Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My "Rose of Sharon"

I stand in utter awe and amazement tonight at our awesome God. These past 5 days have been marked with worry and exhaustion, but also with hope and provision. I am just basking and bathing in His faithfulness as I try to put words to all that has transpired. Much is on my heart, but my fatigue doesn't want to cooperate with the writing of eloquent words and smooth transitions, so grace is required of you if you choose to read further.

I went to bed really late last night and completely spent. I woke up this morning and still felt a thick layer of exhaustion cover me. As the morning hours unfolded, so did our worry for Brayden. He had not improved but seemed to be growing worse and his blood pressure was increasingly high (a new concern). It was decided by his team of doctors that a CT brain scan was in order. The "tone" of the medical staff had changed, and fear began to creep into our spirits. I don't know if I've ever been so worried before.

Brayden has been in the hospital for 5 days and Darcy and I have traded off shifts all throughout. Today was the first day we were able to be there with Brayden together all day. I've missed my husband; I've missed my kids; I've missed our family. Before Brayden's CT scan, Darcy and I knelt down on either side of his bed and prayed over him, in tears, in earnest pleading that God, the one who fully understands the love a parent has for his "one and only son," would protect and heal Brayden...that nothing would be discovered on these tests that would be of concern. At this time still, Brayden was showing no signs of improvement. He had become increasingly lethargic and it was hard to not allow my head to travel down the dangerous road of "what if's."

Last night, while on the phone with a friend, I cried out and told her that I just wanted to feel God's presence near...I wanted another gracefall. And while I could clearly see that He was using others to be His hands and feet for us, I wanted Him for myself. I wanted to experience Him directly, personally, intimately...especially in a time such as this. Why couldn't I feel His presence covering me at a time I needed it most?

One of our friends who came up to visit us at the hospital yesterday brought a goodie bag that contained a book called "Wonderful Names of our Wonderful Lord." I flipped through it that night and came upon a page that called Him "The Rose of Sharon." To be honest with you, I don't know much about how He has received this name in the Bible or what it means to us. I've heard the term before, and was even intrigued as I came across it in the book, but didn't give it much thought beyond that first glance. But God was up to something here.

After Brayden's CT scan today, the worry and fear persisted. We were in the elevator and others joined us. There was a married couple accompanied by a medical staff person who was pushing a wheelchair that was filled with the largest floral arrangement I have ever seen. It was really beautiful. So grand...and they were mentioning that they never see arrangements like this, that these types are usually ones celebrities give and receive. And as we were about to exit, out of the blue, the woman pulled a rose out of the arrangement and stepped across the elevator floor and placed it right into my hand. I was overcome with emotion right then and there because I felt like God was saying, "Here you go. You wanted Me for yourself and here I am. I am the rose of sharon. 'I take hold of your right hand and say, Do not fear, I will help you.' (Isaiah 41:13...a verse He gave me when I walked through the darkness of miscarriage a few years ago.) I couldn't hold back the tears for the rest of the walk back to Brayden's room. I held that rose and felt like I was holding the hand of God. It's fragrance sweet; it's symbolism even sweeter. And I felt His presence in a real, tangible, and intimate way. Just as I had longed and prayed for the night before.

As soon as I got into Brayden's room, I went right to that book and searched for the page that named our LORD and described Him as "The Rose of Sharon."

"I am the rose of Sharon."
Song of Solomon 2:1

It reads, "Child of God, there is no mood of the life where Jesus fails to fit thy need; to brighten as a brilliant rose thy life. In joy or sorrow, sunshine or shadow, day or night, He blooms for thee. Behold Him, then, today, not only on the Cross for thee, not only on the Throne, but near thee, close beside thy path, "The Rose of Sharon."

Awestruck. A God so big who knows our hearts, who sees us, who hears us and is willing to come down into the tiny details of our lives to remind us that He is near, that we are not alone, that He will not fail us, but will provide for our needs and bloom for thee.

As the day unfolded, it grew even sweeter than that rose. Brayden's CT scan results came back completely normal. I couldn't stop crying tears of joy with this great news. I completely attribute this to the army of prayer warriors out there who were petitioning on our behalf and a God who listened and responded. And then it seemed that with each new hour of the afternoon Brayden seemed to be improving more and more. He first began to actually stay awake and alert and not be restless in pain and nausea. The doctors tried a new medication [one that they use to treat migraine patients because they believe that this episode could have been an "abdominal migraine," which is a variant of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (the diagnosis they are leaning toward)]. And it seems to be working. Brayden began to sit up on his own and come evening, he asked to go down to the children's play area. Although unable to walk, his Daddy carried him down and he enjoyed a wagon ride and put together a puzzle. His appetite returned and we began making a wish list of all the foods he was craving. The joy was blooming within me as I watched and reflected on the dramatic changes that had taken place in his favor over the course of the day.

On the ride into the hospital today I was listening to my WORSHIP playlist. One of my favorite songs lately has been "Who But You" from the album "Music Inspired by The Story." It's a song told from the perspective of Abraham and the lyrics are, "I see a star. You see the Milkey Way. I see one man counting sand, but You see generations...Who but You would ever choose to dream Your dream in me. Tell me, who but You, would dare me to believe what I can't see...You alone can do the things You promised to. You are Yahweh. I'm just a man. I'm counting tiny grains of sand. Placing every promise in Your hand. Great and Mighty God, I believe. I believe You. Keeper of the stars. I believe, I believe You." And as I was driving this morning, I sang those last chorus lines with desperate hope and resolve. I was choosing to believe.

My car ride home tonight was much different than the one the night before. I warned the girls that we would be listening loudly to praise music all way home, and we did. This ride home was marked with tears just as the night before, but these tears were fragrant with joy and thanksgiving. I remember looking up into the sky last night hoping to see stars, but there were none in sight. But tonight I looked up and the dark sky was full of them. I couldn't help but think He allowed them to visibly shine tonight just for me...as a reward for believing Him and His promises. I thought of that song and thanked the Keeper of the stars for simply being God.

And then I walked into the house...and it got even sweeter. I almost immediately noticed that a few things were added on the countertops and that all of my dirty dishes were no longer sitting in my sink. My days are blurry and at first I assumed it was Darcy who did this when he came back home to nap Berlyn during one of our shift changes...but, we were both at the hospital together all day so it couldn't have been him. And then I noticed my "loving deeply friend"'s crockpot was missing and I thought..."How nice of her. She came to get her crockpot and washed my dishes for me. What a gem!" A few minutes later I went upstairs and noticed that a book that was once laying on the floor in our hall bathroom was no longer on the floor. I walked into Berlyn's room to get her pajamas and all the blankets in her crib had been folded and there was a stack of clean folded laundry on her glider. I kinda stood there in disbelief and smiled...we moved into Brooke's room and it too had been cleaned...bed made, a basket of folded laundry on the floor, toys put away. I couldn't believe it. Brayden's room...the same deal. My room, yes...it too had been redeemed. Every piece of the probably 5 or 6 loads of clean laundry that once sat in a pile on my bedroom floor had been folded. Somebody (or somebodies) came and cleaned my house for me. I cannot describe to you the love that warmed my heart at this realization. His hands and feet, humbly serving my family and caring for our every need. With nothing but a full heart of gratitude, I am speechless.

Oh Sovereign God, You are too much for me at times...overwhelming me with Your goodness. You are faithful and worthy. The problems of life that seemed insurmountable yesterday, seem to be but a drop in the bucket today. My son getting healthy and well is all that truly matters. Seeing Your Hand in this situation just makes every other worry fade. I stand amazed at the way You work through us and in us...evidences of You are everywhere; how could one not believe? It's in Your body of believers who work on Your behalf as Your hands and feet...it's in the tangible and intimate ways you reveal Yourself to me when most needed....it's in Your creation that declares Your glory. Thank You Father, for all that You are and all that You do. You do not fail.
You are my Rose of Sharon.


  1. The ministry of the Spirit is hands down the most intimate connection we have here on earth with our Creator. I'm thankful he gave you a tangible touch yesterday. May it continue in your life and bear much fruit. I'm so relieved that Brayden is feeling better. Thank you Jesus!

  2. I've been following Brayden's status on fb and praying for him. I can't fathom how hard this must be, especially as a parent myself. I admire the faith you have and that you are able to see positives in all of this.