We’ve been in the NICU for 72 days.
As Chelsea wrote in the last update, the NICU is becoming more like “home” than our actual home. Our house has become eerily foreign, while the hospital has become prosaic. I like to refer to our house rental as a REALLY expensive bed that we pay for monthly!
We originally thought that all this – Davy’s challenges, surgery, our NICU stay – was simply going to be a short season lasting no longer than 6 weeks. However, here we are 10 weeks later and some change.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like I can “survive” any season as long as I know there is an end in sight. There are some epochs in our life where we just have to hunker down and make it through. These are the times when work is long, sleep is irregular, the calendar is full of one event to the next and Chic-Fil-A runs are your constant companion (God bless you S. Truett Cathy). I can make it through seasons like that though because there is always an end date, a light at the end of the tunnel, or a finish line.
This is not one of those seasons.
One of our mentors and friends spoke wisdom into our lives when he stated plainly that we need to stop waiting for this season to be over so we can get back to our normal life rhythms, this is our new normal.
As we’ve attempted to adjust from mere “survival mode” to actually creating healthy and sustainable life rhythms, we’ve tried to build in some traditions for the Frazier family. One of those traditions is nightly reading and prayer with Davy girl. One of our favorite books is The Jesus Story Book Bible (surprise, surprise) and the other night we were reading the story of “A little girl and a poor frail lady”.
I started to read the story in a puerile and theatrical voice (as you always should with children’s books!):
There was once a little girl who didn’t get out of bed one morning, or the next, or the next. In fact, she didn’t get out of bed for a whole month. She was very sick and no one knew how to make her better.
My voice started to choke up as I immediately thought about my little girl who hasn’t gotten out of bed one morning, or the next, or the next or any day at all. In fact, she hasn’t gotten out of bed for a whole two months. She is very sick and the doctors are trying to figure out how to make her better.
I continued, “Jairus was her daddy and he loved her”. Immediately tears filled my eyes, a lump swelled up in my throat and my emotions – slain.
I’m Davy’s daddy and I LOVE her. I would give my lungs for her. I’d give my life for her. Yet, I’m helpless, unable to fix the problem no matter what I do. It’s easy to despair and become discouraged when you are helpless. It’s easy because trying to put up a fight is mentally and emotionally taxing. Sometimes in life it’s simply easier to throw in the towel and call it quits. As the story progresses, the reader soon realizes that Jairus doesn’t quit or take the easy road and play the victim.
The first thing Jairus does is run to the only person he knew who could help – Jesus. Most of you are familiar with the rest of the story. Jesus accepts Jairus’ plea to come heal his daughter. Along the way, an older women who had been sick for 12 years touches Jesus’ robe and is immediately healed. He takes the time to stop and talk to the women. After he talks to the woman, Jairus’ servants come to let him know that his daughter has already passed and there is no need for Jesus at that point. However, Jesus tells the onlookers that the little girl is only sleeping and they laughed at him. Jesus ignores the scoffers, goes into the house and tells the young girl “Talitha cumi” (Little girl, I say to you, arise) and the little girl awakes to go on with her life (Mark 5:21-43, Matt. 9:18-25, Luke 8:41-56).
As I finished the story, the Holy Spirit impressed upon me three lessons.
1. We Must Fight to Pursue Christ
As I stated above it’s easy to play the victim, self-loathe, and throw in the towel. It’s harder to lean into Jesus because it’s a fight. The call to pursue Christ was never said to be easy, but it was said to be worth it. The text says that Jairus, “knelt” or “fell” at the feet of Jesus and “implored” Jesus to come heal his daughter. The father had desire and passion in his prayers. So often, we are lackadaisical in our pursuit of Jesus. We seek him in prayers but we are like the “double-minded” man that James talks about in his epistle. The call to pursue Christ is the call to pursue discipleship. This call is marked by denying oneself, taking up his cross daily and following Jesus (Luke 9:23). No one that’s lackadaisical about their faith is going to deny themselves, let alone pick up their cross daily and follow Jesus. No, the one who does pick up their cross is the humble, broken sinner in need of a Savior who is passionate about giving his life to Jesus and his mission. The pursuit of Christ is a fight. We must fight to get to Jesus through the crowds of people pointing us other directions, fall at his feet and implore him.
2. God’s Timing is Not Our Timing
Jesus was on his way to heal Jairus’ daughter, but he takes time to talk to the woman who touches his robe. During this time Jairus’ daughter passes away. If you were reading and stopped the story right there your visceral reaction would be frustration at Jesus for not doing what he was “supposed” to do. If he hadn’t stopped to talk to the women then the little girl potentially wouldn’t have died. However, God doesn’t operate on humanity’s concept of time – he’s transcendent above it. The story is reminiscent of the story of Lazarus. Even though he knew Lazarus was sick, Jesus stayed “two days longer” in the place he was (John 11:6). In both stories he delayed, the other characters die and Jesus brings them both back to life. We may not understand God’s timing, but it’s always perfect and it never lacks purpose.
3. Jesus is Mending God’s Broken World
At the end of the short story within The Jesus Storybook Bible, it says:
“Jesus helped and healed many people, like this. He made blind people see. He made deaf people hear. He made lame people walk. Jesus was making the sad things of the world come untrue. He was mending God’s broken world.”
Jesus did all of these things and he continues to do them today. He’s strong enough to speak over my little girl, “Talitha Cumi”, to heal my mom’s cancer in an instant like the women in the crowd, and to fix the brokenness of our world. It’s Jesus who is making all the sad things of the world come untrue (Rev. 21:1-5).
Overall, I’m grateful that God has ushered in a “new normal” for Chelsea and I so we could have our eyes fixed upon the “New Creation” where Jesus makes everything sad in the world come untrue. I’m also grateful that there is a story in the Scriptures about a sick girl and loving daddy who learns to fight to pursue Jesus, trust God’s timing and witnesses that Jesus is mending God’s broken world.
Davy Updates & Prayer Requests
Davy has had a few rough weeks and had a tough weekend as she fights off an infection, fever and withdrawal effects. However, we’re hopeful for a quiet week of improvement for our little girl.
- Infection – Our doctor’s are pretty sure that Davy has an infection that she is fighting off. Pray that the antibiotics would work effectively and Davy would get over the infection quickly.
- Doctor’s & Medical Team – Continue to pray for the wisdom of our doctors and their team as they continue to make decisions to help Davy recover.
- Withdrawal Effects – As Davy is being weened off drugs she is having some negative side effects that are tough to stomach. Pray that she would be able to ween off the drugs without substantial side effects.