"What would have become of me had I not believed that I would see the Lord's goodness in the land of the LIVING. Wait, hope for and EXPECT the Lord. Be strong and of good courage and may your heart (Ned) be sturdy and enduring.....Yes, Wait For and Hope For and Expect the Lord."

Psalm 27:13-14 (Amp)

Monday, January 28, 2008

I must confess....

Before I give any updates on Ned this morning, I need to share with everyone where I am spiritually so that I can get this small voice out of the back of my head. I have struggled the past two days, not with my faith, but with my endurance. I suppose that with Travis leaving and things going so well with Ned, I have just been put in a place where I feel very afraid of the next step. I feel like in order to move forward, I am walking a very narrow path and I fear slipping and failing in a way that will reflect poorly on God. I have to line out what it is that is going on within me spiritually so I can be clear that my shortcomings are in no was a reflection of what God can do in my life.

For the past two days, I have felt extremely burdened by the amounts of emails I have received thanking me and praising me for my faith. While I am completely humbled by them, the amount of responsibility I feel because of them has been overwhelming. I am less concerned about faltering in front of people who know me, but the thought that someone may interpret my weakness as a weakness of God is really weighing on me. All day yesterday, I had a voice in my head throwing every possible fear at me. I have to put all this on the table so I can move forward confidently following God. I believe that Ned's situation has really sparked people to sincerely and earnestly pray and bring themselves before His throne and it is for that reason that I think I feel so threatened.

The fears that burdened me yesterday ranged from thoughts that 'just because Ned has done this well so far, doesn't mean that you're bringing him home' to thinking about how I couldn't stay here at the Ronald McDonald house and clean-up if I knew Ned wasn't going to be with me. I fear that if his condition severely worsens or if my worst nightmare comes to pass that I won't be able to find God's purpose in it and I won't have anything left to share from His word. And that if I can't find my way, all that I have said and posted up to this point will seem fraudulent and phoney. So I am saying this now, regardless of path down which the Lord leads our family, Travis and I will continue to believe in, worship and praise our almighty God. We choose to build our home on the firm foundation of God and in that safe dwelling we will seek comfort and refuge. Please continue to pray that I will be able to keep my eyes firmly focused on Jesus and that in the light of His glory, my fears will be relieved.

Now that I have gotten that off my chest, little Ned is doing well. We received his genetic test results back today.....completely normal- Praise God!! The doctors are still wanting to do a more in-depth analysis becuase he had several anomolies, but I feel completely assured that he is fine. In fact, one of the reasons they mentioned this morning that they were seeking further testing was that they said he didn't have a spleen (according to an ultrasound). But, the surgeon had mentioned to Travis and I that Ned's spleen looked completely normal when he put it back in place during his hernia repair. I guess that just hadn't made it into the paper file so they said they would confirm that with Dr. Adamson and would basically ignore the ultrasound report concerning that.

They are working him down on his vent settings in hopes of having him back on the conventional vent by Wednesday. The cardiologist would like to perform a little procedure where they will insert dye into his heart so they can get a better look at his aorta to make some determinations about surgery. I suppose we'll have a better idea about a timeframe for the heart surgery following that procedure on Wednesday.

Otherwise, he has been doing great! They have had to increase his sedation medications a bit because he's such a little fighter that he continually tries to breathe over the vent and yesterday when I visited, he continually tried to open his eyes and look for me. He was also having the hiccups. I was afraid that the hiccups would cause his patch to tear and I hated the fact that he seems to be trying to find me. It makes me feel like he is hurting or uncomfortable because he seems so unsettled. When I was talking to him yesterday afternoon I just kept saying, "just rest in the fact that I'm here and I'll always be right here....you don't have to see me." It hurt my heart to see him agitated. The nurses assured me that he wasn't in any pain or his heart rate would have been increasing. I layed my hands on Ned's little body and asked God that if there was to be pain and suffering in this journey, please let me endure it all. I can't bear the thought of Ned having to be in pain or feel afraid or abandoned. I know how terribly that hurt my heart and I thought so much of how Jesus must have felt as he faced the cross. His love for each of us was so tremendous and sacrificial that he couldn't bear the thought of any of us having to endure such pain and suffering so He willingly endured it for us.

That's basically it for now. I'm heading back to the hospital to sit with Ned and see if they have gotten the results from the ultrasound of his head or his chest x-ray yet. I will keep everyone posted. I appreciate your prayers and don't know how or if I could begin to handle this without them. I heard a sermon online today which really spoke to my current situation. Here's the link:
http://www.elevationchurch.org/media/player.php
(Then click on "The Method and the madness of God") It's a great sermon about the way God works in our lives and through us. It gave me great reassurance.

I love you all!
Betsy, Travis, Jack & Ned

15 comments:

Tammy said...

Betsy,
As I read your blog I had to write you. That small voice was that of the Devil. He is trying to interrupt and cause you to question. Your faith and full trust in God is what others are seeing and you know Satan does not want that. Remember Ephesians 6:11
Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 13: Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy, Then after the battle you will be standing firm. 15: For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the good news so that you will be fully prepared. 16: In addition to all of these hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet and take the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. You keep speaking boldy of the ways that God is working in your life!! The devil is just upset that with GOD working in you, you are reaching so many. It is only natural for you to be afraid but just remember God does not give us more than we can bear. 1 Corinthians 10:12
We will be praying for you, Ned, Travis & Jack. We love you, Tammy, Randy & Colby

sherry hefner said...

Betsy, I know I haven't been able to talk to you in person very much over the last few months....an occassional wave or hello from a distance was the norm. (I have been battling illness too) But I have been praying for you continually--just desiring to give you the space you need. Be encouraged! You are a blessing to many...

When I look to God's Word, only one thing impresses more than all the miracles...and that's how God used everyday people to perservere in His name. Their faith in the midst of suffering, weakness, and utter humaness is what brings me to amazement.

Satan will try to defeat you during this time...and you knew he would. But your declaration of praise and worship to Christ in all circumstances crushes his head! God brings honor to His own name.

Isaiah 64:8....Sending love and prayers your way (Please pray for me too...that I will yield to the Potter's hand,as He continues to work with me through fiery trials)...Sherry

Jennifer Smith said...

Every sermon at Elevation Church is wonderful!

sherry hefner said...

Betsy, Hate to write twice in one day but as I was reading during a quiet time tonite I came across this wonderful poem from the book entitled, "My Heart's Cry," by Anne Graham Lotz. Have you read it? It is so wonderful...AGL is such an inspirational writer and speaker. This book was recommended to me several years ago by Paul and Lynette Taylor during one of their visits.

Anne says that during a particularly difficult time years ago, her mother (Ruth Graham) shared these words from an old hymn that still bring her comfort:

Trust Him when dark doubts assail thee,
Trust Him when thy strength is small,
Trust Him when to simply trust Him,
Seems the hardest thing of all.

I have a copy of this wonderful and encouraging book, if you would like to read it sometime.

Having faith that all the x-rays from little Ned will be great. Sherry

Anonymous said...

may the peace of the Lord be with you

Tricia said...

Oh, Betsy...
I can identify with every feeling and concern that you expressed. Absolutely every word.

I can't tell you how many times I thought that if the Lord never gives us more than we can bear, that he must think that I'm a whole lot stronger than I am. But in those moments I realized that it was HIS strength that I needed to rely on.

No matter what the outcome, God is loving and good, and worthy of our worship and praise. He is still on the throne. We were never promised that life would be easy or comfortable, but we were promised that He will never leave us.

The lyrics to the song "His Strength is Perfect" keep running through my mind the past few weeks... I'll share them with you here...
I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
But sometimes I wonder what He can do through me
No glory on my own
Yet in my weakness He is there to let me know . . .

Chorus
His strength is perfect when our strength is gone
He'll carry us when we can't carry on
Raised in His power, the weak become strong
His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect

We can only know
The power that He holds
When we truly see how deep our weakness goes
His strength in us begins
Where ours comes to an end
He hears our humble cry and proves again . . .

Ned is beautiful and strong. He is fighting so hard. I'm so glad to hear that he's doing so much better. I know it is SO difficult to watch him suffering and not being able to scoop him up into your arms. Please try to picture Jesus cradling him in his arms and whispering words of love into his ears and heart while you're not with him.

You and your family are in my prayers. I will add Ned's link to my blog and alert people to pray for him.

~Tricia

P.S. Thank you so much for your comments on my blog. They mean a lot to me.

If you ever need to email me, I am kariabi at earthlink dot net :)

Dixie said...

I don't know you directly, but we share a mutual friend, Trish Blackwood. She sent me a link to this site several days ago and I have been following Ned's progress each day. I am keeping your entire family in my thoughts and prayers. Please don't be critical of yourself for having doubts or fears or feeling weak at times. You're human and you're normal! You know that God is leading you down this road for a reason, but also remember that there are many others traveling with you and cheering you on! Try to take strength and comfort from those around you - in person and through this website. You all have a LOT of folks thinking about you and praying for you all -- many of whom you've never met.

Cheryl said...

Betsy and family,
So moved by your humanness. There is so much more in this journey that you will never fully understand but just knowing that yor faith WILL sustain you is the comfort that you will take with you every time you meet with a doctor or view a report on Ned. Hold tight to the thought that God is cuddling Ned when you can't and he it also cuddling you when you feel inadequate. You already have shown such strength that don't be too hard on yourself for your thoughts. Feel the many prayers for strength and healing that are being lifted up for Ned and his family. Love, Cheryl Ann

Callie Clark Billings said...

Betsy and Travis, to you both, your love for the Lord is awesome. The most important thing I have learned is to keep believing in Him. He supplies and all we have to do is ask. A friend is going through chemo w/ her 10yo and she puts her faith in Jesus just as you have and what she says every day is to keep believing. If you don't have the faith to believe in the Lord, you don't even have hope and that is the first step. I wish you all happiness in the end which may seem so far away now, but Jesus is the light at the end. He does not burden you w/ more than you can handle. Look to Him at all times, and praise Him in all aspects of your life. Thinking and praying for you all.
An old high school friend,
Callie Clark Billings

Anonymous said...

Betsy,
I sent you an email and thought that I was posting this on the blog (rookie error). Anyway, your journey has been a blessing to so many people. Please don't feel burdoned by everyone embracing you and your journey. Continue to: "trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on my own understanding, in all my ways acknowledge him and he will make my path straight." I know that your sweet spirit is one that does not like a lot of attention or to be in the spotlight, but so many people are drawn to the work that God is doing in your family. You have and are continuing to do what our Father would expect so please know that your faith is the testimony that you have left during this trial. Patton is doing great. Holden takes him out every morning before school to use potty. I've been loving on him and telling him that you love him too. We are continuing to pray for your entire family.
God Bless you all!
Chastity

Amy AKA "Baba" said...

Betsy,
We are experiencing so many similar trials and tribulations at the same time. Please know that you are in my continued thoughts and prayers. Ned is such a strong little one. I appreciate your comments on our blog. I too check in with Ned when I update Liviana's page or read her comments. I take comfort in knowing I am not alone in these emotions and experiences as I hope you do too.
Amy

sierra said...

Good Afternoon, I check on the computer everyday to check on Ned's improvement. We just wanted you to know that you are in our constant thoughts and prayers. I loved it when you said that he was trying to find you, but I know that was hard for you. It want be long til all of this that your going through will be alot easier, and we are praying for those days. We love all of you and will check in tomorrow. Sincerely, The Alexander's, Kim, Donald, Brock and Emily

Callie Rayfield Hahn said...

Betsy and Travis,
I think of your family and pray for you daily. I pray for God to give you all the strengh you need to make it through this battle. I want to thank you for everything you have shared on your blog; it is a blessing to read. I love the pictures of Ned (he is beautiful).It is amazing how God works!!
Your Friend,
Callie Rayfield Hahn

Heather said...

Betsy, Travis, Jack, and Baby Ned,

Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Your strength and faith in God is amazing. His miracles never cease. Mary Elisabeth and I have been checking your blog daily. She has been asking to come see you all. We will continue to pray for you. We love you all!

Elizabeth said...

Betsy,

As a Mom of an angel - I had to respond to this. I experienced the same and our girl made some excellent progress but sometimes - and at that time - some of the medicine wasn't as evolved as today. Just 8 years ago. I did falter, wonder but my faith though it waivered - it never left me. There is a master plan and one day we will know the reasoning.

There were times I thought - how did I get through this or that - I know now - He was always beside me getting me through.

Please rest and remember to take care of you through all of this - you just had a baby and the stress level of Ned's condition - is almost insane.

I am keeping you all in my thoughts, prayers and LUNG FUNCTION chants....
Elizabeth