My eyes let go. Tears rolling out onto my early morning face. Just a few minutes before the roll out, my phone had alerted me to an incoming text message. Suspecting family (they’re the only ones who would text so early) I was surprised when the sender was a friend I hadn’t seen or talked to in person for several years. Our kids had been friends throughout elementary school and now I rarely see her.
The sweet thoughtfulness of her text was the trigger that sent the tears falling. Her text told us that she was thinking of us and keeping us in her prayers after seeing a post on Instagram about our first granddaughter Brooklyn, born at a tiny one pound and four ounces. She wanted us to know she was sending lots of prayers our way, which started the roll out and I cried.
To be honest, the emotion caught me off guard as the tears swelled up from my heart and out through my eyes. The text came five days before our 100th day in the NICU. Just knowing that others are taking time from their busy lives to think of us and pray for us and send us text messages on behalf of our sweet little granddaughter and our family is such a gift and an act of love and I cried.
I Cried Again.
This time, for a retired air force guy who volunteers almost every day in the NICU. Our first experience with Jim had to do with a carefully crafted sign draped over her crib hued in the colors of fall spelling out our sweet Brooklyn’s name. Not knowing who had blessed our space, we found out that Jim was the artist of the masterpiece. Surprised that art was his thing, our eyes began looking for displays of his creativity in other areas of the NICU.
My tears fell as Jim let us know he would love to hold our sweet B when we aren’t there. In talking with Jim, we found out he has been holding babies in the NICU for six and a half years. He comes in most everyday around noon and stays until evening, sometimes longer when parents call him and request he come hold their babies when they can’t be there at night. Jim checks in with us every day to see how sweet B is doing and make sure she gets on his schedule for the day for that special time with him. One day, a message was sent to the NICU team so that whatever room Jim was in at the time, they could let him know that Brooklyn was ready for him as we left for the day. How cool is that!
He is a gift and holding babies is an act of love not only to our family, but to all the other NICU families he serves and I cried.
I’ll Cry Again…
NICU life is traumatic and each day holds something new for us, and I know there will be tears again. But never have we felt abandoned by God. Psalm 56:8 tells us:
You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book. (New Living Translation)
God knows, keeps track and collects all of our tears, and knowing that they fall into His bottle is comforting and helps us on those days where sorrow wants to root in our hearts.
I cried because I am humbled by the acts of love during this NICU journey with our sweet B.
I cried because it’s been a roller coaster and we walk into something new every day. Not just with sweet B, but with everyone we encounter in the NICU; Brooklyn’s roommates, their families, the nurses, the doctors, the therapists, the support staff, the cafeteria staff, the parking staff and more.
I cried because I was renewed by their selfless acts of love.
Hebrews 13:1-2 tells us:
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. 2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
So I cry with hope that is grounded in the truth of God’s Word and the promise that He sees and knows our heartaches.
And I cry with hope that is grounded in the acts of love by others demonstrated through prayers, thoughts, text messages, notes, meals, holding, asking, hugging and just being there.
Make Someone Cry With An Act of Love
You may never know they cried, but God will and He will know that you were bearing His image to others through your simple act of love.
Now go and be the living proof of a loving God.
Make someone cry.