I was asked by our Pastor to write a 600 word essay for the Advent Devotional Book about a time when I felt God's presence. I think we all know when that was. Here is the essay:
My third son, Easton Edward Clark, was born on May 18, 2011. Shortly after he was born, he had difficulty breathing and was admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. We had no idea how that admission would change our lives forever. Easton’s condition rapidly deteriorated within 48 hours. He went from a non critical diagnosis of “wet lungs” to a life threatening condition overnight. He had Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborns (PPHN.) This condition is not very common- only about 1 in 1,000 and has a high mortality rate. My little boy looked more like a science experiment than a newborn baby. He had IV’s, central lines, a feeding tube, was on a ventilator, had a chest tube, a pic line, and other monitors all in an attempt to save his little life. His six pound body looked lifeless as his Dad and I stood vigil next to his incubator. Looking at him, I knew there was no way he could recover from the severity of his illness. Each day the results of his tests got worse and my hope dwindled. I even started thinking of funeral homes and what I would bury him in. The absolute worse thoughts you can have as a mother. The doctors were doing their best but told us we needed to pray. These highly skilled doctors were humble enough to tell us that his fate wasn’t in their hands but in God’s hands. And pray we did. My first call was to Pastor Jeremy to help us. We were desperate and I felt we needed a closer connection to God. He graciously came to pray with us at Easton’s bedside. It was in that moment that I first felt like God was watching. The air in the room felt a little lighter. In that brief moment of a glimmer of hope, I took that opportunity to change my action. Instead of planning a funeral, I talked to God. All day. I stood by the window and looked at the sky and prayed for my baby. I stood next to the incubator looking at a baby I wasn’t able to touch and prayed for my baby. In the next couple of weeks when we would almost lose him and were forced to helplessly stand by and watch doctors work so hard on him, I prayed for my baby. I prayed for God to guide the doctors in the right direction and to give everyone the skills to take care of him. I even begged God to save my baby. These days were dark. They were paralyzing but I know in my heart that when I spoke to God, he heard me. The air would again get lighter. I could feel him and I knew I needed to keep talking. We reached out to everyone we knew and asked for prayers for our son and guess what? God proved he was with us and started answering them. Blood tests would improve, the ventilation settings were lowered, he was even allowed to wake up. There were so many setbacks and bumps in the road but I know how sick Easton was and I also know that the only reason that baby is alive today is because God saved him. He was on the brink of death too many times to end up perfectly well without some kind of divine intervention. We thank you God, for hearing our prayers.
We are so grateful to have Easton in our family and we will do everything in our power as parents to care for him and help him to lead a purposeful life. He will always know the meaning of gratitude and the importance of God everlasting.