For Lent, I’ve taken a little break from the internet so I can focus more on study and prayer, but given that today is my son’s first birthday, this mama couldn’t resist posting some birthday pictures to Facebook. I’ve also spent a lot of time the past couple of days reflecting on the past year and felt like I needed to testify to God’s faithfulness here on my blog.
For such a little person, Nathan has had a rough go of it. Now I know that we have so much to be thankful for because there are so many more kiddos sicker than he has been, but he’s still had to go through some hard things his first year. For those of you who don’t know, Nathan was diagnosed at 2 months of age with sagittal craniosynostosis. In layman’s terms, Nathan was born without the soft spot in his skull that most babies are born with that allows their brain to grow. To correct that defect and allow his brain to grow, Nathan had to go through an endoscopic craniectomy. Nathan underwent this surgery just shy of 3 months. A wonderful team of surgeons removed 3 pieces of Nathan’s skull in order to allow his skull and brain to develop properly.
We saw God’s hand in all aspects of Nathan’s surgery. Because of our wonderful, vigilant pediatrician Nathan was able to have the endoscopic procedure instead of the more invasive open vault surgery. The endoscopic procedure can only be done before 3 months and Nathan was able to get into surgery 2 days before his 3 month birthday!
Nathan was so well taken care of at Scottish Rite and even though there was lots of swelling, blood loss and multiple transfusions; he only had to be in the hospital 4 days. I was so amazed by how quickly he recovered and was able to get off pain medications. God has definitely blessed him with a sweet, laid back disposition which really helped during those hard weeks of recovery.
There is no way to describe the anxiety, worry and fear that parents experience when one of their children is very sick or undergoes surgery. The first few months of Nathan’s life were filled with concern, worry, anxious waiting, fear and so many other emotions. In all of those scary moments, all I could do was LEAN into God and I can testify that He proved to be oh so faithful. Even in the middle of the darkest days, I experienced peace that was indescribable. Until then I had never truly understand Philippians 4:6-7:
“…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (ESV)
The peace God gave me during those months definitely “surpassed all understanding”.
Even after Nathan recovered, our weeks were filled with follow-up appointments with multiple surgeons and he also had to wear a corrective helmet for four months because his condition had caused his skull to be misshapen. Once again, God revealed himself in so many ways during Nathan’s helmet therapy. It seems trivial now, but after all he had been through my heart hurt that he had to wear a helmet 23 hours a day for months.
But, God is good all the time! Just last week we saw our neurosurgeon and he cleared us for 2 years! Plus, he said that the chances of a secondary surgery has been reduced to 1%! We are so grateful for his progress in just a few short months.
Nathan is behind in his gross motor skills for a one year old, but once again I am trusting God that he will develop normally and that, if needed, we can continue to give him great care and therapy. In most areas though he is a normal one year old and is the sweetest, happiest baby. My mommy heart explodes with the idea that God can and will use the trials Nathan has endured in mighty ways in his life. I can’t wait to see the man he will become and experience the good works God will produce in him. (Ephesians 2:10)
Just this morning as I was reading Proverbs 3 and God led me to pray verse 5-8 for Nathan (and Myla too!).
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.” ESV