Sunday, February 3, 2013

Mercies In Disguise by Rebecca Jeter

 Have you ever asked, 
"Does God really take the 
hard (bad, messy) things 
and turn them into 

Does he understand my pain? Does he care? I know that
I have asked. I am sure  many others have had the same questions or doubts. Do you want to know the truth of it?  He understands!  


My questions started coming around the time we had our second child. The day that I gave  birth to my son (not an easy delivery) my two year old daughter, Christian, was in the hospital on IVs. So things started out pretty rough. 

Six weeks later she came down with the stomach flu again and was held overnight in the hospital. While our daughter was in the hospital, the doctor took a look at our son and said she suspected something was wrong. She recommended that he have a CAT scan.

A week later the results of the CAT scan confirmed her suspicion -  his skull was fused together. A condition called Craniosynostosis. We were told that he would need surgery to correct the problem. 

This surgery came with a 100% chance it would necessitate a  blood transfusion. I did not like the idea that he would lose so much blood they would need to put more back into him. Of course I was praying that God would please just heal him so he wouldn’t need to have surgery.

During this time I was getting VERY little sleep and our two year old daughter was having a lot of behavior problems ( 9 months ago she was diagnosed on the Autism spectrum). I was asking God, 
“ Why was this all happening?” I didn’t understand and was even getting angry about it. I was tired, stressed and confused that life was so hard.

When our son was five months old we flew down to Children’s Hospital in Seattle for him to have the surgery. This surgery required his skull to be cut into 19  pieces, reshaped, and rebuilt. It took two doctors, a plastic surgeon and a neurosurgeon. Cade's was the worst case of this kind they had experienced in a long time.

It was a very emotional time when the hour came to surrender our son to the doctors and wait.  Wait and pray we did.  Three hours later we got the call to come see him.  As soon as I saw him I had to sit down. I don't do well with blood, cuts, etc.  His incision was from one side of his head to the other and not pretty looking at all. He also had a tube of blood still draining from his head.  It was so hard seeing him like this.

Around 11: 00 pm my husband left to go back to the Ronald McDonald house (they only let one parent stay over night in ICU). Forty-five minutes after Tim left, our son stopped breathing. 

All the nurses and doctors rushed into his ICU room. I remember my prayer was only, "Jesus help him" and "this is not suppose to happen." After what seemed like forever (it might have been a minute) Cade started breathing on his own.  They said it was the pain medication and if he hadn't started breathing on his own again they would have had to give him something that would take the pain medicine out of his system. He would then wake up in a lot of pain.

Within 24 hours his head swelled so big that he could not open his eyes.  I hated seeing him suffering and started to ask God "WHY?" again. Why does he have to go through this? Why couldn’t you have just healed him? Then God whispered to me, “My only son suffered, too!” 

That's when I knew that God understood exactly what I was going through.  I knew he cared. I didn’t have to ask why any more. God later gave me this poem.
When the pain is real
And the pain is deep
And you think your all alone

That's when the Father
Holds us close
And comfort to us is shown
This truth I hold
To me is clear
For He whispered in my ear
I Gave My Only Son
For I know just how you feel
Eighteen months later, as I was out running, I was thinking and talking to God about all that had happened. I realized that I would have never really understood how much God himself understands about our pain and suffering if he would have simply healed our son. It was then I heard him say to me, “That was all to prepare you for what is to come.”

A month later I found out I was expecting our third child. It was actually a bit scary after having one with difficulties (later diagnosed as autism) and another that was born with a birth defect. But even with fears we were very excited. Two weeks later I miscarried. I was 6 ½ weeks along. 

I like to be open about my miscarriage in the hope God can use it to help others.  He has! A year ago I discovered a friend had just suffered a miscarriage. I felt her pain like it was mine and I prayed for her healing. Shortly afterwards I happened to find a teardrop necklace. I knew when I saw it  I was to give it to her. It came with this verse.

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalms 56:8 NLT

I later found out that on the day my sister took my friend the necklace, God did a wonderful thing. He healed her, but not just from the pain of a miscarriage, but also from past hurts that would not go away. God did it! He took my pain and her pain and turned it into something good. And he did it because he DOES understand and he DOES care! HE REALLY DOES! It even says it in the bible.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 NASV

Miscarrying had been a very sad time for me but I remembered throughout the experience what God told me and I did not have to ask him why. I even knew he prepared me beforehand. He had already used something that was hard and turned it into something good. 

Of course there were many things that I had to work through, but in time he took my tears of pain and turned them to tears of Joy. One way was the birth of our youngest, Ivy, which in Hebrew means 'God’s Gift.' And she truly has been a gift (that is another story I will write another time).

Now I see how God has taken us through each of the trails that we faced these past 8 years. He used each one to bring us closer to him and to reach others. And as I look back to the time of the miscarriage and our son's surgery, I now see how it was all a blessing in disguise. Laura Story says it well in her song, Blessings

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if the thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life,
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise?

I drew a picture and wrote a poem in honor of our little Cara Sue ( which means Beloved Lily).  February 3rd is what could have been her birth date.  

This would have been her 4th Birthday. 

There are tears of Joy
And there are tears of pain
Both are healing Both are gain!

Even though tears may
Fall for a season
It is only a SEASON
And during that season
He is always by your side

Understanding more,
More than anyone I know
He is the Healing
He is the Comfort
He is the Reason
To want to face another day

And with His Grace
It slowly turns
Turns to hope
Hope of more-
More than what you knew before

And in time it comes-
His Love, His Joy, His Peace
Like a fragrant rain
Washing away the tears
And making you New again! 

What if the trials of this life are just
                    Your mercies in disguise?

Posted by Rebecca Steel Jeter and hosted by Calling Shotgun!

(Original art and photos by the author and/or family)

1 comment:

  1. This post is like warm oil (it heals). It makes me think of King David, saying that he would not give to his God a gift which cost him nothing. It cost the author something to put words to pain and bless God in front of the world without a tidy, explanatory ending. Thank you, Rebecca.