What’s your Ebenezer? Not the Scrooge kind with Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, “Bah! Humbug!” and all that. Surely you mistake this for the Christmas in July blog. Perhaps I should sign up for Pay Pal.
The first Ebenezer was a place of upheaval, distress and defeat. But God transformed it into a place of victory, remembering and thanksgiving. You can read the full saga in 1 Samuel 4-7.
It ends with Samuel setting up a stone memorial, calling it Ebenezer, and saying, “This marks the place where God helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12 The Message).
My friends Nicole, Katie and others have reposted significant blog entries to remember the places God helped them and their families. Fabulous idea. One I need to employ as it’s too easy for me to forget.
So here’s an Ebenezer in July. It comes not from this blog which is only five months old, but from a July 2007 email. Some of you received the original email or read the story in our 2007 Christmas letter.
A little background. Our only child Theo was born with an ASD or atrial septal heart defect. This condition usually heals on its own. Theo’s did not. He had open heart surgery four years ago when he was only two years old…
A Sigh of Relief, July 16, 2007
Hello, everyone. I am home to get some sleep after this long and truly amazing day. Theo’s surgery went very well and very quickly—only about two hours. He was away from us for a little more than four excruciating hours. Being separated from him was the hardest part for us—like holding your breath, stepping off the high dive, and waiting, waiting for the water to break your fall.
Theo has been resting with us at his bedside in the cardiac intensive care unit since lunchtime. Our incredibly compassionate and capable surgeon kept Theo’s incision small…“neat and square” comes to mind, like one of Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne’s corners. Theo is being kept sedated because when he wakes up, he immediately requests to “go bye-bye, please,” and then tries to sit up and pull out his IVs. What a relief to see his spunk has not faded one bit, nor have his manners.
I will relieve Jeff early tomorrow morning. Jeff insisted on staying the night, saying he is used to being up to all hours working and sleeping in strange places like airplanes and hotel rooms. He made me, the morning bird, come home to rest while he, the night owl, keeps watch by night. What a good daddy and husband he is!
Thank you for your prayers, calls, emails, visits, gifts and concern for us. It is not a coincidence that Theo was born in a time when this surgery is accessible to us and the technology exists to support its success. Nor is it a coincidence that he lives in a house 15 minutes away from a top 10 children’s hospital. That is the tip of this iceberg. How humbling to realize we cannot begin to understand all the connections and repercussions of God’s purpose.
Breathe then a sigh of relief with us that the first and highest hurdle of this race is past. Tomorrow will be a challenging day as Theo is weaned off the sedatives and strongest pain medications. His doctors hope to move him to a step-down unit, which in layman’s terms means a step-closer-to-going-home unit. Please pray that God will quiet Theo and help him to remain as calm as a two-year-old boy can remain in such a situation, and that He will give Jeff and I an extra measure of strength and wisdom to comfort Theo. Pray God protects him from infection or other complications, so he can come home soon. Please.
I leave you with one of Paul’s doxologies from Romans 11:33-36. It sums up our elation, amazement, and gratefulness. I see this short update is getting lengthier as I my mind spins and treads around the events of the day. Humor me as I cannot resist also including a verse from Charles Wesley. I read it early this morning in the near dark before we left our house, and it still seems appropriate as the sun sets on this evening. Good night, and sweet dreams.
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable His judgments,
and His paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been His counselor?”
“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”
For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things.
To Him be the glory forever! Amen. Romans 11:33-36 NIV
Other refuge have I none; Hangs my helpless soul on Thee; Leave, ah! Leave me not alone, Still support and comfort me. All my trust on Thee is stayed, All my help from Thee I bring; Cover my defenseless head With the shadow of Thy wing. Charles Wesley, from Jesus, Lover of My Soul
Don’t miss this link to Fernando Ortega’s version of Charles Wesley’s Jesus, Lover of My Soul. Ortega is one of my all-time favorite artists. I was surprised and grateful to find this recording on YouTube!