Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
This is one of the songs on Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ piano recording called Be Still. Let me tell you how I came to receive her piano meditations CD. Before Damon was born, we took a tour of St. Vincent Women’s hospital and their NICU. We met with one of the neonatologists. She went over what to expect after Damon’s surgery and the details of having a child in the NICU.
Once Damon was born, the neonatologists were doing their rounds, when the same one we met with stopped me after noticing my True Women bag. (True Women is a Christian women’s conference by Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ ministry, Revive Our Hearts that takes place every 2 years in Indianapolis). She told me how much she loves Nancy and the True Women conference. I agreed. She remembered meeting with us and gave me a hug.
The next day was Damon’s surgery and she came by to tell me she was praying for me. She asked me how I was doing. I honestly said I was anxious to get the surgery over with, in which she asked, “And what are you doing about that?” I said praying. She smiled and gave me a hug.
The following day she handed me the Nancy Leigh DeMoss piano CD and told me how she had 2 copies at home. She had no idea how she received 2 copies, but when she saw them, she heard the Holy Spirit tell her to give me one of them. And the hymns on the CD has been such a comfort to listen to back and forth to the NICU in the car. Be Still My Soul. Be Thou My Vision. ‘Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus. Jesus, I Am Resting, Resting. Great Is Thy Faithfulness.
This is one way that God has proven faithful in our lives during this trial. A small gift but a huge blessing. I have been on the other side many times watching people go through very hard circumstances in life. Especially people from my church and other members of the Body of Christ. I’ve prayed, helped deliver meals, etc. Yet this time we were on the receiving end. And wow, Brett and I were overwhelmed with the prayers, encouragement, and support. Not that I didn’t expect any less. I thought how this is what the Body of Christ looks like in action; fellow believers helping one another. It has made me even more sympathetic to other people going through trials.
Damon’s surgery and recovery could have been so much worse. As I mentioned in a previous post, he could have had Down’s syndrome and/or heart disease. The morning of the surgery we received a call from a nurse practitioner getting our consent to do surgery. We had not arrived yet at the hospital (we didn’t know for sure what time surgery would be until she called us). All along we thought Damon had duodenal atresia and it would be a pretty easy fix. The NP told us that after doing several tests over the weekend, they still were unsure of his condition and the extent of it. She went over possible problems from the best case scenario (duodenal atresia) to the worst case scenario (possible dead bowel where he would need a bowel transplant). Again, Brett and I got off the phone and stared at each other speechless. We were still going into the unknown. And all we could do is trust God. Trust that He is good regardless of the outcome. Trust that He is faithful.
Fortunately, it was duodenal atresia. The surgeon did a bowel bypass where the part in his duodenum was blocked. The surgeon also found that Damon had a condition called, Meckel’s diverticulum. Apparently, this mass of tissue could cause havoc later in life and starts acting like a second stomach. The surgeon removed it, had to reposition Damon’s bowels, and also took out his appendix.
Once out of surgery, it was the waiting game.
Waiting for his bowel to start working.
Waiting for his output from his stomach through his mouth to lessen.
Waiting for poop.
The doctors said average was 7-10 days post-op until his bowels would start moving again. The same neonatologist would come by from time to time to see how we were doing. “Waiting” was always the reply and she would answer, “Be still and wait on the Lord.”
9 days post-op the initial waiting was over. Damon was pooping, had bowel sounds, and less output was coming out of the tube through his mouth. They proceeded to give my milk through a tube down his nose. And then from there he kept progressing positively. They gave him such a small amount at first and slowly increased to see if he tolerated it and the bowels moved it through his tract. He did not regress once.
The next day he was bottle feeding and the tube came out.
A few days later I was able to breastfeed him twice a day. Doctors started saying he could probably come home soon if he kept doing well. Then, after 20 days in the NICU, Brett and I walked out of there hopefully to never ever return.
God is faithful. God’s people were faithful in praying daily for Damon. We could feel the prayers and the peace that comes from the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. The doctors and nurses were very impressed with how quickly Damon progressed and was able to go home. Most babies with similar conditions may be in the NICU for several weeks to a couple months. God is our Healer.
Now, I have to ask myself and maybe you have found yourself asking the same questions:
If God didn’t heal Damon… If his condition was the worse case scenario… If I was still sitting and watching Damon today in the NICU and for several more weeks… If God allowed Damon to die…
Would I still say He is good? He is faithful?
I think about the story of Job. I believe that sometimes Satan comes before the throne of God and asks God to allow trials and hard circumstances in our lives to test us to see if we will turn from God. Satan did it with Job and took away everything Job had – his family, possessions, wealth. Yet Job did not curse God to His face like Satan thought he would. Instead, he fell to the ground and worshiped God saying,
“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
Wow! What faith! What trust in who God is and will always be: Faithful. Good. Trustworthy. As I look back on the trials in Brett and my marriage the past 6 years, it’s amazing to see how faithful God always is to us. We’ve been through health problems, loss of job, financial uncertainty. Brett has taken a leap of faith in starting a wedding film business and a non-profit Christian film company, in which 2 films have been created. And when I think about when God has used us the most to further His kingdom, that’s when we had the most trials. During the final steps of making The Board, I was severely sick with histoplasmosis and hospitalized. And now when we are at the final steps of releasing The War Within, we have a baby in the NICU.
I wonder especially in these times if Satan was before God asking Him to allow Satan to throw some fiery darts at us to see how we would respond. Sorry Satan. It’s actually made our faith stronger than ever. We will continue to fall down and worship Him at all costs. And God knew that.
Jesus said, “…in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
As followers of Christ, we will have trouble and trials. But we also can have peace knowing that God is good. He is faithful. Do you believe it? Can you say the same thing when you face trials? Trust Him. I promise you won’t regret it.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto Brett, Christina, Kherington, and Damon!
To read how God has been faithful to my friend Megan and her family, check out her blog.