Last summer, as the Juby journey entered its final semester, I recall a foreign feeling, one I couldn’t help but cling to in the months to come.
The day was Monday, July 18 and while much was going on behind the scenes, inside Juby’s pod, the road unfolding was becoming quite clear. Only days into a three-week paralytic reset, my sweet princess was the NICU equivalent of Sleeping Beauty, at peace in comatose slumber yet out cold indefinitely.
Peering over her bedside, my heart smitten but with anxiety on edge, the following word picture found me:
Like the woman with the bleeding problem (Luke 8:43-48), I was pining after Jesus knowing one touch from Him would be enough. But unlike her outcome, I could never reach Him thanks, in part, to the masses who needed Him just as much. Despite centurion-like faith, my acceleration could not keep up, my hope constantly ahead of weary head and soiled feet. And as dings became dongs on the monitors, so did my concerns become heartcries cemented in desperation.
Jesus, if you could just slow down a little, maybe then I can finally touch the edge of your robe and my daughter would be healed.
Jesus, I get it. Who am I? But oh, how you are! If you could please stop so I can see your face, so I can thread my fingers through your holy garment, not only would Juby be cured but our NICU neighbors would know you by way of wonder-working power unveiled by extravagant love.
Fast-forward three months and Juby is now a few months passed having graduating into ultimate rest. My heart is mending yet full of cracks occasionally flooded with tears. If I only could rewind the clock to summon more strength at this point, at this time, maybe she would have lived.
Yet, that’s when word picture became dream…one calm, October night not long after her Celebration of Life service. In this dream, I’m back on the trail. I can see Jesus’ backside but the distance is increasing. Tempted to think He could possibly not care, I cry out:
Jesus, was my faith not enough? Why didn’t you save her? Why didn’t you slow down so I could touch your robe?
And within an instant, Jesus is there, an about-face in front of my grill.
You were never meant to touch my robe. You were meant to follow me. And you did! Now, look behind you and see the many more who will follow because of what they’re seeing. Watch and see what I will do.
Suddenly, I wake up. It’s a brand-new day and I, for one, am clinched as never the same through this game-changing moment. After all, I rarely have dreams or visions, let alone divine winks laced with such profound poetic symmetry.
Which takes me to why I’m writing this…
I believe for this year, God is calling many of us to consider the many ways He saves. Often, we ‘black and white’ His purposes thinking redemption, restoration, healing, among other things, are only real if they happen in certain ways. But this is far from God’s design and intent!
Perhaps you can relate to the feeling of running after Jesus but feeling He’s out of reach or that you don’t have what it takes to maintain pace. If so, I want to encourage you through this dream it’s not about your faith metrics but whom your faith is anchored to. Like the disciples in the boat calling out to Jesus in the storm, His proximity ultimately became secondary to His identity. Will you hope God will do what you want Him to do…or delight in simply watching Him do what He will do?
Either way, I admit there’s a lot of application and pivot points on this subject. That is why I’m proud to announce in the months to come, I will be working on my first book (I already have an editor lined up; woohoo!) that discusses God’s sovereignty in the context of suffering and through Juby’s life, unpacks the struggle to keep faith when answers aren’t clear.
The pursuit will likely reduce the amount of posts I churn out in a given year. But for me, this is a call I can’t turn down. Accordingly, I forfeit my normal rhythms with gladness to accomplish a dream birthed from one supremely given.
All that said, thank you in advance for your support and patience. While I’m apprehensive about this entrance into unchartered territory, I fear not knowing there’s lives at stake. Just like God redeemed the one Lys and I lost, so will He redeem those who feel lost within their walks holding onto the end of their ropes.
For now, I pray you’re blessed with this premise. No question, it is the core from which I devote my writing time and focus until this project is done.
‘Til then, I love you all. Let’s do this.
P.S. A special shout-out to all our NICU/PICU supporters, especially those who partnered with us during last month’s blessing bag outreach! See 34:38 in the live stream below for a quick update…
Cover photo creds: iStock