It's a little after 9:00pm, and I just returned from the hospital to the RMH to get some Advil and blog for a minute. I think Betsy is enjoying her time in Cherryville with Jack, even though he seems to have a cold. Ned is still doing okay today. Upon my arrival to UNCH this morning, the nurses informed me that instead of going from 30 mm to 29 mm on the jet vent during the night last night, they had to go back up to 31 mm where he's been all day, because one of his blood gases wasn't perfect. The doctors then came in and told me it looks like we're "pretty much there" in terms of getting off the jet vent, and that they would most likely be doing the heart coarc repair on Tuesday. Hearing those words did strike some fear in me, as we have been praying for his jet vent settings to go down so we could get on the regular vent and through this surgery, and now that the time is coming next week, I'm kind of like "whoa". I do know that he is in God's hands and I have prayed over him all day long just asking God to please take care of our little punkin, and thanking Him for everything he's been doing in our lives. I truly am helpless in this situation, and there are no stronger hands than our Lord's for our son to be in. I can't help but think back to all the times on this journey, and how many answered prayers there have been. I know without a doubt in my mind that we could never have gone through all this without a Lord and God that deeply cares for us.
My brother Alan and sister Danielle came up today to be with me, and we had a good visit. Bubba (Alan) drove up from Denver and Danielle came down from NC State and we had lunch. As D left for work, Bubba stayed the rest of the afternoon with me (I think just so we could go to Mama Dip's to eat supper!) and Ned. Bubba, Ned and I even got the Duke game in this afternoon. When I left, Ned was resting peacefully, and they were getting ready to drop the PIP on his vent down to 30 and keep weining him through tonight and tomorrow and Monday. Please continue to pray that Ned will accept these changes, and please start praying that this heart surgery will go without a hitch, and Ned can get on the road back to recovery. While we are confident in the pediatric surgery team up here in UNCH, we are more confident in Christ, am we are believing, and expecting, that His merciful hand will guide the doctors through this repair, and we will be bringing Ned home with us.
While I was home Thursday night, Jack asked me when we were bringing his baby Ned home. I simply told him the truth, "Son, I don't know, Ned is sick, but he's getting better and better." Jack then asked me if he could play hide and seek with him when he finally did get home. I of course said sure, and today I told Ned that his big brother couldn't wait to get him home to play hide and seek with him. It's moments like these that I truly feel reassured that God IS IN THIS situation, and that one day, we WILL be taking him home to play with Jack and Margaret.
One other side note to tell all of our faithful praying friends and family about. One of my good friends (Tuan Bui) owns several gas stations in the area, and last Tuesday, his mom was working at one of them in Fort Mill, SC, when a guy came in to rob the store. She did exactly what she was told, gave him the money, etc., and this person still shot her in the abdomen on his way out, in addition to the former mayor of that town who was coming into the store. She was in the ICU at CMC until today, when they moved her to a regular room I believe. He and his family are holding up okay. What amazes me is that he really didn't even know about Ned until Tuesday when one of our other friends who works in the ICU at CMC saw him there with his mother, and told him our story. Ever since that day, even though he is in the middle of his own crisis, he has called me to check on little Ned. I of course assure him that I am praying for his mom as well. Please keep this woman and her family in your prayers as well.
As I was proofreading back over what I've written, I was thinking...man, I must be out of touch tonight, I feel like I have nothing to offer. I was then taken by the Lord to yet another verse that I have on my computer at work, that I read everyday. Oswald Chambers writes in the July 27 entry of "My Utmost for His Highest"... "If things are spiritually dark to me, then I may be sure there is something I will not do". I have this posted on my PC to remind me that it does take sacrifice and discipline to stay in God's word daily, and keep your walk with Him going. On the flip side of that, be assured that once you are His though, he will never depart from you. You can turn your head from Him, but when you do decide to turn back, He will be there waiting. I was then taken to today's entry, February 9th, and wow! Reading all the comments and emails that you guys send us makes us that much more thankful that God is leading this whole thing. The entry for today touches on that. The scripture is Isaiah 40:28 "The everlating God ... fainteth not, neither is weary." Chambers then goes on to say: "Are you exhausted spritually? Exhaustion means that the vital forces are worn right out. Spiritual exhaustion never comes through sin but only through service, and whether or not you are exhausted will depend upon where you get your supplies. Jesus said to Peter -- 'Feed My sheep,' but He gave him nothing to feed them with. The process of being made broken bread and poured-out wine means that you have to be the nourishment for other souls until they learn to feed on God. They must drain you to the dregs. Be careful that you get your supply, or before long you will be utterly exhausted. Before other souls learn to draw on the life of the Lord Jesus direct, they have to draw on it thorugh you; you have to be literally 'sucked' until they learn to take their nourishment from God. We owe it to God to be our best for His lambs and His sheep as well as for Himself." This whole passage reminded me of time and time again where our Bible study teacher has told us "Inflow, outflow". By spreading the word of God, and being friends to the friendless, creditors to those in debt, and prayerful for those who don't pray, you are giving of yourself. God in turn fills that empty space back up, with more supply than you could ever imagine. When we say to her "I wish we could start everyday over here doing this" (talking about our Saturday morning Bible study), she says "Sooner or later you have to learn to feed yourself". This has profound truth in it. I am certainly thankful that I have had someone to "feed" me for so long, to help me along the path of walking with the Lord. I think that God knew it would take something like this for us to really step out and glorify His name, to be a witness to his strength and neverending love for us. We all do OWE it to God to feed His flock. I myself am being fed, and I hope and pray that this situation God has orchestrated is feeding others as well. We are truly only vessels, and it's all about Him.
OK, I'm done for tonight. Please continue to keep Ned and my family in your prayers.
Much love to you all
Travis, Betsy, Jack & Ned