Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Two nights ago, I sat with my daughter in the pediatrician's office (no ear infection, hooray!) and for some reason, I started to wonder how I got there. So many times, we have waited in that very office. So many visits in the last five months to a place that, before June, I have never even heard of. How had it come to feel so familiar, somewhere I knew so well? Life takes those turns sometimes, and you can't always see them coming.

I started to follow the threads... from check ups and cranials and emergencies all the way back to her birth. We were blissfully unaware of any problems until she arrived and looked like a blueberry muffin. "We're contacting the pediatrician on call." Okay... Is she okay? "Let's just wait for her to get here, okay?" Okay. Okay. In less than a minute, she looked her over and figured it out. Diagnosed her (though not formally, but she would be proved right). Told me we would watch for a while, but that she was going to contact the transport team. Transport team? "Yes, in case she needs to go." Go. Okay. It wasn't more than a half hour later when she came back. "Okay, mom, we're sending her." Her eyes. Her big, honest eyes filled with resolve and compassion. As awful as it is being the mom whose baby is being taken away, how awful is it to be the one to make that call? Deliver that news? Okay. I trusted her. I trusted her eyes, and so they took my daughter away.

Fast foward. "Who is her pediatrician?" Um, we don't have one. "All that matters is that you have someone you can trust." And I could see her eyes. It had to be. In that moment, I realized that God had sent her to us. He had woven her into our story because we would need her. We would need to trust her. We would need to lean on her. She would be the center of our medical world, the one holding all the revolving specialists in line.

And I wasn't wrong. We did need her. We needed her when I rushed in without an appointment, afraid for my daughter's leaking tube site. We needed her to keep a watchful eye as it healed. We needed her to recommend help for my daughter's flattened head. Amazingly, help we could find so easily in one of her partners, another one woven in. We needed her other partner when she would go on leave to have her own sweet blessing, a doctor who cares for other babies we love, who has compassion for a mom who brings in her perfectly healthy baby simply because she's worried.

So many threads and they weren't placed on accident. We didn't trip into a pile of strings to get tangled up in this mess. We were grafted in, worked in, placed. We had needs... big, big needs and they were met. Not by the hands of fate or by some great chance, but by the Meeter of needs. I felt at home in that office, that familiar waiting room with the receptionist who knows me and my daughter by name and the nurse that soaked up her shot-induced vomit with paper towels and a caring heart... I felt at home there because I was given a home there. I was given a rescuer, one to trust and rely on because I needed her and God met that need.

He didn't meet that need two days ago. He didn't meet that need when her tube fell out. He didn't meet that need when she was discharged from the hospital. He met it before she was even born. He put her doctor on call that day because He knew she would be the one we needed. He knew I would trust her honest eyes and He knew she would know exactly what to do and that she would do it, even though it was hard. He started weaving that tapestry long before we could see the picture coming into view.

It would be easy to think that just the good parts are the woven parts. The stellar pediatrician with excellent partners in her practice. The star neonatologist who just happened to be the one to admit her. The amazing nurses who cared for her like she was their own... and who held my hand through a lot of scaries. Our incredible family -- both physical and spiritual -- who prayed and walked with us and shared our sorrows. It would be easy to think that those were the parts God wove together for us. But He wove so much more. He wove us into a world of platelets and bilirubin and calories and pounds. A picture that held feeding tubes and hypoallergenic formula and PICC lines and heel sticks. A tapestry of broken ears and surgeries and weighty, impossible decisions. The picture is more complicated than that. The scene is deeper and fuller and stranger than we can know.

I can't explain to you, to myself, how this picture all comes together. I'm not the artist, the weaver, the conductor of the grand orchestra. But I can tell you there is a picture. The Word speaks to God's plan, His power, from the very beginning. And it also speaks to His goodness, His love, for us. Sometimes the picture is so ugly and confusing, like a mess of tangled threads. And sometimes, even while sitting in a doctor's office, the picture can come into view, if just for a moment. And it is so, so beautiful. So beautiful because it is a picture of love, a picture... of Love. And for that moment, you can see the care, the deliberate weaving, the purpose in each thread, even the ugly ones. And for that moment, the glimpse is not just of the woven, but the weaver. The One whose hand knitted my daughter together in my womb, held her back from death, and delivered her to life. The One who hand still carries her, carries me, now. The One who continues to weave our threads into a glorious picture of Himself -- Love, Peace, Home.

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