When Matthew was first born, he was immediately taken to the NICU so they could administer the best care that they could and figure out what was going on with him. His breathing was getting better and he would get a staph infection, etc. Those days were so hard on us because of all the uncertainty. We would get excited about improvement and then be disappointed to hear of something else.
He was at Arcadia Methodist for 3 weeks, and because he was in the NICU we were not able to stay with him. So we went as often as we could to spend time with Matthew. On the trek in to the hospital there were several trees planted next to the sidewalk. They looked like dead branches because the leaves had all fallen, and it wasn't its season to bloom. I could probably tell you every detail about that short walk into the hospital because sometimes it felt like we were moving in slow motion.
I remember one day in particular that I arrived and just sat in the car weeping. I was so weary. The news wasn't too good yet. They didn't know what was going on. I couldn't feed Matthew because they didn't know why he wasn't eating well. The only comfort we found was in the Word of God.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:1
I walked towards the hospital... each step heavy, as I prayed and asked the Lord for healing for our boy. Then I happened to spy this tree:
All of the trees were still looking dead. Except for this one. There was one tiny little patch of gorgeous purple flowers on a dead branch. I tried to get a close up with my little camera:
It stopped me in my tracks and I was moved to tears. In nature, God showed me a little reminder of his kindness. It reminded me of a passage from Isaiah 43: 18-19; "Forget the former things, do not dwell in the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."
It was a visual reminder that in the middle of despair there still was hope. That as it says in Job 11:18,
"You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety." The Lord is our hope, our strength, our shield. (Psalm 33:20) We don't ever need to feel despair because He is with us!
The most awesome thing is that my "Hope tree" started blooming all over the city. I believe it is a Jacaranda tree, and the entire tree and ground around it erupt with color. It was like our little bit of hope overflowed and we would see it everywhere! Such joy in God's love for us.
Here we are, almost two years after that time.
|Right after he was born.|
|And now.. playing Uno with the family :)|
God is so good. No matter what trial we endure. Our Lord cares so much about us. It is in him we can place our trust.