"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, February 25, 2008

On the Brink of the Home Stretch!!

The doctors performed a respiratory test on Ned this afternoon to get a better feel for how his lungs were progressing. I'm assuming they are feeling pretty good about his progress because they have scheduled a second attempt for extubation in the morning!!! My anxiety level is completely through the roof- I suppose it's because I know that this could really be it for us! If we can get Ned off the vent, we can soon move to the floor and start working on bottle feeding and getting him home! I have butterflies in my stomach like I'm gearing up for some big athletic competition or something. I don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight. Some of you better beware, I may be praying you out of your sleep again for extra assistance?

Ned is definitely ready for the vent tube to come out. He has been making extra-aggressive attempts to remove it himself all day! When I left, the nurses had "lovingly" pinned his arms to his bed sheets to prevent him from pulling the tube out himself. Ned didn't seem particularly thrilled with the new arrangement- He was extremely agitated and giving lots of the silent cries!

As I pulled out of the hospital, I let out some cries of my own...not all that silent though. As I prayed, I explained to God that it wasn't that I wasn't so very grateful and thankful for all He had done for and through my family and my son, it was just that my heart was broken to see him suffering so. If I could only bear his suffering myself, I would. The Lord showed me that in that same vein of love, he couldn't bear to watch his children suffer either, so He chose to take our suffering from us. His love for us makes so much more sense to me the more experiences I have as a parent. I realize that it would be easy to look at our situation now and think that we haven't been spared any suffering at all, in fact, quite the opposite, it may appear that God is heaping suffering on us? I have had times of real saddness and real fear, but I have never had moments of feeling lonely or abandoned or unloved by our Heavenly Father. In the darkest hours of my journey, I have always known that I have stood on the solid rock of Jesus and that though my path may seem uncertain, it would be lit by His glory and grace.

There are times when I post things here that I realize are difficult for some to grasp and digest. There are things that I post here that are difficult for me to say out loud (or virtually outloud as it would be). When I felt the Lord urging me to start sharing with others what He was doing in my life, that is why I resisted for so long. It was easy for me to share God's goodness in my Sunday School or Bible study groups, but not just with the general population. I'm certain that I appear to be a complete Jesus freak to some and all I can say is, I am. This is not a place I came to because I suddenly needed "religion" as I faced the uncertainty of a child with birth defects, this is a place to which I was brought because I sought to understand the Truth. All I want to say tonight is that all that I write about Jesus and how He sustains me is real. My attitude and ability to pleasantly endure hasn't been due to any of my own abilities....trust me! I have been slowing progressing to this point in my life where I could honestly share my feelings about my God outside of any religious atmosphere and the main thing I want to share is how very real it is because I never understood that.

I always prayed. Since I was saved at age 8, I prayed every night at bedtime. I gave God a complete list of everything I thought He should be taking care of that day, or at least in the near future. I never prayed for myself, that seemed selfish. It never crossed my mind to pray in a conversational tone. In my world, God's role was limited strictly to listening to my commands? How completely bizzarre does that sound? When I was in college, I believe it was my Sophmore year, I read a book. It wasn't a class assignment, just something I grabbed off the shelf at home on my way back to college one weekend- In His Steps by Charles Sheldon. That book changed my entire perception of how I should relate to God. In my bedroom, I got on my knees and prayed that God would begin to work in and through my life and that I might learn to listen to Him- a whole new concept for me!! My life began changing at that moment. It is certainly a never-ending progression, but I'm so thankful that it doesn't end, that there is no end to His goodness. It is in the infinite nature of God that I now find my fulfillment. Ten years ago, I would have kept a respectable distance from the person writing this blog. Now, I'm just confidently sharing what the Lord has done for me in hopes that others can find the peace and blessings I now know. Since I was 8, I would have said that I loved and believed in God. It has just been in more recent years that I can say, I know and trust Him.

Please continue to pray for Ned's extubation. All afternoon, I just prayed to God that the breath of the spirit of God that first gave him the ability to let out that cry at birth will give him an ability to steadily breathe tomorrow. That God will give his body the strength to support itself and that God will grant Ned a peaceful spirit during this adjustment. Thank you for all your prayers- from the bottom of my heart!!

Betsy, Travis, Jack & Ned


mark goodwin said...

Praise the Lord for the revelation He has given you of Himself and how He is using you. I too have been termed a "Jesus Freak" but once He shows Himself to you in a real and personal way, you are unashamed to let people know that you love and serve Him. And yes, I was awakened at 2am this morning to pray for little Ned and I ask God to be merciful to him. We know that He has it all in control in His time. I pray it won't be long until you have him at home with the rest of the family. God Bless you all.

Cadenne Hope's Grandma said...

Thank you so much for your continued sharing of your walk with God through this entire experience. It touches my heart, and I can so much relate to what you shared in this post--especially about accepting Jesus at a young age but not KNOWING him or TRUSTING him until years later. That's my story too!

Extubation? Woohoo! I can remember the day that Cadenne Hope was extubated and we did the happy dance here in California. Might have caused an earthquake, actually! LOL

Continued prayers for all of you and especially for that sweet little Ned!

Andrea Philbeck said...

I am so happy God has graced Ned with such an extrordinary recovery. You all have come a long way. We will continue to pray for all of you through this journey.

Anonymous said...

I just read your blog-ours prayers are with you and Ned today. I am praying for an easy transition from the vent and that God will breathe the breath of life into Ned's lungs and sustain him with strength and vitality. Working in labor and delivery for so many years that first breath of life was always an awesome and miraculous spiritual moment for me. I am praying for you and Travis too. Again you have blessed my heart through your testimony. Thanks for letting JESUS shine through your life. Krista

Anonymous said...

Dear Betsy and Travis, my prayer today is that the breath will come for Baby Ned so much easier than even expected from the doctors,, prayer is a wonderful thing, and prayers are lifted up 24 hours a day for all of you and having this done to Ned today means hopefully he is on his way home to Cherryville where he needs to be with Jack and Margaret, and all of his other family., With Much Love and Prayers, The Alexander's Kim, Donald, Emily and Brock