Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Nurses Week

It feels like years have gone by since Noah passed away. It really feels like forever. Being back in Ft. Worth reminded me that we really did have a son, I really did live in Ft Worth for 5 months, Noah really did live his entire life in a hospital and finally it reminded me that God has blessed me beyond measure with some amazing friends because of it all. God placed some awesome people in our life through Cook Children's Medical Center and I am forever thankful. Being back in FW didn't make me feel sad or weird, but it did sting a bit. Mainly because I didn't have this overwhelming burden upon me. Noah was not ever a burden to me, just the heaviness of a severely sick child was burdening on my heart and mind. Every time someone would try to take us to dinner or we would go out and try to relax or take our minds off things, I couldn't ever get my mind off of it all and I would feel so guilty for leaving the hospital. I remember the sad Sunday afternoons of saying goodbye to Nick and Ava. There were so many things that were different this trip. Going to the hospital was so great and we were able to say hi to some staff and thank them again.  At the same time, I was able to walk out without leaving my baby boy in there. I know he's perfect and whole now. We have been so incredibly blessed by the grace and friendship of our sweet nurses and doctors. God truly has used them to help me in this process since we said "see ya later" to Noah. The care and concern they show me is irreplaceable and they are some of the ones that actually understand parts of the journey in ways no one else does. There are so many doubts and questions that continue to run through my mind here and there. Sometimes I wonder if we did everything we could, if we made the right decisions, if we pushed things or didn't push things enough. I know the enemy wants me to sit and doubt and question because it makes God seem incapable, uncaring and distant. I know that is not the truth. I know that the doctors we had there treated Noah as if he were their own child and I cannot imagine it any other way. I'm thankful. I suppose that going back to Ft Worth might have been the reason I had such a rough day yesterday, but I also know that the bad days just show up sometimes without a reason at all. When I get to missing Noah more I get unfocused, selfish and whiny. I know some people would say I get a free pass on those days, and maybe that's true, but I don't think it is a good habit to get in and I have to truly look at my faith, my heart and my application of the Word in my life when the bad days come. The bad days will not stop coming, for the rest of my life I will have bad days of missing my son. They will get further between, but they will not go away. I have to ask God now to help train me to use those bad days for His good and not wallow in a hole of self pity and dispair. Don't get me wrong, I let it out and cry and be sad. I don't need to be reminded that I need to not bottle it all in. haha. I really do get my emotion and sadness out. I just realized yesterday that being rude to my husband, snapping at my daughter and telling myself I am worthless and lazy doesn't bring glory to God nor does it bring Noah back. None of my pity parties will ever bring him back, but when I find ways to serve the Lord, I do feel closer to him.

A month or so before we found out we were pregnant, our worship leader, Debbie, had me learn a song called, "You Are Faithful". Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church in DFW was going through a severe illness and his wife Lauren wrote this worship song during their trials. It spoke to me heavily as I learned it, not even realizing just how big of an impact that song would have down the road. I've blogged about it before. The song is powerful and has a huge message, in such a simple format. I love it. The song became Noah and I's lullaby of sorts. I always hummed it or sang it to him to help calm him down, or just as we snuggled in the chair. The day we gave Noah back to the Lord, we held him and held him. I'll never forget that room, the way the chair was set up next to all the machines and stuff. The chaplain, one of the most honest and trustworthy doctors I've ever met, Nick, myself and Noah were all in the room, waiting. I don't think any of us really felt that it would be a long process for Noah to go home, yet we waited and waited. I decided I would hum our song. I hummed and sort of sang, through a broken and crackly voice as he calmly laid in my lap. Nick and I would take turns holding him and loving on him. No breathing machine, no noise, just us. I suppose that was one of the most holy times of worship for us. There is nothing like being in a room where Jesus is present. I remember when my Mimi passed away, I physically felt Jesus in the room. You could cut the peace and assurance with a knife. It was much the same way with Noah. The song You Are Faithful came on my ipod last night while I was cooking dinner. Nick and Ava were at the store and so it was just me. I had one of those moments because I have purposely not played that song for over 2 months now. I have not heard that song, since I heard it play in noah's room that day. It came on and after the last line was sung, it was like a newness came over me, after a day of complete frustration and emotion, I just had this moment where God said, "I am faithful, I am gracious, I alone am God". (such a beautiful and simple chorus)
I suppose I could have slept at the hospital every night, never left his room, never go outside, etc etc. I could have neglected all others to be with him every second, but I realize now that God has always had him in his hands and that every time I was away from him, he was taken care of by some of the most precious people I've ever known. There was a nurse I could get mad with. She let me complain, be mad, cuss when needed (yes i know). I could hate and question, lay it out plainly and she would encourage me and remind me that I was doing the best I could and was the best mom for Noah. Thank you. There were times, sometimes late in the night, when a few of the nurses and I would visit about their kids, they helped take my mind off of things. They would share their lives with me. There was a goofball nurse who would always make me laugh. He and Noah were quite the pair. Such buds. There were nurses who called on their day off, to check on Noah, especially near the end. Even the respiratory people and child life staff would treat me like one of the family.  There were even times when I would realize that I had an entire conversation about the Lord, his sovereignty, plan and care for Noah, the gospel, medicine/faith issues, with one of his physicians. There were moments when I was told, by a physician that Noah was being prayed for at the kitchen table, that he was being talked about to their kids, that a spouse was praying as well. When I tell you Noah had special care, I  mean it. I will never be able to thank those special people enough. Remembering those things helps mend my heart.

I can't live in guilt, I can't live in the past. As I learn how life looks after Noah, part of it looks very bright because the people who knew him like I did, are still in my life. There are many things ahead that will be wonderful even though Noah isn't here with us. There are opportunities to share Christ, make Him known, change lives, touch lives, and help other families who's little heart babies are here on earth and need care. The more I live in the what ifs and whys I cannot make a difference in the now and future.
I guess the trip to FW was bittersweet, but mostly it was another stitch in the mending process. I know not everyone is as blessed as us to have such amazing people and relationships as we have had. I also know that not everyone has the support system we do.
So, if I seem just a bit obsessed with "noah's staff" it's because knowing them and getting to love on them, keeps me serving, loving, hopeful and moving forward, not stuck in the past or in a pit. I look forward to seeing all that God does in the future, especially at Cook Children's Medical Center and how we will be involved.

So, today has been a new day. Productive, happy, blessed and calm. New mercies are available. His grace is sufficient. Thanks to God's faithfulness, graciousness and sovereignty, Noah is whole and home, and I am not lacking in anything.

Psalm 63:3 - Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.

Thanks and love,

So, happy nurses week to my friends, now family. love to y'all, always. 

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