In the beginning of our storm, after Walt was born and we were processing everything thrown our way; I found that praising God helped me get through each day.
I know there’s been a little radio silence from us lately. We were updating everyone daily on Walt and then we got to come home. So naturally we took some time for family, for adjusting to two kids and also took some time away from the communication just to take a breather. But here’s the latest update and a little message that’s been heavy on my heart.
Monday, January 27, 2020
Today we had Walt’s follow up on his hearing. He failed the screening in both ears in the
hospital the day we were discharged so they set us up with a follow up at Columbus Speech and Hearing. I wasn’t going to stress about this before we went, it wouldn’t change anything. However, today we learned that Walt has moderate hearing loss in both ears. Again, not the news we wanted. But I keep reminding myself that it could be worse.
They have categories they rate hearing loss: severe, moderate, mild and normal. He’s moderate, so somewhere in the middle. To him he could hear high pitch sounds, but nothing normal tone (like a conversation between two people) or anything quieter than that. It could sound like he’s underwater.
He doesn’t have any fluid in his ears, no hole in his eardrums either. Surgery wouldn’t be able to fix his hearing loss. She is speculating it’s due to the lack of oxygen (could have caused nerve damage) and/or from the antibiotics he was put on early in the hospital. The antibiotics were necessary at the time, so you weigh 2 options: medicine that helps his immediate needs at the time of birth and distress or no medicine. She thinks the nerve damage won’t get better either.
We go back in a few weeks to do the tests again, Feb. 11, to confirm it. Then we are looking at hearing aids. I can’t help but be mad and upset again. My son can’t hear me. I can’t hear us as we are doing kangaroo time and we are telling him how much we love him. He can’t hear Whit when he says, “Hey baby!” and waves at him. Just when he seems to be doing great, a setback. The world is a beautiful place full of beautiful sounds. I want him to be able to enjoy music, laughter, conversations with people and more. But his hearing loss is moderate and with the help of hearing aids, he should be able to enjoy all of these things! I am thankful for that. I’m thankful for the doctors and technology we have that can help him with this. I’m thankful for early interventions and the ability to communicate in other ways other than sound. It’s amazing how life can prepare you for something down the road and you don’t realize it yet. I taught Whit some basic sign language to help him communicate with us before he learned how to talk and who would have thought we may need it to help us talk with Walt. God works in amazing ways.
So this is where today’s topic seemed to fit perfectly. Praising God in the middle of a storm, or when we hear bad news.“I raise a hallelujah, in the presence of my enemies
I raise a hallelujah, louder than the unbelief
I raise a hallelujah, my weapon is a melody
I raise a hallelujah, heaven comes to fight for meI’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!”-Raise a Hallelujah by Bethel
Of course todays news made me upset and mad. I hate the fact that Walt is going to have another hurdle to jump over. I’m upset that he will have difficulty in an area of life that comes so easy and natural to so many others. I am upset that he may have to work harder with hearing and speech. But I’m thankful for a God who has provided us with the ability to communicate to others in so many ways and for technology that helps make it easier.
In the beginning of our storm, after Walt was born and we were processing everything thrown our way; I found that praising God helped me get through each day. Lifting Walt up in prayer and singing out to God helped heal my heart. Crying out to him in my car helped me feel closer to Him.
Someone I work with sent me this song to listen to: Raise A Hallelujah by Bethel. She said she was singing it over me and my family. It did my soul so much good, listening to those words. It helped my heart knowing someone else was singing and praising God while praying over our family too.
The lyrics to the song “Even If” by MercyMe sticks out to me big time.
It’s easy to sing
When there’s nothing to bring me down
But what will I say
When I’m held to the flame
Like I am right now
I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Well good thing
A little faith is all I have, right now
But God, when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Oh give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul
I have felt so close to God during all of this. Every song that came on the radio during our stay in the NICU seemed to be picked just for me. I’ve always loved each song that I hear on Christian radio, but when you’re going through a valley or storm, they really seem to speak to you more! Every single song was speaking directly to me, reminding me of God’s love, of His Grace and His wonderful miracles He’s capable of performing.
I would praise God all the way to the hospital, all the way home, on the way to drop off Whit at daycare or to pick him up, anywhere I drove, I took that time to praise God. I felt like He was sitting in the passenger seat with me and helping my heart to heal.
All I could do while Walt was in the NICU, and even still now, was praise God. Some may ask, “How can you praise God during a time like this?”
My answer is simple, Because He loves me so much, He sent His son to die for me. Jesus came to this world to die for me. A horrible death that He didn’t deserve, all for me. All for Walt. My son may be sick, but he’s here. And right now my heart is so thankful for just that. I know that I can pray for him and praise God. I can’t think of doing anything else.
Of course I’m mad, upset, angry, and furious that this happened to us; but that isn’t going to stop me from praising God and thanking Him for all He’s done for us. We don’t deserve any of this anyways. We don’t deserve his love and mercy, but he loves us anyways.
A few days ago I was getting ready in our bathroom, I was singing while Walt laid in his
bassinet. The song “How Great Is Our God” came on. I just stared at him while praising God! How amazing is our God, that I can look at this sweet little miracle baby and this song comes on. Our God is Great! I sang and cried as he laid there squirming around. I started thanking God. Thanking Him for what He’s done for us. Thanking Him for bringing us through this, for walking with us. Then Walt starts working on what seems to be a massive poop! I thanked God for the poopy diaper that I will soon be changing, for his little body being able to do just that, poop. I thanked Him for his cries at 2 am, for Walt being able to raise his hands and his head. How incredible is our God? We thought Walt may not be able to do many things; take a bottle (and he did just that at 8 days old), move all 4 limbs, have a gag reflex, and he’s proving to us that he is a fighter.
So I choose to praise God for it all.
There are so many ways to praise God. Singing is the first thing that most people always think of. But you can take in the beauty of the world around you. Go outside, take a walk and just be in God’s world and give thanks to Him for everything. Give thanks to God. Go to Him in prayer. Talk to Him. Listen. Be still. Share the Gospel. So many things can bring praise to God. Find what fills your heart and praise God in the way that brings you closer to Him. Watch your children play or sleep and give thanks to Him for blessing you with them. Sing loudly anywhere and give thanks to Him. Praising God can be done in so many ways.
My sister is in the college group at our church, Cascade Hills, and they put together a time of worship and prayer for Walt. He was still in the NICU at this time. We gathered in our churches prayer garden. The college students lead us in a few songs and several of the students prayed for specific things over Walt. It was the most beautiful time for us! I got to raise my hands towards heaven and cry out to God in song. It was also such an incredible thing to experience with these students. I watched them sing to God unashamed; eyes closed and hands raised. They prayed the most magnificent prayers for Walt. My heart filled with love for what they put together for us, all for Walt. This time of worship was helping us know that God was all around, right in the middle of it with us. We were so grateful to our college group for putting this time of worship together for us.
I hope this will help someone else to know they can lean on God during any storm. He will walk through it with you.
We have a God who will fight for us when we don’t know how to fight for ourselves. He shows up for us.
These are just a few of the songs that stuck out to me. Their powerful words hit home for me. I know you’ll enjoy them, whether you’re in a storm currently or not, they have some incredible messages and reminders.
There’s something about singing to God when your heart is hurting. It has done so much for me and my hurting heart. I know it will help bring you some peace if you need it. I love to crank up these songs and just praise God for what He’s doing in Walt’s life.