I don’t even know how to describe my faith. Let me just say it’s hard having faith in something you can’t see or touch when so many tangible things have been taken or lost. I keep it anyway. That’s what makes faith so special. It’s not really a tangible thing. Except when it is.
Lately, I’ve seen and felt God in so many places. That’s why I keep my faith. The most profound moment was the time my son coded. One day after his first surgery, I was asking the nurse to explain each number on the machines connected to my newborn because I needed to know the goal…the numbers to pray and hope for. As he explained one, it began dropping. Steadily. Then rapidly. He stopped talking to me and called for help. Within seconds, a swarm of doctors and nurses crowded the tiny cardiovascular intensive care unit around my son’s bed. One nurse began recording the time and every action taking place. The surgeon appeared and started directing the team, a calm voice in the midst of organized chaos. Another nurse asked if I’d like to step away. No. Thank you. My son needs me.
I prayed. Fiercely, fervently, and ferociously. I smiled and said, “Charlie, stay here. There’s so much to see. God is here. Mommy is here.” I kept smiling because I knew with all my being the words I spoke were the truth. In that moment, fear subsided and faith prevailed. I felt God’s embrace and saw His work play out. Charlie stabilized, and my smile widened.
Charlie’s bedside nurse approached me afterwards and said he’d never seen someone react the way I did. I don’t know what else I was supposed to do. I suppose not many people smile when their son has issues after open heart surgery, but I did. I still do. I’m not sure how I will manage on the next mountain climb, but I know I will reach my hand out and look up, because with God, all things are possible.
Don’t get me wrong, I have my moments where doubt seeps into my mind. What if his next surgery isn’t a success? Oh God…I have no words for the terror. I hate when the thought crosses my mind. I have boundaries though. It *rarely* touches my heart. Charlie can never sense it or hear it. Charlie deserves more. I have to be a model of strength and faith. When I do waver in his presence, it’s never about his heart condition. I want him to know that we shouldn’t place faith in things, people, or future plans. We can hope for these things, but that’s not the same thing. Those things aren’t forever. God is. I want him to learn that faith isn’t about anything we can control. Faith is letting go and letting God. In the moments we have nothing, we find we have everything. By everything, I mean faith, hope and love. It’s not a sign from Target or Kirklands. It’s not a slogan or Hallmark phrase. It’s a life choice. Sure there’s skepticism and uncertainty. Maybe even those that scoff at the simplicity of it all. I say to them…you, of little faith, open your eyes. Open your heart. And I wonder, “How could anyone see Charlie and not have faith?” I realize I didn’t understand faith as I do now until I became a heart mom. I understand time will help me appreciate its full scope as each day being Charlie’s mommy deepens my faith. I marvel at the complexity. Am I teaching Charlie about faith, or is it the other way around?
Thank you, Charlie, for helping me know God. For keeping the faith. No matter what happens, I’ll always work hard to keep it.