kidney starts to fail which would mean surgery in utero. It could mean Down's Syndrome, Cystic Fibrosis, or that his other organs may not be working well either. "Would you be interested in an abortion?" (Yes, they really said that). Bi-weekly ultrasounds, constant checking, and then a few weeks later, pre-term labor. A hospital stay. 8 weeks of bedrest at home. And, finally, a beautiful 7 pound, 11 ounce baby boy born 4 weeks premature. Then, the visits to the specialist began. The realization that our son's kidney would not be one of the ones that would "heal by itself in the first year." The realization that in the world of dilated kidney's, his is REALLY bad. First tests and x-rays. Sedation for my wee little man. First procedure at six months for which there is a 95% success rate. Trusting God and waiting MONTHS to find out that we are in the 5% and that it didn't work. Disappointment. Frustration. A new attempt at a solution. Trying and waiting MONTHS again. Two trips to the ER in a week just to find out that try #2 was not a success. Gut check for us as parents. How far do we go trying to save this kidney? Praying and waiting. Trusting God but REALLY believing that we have gone all this way and that He is now not going to answer the way we were hoping and praying He would. We reached the point where we believed that our only option was the one we had dreaded...he would lose the kidney....it needed to come out. Complete emotional breakdown and sobbing for me (sorry if you saw me at church that day! It wasn't pretty!). Then, another visit with our doctor and he informs us that he has one more trick up his sleeve and is not ready to give up. Even though no one else thinks the kidney is worth saving, he feels it is. Surprisingly hopeful day for us. We feel that this is God's answer...the road we are supposed to take and we agree. One more surgery. One more chance. Surgery goes well. We wait and pray...for MONTHS. When we come to check-up day, our doctor tells us that the surgery was successful beyond what he had hoped for. And, he CANNOT tell the difference between the good kidney and the bad. He even gets them confused for a minute. We are
A-M-A-Z-E-D. Not because we didn't believe God could do it, but because we had come to a place where we didn't believe He was going to answer in the way that we had prayed. I still cannot even believe what a difference it has made in the life of our son. Four months between appointments this time...the longest he has gone in his 18 months of life. No more worries about whether or not he is peeing or how much or whether or not he is in pain. We now have a happy, healthy, ACTIVE, regularly peeing little boy. :)
Did God answer? Yes. Did He blow our minds? Absolutely. Is it because we are anything special? Not a bit. Are we humbled and in awe of a God who loves us? You bet. And, you know what? The hardest part of the entire thing was the WAIT. I couldn't stand it some days. I just wanted out. I wanted a quick "yes" or "no." "God, just say 'yes' or 'no' and I will deal with it. I can handle it if it's 'no.' The waiting, God, not so much. Can we just skip that part?" If God wasn't going to heal him, I was okay with it. But, I just was SO sick of the waiting. 22 months we spent praying for our God to heal our baby boy. And, in the end, he absolutely did. Do I wish it had happened sooner? Yep. But, strangely, I am still thankful for the process. I can't even explain why. But, I think it is because when you are petitioning God for something with every part of your being, there's a closeness that you have with Him. I learned so much about my heavenly Father, about peace that passes understanding, and about trusting His timing through this process than probably during any other time in my life. And, every day that I watch my little boy, with his huge blue eyes and sweet dimpled smile, I am reminded of the faithfulness of God. Gabriel represents God's faithfulness more to us than I can ever describe in one blog post. And, truly, I wouldn't have the understanding of the faithfulness of God that I do if we hadn't gone through the process...every day of those 22 months.
And, you know what? This week, I came to realize more about why God chose to wrap up that little chapter in our lives in the time frame that He did. He needed it to be fresh on my mind. He needed it to be wrapped up, for me to be reminded that He is faithful, to have my complete confidence in Him, to have my trust, before He took us through our next trial. This week, we got slapped smack in the face with the biggest trial so far in our adoption process. Without going into details, we had expected a pretty great end to our week. The completion of a huge step in our process. With that step literally within our grasp, it was snatched away. And, we face new delays. There will likely be waiting...and it likely will be MONTHS more before we are back to the point that we were earlier this week. This week has not been the first week of this process that I have truly felt spiritual warfare. However, I have never felt an attack of the devil so intensely in my entire walk with Jesus as I have this week. We know that, this week, we have been in a battle with the evil one. And, it has been EXHAUSTING. I am mentally, physically, and emotionally WORN OUT. I have been hurt, frustrated, and completely broken-hearted. Are we still hoping and praying for a miracle to change our current circumstances? Yes. But, you know what I know? I prayed for 22 months for a little boy with brown hair and blue eyes. I prayed for miraculous healing. I prayed that God would save a kidney that all but one doctor said wasn't worth saving. And, God answered my prayer in an amazing way...22 months after I first started asking. So, do I believe God is in control? Yes. Do I think He can still do a miracle in our situation even tomorrow? Yes. Do I know that He will? No. But, the thing that I am more convinced about than ever is this...one day, I will have TWO little boys. And, when I look at the one with light brown hair and blue eyes, I will see his little brother with dark brown hair and dark brown eyes...and they will BOTH remind me of God's incredible faithfulness. And, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He will do it in His timing. Because He is working it ALL for my good. All the pain. All the hurt. All the tears. All the frustration. All the days spent just putting one foot in front of the other in obedience. One day, it will all just be part of the story of how God brought our little boy home to us. And, we are 11 months into praying for our littlest boy and, hoping against hope, wouldn't that be great if it meant we were halfway to him. :)
Thanks for going on this journey with us. It's the hardest one I have ever walked, so it means the world to us that you would go with us, and as one precious friend told me this week, "it's a privilege to lock arms with you in this battle." :)
Beaten down, bruised, but truly blessed,