I have an incredible secret to share with you today. Lean in close and let me share from experience, if you will.
Sometimes the only thing you need to do to shake off the power of something you’re really afraid of?
Is say, out loud, that you’re really afraid of it.
I can’t promise this will work for a fear of spiders or snakes or bridges or canned tuna, but when the enemy of your soul is whispering hard to try to corner you in a dark place where you’re nothing but plain scared, those thoughts, brought into the Light, seem to somehow lose their power.
If you’ve got a moment, I can explain what I mean.
So. If you’re reading this post, you may already know my lovely eight-year-old son has been in the hospital for three weeks now. A very traumatic brain aneurism unexpectedly changed our lives in an instant on September 1st, and we spent the better part of his first two weeks in the hospital just living with a scary fear that our boy might never survive, might never come home to us, might make our family of six suddenly one little fella short at the dinner table.
Once we were past the stage of simply fearing whether or not we would lose our boy, we quickly discovered (as is often the case with worry and fear) we had something new to be afraid of.
Blake has had a traumatic brain injury. And I guess in some ways TBIs are kind of like life and Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.
Enter the biggest, scariest thoughts possible, stage left.
Perhaps for a few days, or more than a few, the Hero Hubs and I danced around this conversation. And since we’re taking turns staying at home or at the hospital, it is easy for us to dance around conversations if we want to.
But finally one evening via FaceTime, tailored perfectly into our topic of conversation, he wisely said, “I think the thing we’re really not talking about here is that we don’t know what Blake is going to be like when he wakes up.”
That was the truth of the situation — the sum total of the greatest fear — and now it was no longer whispering in the recesses of my mind while I tried to shush it and put on a brave face.
So we faced that fear head on, and talked about it. Together. Out loud.
And then a funny thing happened. It somehow didn’t seem as big or scary anymore. We thought about some important things, like the fact that Blake is still with us. We almost lost our son — but we didn’t. He is ours. We do and will continue to love him to pieces no matter what.
The next day when the fear started whispering again, I shared it with a trusted friend in a good long commuting-to-the-hospital conversation. And she encouraged me, and I eventually found myself thinking: if our sweet boy is changed by this, maybe I should be careful about automatically assuming that’s bad.
I remembered a verse I’d been clinging to during this storm:
For the Lord God is a sun and shield,
the Lord will give grace and glory.
No good thing will He withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.
Together we pondered that verse, and Romans 8:28, and how God promises that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.
On both occasions, bringing something scary into the Light diminished its power and lightened my load.
I decided to remind myself again, and again, how I’ve seen God’s hand in the past, in what seemed like the hardest of hard places, and I’ve seen how they worked together for my good. Like the time we were in a hard place in ministry in South Africa and felt it was time to return to North Carolina sooner than we’d originally planned, and I had eighteen months with my Dad before he passed away. Eighteen months I would never have had had we not be so hurt that we knew God was closing a door to open another.
God is in the business of making beauty from ashes. Last week, I was blessed with an incredibly sweet, thoughtful birthday party. It’s been a long time since I had an actual birthday party. This one was complete with homemade food and cake and flowers and decorations and gifts — and it was thrown for me by the nurses and medical staff right here in the Pediatric ICU, where my son currently resides. I will treasure that birthday party for the rest of my days! People who’d known me 18 days chose to so selflessly care for me at such a hard time.
Like flowers pushing their way through dirt…What glorious beauty!!!
So friend, I don’t know what finds you here, what you might be hurting from or afraid of, but I encourage you to bring those fears into the light. Remind yourself that God is good and He can strengthen you to walk through anything. Anything. ANYthing. And He is in the business of redemption — always turning brokenness into beauty.
Trust that you’ll see it. Say it out loud! Don’t let whispers of fear steal the joy you should have because God’s life in abundance is what Christ died to give you!
I hope you’re encouraged today, friend. If you’re visiting this site for the first time, I’d love to welcome you to
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Update on Blake:
Thank you so much for Raising a Hallelujah, and lifting up our precious Blake! He is still in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, but those days are numbered! Both of the drains which were removing excess blood from his brain have been removed. He was extubated last Wednesday and has been breathing very, very well all on his own since then. While having his PICC line removed today, he said his first word, “Ow!” We were sorry he was hurting, but so blessed to hear him speak!
He is beginning to give thumbs up and thumbs down to communicate with impressive understanding. Today the nurse asked if he was six years old, and he gave a thumbs down. When she asked if he was twelve, he gave a thumbs up and a cheeky grin!! (He is eight and this is totally his personality shining through!) The medical team that has cared for him (and his family) so incredibly well is working together to slowly and carefully reduce his medications, and with less and less sedatives on board we are able to see more and more of Blake shining through.
He does have a journey ahead with regard to rebuilding his motor skills and recovering from the TBI and the time in a coma… but he’s already been in a hurry and we feel sure his fighting spirit will serve him well. He could be transferred to the Pediatric Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit later this week. (Our minds are reeling at the thought of that! Wow!)
We’d be so grateful if you’d continue to lift up our sweet Blake, as well as the rest of our family as we continue walking this journey together. Rotating nights in the hospital is a challenge, but we are grateful to say we’ve been so well cared for and supported by our community, those tangible efforts and prayers have made our burdens so, so much lighter. I look forward to sharing more news with you soon — perhaps from Rehab next week! You’re also welcome to find With Love, From Here on Facebook for daily updates. Thank you for your prayers and support friends!!!