This long winter

For the many of you who were praying for our sweet Lydia while she was in the hospital last week, THANK YOU. This is shaping out to be a long long winter for our family. December brought loss of our sweet baby, Macy who was growing inside me. Followed by 8 weeks of hard symptoms physically for me throughout January. February almost got past us without hiccup, but then our Itty Bitty got really sick, really fast. We rushed her to Children’s Mercy last Monday night. And after a few hours in the ER, they said she had bacterial pneumonia and needed to be admitted ASAP. Through tears, I asked the doctor if she was going to die. The doctor was so sweet and assured us she was in good hands.

Four LONG nights of watching our baby ache. Listening to her screams and not being able to make it better. She was placed in isolation because she tested positive for RSV so we weren’t allowed to leave the room. I cried through the first two nights watching her little tummy move up and down wondering and worrying at the little miracle that God gave me. Each time a doctor came in, I cried some more. Too much loss for me, too many hard nights for this girl lately.

During the dark nights in the hospital room, I kept thinking back to this summer in Orlando, sitting on the sandy beach with my friend Lindsey. We sat at the waters edge, letting it lap up our feet and wash back down. Now ever since I was little, I remember being fascinated with sand. Its kind of weird how much I love feeling it fall through my open fingers. But that day, I held it and let it run through my fingers and I heard from the Lord. He brought to mind Psalm 139:17-18 “How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!” I shared with Lindsey that the Lord was speaking to me, “He loves my kids more than I do.” It was in seeing those tiny grains and realizing that all of my thoughts about my kids, as vast and constant as they are; they are constrained by time. Given the short time they have lived, I couldn’t have had more than a handful of grains of sand’s worth of thoughts about them. Yet, the Lord in his infinite hugeness, has thoughts about us that outnumber all the grains of sand. To be honest, if I think about it too long, my head starts to hurt. How can He love us so much? Its incomparable to any love on earth. I knew He was speaking to a weak spot in my heart that had been growing for 3 years.

I remember the first week Ruth was home with me praying over her, worrying over everything and thinking I love her more than anything. And the Lord reminded me that He loves her more than I do. That week began a walk of faith for me. God was asking me to believe something I don’t fully understand and I can’t see with my eyes. I don’t understand how anyone on earth could love my kids more than their Daddy and I. Yet, God promises from Genesis to Revelation that we are HIS and that He loves us with a mighty love. A love that sent His own Son to die so that we might not be separated from Him. A love that covers all our shortfalls. A love that holds us and sustains us. The Bible tells me His love is better than life. His love can rescue, redeem, and do the impossible. My love just can’t. Now, that doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful but, it is limited, and He has been gently reminding me ever since.

Tuesday night, the crap hit the fan. Lydia was screaming in pain. Josh and I were praying, crying, pleading with the Lord for relief for our sweet baby. The darkness was too much. I told Josh, through tears, that I felt like the Lord had abandoned us. Where was this saving Love I so believe in? Josh just held me and we prayed some more. Then finally the doctor came in to try to help. She agreed Lydia sounded worse and needed new chest x-rays. I begged her for a real bed. We had been sleeping in recliners and Lydia is used to a real bed. She wouldn’t touch the hospital crib they gave her with a 10 foot pole. She was uncomfortable in the recliner but wanted to lay with me. There were literally no options. The nurses had turned us down when we asked for a bed because it is hospital policy to not let anyone under 3 have a bed. They said we had no chance at getting one. So I cried to the doctor and asked her to please do something. The doctor looked at me and said, “Getting a bed would take an act of God.” In other words, she meant, its impossible. But in our desperation I looked her in the eyes and said, “He does those. So see what you can do.” No, she assured me, it wouldn’t work but she would talk with the charge nurse about it to appease me. I was sobbing, Lydia was screaming, Josh was praying.

10 minutes later, she came back. “You are getting a bed,” she told us. She had never seen anyone break policy but the charge nurse that night was willing. It felt like God moved heaven and earth to get my sweet baby a bed. His love does the impossible. His love totally trumps hospital policy. He met me in the darkness and showed us a glimmer of light. He was reminding me, He loves us more. And let me tell you what, my baby LOVED that bed. She slept like a rock on it.

Tonight, I held my 3 year old and sang her to sleep because she is now sick as a dog. My husband and I feel like crap too. Yet, in tonight’s darkness, I believe just a little bit more than I did last week that He loves us more than we could love each other. He wants good for us more than we want it for ourselves. He is good.

When my friend, Cathy, speaks to me of the Lord’s goodness and His love, I believe her because she has literally been near death for years, yet she believes. When my friend, Rebecca, reminds me Jesus is worthy and good, I believe her because her family is walking through unspeakable pain and yet she believes. When my other friends talk to me about God’s love for us, I believe them because they just lost babies too. I hate pain. I would like to run from it for a lifetime, but I think I would look back at my life and see foolishness. Pain is part of this life. So, in my pain, I want to cling to God’s love. I have a lot to learn. For tonight, I will rest in God’s love being bigger than mine. And for you, whoever you are, I pray he will give you a bed, or whatever you need to be reminded of His Mighty Love for you and yours.

Look at that sweet girl in her miracle bed 🙂

“For the Lord your God is living among you.
    He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
    With his love, he will calm all your fears.
    He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

Zephaniah 3:17


2 thoughts on “This long winter

  1. Cindy says:

    Oh Maddie, I’m smiling- I’m crying. I love your honesty and authentic faith! What a journey we are on- this thing called life. Thank you for sharing your heart and shining His light! You bless my socks off dear one! hugs

  2. Patricia A says:

    This brought tears to eyes. I never knew to what extent you and josh had been going through, so I had to read your blog to know how to be praying for your family.
    Little did I know this brought more encouragement To me than I ever thought could. You’ve always been a woman I have looked up to, and it still never fails. I’m so encouraged by The Lord and his provision in your life and your family’s life.
    I’m praying for you- for so much. Thank you for your commitment to our Father. I’m so thankful.

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