This morning I sit and write this post from the Special Care Unit of our hospital, where I have the chance to sit and hold our newborn son Henry. If you are reading this you probably know that Henry’s brother Asher has been home with us for a few days. We have not shared all of the details along the way, but for the sake of this message just know that because they came a little early, both boys needed some help getting enough food intake. I’m as shocked as anyone that one of MY children could have a hard time eating, but from what we’ve been told it is absolutely normal.
No matter how normal it might be, nothing can prepare a parent for these kinds of situations. You hear stories of others and feel for them, but when it is your own child, you think about things a little differently. Though they spent the first 8 months of their life in the same place under the same conditions, their stories are already different. Their births were very different, with one being a c section, and they have had their own challenges to face. We’ve been told that with twin boys, one usually struggles a little more than the other.
So…on Thursday, we celebrated as Asher was brought to our room downstairs and on Friday we celebrated as he was finally able to come home! At the same time, there is profound sadness because our home is not yet complete. We trust that he will develop on his own time and we long for that day, but for now there are lots of visits back and forth from the hospital, calls to nurses to check on how he is doing, while at the same time caring for a newborn and 2 year old girl at home (with LOTS of help from family, of course).
While I don’t believe that on this side of heaven we will ever understand why these things happen, I do believe in a God that is continually in the process of working to redeem even the worst of situations. At church the last few months we have been talking about spiritual awareness…where is God speaking?
Thinking about our boys, I think God is preparing us for the challenge of raising children but also showing me something about how we get to be a part of redeeming these stories.
Two boys, in similar circumstances, have developed differently. They’ve share a womb, a room, nurses, parents, and more. And yet one is taking a little bit longer than the other to do his thing.
Perhaps you are like me in this way. You know people in your life that don’t understand the joy found in the Christian walk. I think of church members, relatives, friends, and so many more that struggle. Someone that they love is not doing as well as they should. Perhaps they have prayed for them to attend church and no matter how much they pray…nothing seems to happen.
Or perhaps you are frustrated in your own spiritual growth (though I think sometimes we obsess over that more than we should). You think you should be at some heightened state of spiritual strength, you should have figured it out. And yet…you struggle.
I have been so encouraged this week by the love shown to us by the nurses and doctors at this hospital. They have loved us and our boys incredibly well. They will continue to love on our Henry until he gets a chance to come home. So what is God teaching?
We can’t control everything, no matter how hard we try. We can’t make people develop faster than they do. We can’t be responsible for results.
What we can do is be faithful in the tasks before us. Asher eats like a champ. Taking care of him is very similar to any other healthy newborn. We celebrate the good days and the time spent with him. We cheered as he got to come home.
And for Henry, he struggles, but we know that his day will come. We cheer at signs of progress, we pray when we see setbacks, and we continue to care for him until it “clicks” and he starts doing the things that a typical newborn should. We know that he will. We also know that this situation could be far worse. It’s just that sometimes it is hard to wait.
I don’t know your story. I don’t know your situation. I don’t know the hurt and the heartaches and the long nights praying for those that you care so much about. I also can’t promise that things will always get better. Life is fragile. Relationships are fragile.
What I can do is encourage you to be faithful in the circumstances in which you currently find yourself. Encourage when you can. Celebrate when you can. And mourn, when appropriate.
Today we wait for one milestone but we know that there will always be more times of waiting. And so, we place our faith in a God that we believe can and will redeem this situation and trust that God can use this opportunity to help us see the ways that he will work through this situation.
While our stories might be different, that statement is the same. Take heart. God is at work. And we’ll see the answers at just the right time.
(I’ll end with a few more pictures…because that’s what dads are supposed to do.)
What a great dad you are! And I know you and Jenni are the best parents these 3 could ever hope for! Love and prayers and hugs for all of the Shannon family (and all of the relatives and church family who is also in your corner offering up prayers on your behalf!
Thanks for the update , Jeremy. I did not realize Henry had not come home yet. I am so sorry for separation anxiety I know this creates for you all! Praying for you all !
👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼We will understand it better by in by I’am sure you have sang that song many times God has a purpose for everything . Jenni can have more time to recover careing for one newborn rather than two and it will be so exciting when Henry comes home still 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼❤️
Precious babie boys and beautiful little girl. Prayers for you all and hope your precious little Henry will be hoequipmentme soon!