Recently, I was visiting my dear friend in the hospital after… you won’t believe this… 56 hours of labour. Not only was it two and a half days long, with many jaw-dropping details and horrors, but for the grand finale, the doctors had to use the vacuum and forceps to try to deliver the baby that resulted in pretty severe damage to her head. The day after she was born, she was taken by ambulance to a city hospital to be monitored for suspected brain damage. At the point of my visit, she was two days old and they were waiting for an ultrasound to determine if the delivery process had caused bleeding of the brain which could have resulted in permanent brain damage. Whew. Soup is much easier to get over.
My mind was spinning to all the possibilities. What does this mean for my friend? What will this precious little baby’s future will look like? Why didn’t they do a C-section? Why didn’t someone take more precaution? I questioned the process and felt like screaming; all the while not realizing that my questioning and reasoning would do nothing to undo what had already been done.
The conversation continued. Who knows what would’ve happened if there had been a C-section? You can’t forget that’s major surgery as well. Plenty of complications can result from that route too. You can’t assume that would’ve been a better option. You don’t know.
But we’d like to think so wouldn’t we? Anything that isn’t our currently reality often seems like the better choice.
Then my friend’s mother-in-law interrupted my downward spiral of thinking with something I will never forget.
Live forward. Even if she’s brain damaged, she’s a perfect gift from God. He is sovereign. You’ve got to live forward. She’s yours. You guys will love her. She’s perfect and you live forward.
As I let that truth soak in, my dialogue with the unchangeable past was quieted. But… Live forward. What if… ? Live forward.
I’m learning (present tense) that living forward is trusting God’s presence in the present. It’s choosing not to dwell on the past and to be paralyzed by that plaguing question, what if? It is trusting in God’s sovereignty when we want to blame human error. It is believing that no matter how hard the situation we face is, we are held in loving, capable and powerful hands.
I was listening to a devotional by Jennifer Rothschild and the truth of her words further deepened the roots of this lesson in my heart.
God’s presence is in the IS, not the IF. He is I AM. Not I wish… not I hope… not I think. I AM.
God called this scripture to mind- Isaiah 43:18-19:
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."
I am thankful that God doesn’t just tell me to wipe my tears, stop my questions and get on it with already. In his mercy, He allows me to sometimes just “sit on the floor and cry” if I must. But his grace always invites me to more. He so badly wants me to choose abundant life. He wants me to see the new thing He is doing.
If you’ve ever seen a plant springing up, you know that you may only be able to see a tiny piece of what’s coming. But it’s enough to make you sure of it. He’s making a way for me to walk through wilderness and providing refreshment for what may feel like a wasteland in my life.
He wants us to trust that His presence is in our IS and that He is I AM. Always. Today. No matter what. And tomorrow too.
I am SO thankful that I can report sweet little Brooklyn was given a clean bill of health and sent home two days later. She is just about 3 weeks old and healing up, growing fast and keeping her new parents busy!
I have another story for you in part 3… A journey that has only just begun and doesn't have a “finish line” so to speak. It’s a true testimony of living forward, one that requires a marathon type of trust.