Our friends down the hall got to go home this past week!
Over 4 months they’ve endured the arduous journey that is life in the NICU. An expedition where the outcome is different for every traveler and not all travelers are promised a ticket home.
It’s bitter sweet for fellow NICU families because your emotional state is greatly conflicted.
On one level you are happy. They’ve braved the summit and returned. They are going home where every family should be. You rejoice because they go home to their bed, their baby clothes that have gone unworn, their children’s toys that have sat lifeless, and their child’s room that has remained vacant, waiting with eager expectation of its new familial occupant.
On another level you are sad. Not necessarily because you wish it were you (there’s no denying that’s a factor), but partly because you feel connected to one another. These are your friends. You have shared in suffering together. You have shared emotions no one else on the outside fully grasps. You’ve persevered through a liminal experience shoulder to shoulder, no matter how long you’ve journeyed together.
As I sat in a state of emotional antinomy – joyous, yet melancholy – I began to muse about the concept of home.
I dream about the day Chelsea and I take Davy home – a day we’re not promised – but in my dreams we always make it home. It will be a monumental occasion and you KNOW we’re gonna’ party. You are also going to think the spirit of Michael Jackson got up on me because you better believe I’ll be moon walking down those Dell Children Hospital hallways. I’m going to load Davy into her car seat (awkwardly) and then drive her home…how should I say it…delicately. Then we’ll pull into our drive way. At first we’ll just sit and drink it all in – every drop. I’ll take a deep breath, glance at my beautiful bride and say, “we made it”.
Chelsea will get Davy in the house and I’ll unload an ungodly amount of baby gear (what do you call this stuff??). Then – after all is said and done – we’ll finally be home.
Yet, as I dreamed about being home I realized that I never want Davy to think of our home as Home.
C. S. Lewis famously stated in Mere Christianity:
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death.”
I want Davy to be thankful for all her clothes, stuffed animals, books, and toys. Simultaneously, I want to teach her that those things won’t satisfy her because our home (and the things within it) are not Home. They are “a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage” that suggest “the real thing”.
Jesus reminds us in John 18:36 that his kingdom is “not of this world” and as Paul reminds us, “our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20).
I pray that God allows me the privilege and gift of bringing my little girl home. On that day I will rejoice with tears.
I pray even more earnestly that He gives me the chance to raise Davy – and instruct my family – that home is simply a mirage, a shadow. I will fight to keep alive in myself, Davy, and my family the desire for our true country, which we shall not find till after death.
Let us keep striving as a community to constantly show people that home is simply pointing us Home.
Davy Updates & Prayer Requests
Davy has had a great weekend! There have been just a few coughing episodes where she wasn’t having it, but outside of that this weekend has actually been really good. They have been able to wean her off all of the blood pressure medication and the nitric oxide support is still completely turned off! Here are a few prayer requests over the next few days.
- Stability – We’re praying that Davy would handle all of the adjustments (blood pressures meds gone and nitric oxide off) well and be able to sustain over the next week.
- Her lungs – Her lungs have gone back and forth between collapsing and remaining open. Pray that her lungs would expand and get into a rhythm of oxygenating well.
- Surgery – At this point it’s a waiting game as to when she will actually be able to go to surgery. Pray for the surgeons and doctors to have the wisdom to know the right time.