A Blessing in Disguise…

19 God is not a man, that he should lie,
nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
Does he promise and not fulfill?

Numbers 23:19

Sometimes it’s hard to see God’s hand at work when you’re in the middle of a storm. Or at least what feels like a storm. Often it’s only in hindsight we’re able to recognize God’s provision & purpose, and remember that even when we can’t see it, we’re still right in the middle of His plan for our lives.

I had forgotten this for a while.

Before Zoe was born, someone had told me that although her birth would be different than Faith’s, it would be just as special to us. This was so hard for me to believe. To me, Faith’s birth had been perfect. And now with Zoe, we were facing a different type of delivery, at least one surgery, and a lot of unknowns. How could this experience be special when I was scared to death?

I have since come to learn that friend was right.

Although it was an entirely different experience than when Faith was born, it was just as meaningful. I have fond memories of the delivery nurses holding Zoe over the curtain for me to see her tiny feet. Of hearing her squeal & cry while she was cleaned up. Of seeing her daddy & my husband be the first one to really hold her. I even came to enjoy the very long trips from my room to the NICU, with John racing my wheelchair down the 1/4 mile long hallway to the Children’s Hospital (might not be such fond memories for him having to push the thing!).

I remember the day I held Zoe for the first time.

Of course, just as there were so many ups, we had our share of downs. Handing my new baby off to a team of OR nurses & doctors and watching them walk away with her was a feeling I’ll never forget. Feeling torn between my two girls. That feeling of nervousness I felt each time I walked into the NICU.

Then there’s the night I finally felt like God had forgotten our family. Running on zero hours of sleep, we brought Zoe into the ER late because her back incision was draining & I knew this shouldn’t happen. We expected a few extra stitches, yet we got a lot more than we bargained for. After countless numbers of doctors, MRI scans, needle sticks, and questioning from momma (don’t think the ER nurses appreciated the fact that I also work in healthcare 😉 ) it was determined that Zoe needed her shunt.

We had expected this. We had been prepared for this. But not that night.

I just wanted to wrap my baby up & take her home. Yet instead, we were wrapping her up & sending her back to the OR again.

In the middle of this madness, I was angry that the God we have served, loved, & devoted our lives & family to would allow my daughter to have to undergo two surgeries before she was even two weeks old. I was angry because I knew He could fix this, and yet it felt as though He was standing silently on the sidelines just watching as we sank in the chaos.

Looking back now, I can see that wasn’t the case at all. It’s easy to see just how much God has and continues to provide for our family now. Even in little things. A bed in our ER room so we could sleep. Free meals at the hospital. Nurses who came to love our daughter. An unexpected shunt placement which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Countless numbers of meals at home made by dear friends.

I still know & believe that God is good. That He loves us more than we’ll ever realize. And that He’s given our family a story to tell. We don’t know the end, and I know there will continue to be tough pages we’ll have to get through. But I still believe that He is writing our story, and it will be so much better than what it would have been if we had not allowed Him to write this particular piece.

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3 thoughts on “A Blessing in Disguise…

  1. THAT’S exactly how we knew Jonathan need a shunt, his back was leaking CSF. He was 11 days.  So glad y’all are feeling better and getting back into a groove. She really is doing amazingly well, I have high hopes for little Zoe:) God is good.

  2. Hillary – you make me cry every time I read your blog. You are an amazing person, a beautiful woman, and a great Mom.

    I remember a time when my daughter was very sick and I felt what you describe so well. I knew that the Great Healer could take care of this, and I wondered why He stood by when we tried to lead fathful lives.

    The healing that came was to open my eyes to see that He worked through the gifted and generous caregivers that entered our lives. He asked me to just put my trust in Him, and He always put the next right step in front of us. Never the whole journey, only what we needed to do next. And it was always thru a gifted human being that we were able to see His work in brnging Emily to wellness.

    Zoe is a gift to the world. You and John are gifts to Zoe (and Faith). God is indeed good – and generous.

  3. It’s Shannon, from the SB – BBC board, just doing a little blog stalking to learn more about your kiddos. I am a special needs blogging mom myself and I am continually amazed at the encouragement I can find by reading about others. Thanks again for your help on my newly required medical procedure! 😉

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