I sit beside Evie on this couch and will myself to be brave. The oxygen tube up her nose and monitor on her finger are too much for this momma’s heart. Just two nights ago, I sat on Ella’s bed praying over her—praying for her lungs to heal—for God to be her breath.
I sit here rubbing her back and ask what Bible story she’d like. She quietly says, “The one when Jesus walks on water.” I swallow and breathe in another prayer. Why do my children always teach me? Why do they always remember the things I so quickly forget?
I begin reading and am captivated by these words I’ve read a thousand times during a thousand bedtime routines…
“Did you forget? Are you listening to your fears above me?”
How quickly I forget his grace. His goodness. That really, truly it is all a gift. A miracle. That each day, each and every breath he allows, is purely a grace.
I watch as Selah kisses Evie goodnight and tells her she loves her…I wrap blankets up around her neck and kiss her too. “Mama, shouldn’t we pray for Evie and Mbezia?” Her sweet little voice cracks…she too is trying to be brave. I pray over it all. She whispers, “Mama, I don’t want Evie to die…”
“Remember, Selah. Remember,” I whisper, “Who is in control of this storm?”
“Jesus.” She whispers back.
“Yes.” My voice catches in my throat as we both cry– really with the same questions.
We send out a request for our friends to join us in prayer, and I silently beg God not to even allow my worst fears to enter into my thoughts. I pray to have the mind of Christ. TO see Him and hear Him and trust Him in this storm.
Over the next hour, Evie brightens…her spirit strengthens. She is giggling, and asking for food and her oxygen levels are rising. And as the storm calms in her lungs, so it does in my heart. I praise Him.
These winds and waves come, and will continue, but He commands it all.
And then, in the dark, with my little girl asleep next to me…my thoughts go to Mbezia and her family…how they’ve been able to trust you, even when their eyes don’t see the results, the healing, or the restoration. They’ve chosen over and over to rely on the Lord’s goodness, rather than the physical answers. They’ve hoped, not in numbers. They’ve waded through deep waters without a promise of healing or absence of pain.
Her cries echo through the cement walls of the clinic, and through our hearts, as she receives yet another dressing change. She is choosing to fight. This little warrior, knows the strength of her Savior as the waves continue to thrust themselves over her.
And then, the next morning, Evie’s storm worsens too…her lungs are sick and she can’t get enough oxygen. We admit her at a hospital in town and continue to ask God for healing. Not just healing, but for God to show Himself to her in the midst of this trial. And HE desired to walk out onto her waves and be the peace for her.
In the middle of the night, her storm intensified. Her oxygen was too low and her Daddy-doctor fought and prayed to get her enough air. She woke up at one point around midnight in the dark—she looked up on the wall in her hospital room and could see a painting. She saw the SUN rising. All light. She saw the layers of light in the sunrise and reflected in the water. God spoke to her spirit, reminded her that HE was with her. IN her. That the Father, Son, and Spirit were there and ALL LIGHT. There was no darkness.
As she shared that with me the next morning, I could only agree and humbly thank God that He did in fact meet my little girl in those moments when the wind and waves wanted to wash out any remembrance of His presence.
And then God spoke, “I will take you from strength to strength.” Moments later we were transporting our little girl by ambulance to a bigger hospital in the capital city. The siren blared, Evie was vomitting, I was trying to call my parents in the US and it felt like too much.
I never imagined that my first ride in an ambulance would be with my daughter.
I never imagined that it would be in Africa. I guess you never can imagine these moments. BUT HIS GRACE was sufficient in every single moment.
I wanted to walk as a warrior, not given over to worry. I chose not to listen to the fears that wanted to yell in my heart. Face down, I begged God to be God.
We want to know without a doubt in the midst of the waves that Someone is holding our boat. We want to know that our children will be healthy and free from pain. But really what we need is to know HIM. I wanted to encounter Him walking on my waves, in my storm. And I did.
As we lay in a hospital room in Kampala, with our precious little one battling a severe pneumonia, I was simultaneously, burdened for the families grieving the loss of their loved ones in Vegas. In the aftermath of the shooting, confusion, hopelessness and tragedy broke out. Often the storms come without warning; swift, strong and devastating. And then the wind blew my prayers to precious Mbezia, certain that her family would never have imagined their little girl would lie with pain and such suffering…a disease eating away her skin. And then I remembered that yes, even in this—HE was enough. He was the one commanding the waves.
We stayed in that hospital for days, patiently surrendered and hopeful for our girls’ healing. And His nearness was our good.
A few days later we were leaving the hospital with Evie attached to an IV and an oxygen tube and my heart felt faint. Were we doing the right thing? Evie lay on the couch later that night, oxygen tube taped to her face…our living room turned clinic, and Daddy turned Doctor once again. My heart cried out and I chose to rest in my Captain and not my fears. He spoke out, “PEACE. Shalom.” Be still, Soul. Rest.
After a few more days, we saw her healing. We thanked Jesus for the moments, then hours off of oxygen. I was humbled by the ways God intersected so many lives and tragedies and places where He was moving in the midst of pain, and in the midst of our deep need. He drew us to His heart and moved us to pray. I was humbled that He met my little girl, and me, and my whole family with His mercy. In our hearts, he spoke a new kind of storm—one of relentless love. It is one that sings over and through all those waves and his Shalom washes over my soul.