Hi, if you've run across our little blog site, your probably a parent and/or a new parent that has encountered a very scary path.
A sick child.
I want you to know that looking back on our journey with Luke...it was pure hell. I can't sugar coat it any less or more..it just was. The first 1.5years were just a blur to us as parents.
And..I understand greatly your heart right now. My heart was broken..literally when our child could not breathe on his own, eat on his own and move on his own. I was literally groaning in pain...and begging God to save my child.
I want you to know that I did not grow up 'churched'. I grew up in an average home with a bible on the table. That was it. We just didn't do the 'church' thing.
But, by God's grace and mercy..He found me desperate at age 29. I had Luke at 35 yrs old.
Therefore, I had experienced Christ a few years prior to giving birth to Luke....and by this time..I believed God could heal my child. Trust you me...I prayed fervently.
After Luke's 3rd 'episode' where he coded on me on our couch at home and I found myself in a helicopter with Luke in my arms and suctioning him as we flew to the hospital..I remember saying to God.."If this helicopter crashes..at least I'll die with my child". I didn't want Luke to be alone.
A few days after Luke's recovery (again..by God's mercy) I found myself in a spiritual 'crisis'.
My heart was in so much pain..we had no clue what was wrong with Luke. For the first time, I realized..I can't work for this in prayer..I found myself saying "God why?".
At that very moment..I knew I needed help. I made an appt. with a very wise man named Jerry that was a biblical counselor here locally. (God says..'seek elderly counsel') So, I did. I found myself sitting on his couch explaining all that had happened to Luke and how my heart was dying and that I for the first time started questioning God. "Why God".
He looked right at me after I poured out my soul and asked me "have you surrendered Luke to the Lord?".
I looked right back at him and said "I have no idea what that means..what does that mean..I'm so sick and tired of everyone at church telling me this...what does that mean!".
He looked right back at me compassionately as ever and said "Andrea, not many people really know what that means. In fact, if most people that say this really knew what that meant, they probably would never give out that advice". I was stunned to hear this.
At that very moment..I believe God sent this man to me to explain my heart, my pain and my torture. I wanted an answer...and here's what I got.
Jerry answered my question and said "I'll tell you what surrendering your child to the Lord means Andrea, it means, that God may not heal Luke. In fact, God may choose to take Luke home in one more year. And, when God decides to take Luke home, that same day, you get to pick out the color of Luke's casket. And, at the end of that day, you drive home and look up to heaven and say "God is Good".
***keep in mind churched readers...I get that Jesus heals..in fact, I believe it and pray for it daily. But...when confronted with the story of Job...at some point..there needs to be balance between God's plan and healing. I don't have the answers...I just know that God is in all and over all..He's allowing and planning. (praying like the house is on fire is non-negotiable to me..I'm a beggar)
So..back to my story:
I sat there shocked by what he said. In fact, I started to weep like I've never wept before on his couch. I didn't want my baby to die. Why would I have to surrender to giving up on healing? God specifically whewed me to pray for Luke's healing. I cried so much. I couldn't stop crying and I said back to him..
"I can't do that Jerry, I can't think about not having my child with me".
And his response was "I know Andrea, not many people can..that's why surrendering your will to God's will is so hard. It's so hard that you have to accept that God is in control so that you can have peace about Luke". "You need peace Andrea..you need to learn to accept the Lord's will, pray for His will and know that whatever happens...God's plan is always better..whether you like it or not".
I cannot begin to tell you the grief that came over. I cried like I've never cried before. I had for the first time in 1 year realized...I never considered God's plan. Now mind you, I cried out to God, I begged for prayer from everyone around me, I prayed like the house was on fire myself, but I never would even remotely consider that God may take my child. It just wasn't in me. Nor did I ever think about it. I just wanted Luke healed and I fought for it in prayer.
However, I realized..I was tired. I was doing it all on my own. I needed to find comfort in the very Lord that brought me peace in the first place when I got on my knees to accept Him at age 29. I needed peace. I needed to surrender Luke to the Lord and accept that God's will was better. I might have possibly made 'healing' an idol? Is there such a thing? I don't know...all I know is that my focus was the healing and to 'see' the healing. I pridefully would not even go there if any well intentioned Christian came my way and wanted to talk "suffering". In fact, to this day...that type of talk drives me crazy. Trust me....well intentioned Christians can be debilitating to talk too when confronted with a sick child. I needed GRACE. Serious Grace.
Jerry explained how acceptance is healing. Accepting that what happens 'that day', (not the next day) is key to living out peace with God. I can still pray for healing...but he instructed me to learn to accept God's way THAT DAY. Don't look into tomorrow. Accept God at the end of every day and say "Lord, you are good, I know this...Luke is yours..continue to do the work in him..He's yours and you take better care of Luke than I ever could. You love Luke more than I love Luke..this I know". Luke is yours Lord.
I accepted that Luke was God's. Not mine. A few days later, after much crying..peace came over me. Like a warm blanket. I'm here to tell you...it was divine intervention and an answer prayer from many people around me. I needed peace. I needed to know God was in control and I needed his Grace shed upon me and my dear husband.
We got it. A few months later, we found ourselves at the Mayo Clinic and our little Luke was healed through medication. We were in awe.
I write this letter to any parent that may ever question God. My hope is that this touches your heart enough to get on your knees at your bedside, alone..and you experience the sweetness of our Lord. It's a tough thing to grasp when your unchurched. But, I promise you...Jesus will show up. He will show you the way..the HOPE, THE PEACE and FAITH to bring you to the next step with your child and in some cases, the next day..or hour. Whether good...or bad. Either way, God is in control.
My hope has always been in God's word. I leave you with the one scripture that touched my husband's heart when Luke was very ill. May you grab on to this and know...Your child is GOD's. He will take care of your child. This I know.
'He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength'
I don't know you..but if your reading this..please, please know. God loves you. God loves you so much.
Much love in Him,
Andrea (mom to Luke)