Tuesday, June 12, 2012

God is bigger than the "boogie man"...

There is a Veggie Tales episode that is titled, "Where is God when I'm Scared?". I remember watching it when I was younger, mind you, they didn't come out when I was Ava's age or even elementary school, but yes, I have seen basically all the Veggie Tales at least once. :) Anyway, Jr Asparagus sings a song that says:
"God is bigger than the boogie man.
imgres.jpgHe's bigger than Godzilla or the
monsters on TV.
Oh, God is bigger than the boogie man
and He's watching over you and me!"
Cute huh. :) I thought it was cute and catchy. I'm sure that it helps little ones to not be as scared of monsters under the bed or scary shadows on the walls at night, etc. There is something for all of us in it though.

On May 16, 2012 we surprisingly found out that we were pregnant. Woah God. How did that happen? Well, obviously, but we didn't think I was even able to try to have kids due to past problems. Ava was a miracle to conceive. So, all of a sudden we are pregnant. Ok, Lord, You've got us in your hands and this will be awesome! The kids will be close in age, but that is ok and we will adjust as needed as we always have before in our life. Fear subsided for the most part and excitement set in as we thought of all the things we would experience again, and now with a toddler. hah!
A few days later we had our first sonogram and another shock occurred. I was not just a few weeks along as the blood test seemed to say. I was half way through pregnancy. I just laid there waiting for nick to get to the sonogram room as the tech was asking, "do you want to find out the sex of the baby?" what?! seriously?! All of a sudden, we were having a boy and all of this became even more real. Excitement and nerves came again, but more excitement than anything. One of each and we're done I'm thinking in my head. haha! We left the sono office and began to plan how we were going to tell family and friends, etc.
Noah James began to flood our hearts and mind with excitement and joy.

The next day, I got a phone call from Dr. Chandler saying she didn't get a good pic of the heart and she wanted me to go over to Dr. Holmes at Texas Tech to look closer on a new sonogram and decide what was going on. If anything. So, we went to her and did another sonogram with their techs and then Dr. Holmes came in to talk to us and look for herself at everything. She is a sweet Dr. and was very kind and informative. She explained to us what she was seeing and what she believed the diagnosis to be. Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. The right side of Noah's heart is great and doing fine. In the womb, Noah is healthy and doing well because he does not have to oxygenate blood for his body, the placenta give him oxygen. The left side of his heart is not developed and medically she said it will not get better on its own. Surgery is a must. We know that God is more than capable of healing his heart in the womb, if he so chooses. We also know that if he chooses to heal him with surgery he can and will do that too. Either way we trust. So, Noah will have heart surgery as soon as he is born. I'm not sure if it will be that day or the next but very very soon after his birth he will have it. Of course there are possibilities of complications and there are always things that could go wrong, but we choose to continue to trust and not dwell on what has not happened yet. Here is a link to explain more of what is going on with Noah's heart. HLHS

Hopefully that will help explain some of this to you. It helped us to get a beginner's idea on the whole ordeal. It shows a normal heart, a hypoplastic heart and the three stages of surgery Noah will need.

Some of asked "how are you holding up?" "I can't imagine what you are going through"...and I'm thankful for the thoughts and the concern. The day we found out, I had a rough night. Things like changing Ava's diaper or just the thought of something small like bottles or onesies made me breakdown and cry. I was fearful, distraught, upset, angry, sad, confused, worried and any other emotion you can think of because I was so shocked and curious as to why God would allow this to happen to my son, to our family and at this time. I could not get in my head why God had this road set up for us and I was mad and hurt. Have you ever felt like God has hurt your feelings? I felt that I didn't deserve to go through this, that we are faithful to serve Him, to give, we are raising Ava in his Word and we were rocking right along in life knowing He is good and He provides. We had just gotten through some other difficult circumstances and felt that we had "passed the test" and were on the uphill finally. That friday night was one of the most pitiful and ugly tantrums I'm sure God has seen, at least from this child. I was upset and selfish and I know he understands and didn't judge me for it. He just loved me through it and held me tight, even though I felt he as further away than anything I could imagine. I woke up Saturday morning after we all three had slept in (thank you Ava) and decided I had to figure out a way to function as a wife and mother, besides a person in general. I could not sit and wallow in my confusion and hurt and anger. I made a conscious decision to get in the Word and seek Him out. I thought about how much I needed His words to calm me, soothe my heart and clear my mind. He led me to two different passages about His character.
James 1:2-18

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstablein all they do.
Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heatand withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
He showed me that there is a purpose to this whole time in our life and that Noah is a good and perfect gift from above and the giver of this gift does not change. God was not surprised by this diagnosis. In fact, as my mother pointed out very early in the process; this isn't necessarily a detour or a wrong thing that has happened, God has planned things this way from the beginning. I believe that because He has prepared us in ways we would not have imagined before this whole ordeal started.  This road is one that we would never choose for ourselves, but if you think about it, none of us would choose the hard road on purpose. We are wired selfishly as humans and our nature is to sin and to be away from God. So, God chooses roads for us that will purposefully keep us close to him. I am convinced that this journey we are on is one that has been walked before...I think of Mary and Joseph and their journey to meet their son. Just like Christ was not their own, even though they birthed and raised Him, he was ultimately the Lord's and they knew that. Noah is not our son, even though we will birth and raise him. He is the Lord's and we know that. We trust that and I rely on that to keep me focused on what is ahead. 
The other scripture he gave me was in Romans 8:18-30

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[h]the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been calledaccording to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
These scriptures just confirmed in me that this whole diagnosis, the process we will go through, the journey we will travel is not for nothing. It is not satan's doing...I refuse to give him any credit for things that God has put in place. This entire process and journey is completely for the will of God to be done in our life and for other people to see God's hand work, for His glory. For this reason, I am confident in this: I will see the goodness of the Lord. I do not have to figure everything out. I do not have to be alone. I do not have to "deal with" this on my own or in my own power. The Spirit is my helper, directly from the hand of God. He has also given me my husband, who always has a calm about him that keeps me at peace even when my heart struggles. God has given me a precious daughter to keep me active, busy and laughing. She has kept me going so much the last few weeks because she doesn't know what is going on and she knows that I will feed her, change her and take care of her without knowing that she knows that. Does that make any sense? I want to trust Jesus like she trusts me. Unconsciously. I want it to be my nature to say, "yes Lord, I trust you" but without having to get myself to say it by trying so hard. He has also given us amazing family that are supportive in prayer, finances and love. They are here for us and are willing to do so much for us in our needs. We are thankful more than they know. He has placed us in a church that believes in the power of prayer and powerfully lifts us up to the Father knowing and trusting in His hand and the work that He is doing in our family. They love us and are supporting us as well through it all. They encourage us weekly, sometimes daily and they know that God's hand is heavy upon us and they remind us of that when we need it most. To all of our friends, mainly through facebook who stay connected to us and Noah through that venue, thank you for your comments and messages as we go through this. There have been times when I get a comment or message at just the right time. 

I have finally been able to find a minute to really sit and process and write all this that has been on my mind and heart and I thank you if you read through it. I have a couple of things I specifically request of you as you pray for us (trusting that most of you guys do because you have told us you are)
1. pray for Noah's heart. for complete healing. a miraculous sign of medical mystery. (I ask that because until he is born I will petition the Lord to show himself in that way)
2. pray for Me (this is very hard for me to ask because I feel selfish and very "needy" as I ask, but I'm trusting you know my heart and my reasons) I ask that you pray for my body. I have done great with very little weight gain, with great blood pressure and with resting as needed. I ask that you pray that I can say no when needed (that is hard for me), to rest and relax as needed and to also remain healthy and active in order to give Noah all he needs from me. I ask for prayers for continued focus and peace as I cling to Jesus during this time. 
3. Pray for Nick as he works and leads our home. He will be staying in Amarillo as much as possible until the birth in order for him to not miss much work before then. I know he doesn't like to stay behind, but God has provided ways for him to stay back as I go until then. Just pray he will be able to remain the pillar in our home and will have outlets for his concerns and fears from Godly men who will keep him lifted. 
4. Pray for Ava as she will have to adjust to many new things in the next few months. First of all adjusting to me being gone more (pray for both of us there), as I travel back and forth. Pray for her to stay healthy and that she continues to develop and grow beautifully as our routine changes. Pray she stays well through the fall/winter months because that will be vital to Noah staying well. Pray for childcare options for her around the time Noah is born. Whether that be for family to take shifts in ft.worth, for when we come home (i will most likely need some help at first)etc etc. Please lift that up. As a mom, I am really trusting that God will have my baby girl taken care of.
5. Pray for the medical staff overall. I won't go into details, this blog is long enough today, but just pray for doctors for me and noah, surgeons, etc. 
6. travel safety and for travel planning- self explanatory 

Maybe you have figured out why I started out with Jr Asparagus? :) God is bigger than this. I cling to that. 

Thank you doesn't cut it when it comes to trying to tell you how much I appreciate your love and support. I know if you are reading this, you care and I pray God's deepest blessings over you. 


Katie White said...

Shaina this made me cry! You are such a amazing woman of God and I know the amazing God we serve will walk you through every step! You are in my prayers every day! And if you need anything don't hesitate to call! Even if I need to watch Ava so you can get a little mommy break or whatever I will do it! I love you Katie

Anonymous said...

Shaina we love you and our prayers are yours. We will cover Noah, Ava, Nick and you (Our Shaina) on a daily basis. God is the owner of the plan book! Hard for planners I know! Blessings, Robert and Linda