Saturday, July 28, 2012

God WAS There.

Where is God in the most horrific and painful times of our lives?  When something bad happens, what happens to the God that is good?

I believe He is right there, if we look for the unexpected ways He shows up.  

After the painful trial our family went through last weekend, I’m more convinced of this than ever!

It had been a long week as my husband, a youth and children’s pastor, had been away at youth camp for five days.  But Friday had arrived at last and my heart was elated at the thought of seeing my best-friend any hour.  Our five month old, Daniel, had just woken from his nap and after feeding him, I held him close to me and headed downstairs, something we did a hundred times a day.  

Only this time, I lost my footing only two steps down and in one of the most surreal and horrific moments of my entire life, I was flying (head-first) down the stairs (all twelve of them!).  In that split-second, my one and only thought was, “Protect my precious baby!!” and I tried frantically twisting in the air so I would fall on my back but couldn’t turn fast enough.  All of the sudden, we were crashing into the landing face-first, Daniel hitting first and a sick thud filling the air that felt so terrifying I couldn’t suck in another breath.

A cry of pain erupted from his tiny body and I began shouting for help, my heart pounding in my ears and every part of me shaking uncontrollably.  Without even thinking, I began to pray and ask God to protect this child that I desperately loved and would die for without hesitation.  Although my husband, Bob, was not supposed to arrive home for another half an hour, he had made it back early.  In fact, it was just a moment after he walked in the door that he heard the loud thud and my cry for help.  When he rushed to our side, I felt like God had sent an angel just when we needed one.

God was there.

After a quick evaluation of Daniel (who was now vomitting), Bob called 9-1-1 and instructed me to care for the rest of our crew.  I’m not exactly sure why, but I dialed a friend that I knew was in town that day running errands.  She and her children were in the grocery store with a full cart in that she quickly abandoned (the cart, not the kids!) in order to rush to be there for our family.  She arrived before the ambulance did.

God was there.

I drove in the back of the ambulance with my baby, tears streaming down my face.  The EMT sitting next to me looked at me with tearful eyes of his own and said with one of the kindest faces I’d ever seen, “He’s going to be okay.  We have two daughters of our own and this kind of stuff just happens.  You’re a good mom.”

God was there.

As they rushed Daniel into a room, me following close behind, my husband’s sweet aunt who was also an ER nurse happened to see us and her eyes widened in surprise.  She also just so happened to be finishing her shift and immediately joined us in the room, holding our son, holding me and being a steady support through the entire night, a night that was a journey through the valley of death.

God was there.

As Daniel continued to throw up, a CT scan was ordered and the doctors planned to sedate him, a procedure that would be risky in his current condition.  We prayed for little Daniel (who had been crying and distraught) to fall asleep and laid him on the CT table.  Suddenly, he inhaled a shaky breath and fell fast asleep...for the entire procedure!

God was there.

A short time later (which, of course, felt like years!!), the CT report came back at about the same time I noticed Daniel’s right side of his head was starting to swell up as he slept in my arms.  The initial report took our breath away and made our knees feel like jello: a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain.  

The Er room was suddenly swarming with doctors and nurses as they rushed our baby to ICU where a team of neurologists quickly convened to go over his situation and make the tough calls on what to do.

Meanwhile, I was left standing alone in the ER room where I fell to the floor, crying for the Lord to spare my son’s life and take my own.  Bob’s aunt pulled me up and prayed with me as there were no words for that moment, one of the darkest moments of my life.

Even then, God was there.

Bob’s aunt and I hurried to ICU where my baby was hooked up to IVs, monitors and was being carefully evaluated while my husband got on the phone to notify everyone he could to start praying for our little guy.

And I just know, people were praying.  All over our town, throughout our state and I’m sure even throughout this country and beyond, people prayed (thank YOU for petitioning God on Daniel’s behalf at that time too, dear friends and family!!).  I know that God was listening, a miracle was in the works and in the way only God can, He takes something devastating and brings something good out of it.  In the bustle, in the fear and in the darkness of that ICU room, a light began to shine.

God was there.

Through this whole ordeal, I forgot to do something that helps us to stay alive: breath!  After passing out for the second or third time and having a small panic attack (well, my husband begs to differ on using the word, “small”!), Bob picked me up and I vaguely remember the doctor saying, “Get that mom out of here!” as my husband carried me out to the hallway.  I was shocked, “Who is that crazy mom in my son’s room?!”  Then it hit me: Wait...I’M that crazy mom!  

Yep, even in that embarrassing moment of weakness, God was there!

I forced myself to get a grip so I would be allowed to remain by my son’s side.  Right about then, some friends and fellow pastors we were planning on meeting with for our Friday date night showed up (dressed to go out as they had just got the message about Daniel).  They were a strong and quiet support,  laying hands on our baby and joining with us in fervent prayer for him to be completely healed.

God was there.

Our aunt, a seasoned veteran of the ER, informed us that we had some of the best neurosurgeons working on Daniel that one could hope for!  A light of hope shone on my heart when one of these gifted doctors smiled at me and said,

“Daniel is going to be okay, I’m sure of it.  We have four kids of our own and one of our son’s had a brain tumor when he was two...”  his eyes filled with tears at the memory and my own eyes did as well knowing the unbreakable love-bond between a parent and child, “ but he is six now and healthy and strong as you could imagine!”  

Through the gifted minds and hands of this talented team, of doctors and nurses we saw their Creator shining through.

God was there.

The team of doctors had come to an agreement and their assessment was the best news one could hope for in this situation, “The fracture has actually been a blessing as it’s allowing his brain to safely swell while he heals.  And the bleeding on the brain is only a wisp, the smallest amount you could imagine!  We are admitting him to PICU and this next day is crucial but we think he will be just fine.”

I felt like I had just been flung onto Cloud Nine!  I started hugging EVERY nurse and doctor in sight (I think I might have even kissed someone too, hopefully it was Bob but I don’t remember for sure...).  

Without a doubt: GOD WAS THERE!!

The journey was not yet over but I knew we were not alone.  Even in our darkest hour, God’s light had never stopped shining.

A few days later, after another CT scan was performed on Daniel, the doctor was shaking his head in wonder,

“Your boy is 98% healed.  This is...well, it just doesn’t happen.”

He looked at Daniel in his hospital bed, a big smile filling his chubby cheeks and making his double-chin grow even bigger...and cuter!  It was contagious: the doctor couldn’t keep from grinning and neither could me and Bob!!

Where is God in the horrific and painful times of our lives?  When something bad happens, what happens to the God that is good?

I believe He is right there, bringing something good out of something bad...if we look for the unexpected ways He shows up.


CJean said...

Thank you Tara for sharing your story. How amazing!!

Jenni said...

I prayed for you guys, Tara. My mom in law told me about it and my eyes filled with tears as I read your amazing story!! God truly is there in our darkest and scariest times! I'm so thankful He was holding you and protecting your son. I went in to labor early with my girls and all the doctors said I was going to have them, but God knew better and He actually moved my cervix back up (something they said "never" happens) and my babies stayed inside for 3 1/2 more weeks! I know God takes care of His children and I know that He performs miracles, even today!! Thank God you and your precious one are safe and secure in the arms of our Savior, huh?!

Zazzy Episodes said...

Amen Tara I'm so happy Daniel is better. I was praying for his healing too. God is amazing and his children and their prayers were heard for your family.