Before Joshua was transferred to the PICU in order to save his life, I had never been too worried about whether or not Joshua would live. I knew we had a long road ahead of us with appointments and specialists and more surgeries, but I guess I never let the thought of him dying make a nest in my mind. I couldn’t bear to.
That first night in the PICU, after waking multiple times to the sound of the ventilator alarm going off and doctors and nurses rushing in to perform CPR and “bag him” back up to a healthy respiratory rate, I was a nervous wreck. I could tangibly feel every part of me trying to control Joshua’s fate. My muscles literally ached from the stress of it all. After Joshua’s six minute long CPR episode, which I was called about in the middle of the night when we were staying at Ronald McDonald House, I didn’t know what to do with myself. The stress seeped out of me in an uncontrolled mess. I could hardly walk into Joshua’s room without anxiety and fear of what I would walk into. One time, after watching the nurses bring his respiratory rate back up after it had critically dropped, I finally realized, I am completely helpless here. I couldn’t help no matter how much I wanted to. His life was literally in other people’s hands. No matter how much I loved him or willed him to live, it didn’t matter. I wasn’t in control.
The day before Joshua came home, I stayed at the hospital to ‘room in’ with Joshua and take over his care. That day and the day after, Friday, which was when he came home, Joshua was showing some signs of respiratory distress. He even had an episode where he held his breath, turned blue and his respiratory rate dropped dangerously low. Doctors attributed it to the shunting of his blood because of the holes in his heart. Needless to say, Joshua’s nurse and even his doctor seemed a little concerned. Well, after many discussions with a couple of different doctors, it was decided he could come home. I had so much anxiety and fear. I was even nervous about the future “cold and flu seasons” and how I would manage living in a constant state of obsession about germs and him getting sick, while caring for two small children and working at a germ ridden preschool. The anxiety was too much to carry. It was then I had to release Joshua’s life into God’s hands. I had to say, “Whether he lives or dies, his life is in your hands. I don’t have control over this.”
Joshua taught me how to give up control to God, not that I don’t struggle with this still. People always try to comfort others by saying, “God is in control”. Whenever someone would say this to me I would think, well God was in control when my brother was murdered too. Just because God is in control, doesn’t mean my loved ones won’t die or bad things won’t happen, it just means God will get us through. He will get us through those days when our bodies literally ache from grief or fear or sickness. He will send people into our lives to show us His love. One day, when I see Jesus, He will reveal to me how He was working in these situations, situations that just don’t seem to make sense to us here on earth.
I worried so so much about Joshua’s future, when his future never even came to be. It’s really true, Matthew 6:34, which states, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” How often do we worry our days away, while missing the gift that IS today?
It’s been two months my sweetheart. I miss you so much.