Seeing With My Eyes Closed

Seeing With My Eyes Closed

I bought these ornaments a few months ago, hoping that this was the year.

That I could wrap them up and give them to my husband and mom, and when they would unwrap them, they would be unwrapping a miracle. The one we’ve been praying now for eight years. I know healing is my inheritance because of Jesus. He paid such a high price for me to be healed. I know more than ever that truth, and that we will see that healing manifest.

I was just really wanting it to be this year.

Read More

When God Doesn't Answer Prayers

I wrote in my new journal today. It's really beautiful. The cover is printed with floral designs that are muted in pinks and greens. The binding is threaded so it folds perfectly. And even though the word, "Journal," is stamped in gold for all to see, eventually my two year old will tear out a few pages. The crisp pages filled with lines, wait to hold a story. My story for the next year.

I journal almost everyday, you know, on my

white couch

. It's our time. Me and God. I read His Word and then process how He speaks to me on those pages. They're filled with heart cries. I can be honest there. I'm safe to really be me, because He made me, He knows me better than I know myself. So I pour out my heart. The good, the bad, the ugly, my dreams, my aches, my deepest pain. It's all written in between those lines. I have boxes of journals filled with prayers He has answered. I love looking back at the start of a new year, reminding myself of all the prayers He answered. It's encouraging. I'm reminded of His faithfulness. And there is something powerful in seeing Him hear me.

In those pages are also prayers He hasn't answered. Like this

barren womb

. There are years worth of prayers asking for that healing. I have two beautiful babies sleeping upstairs that are more than I could ever dream. I sometimes have to remind myself I didn't give birth to them. And when I have to check the race box on the doctor's forms, is the only time I remember that our skin doesn't match. They are mine. They are blessings. They have filled the longing in my heart to be a mother, and the way the Lord brought them home to us has been nothing but a beautiful miracle. But those prayers I prayed for

physical healing

, have not been answered.

I knew God was going to heal Micah right in the knick of time before he had to have surgery. Two weeks before, a group of Believers prayed healing over his sweet body. And I felt the Lord touch him. I watched Micah respond. It was real and powerful and we left believing so hard in his healing. And three hours later, we were beating his back again, trying to get him to breathe.

We spent another five days in the hospital not even two weeks after that. The GJ tube we

didn't want him to get,

he got. And for the first time since we have

brought him home

, I haven't lived in constant panic, wondering if he would aspirate and I wouldn't get to him fast enough. I have actually had a few nights where I slept straight through the night. More importantly, he is much more comfortable. He rarely vomits now. And if he does, I now know how to vent his G tube to ease his discomfort.

We made the right decision. We really did. It was ultimately a matter of keeping him alive. But his feeding/speech therapist told me the other day, "As long as he has the GJ tube he will not oral feed." It's because his stomach has shrunk to the size of a newborn's. If we were able to get food in him, his stomach isn't emptying right now, so he would vomit it back up. His oral aversion is so severe we play with spoons without food during therapy. He takes nothing by mouth. Not even water. It's a miracle if he lets us get a finger in his mouth to rub his gums. And we carry his little pump book bag around with us everywhere now, because he has to have continuous feeds. I finally monogramed it, so at least it looks cuter. There are so many kids who have much more serious illnesses. And we are very thankful Micah's isn't as serious. Many children with feeding issues often show signs of neurological problems. We are thankful so far he hasn't shown any other signs of delays. But this new tube is still an unanswered prayer.

Really, God answered our prayer, it just wasn't the answer we were hoping for.

It's hard, isn't, friend? When God doesn't answer our prayers, it's so hard. We know "that nothing is impossible with Him." We believe that He doesn't give his children rocks when they ask Him for bread. He says, "Ask and it will be given to you."

Then we do, and He doesn't. And we're left wondering how to move on. It leaves questions, if we're honest, about Who He is and Who we know Him to be. It's a dangerous place to stay.

So I grab that box of journals, and I read until my eyes are tired of all the times He has answered me. Not only that He has answered me, but how He answered me. It is never the way I imagine, but always more beautiful than I could fathom. I dive deep into His Word and rather than letting doubt sneak in, I preach to myself Truth. All.day.long.

Somewhere between the unanswered prayers in the past and the waiting on Him in the future is this sweet place of rest.

It's there I quit striving. I quit trying to plan everything out. I quit trying to figure Him out. And I just rest there, in Him. The sting of the "No's" or "Not Yet's" is rubbed over with the balm of His nearness.

And my heart decides trusting Him, regardless of His answers, is so worth it.

There aren't enough journals to ever write of His worth.

So I'm learning again that as He tears me down, He will bind me up. As He ruins me, He will heal me.

And tomorrow, I'll meet Him there, on that white couch. I'll breathe in His presence, I'll drink His Word, and I'll be praising Him if He answers the prayers in my journal this year, or not. Because I've seen a glimpse of His worth.

And just that glimpse is enough to trust Him.

"Come, let us return to the Lord, for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth."

Hosea 6:1,3 ESV

*Photos by

Rachel Ackerman Photography

*

One Day

"O Lord, my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me."

Psalm 30:2

I was sitting criss-crossed on top of the doctor table. It's not a beach trip unless you make a trip to Urgent Care. Can I get an, "Amen?"

Honestly, I was admiring my tan. I'm fair skinned, so it takes a lot of work to get a tan. At first, you need one good tan-burn, as I like to call it, then you're golden. I was proud of the Essie nail color I picked. The coral against my tan toes just looked like summer. Then, I started feeling so proud that I found time to paint them. The white paper was crinkling under me every time I moved. It's so annoying. And I was sweating, so it was sticking to my legs. Ugh...

They couldn't have chosen worse music to play in the room while I was waiting. If I didn't feel so bad, I would've climbed on top of the counter and changed the station. Brandon gets so embarrassed of me sometimes, when thoughts like that pass through my head. Luckily, he wasn't there.

I've never had a UTI before, but I knew that's what it was. Apparently if you don't get those things treated pretty fast, they ruin your beach trip. I debated for two days whether I should go. Good thing I did.

*******

So God has been teaching me much about healing lately. And I'm not quite sure why, because none of my prayers for healing have been answered.

But I'm learning with Him, it's about the process. Not the end. I think the healing happens some time along the way.

Micah is still only

eating

two ounces. And that's a good feeding. He's not tongue tied. Believe me, I've had three different doctors check. He's on a different reflux medicine now. A different formula. Different bottles. We literally have tried it all after the hospital visit. We're getting all the therapy a kid can get. It seems to make him much happier after feedings and in between. But every three hours, I fight that kid to eat.

I swaddle him, put him on his belly over my arm and sway him side to side. The OT said this stimulates his nervous system and allows him to calm down. Oh, and I have to pat his back when I do that. Once we sway for fifteen minutes, then I take the "therapy paci" and orally stimulate his gums. This is supposed to prepare him for the bottle. Once he is orally stimulated, I turn on the sound machine, because any noise distracts him, and makes him loose his suck. You can imagine how challenging this is with an 18 month old sister. I sit with my knees up, turn him on his side, support both his cheek and chin with one hand while the other hand holds the back of his head and pray. PRAY. The entire feeding. Not out loud of course. Too distracting.

This happens EVERY three hours.

Every three hours, I pray for God to heal him. And you'd think I won the lottery when we finish with an empty bottle. Everyone in our house screams and claps and talks in a happy baby voice to him!

It's not really, but kinda really funny. Can you believe I was actually worried that God wouldn't teach me as much with Micah as He did with Selah? When we found out about Micah, I thought back to all God taught me through

Selah's adoption

. He moved mountains to get this girl into our family. Then we got a phone call in September about Micah. Just one phone call. He literally fell into our laps.

His name

means, "Gift from God." Because that is exactly what he is.

Boy, did He show me. I needed Him throughout Selah's adoption because it was new and scary and hopeless at times. I literally need Him every three hours with Micah. Sometimes, before a feeding, I text my family and friends and ask them to pray for us. Yall. It's hard.

But, I am trusting and resting in God's healing for Micah. One day, he'll suck bottles down better than the best eatin' baby in the world. One day, instead of little bird legs, we're going to be squishing his little rolls. And I told God last night, those rolls will be visible evidence of His faithfulness.

One day.

*******

I just knew when the doctor walked in she would have a surprised smile on her face. I knew she'd probably tell me that I had a UTI, but I also knew she'd tell me the impossible.

That I was pregnant.

I prepped my heart for it. The silent conversation I had with God on that crinkly paper with the terrible music was confident and full of worship. I was expecting Him to heal me. I knew He would. I wasn't overly excited because you don't get super excited about things you already know.

The door opened, and the doctor sat on her swivel stool. Told me I had a UTI, gave me prescriptions for some medicine, wrote the discharge papers, and left.

And I said, "Not this time, Lord, but one day."

It is impossible, this healing. My physical healing is absolutely impossible. It will literally be a miracle. There is no way I could get pregnant, or keep a pregnancy.

Throughout this process of heart healing that has happened along the way, I'm not

barren

anymore. He has taken all of those empty parts of my heart and filled them with Him. It has been beautiful.

There were days I couldn't make it to baby showers, and if I had to go because it was a close friend, I'd always slip out early and cry in my car. One time my mom wouldn't let me drive home until I calmed down. I would literally ache when I went to Chic-Fil-A. All the moms and their babies enjoying that fried goodness. It hurt.

That's not me anymore.

Because God is faithful, and I am now that mom. One baby on my hip, the other one on my chest. I've had two baby showers. People came to MY baby showers. I get the incredible honor of buckling babies in car seats, carrying diaper bags, wearing spit-up, and looking a little

frazzled

sometimes.

Somewhere along the way, He healed my heart. And it was long before I was every called, "mommy."

But this physical healing. As much as I want to forget about it, adopt all the orphan babies in the world, and as many times as I've tried desperately to put the flame out, hope still flickers.

That thing will not die. And I believe it's because God is trying to teach me something.

He's teaching me something about healing even though He hasn't answered my prayer.

I'm going out on a limb here, because "what if He doesn't?" I don't know. I just know that He's asked me to pray for healing. I don't know why. For the life of me, I can't figure it out. But I am. I am praying for God to do the impossible. Literally, impossible.

And I believe Him.

It's funny God has been doing all of this in my heart now for almost a year. Just this week, I read this

blog post

, and Preston Yancey killed it, "This is how we pray now. Wild. Untethered. Rushing into hope and trust that God is who God says God is."

It's scary to pray this way. Real scary. Because what if I'm wrong? What if I'm hearing Him wrong? What if He doesn't heal me? I don't know. I tell myself again, I just know that I am supposed to pray for healing.

Pray for my son's healing. Pray for my healing.

He'll do it.

We'll just wait.  

One day...

*Photo by

Rachel Ackerman Photography

*