Monday, February 23, 2009

I am no Abraham

You're in for a long read......This post is actually an excerpt from my journal that I felt compelled to share. My thoughts stemmed from a sermon my pastor's wife preached yesterday. In a completely unrelated part of church, another pastor preached about tithes and offering, which my church does every Sunday, and told the story of Abraham and Isaac. Even though he was preaching about financial sacrifce, my mind went back to the story in Genesis of a father and son. Praise God, Carter is alive and healthy. I trust God to keep Carter healthy. I can stand on the promises of God and my faith is not shaken. But I can't say I've always felt that way.

I have testimony after testimony how God has healed and protected Carter, even before he was born. When I was about 4 months pregnant, I developed a rash on my belly. My doctor was concerned I had parvovirus (fairly common in kids). If a pregnant woman contracts this virus, it can cause severe fetal anemia, fetal hydrops, and miscarriage. When those words came out of the doctor's mouth, I immediately started crying. Theo was looking at me with a panicked expression and asking me what that meant. I couldn't even explain it to him at that point because I was so hysterical. Those several days of waiting for the bloodwork results were some on the most difficult and faith-challenging days I have ever experienced. I went through the whole range of emotions. I was mad at God that He would allow me to get pregnant only to make my precious baby sick. I was scared I had done something wrong. I begged and pleaded to God for the life of our baby. I bargained with God that I would do anything if he would just spare our baby's life. I cried every single day. My bloodwork finally came back and it was normal. I had not been exposed to that virus and Carter was born 5 months later, perfect and healthy. Only by the grace of God.....

Fast forward to a few months later when Carter was a little over a month old. Theo and I took him for a routine well baby check-up and were told he has a heart murmur and most likely a congenital heart defect. At the time, I was almost done with my pediatric nurse practioner program and was fairly familar with all of the various congenital heart defects. I know Carter's heart defect could be relatively minor to life threatening. I lover our pediatrician. She is very smart and I trust her with Carter's life. She said it was most likely a ventricular septal defect (the most common heart defect in kids) and since he wasn't experiencing any symptoms of heart problems, he could get an echo in a few weeks whenever the first non-emergent appointment was. This time, I felt pretty confident that Carter's problem was what Dr. C said it was and trusted her and God that it would be okay to wait a few weeks for the echo. Theo, on the other hand was more nervous about it than I was. I remember both of us scrutinizing Carter and every little thing (like the fact that he was such a sweaty baby and wasn't gaining great weight) and wondered if it was his heart defect. But praise God, he did have a VSD and only required monitoring by the pediatric heart dcotors.

Fast forward again to April of 2008. Most of you probably know this story but I feel I need to put my thoughts out there. Long story short is Carter was waking up several days in a row, screaming, unable to open his eyes and he had the most extreme light sensitivity I have ever seen in someone. He looked like he was having migraines. He was not himself. I tried to blame it on a multitude of things but I did feel uneasy in my spirit. When Theo finally said, "If you don't take him to the doctor, I will!" I knew something was wrong. I remember dropping him off Michele's house the next morning and he was screaming uncontrollably and wouldn't let go of me. I started crying and said "I can't leave him here like this". When we got home, I immediately called his pediatrician and they worked him in right away. His regular doctor was off that so we saw one of her partners. I remember describing to him what Carter had been doing and the look of concern that came over his face is something I will never forget. He looked at Theo and me and said "We need to scan his head" meaning get an MRI of his brain. He was concerned about the very thing that we were...that Carter might have a brain tumor. Carter's MRI was normal and he has been fine since then. But THAT was the hardest thing I have ever been through in my entire life. I remember praying and crying for hours at a time. I thought I prayed hard when I was pregnant, but that had nothing on this situation. I remember writing in my journal the morning he went in for his MRI that "this was the day we find out if our son has a brain tumor" and how weird that seemed to be writing those words. I have never been more terrified. I don't remember if I prayed for God's will to be done. I do remember begging God to not let Carter have a brain tumor. I knew I loved God and trusted Him but what if the outcome was not what I had prayed for? Then what? I am no Abraham. I can't say I'm eager to give up my son if God asks for him. I want Carter to far outlive me. I don't ever want to experience the death of a child. But what if God's plan for my life is to experience an unimaginable loss and heartbreak that is literal and not just figurative? I am no Abraham. But I do and I will trust God and want his will to be done in my life no matter the cost. No matter what his plan includes and although I may not ever understand the reason behind things, I do choose to trust him and stand on his promises. I am no Abraham but I am a child of God.

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