Hey friends – God willing, this will be one of the last formal #davystrong updates that Chelsea Frazier or I ever have to write. She will always be Davy Strong to us and to all who supported her through her CDH journey, but seemingly this will be our summit moment where we’ll begin the descent from the mountain top into some sense of normalcy.
This beautiful girl has surgery tomorrow to remove her g-button, the last physical representation of her great struggle outside of the scars that will continue to speak her story of God’s faithfulness to the world. What a journey? Am I right?!? I sit here writing this post in awe of the pilgrimage we have been blessed by God to travel alongside of you. Before tomorrow I wanted to take a moment to raise an Ebenezer to the Lord who has been our refuge, strength and ever-present help in time of need.
First and foremost, God has been, as Psalm 46 proclaims, ever present. I debated between the words good or faithful here, but they were not precise to our situation. Yes, he is good and yes he has been faithful, truly more faithful than the rising sun. However, the greatest attribute of God I celebrated over the last four years was His omnipresence or his continuous presence everywhere we went.
Whether it was the precarious first few weeks where we didn’t know if we would ever the gift of a future with our little girl or two years in the maddening one step forward, two steps backward “progress” of therapy where we didn’t know if healing would ever arrive with any type of expediency – He was present. Where can we go from your Spirit? Where can we flee from your presence? He is there with us in our deepest despair and our greatest hope, our most crushing losses and most celebratory victories.
Even when I couldn’t feel his presence, there was undoubted assurance that he was ever present, speaking tenderly and fatherly to our fears. No matter where we walk or what we walk through God will be present.
“If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you” (Ps. 139:7-12).
Second, we must know that suffering is a severe mercy. As Sheldon Vanauken poetically penned, this suffering – our suffering – was a mercy as severe as death, a severity as merciful as love. Suffering ruthlessly (maybe graciously?) tears away the concept that we are somehow in control and invincible. Suffering strips away our pretense about life and reveals the truth – life is incredibly fragile and tragic, yet that God is even more beautiful than you have ever conceived in your wildest imaginations. It’s true that you don’t know how good Jesus is until Jesus is all that you have.
In the furnace, all your unrealistic views of the world and about yourself get burned up and just when you think the flames will consume you as well, your eyes look up and behold there is one whose appearance is like “a son of the gods” protecting and perfecting you into his image (Dan. 3:24).
We don’t deplore our suffering, but instead we rejoice in our suffering because we rejoice as those with hope. We know our suffering is but “light and momentary affliction preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” (2 Cor. 3:17). Let us suffer with tears in our eyes, but worship on our tongues knowing that “resurrection is not just consolation – it is restoration. We get it all back – the love, the loved ones, the good, the beauties of this life – but in new, unimaginable degrees of glory and joy and strength” – Tim Keller.
Lastly, how would we have endured without the church, community and deep friends? There were moments of deep weakness and sadness that were carried by my brothers without an ounce of hesitation. There were friends who held up our arms when we were too weak to do so (Ex. 17:12). There was community in over 100 countries across the globe that linked spiritual arms to war on behalf of my little girl through prayer. I look forward to celebrating all you unknown, global saints when we gaze upon the beauty of God together one day in heaven.
We know that it is not good for man to be alone (Gen. 2:18) and that our endurance is bound up in each other. We can not say thank you enough to all who kept us overly caffeinated, fed, and cared for – physically, spiritually and monetarily – over the course of this whole saga. My words will eternally and embarrassingly fall short to all the praise you deserve – but thank you, we love you and we will forever be grateful for you.
So as we endeavor into tomorrow would you pray for God to be with Davy girl, the wisdom of our medical team and for our family to continue to be a light unto the world as we venture back into the hospital where both joy and sadness are in an continuous dance.
Soli Deo Gloria. #davystrong