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