"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
I made a phone call yesterday!
Actually, I made 2 phone calls yesterday!
For 19 months I have blogged about Gavin and our families trials and tribulations. I have blogged about my faith and how it has stood strong and been tested on many occassions. I have poured my soul out to you about how awesome of a God we have and the grace that has encirled this family for months.
For 19 months we have felt love and compassion from people all around the globe. We have followers both internationally and domestically. We have felt the love of God in our lives and we have felt the benefits of prayer each and every day of our lives. We have lived the challenges that the Lord has set forth for us and our faith has been renewed time and time again.
Several months ago Colin and I became a part of a wonderful organization here in Denver. Help Heal the Children is a 501c3 Non-Profit organization dedicated to assisting premature babies and their families through difficult times. This organization provides financial assistance to families as well as in home child care, gas cards and prepared meals so that families may focus on nursing their babies back to health. We were approached by the founder's of this organization and asked to sit on their board. We stepped up willingly to take the opportunity. This is a wonderful way for us to share with others so much of what has been shared with us over the 19 months of Gavin's life.
I have personally had the opportunity to work side by side with NICU families during their journey with their child. To have this opportunity is the ultimate gift. Help Heal the Children has given Colin and I the opportunity to share with other families our story. To lend our support to others who are walking the same path that we walked just months ago. We are so excited to be a part of this wonderful organization. To learn more about Help Heal the Children you can visit their website at http://www.helphealthechildren.org/.
Did I mention I made a phone call yesterday?
As many of you know I am somewhat of a blog junkie. I know.....there are probably support groups for this.
I have been following MckMama's blog for quite some time. I am drawn into her style of writing and the humor she puts forth. She and I would get along quite well I am sure. What I am more drawn to is her FAITH. Her PERSEVERANCE. Her DETERMINATION. and Her SPIRIT!
At merely 20 weeks pregnant with her fourth installment, MckMama was told that her baby in utero surely would not make it. He was diagnosed with a life threatening heart condition. At that moment in time MckMama and Prince Charming (her loving husband) decided to give their unborn child's life up to God. They laid their fears and stresses on God knowing that ultimately he and only he knows what is best for us. Despite doctors predictions MckMuffin aka baby S was born full term with no heart problems and complete with dimples!
For months MckMama, Prince Charming, Big Mac, MckNugget and Small fry have all rejoiced and basked in the glory of God. Their baby was born healthy and was living a normal life.....despite what many doctors had predicted. Until....
March 23 when MckMuffin.....aka........Baby S......aka STELLAN was admitted to the hospital after an illness that required the use of Albuteral. Albuteral as many of you know is a rescue drug used to open the repiratory airways. This same drug can also cause heightened heart functions in some patients. Unfortunatly for Stellan, it changed his heart function from having a normal sinus rhythm to having what is knows as SVT. Supra Ventricular Tachychardia is a very dangerous condition for young children. This is the same condition that Stellan was diagnosed with in utero. The very condition that doctors warned would take his life.
For several days now MckMama has spent every waking hour by her young child's side in the Minneapolis Children's hospital. She has slept in a conference room for days on end so she can be there for Stellan. She has missed countless days with her other three children and missed the companionship of Prince Charming while he cares for their other children. She is scared. She is tired. She is emotionally drained. She has felt frustration. She has felt anger. She has felt desperation. She has felt all the same things that Colin and I felt during our journey with Gavin. My heart aches for her.
Earlier in the week a generous follower of her blog gifted her with a night at the Sheraton Hotel. This hotel sits adjacent to the hospital and is connected via a walkway. Thank God cause I know it snows in Minneapolis......another words, they don't just talk about snow there.....they actually see it! After staying one night in a bed MckMama realized the value of a place where she could go to sleep. To take a shower. It might seem simple folks....but when your child is knocking on death's door....you really lose site of just about everything....cleanliness and clothing included. She realized the value in being able to step out of Stellan's room to a place where she could be with her thoughts. She could be alone. She could share this place with her family. Did I mention she could sleep and she could shower? Soon after her first night at the Sheraton came to an end yet another blog follower had called to pay for another night for her. Another night of sleep and another shower made possible.
I came home yesterday afternoon after having lunch with Colin and Gavin. I put my Gavin boy down for a nap and I sat down to collect my own thoughts. Nap time often is my ME time. Sometimes it is my LAUNDRY time. Sometimes it is my BATH time. Sometimes it is my CLEAN THE HOUSE time. Basically nap time is a versatile time with many uses. That is....if Gavin cooperates! Yesterday he cooperated and I chose to just relax.
I opened my laptop and read my email then I began to peruse the normal sites I like to look at. Since I have been praying for MckMama and her family I decided to check her blog for an update on Stellan. I check often because she updates often. In her update she shared the gift of a room at the Sheraton for a second night. My heart skipped a beat. It literally took me to September 11, 2007. The day Gavin was sent via Airlife to Presbyterian St. Lukes hospital here in downtown Denver. Our baby had been moved nearly 35 miles away from home. Moved to a hospital where siblings were not allowed to visit. Moved to a hospital where they deal only with the sickest of sick babies. Our baby was one of the sickest of sick babies they took care of. How were we going to manage being close to Gavin yet having a place to rest and shower. The general manager of the Hyatt Regency gave us a complimentary room on the 27th floor of his hotel for at least a week. More was available if needed. He provided us with parking. He provided us with conceirge service. He provided us with in room food and drinks. He provided us with a place to SLEEP. He provided us with a SHOWER. He provided us with a place to gather our thoughts. He provided all of this out of the goodness of his heart because he knew we had a need. This was such a God send for us. We had the ability to be close to Gavin yet have an escape when we needed it.
Did I tell you I made two phone calls yesterday?
After reading her blog about the Sheraton. I knew her need. I felt her need. I have been there. We have done that. In that moment, without hesitation, I went to Google. Isn't Google a wonderful thing? Anway, I looked up the local number for the Sheraton in Minneapolis Midtown. With the number in hand, I picked up the phone and dialed. It rang and rang and rang. Not sure of what I was going to say......someone answered. I asked for the General Manager and was promtly connected. When Andy answered the phone I introduced myself. I shared a bit about our story with Gavin. Our story with the Hyatt here in Denver. I then shared MckMama's story. I shared with him about Stellan. I shared about her family. I shared about her need. I reached out to this general manager and I asked him to help with this need by providing her with a complimentary room at his hotel for at least a week. More if she needed it. Without hesitation Andy told me he would leave a message on her room phone and he would be honored to take care of her. Tears filled my eyes as I hung up the phone. This is what it is about. To see the love of God in action. To see God's people in action is absolutely amazinginly, awesome. BUT to be one of those people in action.....gives you the most amazing and awesome feeling on the inside!
Now I had a chore. How was I going to get ahold of MckMama to share with her my news.
Did I tell you I made two phone calls yesterday?
After fumbling around on her website and finding her email address I sent her an email. I once again shared with her about Gavin. I shared with her about us. I shared with her that I understood her feelings and most of all that I understood her need at this point. I was quite proud of myself as I hit the send button.
I realized! Her blog is getting over 200,000 hits a day. People from all over the world know about Stellan and are praying for him. There was no way she was going to get an email from me.....amongst the thousands of other emails from fellow followers.
Once again I went to Google. This time for the directory of Minneapolis Children's Hospital. I found a direct dial number for the PICU. I once again picked up the phone......a nurse answered from the nurses station. I asked if I could just leave a message for MckMama. She placed me on hold. After what seemed like several minutes....someone answered the phone with a hushed hello. I had no idea who I was talking to. She had no idea who she was talking to. One of us had to say something. So, I asked the question.....Is this MckMama? Sure enough it was. I had no plan of talking to her. I had no idea of what to say. Here I was talking to this mom who was sharing some of the same fears that I had one day. I once again shared with her our story. I shared with her about Gavin. I shared with her about the body of Christ in action in our lives and I shared with her about the Hyatt.
I shared with her about Andy and the Sheraton.
She began to cry. I began to cry. Hey remember, my estrogen is still being tweaked......but even without estrogen....I think the tears would have been flowing.
We talked for a fair amount of time and exchanged phone numbers. She was touched by my phone call and I felt that warm fuzzy feeling on the inside. You know the one you get when you are about to....
pee your pants!
The work of God in our lives is amazing. The grace of God in our lives is amazing! The work of God in other people's lives is amazing. His grace is surrounding this family and holding them steadfast to his promise to never leave nor forsake.
I made two phone calls yesterday and I will NEVER forget.....
I made two phone calls yesterday and I will NEVER regret......
Sharing God's love and Grace with another fellow member of the body of Christ....
April fools day was met with NO FOOLIN here......
Please check out MckMama's blog and read more about Stellan.....
You will not regret it! And you most certainly will NOT forget it!
Please add MckMama, Prince Charming, Big Mac, MckNugget, Small Fry and MckMuffin.....aka....baby S......aka....Stellan to your prayer list. I know that Gavin has some of the most incredible prayer warriors around.......and I know Stellan is going to be just fine with God on his side!
Peace and Love-
Colin, Juanita, Ian, Brooke and Gavin