Tuesday, March 20, 2012

He's Holding Me Up

When the Cruise Director was almost ready to turn three years old, we had quite a scare. He suddenly developed hives. Then the hives developed hives. It wasn't long before I was hard pressed to find a spot on him that wasn't a hive. No over the counter medicine was helping.  We ended up in the emergency room.

The Calm One was across the country for extended military training. I was, for all intents and purposes, a single parent. I had a very sick little boy, a nursing baby girl and I was pregnant with our third child.

I was in a panic.

The doctors believed my little guy had Stevens-Johnsons Syndrome.  They strongly suggested an ambulance ride to the nearest Children's Hospital. 

At first no one wanted to tell me what SJS was.  The nurses politely said the doctor would explain all I needed to know.   The doctor hesitated a bit, but finally said that SJS is a skin disorder where the skin dies and sloughs off a little bit at a time.  Treatment would be the same as what they would do for severely burned patients.

Panic X 2 set in real quick.

Prayers were being sent up by everyone I, my parents and my in-laws could possibly think of to call.  We had round the clock prayer warriors working on my sweet, sweet son's behalf.

In the midst of my prayers I had many questions. 

Why is this happening?  Why would God allow my husband to be gone from us during all of this?  Why was I all alone?  Where was God anyway?  I was stretching my heart as far as I could to reach Him, but couldn't quite make it on my own.  He was the one to grasp my hand and firmly hold me up.

Not much compares to a situation like having your child in such dire straits.  But there are many instances where we feel alone and cry out to God in the midst of our loneliness and despair.  That day and today (and many times in between) I have been reminded of God's faithfulness and the security I can find in Him:

It is crucial that in our darkness we affirm the wise, strong hand of God to hold us, even when we have no strength to hold him.  This is the way Paul thought in Phil. 3:12 “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” ESV
The key thing to see in this verse is that all Paul’s efforts to grasp the fullness of joy in Christ are secured by Christ’s grasp of him.  Never forget that your security rests on Christ’s faithfulness first. (John Piper)
The Children's Hospital is a teaching hospital.  During our wait for the specialist, my son had many medical staff visitors.  All were very taken with the little guy with SJS who was putting on a brave face and asking anyone who would listen to "Pweeze gib me more chocat mook."

When the specialist finally came to see my son -- a very long 8 hrs later -- he brashly, and somewhat arrogantly, announced that The Cruise Director did not, in fact, have SJS.  His reasoning?  Even though "the child has all the symptoms and characteristics, he is getting better too quickly for it to be SJS." 

My son had even more visitors when this quietly dubbed "miracle child" was suddenly, inexplicably better.  I didn't know if my son had SJS or not, but I knew that his getting better quickly had everything to do with the prayers of friends and family.  And a loving, faithful God.

The Creator of the Universe bent down, touched my son and held us both.

The past few days have been difficult and heart-wrenching.  Just like when my son was so very sick.  Some days we have to fight for joy.  We have to fight to see God in the midst of our grief.  It is absolutely essential that in our dark moments we remember that though our grasp on God may feel weak – He has a strong hold on us (WLVM).

I know God hears me, loves me and has promised to work all things together for my good, because I love Him.  I am holding tightly onto that promise -- and He is holding me.

And that is so very, very joyful,


  1. He never lets go!

  2. Wendy Ray3/28/2012

    I'm praying for you and your family Jen. I don't know what is going on, but God does and he will see you through it. You inspire me :0)

  3. Thanks Wendy! Sure is wonderful to have friends lifting you up in prayer. And your prayers are working, God is giving comfort and peace. There are still good days and bad, and will be for awhile, but I know He will work all things together for my good!

    Yes, Sandy, you are right! He never lets go! So thankful for that.


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