This past week was challenging because Davy struggled through the week and we had a conversation with our doctors letting us know that our little girl’s recovery is going to take longer than we initially expected.
Davy continues to exhibit the ethos of a fighter, but even the strongest amongst us have weak moments and lose some of the battles we fight.
For the last 64 days Davy has been on drugs that have kept her sedated as she takes steps towards recovery. Over the course of time they have slowly weened her off those drugs. Yet, as I’m sure you can imagine, if you had been on drugs for two straight months – every single day – you would struggle when they took it away from you. You would experience intense withdrawal. Now, envision the side effects of drug addicts going through withdrawal and put it in the frame of a ten pound baby. It’s not the most pleasant sight.
She has been experiencing agitation, restlessness, sleeplessness, gastrointestinal issues (read massive blow outs – Davy is making sure to introduce me to fatherhood), and, in stints, can be inconsolable. These are all a part of the journey, but they are challenging for new parents who just want to make them go away.
Of all the things we’re experiencing, the hardest thing right now has been the NICU dance.
Two steps forward, one step back. Two steps back, one step to the side. Now many of you know that I LOVE to dance. You put on the “Cupid Shuffle” on and I’m gonna’ “move some muscle” and if “The Wobble” gets played you better give me some room on the dance floor people.
This dance though…the NICU dance…I’ll be 100% content if I never do it again.
It’s difficult because Davy has come so far, but there is also the demoralizing realization that she still has a long way to go. Now, yes, we absolutely have so much to celebrate. Davy’s breathing improvements, her successful surgery, her ability to take feedings and overall progression. At the same time, she still needs help breathing, is having stomach issues, is experiencing the effects of withdrawal and still has mountains to climb for us to get out of this place.
As I’ve been processing this time and dealing with my frustrations, God brought this to mind. What Davy is experiencing physically we are experiencing spiritually every single day. Davy’s NICU dance is comparable to the dance of sanctification – the process of becoming holy – in the life of a Christian.
Two steps forward, one step back. Two steps back, one step sideways.
I don’t know about you, but there are days when I feel like I’m just knocking it out of the park in regards to my faith. My times in the Word are fruitful, my prayer times are intimate, and God is opening up doors to share his good news. On those days, in my mind, I have people call me Bill. You know – short for Billy Graham of course.
Then there are OTHER days. Days where every passage of Scripture seems like I’m arduously plowing through Numbers chapter 26. Your prayer time is code word for “nap time” and you have thoughts that if other people knew about their face would melt off. On those days I echo the sentiments of the apostle Paul and say I’m the chief of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15).
This weekend, and today for that fact, could be lumped in with those OTHER days. My faith has seemingly run dry, the Lord feels distant and sin seems rampant.
Just like with Davy, it’s the exhausting realization that I’ve come so far from the man I used to be (my friends can attest to the validity of that statement!), but I’m galaxies away from the man I deeply desire to be. Now, again, there is so much that God has done in my life that I’m thankful for like my salvation for starts, becoming more grounded in truth than I have ever been, and being more passionate for His glory. At the same time, there are days when I don’t act the part, habitual sin keeps lingering around, and if you truly knew the things I was thinking…your face would melt off…Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark style.
This calls to mind a quote from John Newton when he says, “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.” That is the the dance of sanctification articulated.
Two steps forward, one step back. Two steps back, one step sideways.
C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity has this to say about sanctification:
The command “Be ye perfect” is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command…He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly. His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said.
The process of sanctification will be long and in parts very painful, but that is what we signed up for when “we counted the cost” of following Jesus. Nothing less. As Lewis reminds us, “He meant what He said” – referring to the promise of Philippians 1:6 that “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ”.
In the same way we can trust God to finish His work in our sanctification, I can trust and ask in faith that God will heal my baby girl. Even though the process “will be long and in part very painful” I will rest in the truth of Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” and believe that God – meant what He said.
Updates & Prayer Requests
As I stated above, Davy had a rough week, but settled down a little over the weekend. Here are a few things you can specifically be praying for her and other families in the NICU.
- Wisdom – Pray for wisdom for our doctors. It’s a chess match at this point and the doctors are trying to figure out the right move to make everything work for Davy. Ask God to give them wisdom and insight for decisions they have to make.
- Lungs – Pray that Davy’s lungs would start to function properly.
- Stomach – Davy’s stomach continues to improve, but we would love her to be able to take all of her feeds with as much ease as possible and be able to digest everything.
- Matthew – There is a new family just a few doors down with a little boy named Matthew who could use your prayers. He was also born with CDH and is just starting the process that we began two months ago. Pray for his little body to continue to fight and for God’s presence to comfort the family during this time.
2 thoughts on “He Meant What He Said”
Thank you for this transparent update, Scott! Though it may be hard to see through the mire of your time in the NICU, your family been such a strong witness and encouragement through your honesty and dependence on God. You’re in my prayers and on my heart.
Jessica that’s great to hear. Thank your for the prayers and encouragement.