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  • Shelly Roberts

Learning to Breathe Again

Each of us go through different seasons in this life. Some are smooth, some are rather bumpy. Others are downright jolting. Currently we are living out of the Pediatric ICU. It's become our "home away from home". Sometimes we find ourselves here unplanned, like when our son was overcome by sepsis and a bowel leak, coupled with a major UTI. Other times it's a planned & controlled crisis ... like a scheduled bowel surgery. This time was new for us. We came to this place to give our daughter a better way to breathe. We didn't come here lightly. Rather we weighed out every single factor over and over and over {and still over} again with every member of our team for over a year. We gave her time. We gave ourselves time.

Eventually the scales tipped and we knew ... IT WAS TIME. There were too many frantic moments while driving down the highway wondering if she'd "pull it together" or not. There were too many hours of laying around in bed (she breathed better that way) than being up with the family and enjoying the great outdoors which is her favorite place to be. And there were too many terrifying episodes of not being able to keep her bowel emptied "just enough" to keep the pressure off her diaphragm so her airway wouldn't collapse. I'd done it all. I'd exhausted every single support we had at our disposal. And while I did my best to keep calm on the outside for the sake of our family and staff ... inside I was literally crushing under the weight of this diagnosis.

And just like a tracheostomy has given our daughter a more stable way to breathe, Faithful Father does the same for us. He is the very reason we have life. And He has a divine and unique purpose for each life He's created.

Job 33:4 "The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life."

These last five days have found me experiencing such deep peace. And while we have to learn a whole new way of doing things .... at least we have a way now! This little girl moved into our lives over 6 years ago and has been instrumental in molding us into who we are to day. She has taught us to much about what living really means. And though there's been some tears shed as we adjust to the new normal ... there is deep deep joy. She has so much left to teach us.

There's lots of talk of "learning the New Miss Joy" now. So many unknowns. How will she adjust to having a changed airway? Will she need to be on a ventilator 24/7 or breathe some on her own? Will she be prone to infections and have new hurdles to get over?

We'll need to do what we've always done when we face the unknown ... and that is cling to the One who is known!

I look at her from across the room in wonder as I see her shining her light for the world to see, just as her Creator designed her to do. She's got just enough sass and persistence to keep everyone on their toes around here. And the headbands ... goodness gracious we have the headbands. Just as our girl learns to breathe again ... so will we. Thanking God for the breath He's giving us both.

Psalm 150:6 "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!"

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