When I was 10 or 11 years old, my best friend Karen and I took off on her Schwinn Stingray to head down the hill to my house. I don’t remember why I took the banana seat and she sat in the U shaped handlebars but that’s how we began our adventure. Shortly into our ride we began to pick up speed. At first the speed was manageable as we giggled our way towards my house but it didn’t take long for the bike to warn me that we were gaining speed faster than the pedal brakes could handle.
As the U shaped handle bars began to shake and my efforts with the pedal brakes failed we crashed. I honestly have no memory of our crash. I remember a brief moment of being in the back of my mom’s 67′ Volkswagon Bug (coolest car ever!!) on our way to the hospital emergency room and the next memory is being in the operating room while the plastic surgeon stitched my chin as I heard the 70’s tune The Candy Man by Sammy Davis Jr., playing in the background. My first trip to Mercy San Juan.
Several years later in the summer before my sophomore year in high school, I would make more trips to Mercy San Juan. Not from a Schwinn Stingray crash, but for my dad. Turned out that the excruciating headaches, jaw pain and neck stiffness that wouldn’t go away was a brain aneurysm. Our home away from home for several months was the 6th floor at Mercy San Juan. My second trip to Mercy San Juan.
Our next trip to Mercy San Juan would come almost four decades later to a new trauma unit (that wasn’t there in my early years) for my niece who had been involved in a horrific motorcycle accident on her way home from high school weeks before her graduation. A new chapel welcomed our family as we huddled to gain comfort and strength from our faith in Jesus. My third trip to Mercy San Juan.
And now my fourth trip to Mercy San Juan. This time to the NICU with our first granddaughter Brooklyn, born at 25 1/2 weeks weighing a tiny 1 Lb 4 oz.
Shaped by Faith
I’ve been here before to Mercy San Juan and am comforted by its familiarity. But where I find my hope, my strength and that peace that surpasses all of my understanding (Philippians 4:7) on this daily trip to the NICU is in my faith.
Faith at times that is hard as we watch the ups and downs of NICU living for micropreemies hearing the NICU birth stories from other parents who gained but then lost.
Faith at times that is bittersweet adjusting to the new normal of living life at the NICU and beyond, not knowing what we are walking into each day.
Faith at times that is sweet when milestones are met and we can see with our eyes the goodness of the Lord’s faithfulness.
Faith at times that lets me talk confidently to those in my sphere of influence about Jesus.
Faith at times that is comforted by knowing we are being lifted up to Jesus through prayer by people all over the world and in the NICU.
Faith that shapes me, molds me and makes me learn to respond out of His faithfulness.
I’ve been here before. The place where the speed of life seems manageable and where other times I lose control and crash. The place where faith takes the handlebars, to surrender, to let go, to let God.
Faith in Jesus lets me rest. He is in control.
James MacDonald says it perfectly in his book titled, The Will of God is the Word of God: “The will of God is to perfect the pinnacle of His creation, His children who have been reconciled to Him through faith in Christ.”
I’ll be here again and again in faith as God shapes me into the person He has designed me to be, conforming me more and more into the image of Christ.