Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Turning Points in Life
I had plans. . . . expectations. . . dreams.
They crumbled as I listened to the doctor's words. . ..
Your baby has a five percent chance to live.
If she lives she has a five percent chance to ever walk, a five percent chance to talk or do anything else.
With the doctor's devastating words echoing through my mind I began a journey I had not prepared for. I entered the unfamiliar world of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
My lay in a coma with machines breathing for her, monitoring her vital signs, her heart and her body temperature while tubes provided nourishment and medications.
Helplessly I watched. Tears flowed freely. The 5%, 5%, 5% pounded out the plans for easily integrating a fourth child into our family. How did this happen? Why? No one seemed to have answers to these questions.
I stood beside her incubator on the second day feeling helpless and devastated. A huge turning point happened in my life in the next few moments. As I closed my eyes and begged God one more time for a miracle, He spoke to me.
First it appeared that my Bible had opened to Philippians 4:6,7. I read these verses:
"Do not be anxious for anything but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace that transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." (NIV)
Then He asked me, "Do you trust me and believe I can heal your daughter completely and instantly?"
My affirmative answer came without hesitation.
He asked a second time, "Do you trust me to heal her a little at a time by giving the doctors the insight they need?"
Again I did not hesitate, "Yes Lord I have been asking and hoping for your touch on her life."
A third time God questioned me, "Will you still trust me if I heal your daughter by taking her home to heaven?"
I paused before answering, "Forgive me for my lack of thankfulness. You have given us a beautiful daughter and never promised how long she would be with us. I know you love me. I know you love her more than I ever could. God she is yours. I pray that you will give me strength and grow my trust and faith."
In that turning point I felt the peace of God wrap around me like a warm blanket. I opened my eyes and nothing had changed except in my heart.
God continued to work on my heart, teaching me valuable lessons that have stuck with me since that Plan B turning point. The first one, one that I still struggle with is patience. Waiting on God's timing and plans instead of my own. On the third day she woke up but had lost her voice and her sucking reflex.
I began to learn another lesson – one that I am also still working on. I began to remember to be grateful and celebrate each small step.
On that third day I celebrated getting to hold my baby for the first time and that she was breathing on her own.
On the sixth day I chose to celebrate that she was strong enough to have a CT scan even as the doctor's words, "There is so much swelling we can not pinpoint the areas that are damaged or the amount of damage." caused fear to flutter in my heart.
On day eight the doctor told me, "I do not know why I am able to tell you this. It is medially impossible but you can take your baby home today."
I have been on this journey for over thirty-four years. It has been filled with many medical appointments, health crisis, physical, occupational and speech therapy sessions. Specialists have told us over the years that everything she can do is medically impossible giving us a huge reason to celebrate and also to give God the glory. I received the miracle I so desperately hoped for that first day even though it has taken over three decades and it has never looked like what I expected.
I have often found myself in Plan B situations when life takes unexpected detours from my original plan. There have also been many turning points in my life. Yet this one stands out so clearly and I am often reminded of it my plans, dreams and expectations disintegrate. But God remains the same and I know that trusting Him does not mean an escape from reality or problems yet hope born from a faith and trust in God changes how I see myself and what I value. What turning point in your life stands out from all the rest? What lessons on hope, faith and trust did it help you learn?
Carol Harrison is a speaker, author and storyteller who lives in Saskatoon, SK with her husband and youngest daughter. She enjoys sharing messages to encourage others in the tough times of life.
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