Of Babies, Joy, Anger and Resilient Peace
One year ago this past week, my wife and I dropped into her doctor for a routine sonogram and were then rapidly headed out to attend the Armed Forces Bowl at TCU stadium with a bunch of friends, colleagues and acquaintances.
As we sat in the sonogram suite, we really couldn’t help but feel excitement and joy for the things we were seeing. We had been here before, not only with our first baby, but with this pregnancy too.
Things seemed to be going right along with what we expected and all was well. As the sonogram tech left the room, she said that the doctor would be right in with us, something that was all within the norm.
When my wife’s doctor came in she started her own sonogram and spent a good deal of time going over things and measuring the baby. Again, nothing seemed out of place or abnormal, all was routine. But then it came, she placed the wand down and said that she was sorry to tell us, but that our baby boy had what appeared to be a cleft lip. This statement was followed by the obligatory, “I’m so sorry.”
To be honest, I am not even sure I realized what she said at first. My wife had miscarried our first child and I guess in someways I was confused, as with that sonogram, there was no heartbeat, here we had a healthy beating heart beat and all seemed well. I had even seen the baby move on sonogram. But then I guess my wife’s almost immediate cries cleared my thinking and led to the realization that whatever the doctor had just said was not a good thing.
After asking some questions, I finally grasped what exactly she had just told us. My wife had many more questions and through her tears managed to lead in a dialogue as I just sat there wondering what this meant for us moving forward. I am sure resentment to some point set in and I certainly felt numb from the over all experience. The emotions were very raw and I was definitely angry. Angry with God and angry with the entire situation.
As we headed off from the appointment towards the football stadium, I had all kinds of thoughts running through my head. Thoughts of disbelief were prevalent, I doubted if the doctor even knew what she was talking about. I guess in the moment, I was under the belief that I could wish or disbelieve the whole ordeal away.
As we got to the stadium for the game, we entered numb. We fought our way through the game and managed to even hang out for the after party a couple of hours. Things just moved about us like a blur, nothing really seemed to focus and I am sure those around us were wondering what in the world was wrong with us.
As days turned into weeks, it became clear that this was a reality we were destined to face. I continued to be angry and resentful all the while attempting to be as dedicated to my wife and her emotions as I could be. In hindsight, I am sure I was pretty distant and not anywhere as supportive as I should have been.
As we began to meet with doctors and prepare for the eventual surgeries our son was going to face, we discovered that we were so very fortunate to have one of the top doctors in craniofacial surgery right here in Dallas. He was also a strong man of faith and dedicated to not only serving children in need here in the states but regularly traveled out of the country taking care of patients in various third world countries as well.
Over the past few months, we have now gone through horrific moments of dealing with our son, at one point even having him asphyxiate during a measurement for his nam device. But at the same time, we have seen exhilarating moments of joy and excitement in knowing that we are exactly where God wants us in his treatment. We have the best medical team anyone could ask for with dedicated Christians caring for our son.
Now two surgeries down and soon to be a third, I can honestly say that peace has prevailed in the moments. God has allowed my heart to soften to the fact we our in this situation and His peace has comforted in all of these times of trials and fear.
Our son is one of the happiest babies I have ever encountered. He is as laid back as they come. His joyous laugh and smile surrounds our home and comforts us even further.
Today, we are not sure exactly how many more surgeries he will face, but we rest in the knowledge that God is in control of each and every step of this process. He has placed us exactly where we need to be for Bryson’s care.
In all of this I have been constantly reminded that God is still on the throne and an ever present help in these times of trouble. In my doubt, God has been faithful. In my anger He has been forgiving and graceful. In my weakness and timidity He has been strong and courageous.
I am not sure where you might find yourself today. Maybe you are facing tremendous stress. Maybe you find yourself facing huge medical needs and health concerns of your own. Maybe you find yourself in even greater anger than I was. Just know that God is most definitely in control of your situation. He is strong in our weakness.
As this year unfolds, I pray that each of us learns to become more dependent on God and His grace. May we move forward in the knowledge that His peace and His plans are greater than any we could envision for ourselves.
Wishing you peace and joy in the coming days.