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Three weeks

on September 4, 2013

Three weeks. Never in my life have days gone by so painfully slows, yet flown by so fast. Three more weeks away from home. Three weeks of waiting and praying. Three weeks of hope, fear, relief, frustration, anxiety, joy and pain. Three weeks of wishing there was something more I could do. Three weeks of helplessly waiting. Three weeks of putting on a happy face and telling everyone we’re OK. Three weeks of pretending we’re not afraid and that its all under control. Three weeks of letting go and learning to trust God.

The hardest discussion I’ve ever had in my life was explaining Audrey’s Downs Syndrome to Bailey. Not because of his reaction or concerns. He got it. He named someone with similar struggles, so I know he did. And his love for his new sister was so unwavering. He quickly told us how he would be her protector if anyone was ever mean to her. Seriously, it was the first time I’ve ever heard him say “or else!” But then he asked a very simple question. He asked why God wouldn’t just make her better. It was like a punch in the gut. The million dollar question. The one I would scream to the skies if I thought it would do any good. Why? Why her? Why us? I hugged my little boy and his mom as we cried together. Then through the tears, I told him as best I could make sense of it. I said that sometimes God chooses not to fix things on earth, so that He can use them to change our hearts and make us better people. He answered with a faithfully trusting “OK.” You know, the kind that almost comes with a shrug of the shoulders. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a better person, right? If I’m being honest, this guy right here wasn’t looking for any painful, life altering transformation. I wasn’t looking for our lives to be turned upside down. Of course, I was also being very short sighted. I couldn’t see past the pain to the beauty that is Gods plan.

Until Tuesday, I hadn’t opened my bible in months. How many, I don’t know. Why? I’d become lazy, I suppose. Maybe angry. A little bitter. Partially afraid. I have prayed a thousand prayers over those three weeks and looked everyday for His answers. I looked to the doctors, nurses, test results, monitors…looked everywhere except in His word. Tuesday I had enough of my own excuses and needed some answers. I wasn’t even sure exactly what my questions were anymore, but I needed answers. Oh, there were answers waiting. It was like he was making up for lost time with me.

First, He asked me where I’ve been: Ephesians 6 “…God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials…” How could I forget to use the best weapon he has given me? His own word, right there all along.

Then He cut to the chase as he pushed me to Romans. You want to know WHY, huh? Roman 12:1 “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Kind of humbling, to be called out so bluntly on losing proper focus. To know he sees you caught up in the wrong priorities in this life. But how wonderful to know he hasn’t given up on me! That he wants to change me, even though I’m too stupid to want it (or even know I need it.)

Then He asked me to see Audrey through His eyes. He flipped me to the Song of Solomon 6:8-9 “There’s no one like her on earth, never has been, never will be. She’s a woman beyond compare. My dove is perfection, Pure and innocent as the day she was born, and cradled in joy by her mother. Everyone who came by to see her exclaimed and admired her— All the fathers and mothers, the neighbors and friends, blessed and praised her.” So true! She is perfect after all, don’t forget! He heard my struggles as I wrote that post! Even when my own heart was hardened and I was dying on my own, He was listening and waiting.

Yesterday we found ourselves at the end of our 3 week wait, ready to see what Audrey’s little esophagus had in store for us. As 3 surgeons came into the room, it struck me right away. They are smiling! I wasn’t prepared for that. Wasn’t even really sure what to make of it. Their first words were “We have good news!” Again, shock. She did great, that wasn’t the surprise though. She has significant pouches growing at each end of her esophagus and the gap is much smaller than it was! I sat stunned. Speechless. They looked at me. They repeated, “This is good news.” I know, I was just in shock. I told Christina, I don’t know what I was expecting, but that was not it. Such a relief! God has a plan for His dove and she just took another step toward flight. With the growth we’ve seen, there is hope! Hope that she will be able to simply grow enough of her own esophagus to eventually just connect those ends. This day would not have us making any tough decisions, which frankly is what I was expecting. The progress shown means we will wait another 3 weeks and look again.

So, 3 more weeks of prayer and love for our baby girl, Princess Audrey. Thanks again to all of you in her little Army. We can’t thank you all enough for the support!

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4 responses to “Three weeks

  1. Deb Wiggins says:

    You did it again… made me cry, tears of joy, tears of… just tears, tears, tears. thank you for sharing, thank you for loving God and thank you for letting us all love Audi. Onward we go… 3 more weeks

  2. ruby knapp says:

    i cryed dears of joy for you and your precious family, i have had the same questions as you why does god allow some on so innocent to go thur so much,and i still don`t understand, but we will all love her. and i know she will be special.

    \

  3. adeffenbaugh says:

    I love you and I love your honesty and humility to say that you struggle. You and I are alot alike and I hear you more than you probably know. We know God has a plan and we buy into that 100%, but then we stop short of really resting in His arms and running to Him for daily help just to say, “Thanks for the plan – I’ll take it from here.” And sometimes we mumble to ourselves “Crummy plan”. Or, as you may have done so far with Audrey and I know I did with my Mom, we hear what we think is a ‘crummy plan’ and just assume that equates to a full on crummy path. Sure you pray for healing and positive news, but you walked into that meeting this week not expecting to hear it because, well, you are on a crummy path. Oh, that we could not focus on circumstances as a definition of our paths!!! It IS perfect! It is filled with love and connection and places where you meet Him face to face! It is where you grow and realize that you have more to pour into your kids and your wife and all of those that you touch than you ever did before you got on this path. I will continue to pray all the more that your eyes stay fixed not on the circumstances but on the journey, and that you see Him daily and realize that you are exactly where you should be.

  4. Fran Reece says:

    Our prayers continue for all of your family, Deb. Thank you for letting us know how everything is going.

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