Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Then and Now

Almost exactly one year ago (4-8-08), Noah's heart was stopped, he was on a heart-lung bypass machine, his chest was split wide open and doctors were repairing his heart. Chad and I were in the waiting room and suddenly a woman walks up to us and asks if we mind if she sets up her harp and plays right beside us. Seriously! She told us that this was her day to play the harp in this waiting room. That harpist was the catalyst that made us step outside of "the box", leave the waiting room and go get wine, cheese, crackers, chocolates, strawberries and Bailey's Irish Cream and sneak them back in. We realize now, that during that hour that we were out of the hospital, was the first time in our lives that God gave us a glimpse and a piece of "the peace that transcends all understanding".

When I hear that verse I usually think of the kind of peace that would feel similarly to laying on a beach with the perfect weather and not a care in the world. I thought it would be like an extreme amount of peace, but actually, for us it was a kind of peace that is really hard to explain (kind of like we don't understand it :) ). The fear, the dread and the anguish were still there and still very present, but it was like God let us step outside of that box and stand next to it for a bit. Just like we stepped out of the waiting room for a bit, God gave us this weird "peace" that let us stand next to the pain just long enough to get our breath back so to speak. We felt lighter...not happy, not joyful or any of those other words...we still felt fear and anguish but it didn't "taste" as strong for that hour. It was the lowest point in our lives, yet it was also the coolest because God was so completely present with us (though we didn't fully get it at that time).

Anyway, we've all come a long way in a year! In fact we just realized that whole peace thing only a few days ago! I hope and pray that as we continue to distance ourselves from the trauma of it all, we will continue to recognize the many ways that God was there with us. We have known all along that He was there, but it's much more amazing to actually "see" the specific instances!!

I'll include some pictures from then and now so you can all appreciate how far we've come!

Noah Then: just after heart surgery. He weighed only 8lbs and was 4 months old.

Noah Now: just after rolling around on the floor in syrup and french toast that he had thrown off his tray.

Zeze Then: I think that was only one of a handful of times that Zeze was smiling in those days...before we found out he had a dairy allergy. I think he screamed almost every waking hour before we changed his diet.
Zeze Now:
Kai Then:
Kai Now: learning to ride his "new" bike. (I love Freecycle!) It was just before bed, but I couldn't wait any longer to show him the bike, so we let him go out in his PJs.

Twins then

Twins now

Brothers then
Brothers now


ShirleyNewLife said...

It's awesome that God gave you the "peace" during Noah's surgery. And it's great that you recongize it.

I like the way you describe the peace. I expect you'll be experiencing God's peace even more.

The last time I recognized having God's peace was when I had thyroid surgery at Concord Hospital. I was so scared. The night before the surgery, this peace settled on me and remained until I returned home.

I'd like to have that peace all the time.

ShirleyNewLife said...

Love the photos of the boys. It's amazing that a year has gone by since Noah's surgery and Zeze's milk allergy. It seems like just a few months ago, in some ways. Yah, I know, Noah was in the hospital a month ago :-)

pashofam@yahoo.com said...

Debby, what a sweet, tender look back at this last year. Thank you for sharing. Your story and the pictures are a true testimony of God's faithfulness in both big and small ways. What an amazing thing he has done for Noah and for you. Can't wait to see those boys!