So this is the post where I lose some of you. The post when I talk about the "S" word and things that are not exactly popular or "comfortable" beliefs. The post that will surely have you calling me a "holy roller." (If you haven't already categorized me as such). But, of course, that is exactly why I need to write it.
Before I begin, let me tell you that I am completely aware of the potential "realities" of Brooklyn's condition:
I am aware that she may be born with much more than just Spina Bifida.
I am aware that she may need 2 major surgeries within the first few weeks of her life and could have up to 30+ surgeries by the time she is 20 years old.
I am aware that she may have a shunt in her brain that can save her life, but can also take her life away if it becomes infected because I simply mistake it for the flu.
I am aware that she may never be able to go to the bathroom on her own.
And, yes, I am aware that she may not be able to wear any of the baby/toddler shoes that sit here waiting for her.
(Very) early puberty, seizures, vision difficulties, potential cognitive challenges...the list goes on and on and on.
These potential "realities"...trust me, I know of them. On "bad days," I have allowed myself to test each one out to see if I could in fact handle them. But for now, they are filed tightly away until I actually have to deal with them. They have been noted, but they are sitting on a little shelf some might label "denial." And I am okay with that. One. day. at. a. time.
With that said, on to "power" experience #2...
Right after my prayer shower, I was on a high. That night, Jeff and I had an absolutely wonderful time of sharing that our marriage and our hearts truly needed. The next day, I told my OB nurse all about the shower, and she was moved to tears. She prayed for Brooklyn right there in the middle of my non-stress test. I was strong, fulfilled, and encouraged.
But then Monday afternoon hit, and I started to get dragged down. Hard. As the days and hours passed, the doubts, the insecurities, the everyday challenges started to take over. I was tired, angry, impatient. I got sick. The girls were at their worst. By Thursday, I literally had the worst Mommy day of my life. I screamed and said things to my girls I never would have imagined I would say. At one point, my little 4-year-old Emma looked at me and said, "Mom, you are letting the Devil work through you."
And, you know what, she was right.
I truly believe that Satan was attacking me. No, I don't think I was "possessed" or that some demon was taking over my body, but I do believe that the power of what happened at that prayer shower ticked him off. Something was happening, and he didn't like it. I might as well have had a big target sitting on my belly.
So he attacked and attacked and attacked. And it wasn't just because of the prayer shower. It was because on Thursday night, we had another prayer "meeting" scheduled with the healing prayer team at our church. Satan literally did everything he could to keep us away from that meeting. My body so wanted to stay home; my heart didn't want to deal with one more emotion. The excuses were easy...I was literally sick (I need my rest), I was too tired (I AM pregnant after all), I had no babysitter lined up (I'd hate to ask one more person to watch our kids), the girls needed their Mommy to put them to bed (I leave them enough)...
But when the excuses kept coming and Jeff actually suggested we stay home, I knew we needed to go. My Mom even voiced my thoughts out loud, saying that I knew who was trying to keep us away (Satan). So we went, and God totally won that battle.
At the "meeting," this team didn't focus on praying for our peace or even for God's will (although we know that is the ultimate deciding factor). They prayed for healing. Complete and total healing. Healing of Brooklyn's back, her nervous system, her legs, her clubbed feet, the fluid around her brain. As one man prayed, we BOLDLY asked God to heal our baby because yes, it is bold to ask God to do something so completely selfish. But it is our job to ask. We leave the answering up to Him.
Do I believe that God can heal our baby? Yes I absolutely do. He did it in the Bible, and I know He can do it now. Within a nanosecond, He could take this all away.
The question then becomes, will He? Or rather, do Jeff and I have enough faith to actually believe that HE WILL. In the Bible, He healed people simply because they believed He could. But did they also ever doubt that He would?
To be completely honest, I don't know the answer to those questions. I want to believe 100% that God WILL heal our baby. But I am human. As much as I want to throw those "potential realities" so very far, far away, I am afraid to. It's not that I don't think He has the power to do it, I'm just afraid that is not His plan.
The night of our first ultrasound was one of the worst nights of my life. I literally laid in bed and cried ALL NIGHT LONG. I sobbed and grieved for hours and hours and hours. Every once in a while, I'd wake Jeff up to hold me when the pain became too much to bear, but for most of the night, it was just God and me. I truly believe God cried right along with me that night, allowed me to just feel. But then in the morning, He started to pick me up. And the journey began.
Believing 100% that He will take all of this away might mean re-living that night all over again, if in fact His plan is to not heal her. And that is so very, very scary. So far, I have not been angry with God (more on that later...), and I don't want to be.
But that is what faith is. It is believing so much that you put His power before your own weaknesses, even if it might hurt a little. That even if His plan wasn't what we asked for, that He would protect our hearts and get us through it. Again.
So that has been mine and Jeff's prayer... to erase all the doubt. To wholeheartedly trust in His power. To trust that He WILL heal our baby. To do more than hope. To BELIEVE.
As Brooklyn's birthday gets closer, I admit that it is getting harder to do as we attempt to prepare. But we are trying our hardest and fighting against Satan and all of the doubts he pours in. Ignoring the hurtful dreams, the financial stresses, the marriage struggles, the hormones, the exhaustion of raising two toddlers, and all of the challenges that want so badly to take over this home. To ignore the dozens of hurtful ultrasound images that flash through my head and just focus on that adorable, beautiful little face. To see His face in hers. To believe in His image.
We will accept His plan, but for now, please pray with us. Pray that He will heal our baby. That she be restored 100%. We have to ask for her sake. And because we know He has the power to do it.
"...Pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord.
Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children..."