I was blessed to be able to attend church yesterday with my son Joseph. As we walked in the door, the band was singing the song, Great Are You Lord. THAT is the goodness of our God because THIS song has great meaning to me.
I am a strong woman and handle traumatic situations very well most of the time, at least while I am in them. Later, I generally need time to process and release whatever emotions are attached to the situation. I am also optimistic and can downplay the severity of things as I choose to walk in faith and believe rather than give power to the negative. Plus I want those around me to be in faith rather than doubt. This was the case with my son Joey’s hospitalization in January of this year.
As many of you are aware (or can look back at posts on this site from 2011), my son Joey had a pituitary brain tumor removed that year. This means that every function the pituitary gland enables the body to do, Joey’s body is unable to do without medication. Over the past several years we have figured out that when his body is run down, he is not able to fight things off like you or I would be able to. For Joey, he usually ends up with a high fever of about 105 (don’t freak out people, this has always been his temperature when he is sick since he was a baby) to fight off whatever is going on in his body. One of the pituitary functions is to control the balance of water in the body, so you can imagine that a high fever would dehydrate the body quickly. In putting all the puzzle pieces together, this is what we believed happen in January this year.
Joey was working graveyard at the time which we soon realized was not good for his body. He had not slept in a couple of days due to his schedule with work, school, and the things he loves to do. He got off work Saturday morning, went to school, then went home to bed. He was scheduled for a shift Saturday evening and set his alarm for 10:30pm to get up for work. He woke up with a sore throat and cough and proceeded to call out from work. He took his stress dose of steroids and went back to sleep. We believe while he was sleeping, his high fever tried to fight off whatever was going on in his body causing severe dehydration. That is the last time anyone heard from him until Monday morning when his roommates checked his room to find him lying on his bed on his back, eyes open but completely non-responsive. His bed was covered with vomit, feces, and urine that had soaked through the mattress and boxspring to the floor. 911 was immediately called and Joey was taken to the hospital. I arrived at the hospital prior to the ambulance and called his siblings and father while on the way.
Once back in the ER with Joey, the ER doctor informed us that he was in serious condition, his organs were failing, they were talking kidney dialysis, his heart was beating at a rate of 130-160 per minute and they wanted to intubate as he was struggling to breathe. In moments like this, the choice is to allow fear to grip and control your mind or stand in faith. Though I say, “stand in faith”, the internal battle was real, and choosing to hold on to the promises of God was a conscious effort. When the doctor gave us the report, the song Great Are You Lord came to mind, and the verse, “it’s your breath, in our lungs, so we pour out our praise”. I pulled this song up on my phone and placed my phone on the bed right next to Joey’s ear. I told my mind to line up with my spirit and began giving God praise, believing that Joey would live and have breath in his lungs. They did not intubate and Joey was taken to ICU. The first few days were scary for all of us and it is these moments that test your faith. We had many God moments in the hospital. One of the most special moments for me was when Joey shared that he had an encounter with an angel of death while he was unconscious. He asked the angel if it was his time to go and the angel told him no. Joey said “okay, but if it is, I am ready to go”. A complex and troublesome concept this side of heaven is why some live long and others lives are shortened. I don’t think we will ever truly grasp this here on earth but we do know that Scripture tells us, “Since his days are determined, the number of his months is with You; and his limits You have set so that he cannot pass”, Job 14:5 (NASB). We also believe that Joey is alive today because of the power of prayer from people all over the world who felt led to faithfully pray for his healing along with our praise in the midst of the storm. God is bigger than my comprehension and I need only to stay focused on His goodness and faithfulness no matter what the outcome is.
I chose to share the details of our story, with Joey’s permission because we believe in authenticity and the goodness of God. We want our lives to be a witness in any way that it can be to those around us. Unwavering faith is a daily, and sometimes moment by moment choice. I hope to grow stronger in my faith every day. Should you feel led to pray for Joey, myself, or our family at any time, we always welcome your prayers as we know prayers move mountains and people are healed in the name of Jesus.
Now, why I chose this song for Music Monday… When Joey and I walked into church on Sunday and this song was playing, it was like a kiss from heaven and a reminder that the God of the universe, my Father, is a good, good Daddy. He is personal, intimate, and loving. He saved my son’s life and we give Him all the glory, honor, and praise! To my son Joey, God has so much in store for you son…..”For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope”, Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV).