The weeks that followed coming home were joyful as well as hard. The distress that we’d experienced from the weeks prior had to be processed and it inevitably affected our first experiences at home.
Every time we put Caleb down at night, we were hypersensitive to his every sound, making it difficult to sleep. Added to that was our work that was almost entirely neglected for two weeks abruptly hitting us as soon as we got home. I then realized that the peaceful, slow days I’d hoped for at home with a new baby while Christian was on paternity leave were gone as he had spent almost his entire leave in the hospital.
I will admit, I struggled with frustration internally that these were our circumstances. Reflecting on where we’d been, I couldn’t help asking God why our journey into parenthood was so hard?
One night, Christian awoke to me sitting up with a shriek of terror. His immediate thought was that something was wrong, so he picked up Caleb in a flash. The odd part was that I wasn’t awake, but rather having some form of night terror; so, when I did awake to Christian abruptly picking up Caleb, I was scared to death. I immediately assumed the worst, tears flowing, and waited for his chest to remain still. When it started up and down in gentle motion, we both breathed in relief.
It took us awhile to put the pieces back together on what had happened; it took longer to fall back asleep. The next night, I struggled with fear that it would happen again. My mind wondered, “am I struggling so much with post-traumatic-stress that I now have night terrors?” It scared me to think what internally might be happening while externally unaware. I felt so out-of-control.
I began praying desperately for God to give me peace, surrounding me with hope and trust and surrender. Later that night, I woke up to nurse Caleb. Christian awoke only a short while after, and I noticed tears in his eyes. His face met mine in the glow of the night light as he said, “Laura, I have to tell you about the dream I just had. I believe it was from Holy Spirit.”
He proceeded to describe how he saw Caleb levitating towards a bright, indescribable light. He knew that light must be God. Caleb needed no help as he drew towards the light, a knowing that we could surrender him completely. As he reached the light, he was healed. A whisper of “chest tube” came, confirming that God had used it to save our son. Then, Caleb returned from the light back to us.
Christian described that he knew God had healed Caleb completely — he had a peace indescribable. He knew that Levi had gone into that same light but did not return; two different plans that He had for our boys.
Tears began to fill my eyes as he told me, knowing Holy Spirit had indeed given Christian this dream for both of us. He had answered my prayer for peace.
When we later told Christian’s parents, his mother said she believed Christian got to see the spiritual realm of what happened to Caleb here on earth. I believe that is true, and how merciful is our Father to give that vision?
After those first couple of weeks home, we slowly and joyfully got into the rhythm of our new normal. It has not been easy, but I am certain that because of Levi, I have such a gratefulness for all of it that I may not have had otherwise.
I adore motherhood, even though my sleep and everyday life is nothing like what it used to be. Every time I look into Caleb’s eyes, I feel thankful I get to serve him. He is truly the greatest gift I could have asked for – our redeeming gift from God.
As Christian and I look back over the past couple of years, we realize that it is through the painful circumstances God has allowed that we have experienced Him most intimately. We have witnessed more supernatural things in these two years than our entire lives; that is God’s grace amid it.
It is a reminder that He does not promise a life without pain, but He does promise to be with us through it. And the more muddied our feet get through this journey of life, the more we realize that experiencing His presence is more precious than any life without suffering.
Both Levi’s story and Caleb’s are for His glory.