Davy has been in the hospital for 100 days today.
I can remember sitting in the family room and noticing a gift that had been donated from a previous patient. The patient had been in the NICU for 67 days and I recall thinking, “67 days is a LONG time and NO WAY we’re going to be in here that long”. Well, that day came and passed us by… 33 days ago.
These past 100 days have felt like a lifetime, while concurrently it feels like we just admitted Davy into the NICU yesterday. It’s as if someone pressed pause and fast forward at the same time and you are caught in the space in between.
In that space though God has taught us so much and I wanted to reflect on a few of those lessons.
The NICU life is difficult.
In my very first post, I wrote about how there is a hand written letter above the hand washing station. It reads:
“For years I had been telling parents, having a baby in the NICU is a roller coaster ride. Although accurate, the analogy pales beside the reality. The range of emotions is beyond imagining. There is the moment of joy when she opens her eyes peacefully, followed by panic at the slightest hint of trouble”.
This has been the epitome of our life for the last 100 days. The range of emotions have oscillated from utter despair to complete joy. In the early moments when I didn’t know if my little girl would make it, I was a wreck. A desperate man just begging God to heal his baby. I would cry simply because, at times, I didn’t know what else to do or how else to process our circumstances. There have also been moments have great joy as we’ve watched Davy progress, the first time we heard her voice, or the first time we got to see her beautiful smile.
If you are going through suffering, or life in the NICU, it’s ok to say it’s difficult and challenging because that’s the truth.
Community is essential.
When I wrote about community and suffering, I didn’t even realize at the time how essential of a role our community would play in this season of life. I don’t know if Chelsea and I could have remained sane without them. They have been constant support, prayer warriors, shoulders to cry on, voices of reason, and an incredible maid service (they have cleaned our house so many times that I’m thinking about hiring them to clean it once a week from here on out)!
Acts 4:32 has come alive with our community. “Now the full number of those who believe were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common”. We have been of one heart and soul. They have wept with us and rejoiced with us. They have supported us financially and emotionally, giving all of themselves to us and we’re eternally grateful.
Suffering is a beautiful hermeneutic.
I can remember a sermon that my pastor, Matt Carter, preached awhile back at our church. He was in a conversation with another pastor as they discussed their personal experiences with cancer. The other pastor responded by saying, “Suffering is a beautiful hermeneutic”. What he meant by that statement was when we suffer we see the words of Scripture more clearly. They leap off the pages and tattoo themselves to our souls. We begin to see how weak and dependent we are and how desperately we need God in our lives.
C.S. Lewis in The Problem of Pain, writes, “We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Without a doubt, God has used this circumstance to rouse me to greater faith, love and action in my own life.
God is faithful and near.
Isaiah 41:10 has been an anchor for Chelsea and I. “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”. There have been moments I have doubted God’s presence, goodness and purpose during our time in the NICU, yet he has been steadfast, faithful and patient with me. Over and over again he has reminded me “fear not Scott, for I am with you”. He has strengthened me, He has helped me and He has upheld me with his righteous right hand.
Our suffering has purpose.
Overall, God has shown me that our suffering is not purposeless. I have seen, granted dimly seen, that our suffering is bigger than Chelsea, Davy and I. Yes, God is working all things together for our good (Rom. 8:28), preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Cor. 4:17), but the great Storyteller has woven our story with others who we would have never crossed paths with unless Davy’s situation had happened. I’m able to rejoice over Davy’s condition as I think about the new friends we’ve made (doctors, nurses and fellow NICU families) and those who have been encouraged by Davy’s story. Our suffering has been challenging, yet it has not lacked purpose.
These 100 days have been the most the most difficult and emotionally taxing 100 days of my life, but I’m thankful for them. I don’t know how many more days we will be in the hospital, but I do know one thing – if more days here means that God grows our faith, people get to hear the gospel, others are encouraged by Davy’s story and God get’s more glory – then I’m asking for God to give us the gift of more days here.
Davy Update & Prayer Requests
Davy continues her journey to recovery. All of the IVs have been removed (praise God!) at this point and she only has a NJ and and NG tube running through each nostril. She continues to receive a lot of oxygen support, but is still only using the nasal cannula and hasn’t had to be reintubated. They are still attempting to wean her off all of the medicine she has been on and continue to work on getting her stomach functioning properly.
- Lungs – Pray that Davy’s lungs would continue to grow stronger so that we can get her off oxygen support and one step closer to being home.
- Stomach – Davy is still having challenges with her stomach working properly, so pray that God would fully heal her stomach.
- Chelsea and I – Please pray for Chelsea and I. These 100 days have truly been challenging and exhausting for both of us individually and on our marriage. Pray that the enemy wouldn’t be able to gain a foothold in our lives and pray for us to seek rest in the Lord.