Eyes OFF of the Prize (Part 3 of 3)

IMG_0198We were so excited to have Brian back with us after a week of him being out-of-town. Little did he nor I know but we wouldn’t be catching up in the comfort of our cozy home. When I picked Sophia up from school, the teacher was concerned because Sophia had slept for most of her 3-hr school day and was feeling warmer than usual. I thought to myself, surely she couldn’t be getting sick again… and if so, nothing a little essential oils couldn’t knock out over the weekend. We came home, oiled up and finally got some food into her belly. When I checked her temperature, a low fever was registering. I had never carried medicine in our house up until our recent RSV encounter. I begrudgingly got the Motrin out for the second time in two weeks. As soon as I got up to get a towel, up came all of her food.. and her Motrin. Out of my mouth came,”It’s okay. No worries. You’re okay.” In my mind? Totally freaking! As I cleaned up throw up, I devised my game plan. Warm bath while playing healing scriptures, oils, nap.

Her fever kept coming back along with any food she’d manage to get down coming right back up. I knew this was the perfect formula for dehydration…To the ER we would have to go. So now this was the third time in 2 weeks that I was taking a late night/early morning drive to the ER. Again, I reiterate that we had never had ER trips since leaving the NICU three years ago, so this was so odd to us. I wondered if God saw how gracefully I ended up handling our last stay, that He thought He’d give us another go. Oh…no thank you, Lord. Luckily with Brian back in town,he was able to drive us, and keep me company.

We went in and they admitted us. Sophia was indeed dehydrated so they started her on fluids through an IV… some meds for the vomiting and fever. We got settled in and I found my familiar sliver of bed near Sophia. This time we stayed for five days… Five days! They determined that it was not the flu, not strep, just some random stomach bug. The last two days of our stay was waiting on Sophia to start eating again. Ironically, two of the major things we had to believe for the first two years of Sophia’s life was her to breathe on her own, and then eventually eat on her own. First hospital stay in February was based on Sophia breathing; second hospital stay in February was based on rehydrating and GETTING HER TO EAT. Random? I doubt it. Both stays gave us the opportunity to give thanks for “impossibles” that we had prayed for hard and long, and waited even longer to receive.

I’m not saying I wouldn’t have rather been at home with a healthy Sophia, but God did NOT disappoint with His goodness in unfavorable circumstances. The weekend just happened to fall on a three-day weekend so the three of us got to get some really sweet quality time in. One night, Brian looked over and said,”I know we’re in the hospital, but at least we’re together.” I smiled in agreement, remembering the 8 months at Texas Children’s NICU.. having to leave Sophia most nights and return to an empty Ronald McDonald room. This was Disney World compared to that.

One of the mornings during that same stay, I came out of the bathroom and my heart totally melted. Light was pouring in from the window and Brian was standing over Sophia, singing to her. It makes me giggle so hard to think of this, but he was singing “What a Wonderful Name It Is” by Hillsong. Although, instead of singing, “What a wonderful name it is, the name of Jesus,” he mistakenly was singing,”What a beautiful day it is, in the name of Jesus.” It was the Mister Rogers remix. It was so sweet though. I was so filled in that moment. Here we were in the hospital, day three I think, and we were more than okay. That’s God. Only God.

As the weekend came to an end, we juggled who would miss work. Even on the days that I went in, I was staying at the hospital overnight. One of the days, I walked in to my fourth and last class of the day. A student commented on how “fresh” I looked. I literally laughed out loud. Without thinking, I blurted out,”Well, that’s joy for you.” Truly, it was. It had to be.The coffee had worn off about 10 that morning and my makeup wasn’t holding that strong either anymore.

So, here it is… the major point. The point that it took me only three blog posts, 5,000 plus words later to get to… The devil was trying to keep my eyes OFF of the prize. You see somewhere in the midst of all the craziness of February, Sophia’s seizures stopped. And no, they didn’t give her anything that would make her seizures stop. In fact, her illnesses should have spiked her seizures. By our second hospital stay, she wasn’t having seizures anymore. For over a year, I stood on what God put in my spirit… Sophia’s seizures would resolve. It seemed so silly to expect forty-plus seizures daily to just go away. I tried to figure out all the possible ways that it could come to be and it happened in no way that I had imagined. We are going on three weeks now of no seizures. This is REALLY hard for me to share so publicly because I know that setbacks can come… but I REFUSE to operate out of fear. See, I know what God has placed in my spirit. I know my Heavenly father’s voice and I know He is FAITHFUL. So, setbacks or not, I know how this story ends. If God allowed those sicknesses, I can totally see why. The hospital stays were a vivid reminder of the giants we have had to face, and that although they may rear their scary heads again, they are not here to stay. God had told me that Sophia would breathe without the ventilator. She did eventually, at 8 months old. God had told me that Sophia would eat by mouth. She did eventually, 13 months from the time I felt it in my spirit. God told me her seizures would subside. They did eventually, 16 months after they started up. I don’t know what a follow-up EEG will show, but frankly it does NOT matter. I don’t know what silly, unlikely thing you are believing God for, but friend, stand strong. He is FAITHFUL.

And let me tell you how sly the enemy is…. So we go through all that craziness in February and come out like champs, right? Singing God’s praises, all that good stuff. Well, Sophia goes in for her 4-year-old vaccinations at the beginning of this month. The next night she wakes up twice, vomiting. While I get her in the bath, I play my go-to YouTube healing scriptures. Even after all of what went down in February, I still believe in the authority we have over sickness. I know that there is some gray area but I’m just crazy enough to think that we need to literally speak to that mountain. I asked Brian, “Do you think I’m crazy for playing healing scriptures?” “I’d think you’re crazy NOT to play them,” he said with a smirk. Um, totally would make him my husband from that comment, if he wasn’t already. We wake up the next day, no signs of sickness. Great! Take that, devil! Onward to a phenomenal March… but the enemy wasn’t done.

This past beginning-of-week was horrible. Horrible! Even crazier, the culprit issues didn’t even compare to February’s struggles, yet they hit so much harder. Sophia started having severe separation anxiety. She would cry really hard if I even left her side, so leaving her at school like that was heart-breaking. Totally took me back to having to leave her in the NICU. Then K-love shares an awesome testimony of a 3-month old coming back to life after 45 minutes of no heartbeat. How awesome! Except that the enemy soon followed with a reminder that I didn’t even hold Nicholas for that long. “You probably could have had him revived too, if you would have even bothered to hold him longer. You sent him away.” Gulp. Then I get to work and well, I felt totally worthless. I felt like a joke, an outcast, unworthy, unqualified, rejected. I didn’t want to get up in front of a room of students and fake the funk. I just wanted to go home and curl up. To top that off, I forgot to submit  a form that I had multiple reminders to submit. I got a nice reminder with my boss and the Dean cc’ed on the email. I could have burst into tears. I prayed hard, hoping to wake up the next day with the cloud lifted or the days going quicker.

Finally, I reached out to my greatest prayer warrior and asked her to please send some prayers. She answered, telling me that God had been nudging the week prior to send over an audio book. She said she had brushed it off, not wanting to bombard me. No, God knew I was going to need to hear Steve Furtick’s words in Greater. He knew the remedy before the problem ever arose.

After our second hospital stay, I decided that I was going to give blogging a try, but by the time this past week rolled around…I was absolutely convinced that I wouldn’t dare blog. I had literally not felt that type of low in so long. You see what the enemy was doing? He knew that the Holy Spirit was nagging me enough that I would consider blogging… at least three, long-winded posts about our crazy February and how faithful God is. The enemy wants to shut our testimonies down because there is power in them. There’s hope for others in them. There’s glory for God in them.

So, my heart’s prayer is that our eyes are open to the attacks of the enemy, but also the limitless power of God…that when our faith begins to waiver, we are reminded of the past giants slain…that when you get the crazy looks for what you’re believing in, you remember that it doesn’t matter how oblivious you look. It only matters what God has placed in your spirit. That is truth. Keep believing. Believe as if you are, indeed, delusional.

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