The last 48 hours have been difficult.
Our baby girl has had a fever, her stats have fluctuated, and she has been in visible discomfort. It’s true what they say about life in the NICU. It is two steps forward, one step back. There are periods of great progress that give way to moments of discouragement and regression.
(It was a tough day, but look how cute that bow is?)
As a father, there is hardly anything more heartrending like watching your child struggle and LITERALLY be able to do NOTHING about it. I wish I could articulate what it’s like to watch my precious girl in pain or discomfort and attempt to cry, yet not to be able to make a sound because there is a tube running down between her vocal chords. In those moments her eyes squeeze together, she furrows her brow as her chubby face (swollen from all fluids they are giving her) contorts and turns red. Her body writhes but is unable to move freely because of the various IV’s in her little body.
Early this afternoon, she looked at me with those sweet eyes and it’s as if she said through muted expression, “Daddy, how come you’re not helping me?”
I left the room and wept.
I wept because I’m her daddy and want to protect her. I wept because I’m her daddy and don’t want to see her in pain. I wept because I was sad.
I retreated to the family room that is adjacent to Davy’s to process and God comforted me with these truths.
On days we weep we can remember that our Savior wept.
Jesus felt great compassion and wept over Lazurus’ death (John 11:28-35). Jesus wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41). Paul states in Hebrews 5:7, “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplication, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death,” implying that when Jesus walked the earth his prayers were heart felt and accompanied with tears. Jesus is the great high priest who sympathizes with us and intimately knows our emotional experiences. He is not a detached Savior, but an invested one (Heb. 4:15).
On days we weep we can trust that God is close to the brokenhearted.
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:14). We worship a God who is not only transcendent, but who is also immanent. He is not only the One who created the heavens, but He is also the One who breathed life into man’s lungs. He is not unknown but known. He is Immanuel – God with us – and He is the one who is close to the brokenhearted.
On days we weep we can believe that our tears have purpose.
I firmly believe that God works all things according the counsel of his will, including our tears (Eph. 1:11). He is weaving our story together for His glory (Isa. 48:9-11), our good (Rom. 8:28) and to produce in us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Cor. 4:17). Joni Eareckson Tada has this to say about suffering, “Every sorrow we taste will one day prove to be the best possible thing that could have happened to us. We will thank God endlessly in heaven for the trials that he sent us here.” Our tears have purpose and one day we will thank God for them.
What my sweet Davy doesn’t realize right now is that I am helping her. That tube that is silencing her is also the same tube that is keeping her alive. Jesus’ death on the cross seemed purposeless at the time, yet it was bursting forth with great purpose. It was that same cross where Jesus hung so helplessly that ultimately paid for our sins and reconciled us back to God (2 Cor. 5:21). There is always purpose for our suffering even if it is unseen for three days or a lifetime.
- Stability – We’re praying that Davy’s stats would stay stable instead of being up and down. If they are stable then we can start making progress towards surgery.
- Chelsea’s Recovery – This amazing woman gave birth to a child people…so there is some recovery involved. However, when your child is struggling you don’t take much time for yourself. So please pray that Chels would trust God with our little girl and rest so that she can recover.
- Our Doctors & Nurses – The team here at Dell is incredible. Pray for their wisdom and knowledge to be able to make the right decisions for our little girl.
At the end of the day, these tears and those profound truths press me towards a greater reality. It presses me towards an eternal weight of glory where “everything sad will come untrue” and He will wipe away every single tear from our eyes. As he’s doing so we’ll thank him endlessly for the trials he gave to us during our brief time on earth, even days where I wept over my sick little girl. So when we look up at God during our trials, suffering and tears and say, “Daddy, why aren’t you helping me?” We can trust that He lovingly is looking down upon us saying, “I love you and I am helping you, but you just might not see it yet”.