When I become quiet in the blog world, you can pretty much bet it's only either I'm enjoying my life too much or I'm in deep despair. Well, these past couple of weeks were definitely about the latter. Most of you are aware that Noah got hospitalized and we were in the pediatric ICU (PICU) for close to two days (though it felt more like a week to me, to be honest). To make the long story short, it all started with a bad cough and high fever (hovering around 104deg F) and then was finally diagnosed with pneumonia caused by RSV. The worst part of it was when the doctors found, after doing initial blood analysis, that my baby's platelets and white blood cells were so suppressed that they wanted to explore the possibility of leukemia or some other blood disorder! What started out as a bad cough can end in cancer??? How can this be?! Not MY baby??!!!
My mind was racing uncontrollably and the tears started to gush. I felt the helplessness that any parent feels when you are willing to give anything to help your child and yet you know that there is really nothing to give that anyone can or will take that will guarantee the result you desire. It's that point of the journey where you need to go down....down on your knees and pray...pray to the God I've resented...the God I've distanced myself from....the God I shunned and told to keep away from me...the same God I got tired being angry at but still doubted. This time, I had no other choice but to talk to Him, beg Him with whatever broken faith I had in my hands. With all honesty, I had to cry to Him...
You can't do this to me. You've already taken away one child, but please....not this one too. Take anything else, take me, but not my Noah. What do you want me to do, give, or give up? I will do it, just please make my son well again.
The 'funny' thing about our God is that He's really not into 'deals' or 'bargains', for better or worse. The moment I offered a deal, the answer almost instantaneously came over me and it really wasn't anything that would be a huge loss for me.
Believe...that is all. At that moment, that was the answer that came. I needed to believe again. With my helplessness and despair, there was only one thing to hold on to and that was my faith in this Higher power I will never understand, this Force far too strong and encompassing to be denied and crushed by my limited mental capacity or logic.
In that small hospital room, I found Him again. A part of me still refuses to see the strength and brilliance of this God but even my stubborn spirit cannot deny the glimmer that persists amidst the darkness I was in. He was there. He is and He remains. He sent people to support us, pray for us, comfort us. And something odd happened that I can't explain any other way than to accept that God does not want to be done with me.
Upon admission to the PICU, we were asked a number of questions by the nurse, one of which was whether or not we would like a chaplain to come visit or speak with us. I specifically declined and the nurse jotted it down. But on the day Noah was to be discharged, an older lady knocked on our door and introduced herself as the chaplain. I did not want to be rude so I decided to let her in. At that point too, I knew He was speaking to me again so I just thought, "You just don't give up, do You?" I spoke with the lady and told her about our ordeal the past 24 hours or so and at some point, broke down and cried as I spoke of how special Noah is being an IVF baby. As fate would have it, this lady also had failed attempts at getting pregnant, had tubal pregnancies as well, until finally she opted for adoption. She said she understood completely how I felt and how protective we always are of our children, no matter how old they get. She prayed for Noah's healing and for my healing as well. She also prayed for discernment once AJ and I become ready to face the question of whether or not we would like to try for another child.
So you see, I have been pulled back. You cannot accuse me for not trying hard enough to move away and reject Him, but the truth is, I am no match for this God. He will find ways to make you see Him, feel Him, and rediscover Him. He finds ways to gently reveal Himself to you when you least expect it but when you most need it. With all humility, I will admit to you that when there was nothing else and I felt most powerless, my first instinct was still to clasp my hands together and bow my head. My lifeline remained to be this indispensable Catholic side of me that cannot just be washed off like a stubborn stain on my being. I found Him again in that hospital room and all He kept saying was...
I have always been here and will always be.
I have always been here and will always be.