Friday, April 5, 2013

Faith Is Refined in the Fire and Storms of Pain

If I were to make a calendar of the "main events" in our home over the last few weeks, it would look like this:

  • March 10th- Aksel is born
  • March 12th- Come home from hospital
  • March 19th- Addi becomes ill
  • March 21st- Addi hospitalized 
  • March 24th- Addi comes home on oxygen
  • March 26th- Jae & Cobi become ill
  • March 28th- Jae & Cobi put on oxygen
  • April 3rd- Aksel hospitalized
There are two ways to look at this: 

1. The glass half empty
2. The glass half full

Okay. Lame cliche, but I'm serious.. 

You see, when we first discovered Aksel was getting sick after the other three had to be put on oxygen, I lost it. I started balling and being foolish about "how hard life was." JoJo (the hubby) then said to me, "It could always be worse." At the time I had a smart aleck response of, "It could always be better" because I was upset at what was happening in our home with all the sickness and didn't care that "it could be worse"- I thought I had already reached my breaking point. But as the days passed, I couldn't help but keep thinking about his statement. My perspective slowly started to change... Then, when we were transferred to the NICU, it punched me in the face. Here is my 3 week old son who basically has a couple of colds "on steroids..." He doesn't have a terminal illness... He doesn't have long-lasting effects that may hinder his quality of life... He hasn't been here for months... It COULD be worse...

Of course we take all of this seriously and know that at any point Aksel's little newborn body may stop fighting, but we aren't going to walk in that fear.  Instead, we are going to be thankful for the health he does have and walk in faith that regardless of what happens, our God is in control... 
"Many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand." (Prov 19:21)
 "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."        (Rom 8:28)
Yes, it is hard. Yes, there are moments when my heart is broken. But... 
"In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed" (1 Peter 1:6-7)
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance" (James 1:2-3) 
... we need to rejoice in the glass being half full.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" (Rom 12:12)

Our lil' Aksel Tate startin' to show a smile..