Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Lord is Our Refuge

My dad went into this very same hospital, St. Mary's, last week. But this time HE was the patient. Like his little preemie granddaughters, he needed extra care for his lungs and his heartbeat.

Eight years ago today, our little Paige (above) and Shae (below) were born eight weeks early. It was a really scary time, but God carried Mark and me through it.

For three weeks my heart was torn between 2 places. Between my little girl and boy at home who needed me, and my fragile little birdies who were 90 miles away being cared for by an expert team of nurses and doctors, amidst monitors, lights, tubes and beeps. I stayed with our babies for a week, but was then sent home to return to "Normal". Here they are at 2 weeks old on a family visit.

Three weeks in the NICU seemed like an eternity then, but looking back and seeing the research on 32-week-old babies, they did quite well to get out within a month. God pulled me closer to Him in their first year than I had ever been before. He told me He was in control. My dad shared with me some wisdom from his dad when my oldest sister was born, "That baby does not belong to you."

So the other day when we went up to visit my Dad in St. Mary's, we took a stroll over to the 2nd floor. The NICU. Memories flooded back to Mark and me, and four NICU nurses (Anne, Bonnie, Mary, and Linda) remembered our family. They were delighted to see how Paige and Shae are doing now, and they were even kind enough to let our "graduates" walk into part of the unit to see where they were cared for and spent their first nineteen days of life. The incubators, the hand-washing tubs, the sights and sounds...it was all a wonder to our daughters. I could barely hold back the tears when I thanked the angels who cared for our babies. For anyone who doubts the existence of God, I feel sorry for you because there is no doubt in my heart!!

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. --Isaiah 91: 1-2, 9-12

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