Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Have you ever experienced a time in your life that you felt so feeble and without strength to accomplish a needful and tedious task? One that would affect a part of your life forever!This is how overwhelmed I was in the beginning of my training with the nurses to insert Stephen's feeding tube. I could not imagine myself being able to accomplish such task, yet it was so vital for me to do. I knew that failure would grieve my heart for life. I needed strength beyond my measure.
Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.Isaiah 40:28-29
The day was finally here. Stephen is coming home!
Claudine watched the other children, while my husband and I drove to the hospital. It seemed strange to be going to the hospital to bring our baby home, as if we were new parents. Months had passed...he was now six months old...and yet, to us, we were welcoming home our new baby...and a baby brother. Now, as a family, we could enjoy the memorable moments of babies cooing and cuddling. Singing lullabys and watching them grow.
As we gathered up Stephen's few belongings...his prized mobile hanging over his crib, his little home-made teddy bear and a few items for his immediate care, we were set to go home. A nurse escorted us to the entrance where our van was parked and gave us a hug goodbye. As I began to step into the back to be with Stephen, I took one last look up at the window of his room and there stood a solem looking nurse. I knew by her countenance, that she must have had tears in her eyes. She sweetly smiled and gave a faint wave of goodbye.
Another moment...touching my heart...another moment of hope, that this nurse was touched by our lives and would see the LORD's care for us. Oh, how I wanted our life to manifest his grace.
As we drove up the moutain side, both my husband and I had mixed emotions. Our family finally will be whole, but also within, the fear of not being able to be the parents we needed to be to our now six precious children. Both of us, wanted to have quality time with them. To love them all and not let Stephen's condition dominate over a normal life for all of us.
"Is this possible?...yes, together we will all strive for it to be so."
Claudine brought the children home when we arrived and lovingly they all wanted to see and hug their little brother. Little voices of glee and aww. This was their first time to hold him alone and feel his presence as part of a family. I carefully placed him in each lap for just a moment and each placed a light kiss upon his forehead.
Our first day went as well as we had hoped. Little Charlie cried a lot. I'm sure he felt the gap in his usual attentive care that was now being shared with his twin brother. My heart felt heavy, knowing I had to give much needed care to Stephen and also make sure Charlie didn't feel neglected.The other children played quietly as they knew they needed this first day of homecoming for both Stephen and myself.
Such wonderful children!
So reponsive to the needs at hand without whining or demands.
"Oh, how I love them!!"
How thankful I was for the training we had instilled in them: kindness being a virtue even in small children: quietness in time of need and sharing.
The first evening was a bit trying. We settled the children for bed with their usual Bible story, then Claudine and her husband joined us for coffee. As I held Stephen feeding him through the tube, suddenly all that I had fed him spued out with great force. My heart sunk. His coloring turned bluish and my heartbeat raced. Everyone jumped up to help and console. We took Stephen to his room and tried to calm him. The anxiety of myself and the comotion had scared him. Charlie began to wail and so we found it necesary to put Charlie's crib in our room so that Stephen could rest quietly once he calmed.
I went to bed late, but Stephen slept well. I awoke for his five o'clock feeding. I was so tired, I wondered how I was going to manage, already feeling drained. I felt such pressure not to fail. My neighbors waiting and watching, the nurses.
My husband was my greatest help and comforter. Lovingly helping in any way possible.
Truly blessed. My family...the joy of my heart. My husband....my greatest, friend.
Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel. Proverbs 27:9