Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ministry and Waiting Rooms

I usually try not to ask questions like, "Why me?" I think it's because I see enough around me to ask, "Why not me?" But I also think God knows my heart and probably knows that at some level, I do wonder, sometimes. (I also think He loves me more than I even love my children, so He has compassion on me.) It does help me, some, to see a positive thing come from a period of suffering. Or from a prayer that is not answered in the way I asked.

Like before Mallorie was born, the ONE thing I consistently asked God was not to let the sac on her back (where the spine hadn't finished closing) to open. But it did burst open in delivery. My OB knows better than anyone how that one thing rocked me. Why didn't God answer just the one thing I was asking for? It was weeks later that I realized that if God had answered that prayer in the way I had asked, then Mallorie probably wouldn't have had the extended NICU stay. My plan was going home and then to Dallas, where I'd heard there was at least one neurosurgeon who would be willing to close her back, regardless of whatever genetic abnormality she might or might not have. But we were definitely not equipped to bring her home, and she really needed the time with attentive nurses to watch over her and resuscitate her if she had apnea, and needed time for them to learn how she did with caffeine. So what looked like God didn't listen to me, was really Him answering all those desires I didn't yet trust Him to pray for. Like for a living, breathing baby to bring home. I hoped for that, but don't honestly know how often I prayed specifically that way, until we got close to delivery.

So why is Mallorie hospitalized today? Unfortunately, I don't usually see good things about her hospitalizations until much later, in retrospect. I used to get Google alerts about blog posts that included trisomy 18 and 13 (back when I thought I had time to keep up with such things). And I had found Witt's blog. Today, I spoke with his grandmother, and was able to tell them of a program the family needs for Witt. So maybe one reason Mallorie is here was for Witt. And why is Witt here? As I left the PICU waiting room, I saw his grandma speaking words of hope to a young dad who had been sobbing to someone on his cell while she and I had been talking. I wasn't near to hear what she said, but the effect was clear on the dad's face and in his posture. I usually feel at a loss for the right words, and feel I often end up saying useless or just plain wrong things. But God gave Witt's grandma the right words this time.

Ever since reading this post on the Bring the Rain blog, which is always an encouragement to me, I have wondered about opportunities that might be around me for ministry. Please don't think I am really good about responding to God's leadings - in my own self-centered thinking, I probably miss several opportunities. Or try to do it on my own, and as I've said ... my words aren't much use to anyone (even to me!). But today God allowed me to get a small glimpse of the way He can use any of us, in any situation where we are found. Not that Witt is here only for that young dad, or that Mallorie is here only for Witt's family. But while we are here, we can be salt and light.

And today, I think Mallorie started looking in my direction when I was talking to her. :) Good thing, too, because they are getting ready for extubating her tomorrow. Please pray.

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? ... You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:13-16


The VW's said...

What a powerful and uplifting post! I needed to read these words today.....so Thank You!

I was just thinking about the many people that I know who are suffering and thinking of my own suffering that I've dealt with and I was feeling so burdened by the world! I was feeling guilty for even questioning God.....like I qualify or something?!

When I think back on times that I felt overwhelmed and wondered why my prayers weren't "answered", I can almost always see the reason thi8ngs went the way that they did in retrospect!

I was also thinking that I shouldn't really feel guilty, because God knows that we are only human and that we can't possibly NOT feel the pain and suffering. He understands! We only know earthly things and emotions, so obviously we will ask "Why?" every once in awhile. The most important thing is that we remember WHO knows and holds the future and to keep our faith and eyes on Him!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts today! You have blessed me with them!

Praying that extubation goes well tomorrow! Give your sweet girl a hug and kiss from me! Love, Hugs and Prayers!!!

Cathy said...

Will be praying for extubation to go well tomorrow. That Jesus will be with Mallorie and guide that drs. hand. That it be His will for extubation and His perfect timing. I bet you have ministered to many more in the time you have been there.

Anonymous said...

I will keep praying for little Mal and your family. You all are in our thoughts and prayers.

st. elizabeth er nurses/staff