I’m Not There Yet

It’s been 5 months since I’ve sat down to write. So much has happened since July. I could write for days on end about all of the experiences we’ve walked through and all of the ways my faith has grown and is still growing. In upcoming posts I will write more about the journey we have been on, but for now I will just give a little backstory for those reading this who do not know.

Our sweet baby girl Haven Elizabeth was born in September, and we were instantly in love with her. We loved her chunkiness, her dark hair, her beautiful alert eyes, and everything else about her! She seemed perfectly healthy and well for the first nine days of her life outside the womb.

However, at ten days old, we found ourselves rushing to the emergency room as Haven had a 102 degree fever. Within several hours, she was diagnosed with Group B Strep Bacterial Meningitis. We spent 18 days in the hospital as she fought and healed, and we watched God move and work in her body in incredible ways. Now she is 13 weeks old, and while she is doing incredibly well all considering, we are left with many unknowns about her health and development as a result of the meningitis and accompanying seizures. As she grows, we are monitoring her for motor delay, speech delay, and learning disabilities. We are doing occupational therapy and physical therapy with her now to help her gain strength and do what we can to prevent delays. She is getting stronger every day, and we are rejoicing in every single milestone, even the smallest ones, that she is hitting.

Last week we saw a Neurosurgeon to discuss a soft tissue mass in her nose (unrelated to the meningitis) and for him to determine if Haven has hydrocephalus based on an MRI of her brain (hydrocephalus is a potential complication of meningitis-it means that fluid is building up in her brain). Waiting for this appointment gave me a lot of anxiety. I have seen God heal my baby girl of a terrible blood infection that causes septic shock (Group B Strep). I have seen him fully protect her hearing (hearing loss is a common complication of meningitis). I have seen him work in every way to restore her little body to health. So why did I struggle so much with the thought that she might have hydrocephalus and need a shunt? Why did I allow all of this anxiety and fear to reign in my heart?

A week and a half before the appointment, I told my friends in my discipleship group-“I want to have peace no matter what, but I’m not there yet.” I was struggling with the possibility that hydrocephalus may be part of God’s plan for my daughter. Of course as her mommy I want everything to be okay. I literally begged God that her ventricles would shrink back to a normal size and that there would be no fluid building up. But what I had to come to terms with was if this time his answer was “no.” He has said yes over and over again in answer to literally thousands of prayers said for our daughter. But could I be okay if the answer was “no” this time? I absolutely believed that God could heal Haven’s brain. I didn’t doubt His power and His ability to do so. But what if He didn’t heal it right then? Would I still trust that God’s plan is good? Would I trust that His ways are not my ways and that while I may not understand, I can have peace in His plan?

Have you ever felt that way? Maybe you prayed so hard for something but God’s answer was “no” so you turned your back on him. You stopped trusting in His goodness and His love and His perfect plan. Take heart, friend. I believe that even when we are having trouble trusting God, He still loves us and is calling us to Him. He is still with us, helping and guiding us in unseen ways.

Because of the prayers said for me by my husband and friends over the course of that week and a half leading up the appointment, I was able to walk into that appointment fully trusting God and His plan. I still had to fight against the anxiety that was wanting to seep in and overtake my mind and heart. But I was in a place where no matter what the doctor said, I was going to be okay.

Praise be to God that the neurosurgeon said that he was not concerned about Haven having hydrocephalus at this point. It is still a risk, but she is not showing any signs that fluid is building up. What a huge answer to prayer!! My husband and I are thanking God (and will always) for how he continues to work in restoring our baby girl’s health.

My prayer for me and for you is that we can trust in God’s goodness and plan even if it’s different than we had hoped. It’s hard to not get what “we” want. It’s hard to see things turn out differently than we had imagined. But by God’s grace, I pray we can still trust Him no matter what. I pray that we can trust that He is sovereign and that His plan is good even when life looks differently than we had hoped. Lord, give us that kind of faith.

Pressing on in faith, Jennifer