Thursday, November 29, 2007

Still Waiting

This is the first time I have been back on the computer since the last posting. Things are pretty hectic around this house most of the time. I just wanted to thank you all for the overwhelming love and support through your emails and posts on this blog. It's amazing how God can hug and encourage you through His people. I have run into people I've never even met before, here in Dothan, who have told me they were waiting for an update on this blog :) It's humbling and exciting how quickly word spreads and how sincere people have been to love and encourage our family. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! You can't imagine how much it means.

Mom has good days and not so good days. She had a blood transfusion Tuesday, was still really weak and rested most of the day on Wednesday, and woke up this morning and asked if we all wanted to go to the Waffle House :)! She was even able to sit up in the front seat for the ride there. We are just trying to love on her during the bad days and thank God for every good day, while we wait to see the manifestation of the healing we feel like He has promised. There have been prayer warriors in this town, in other towns, in other countries even who have contacted us to share words of healing the Lord has given them as well. In our darkest moments, it seems like God is continually producing someone else to lift us up with their own word for us from Him.

On the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, another healer (a man who had actually been raised from the dead and has written a book about it) came to lay hands on Mom. Again, just like with Gene Hall, he wasn't someone that we sought out. A family friend called Dad and said this man was coming in town to spend Thanksgiving with their family, and they would like to bring him over to pray for Mom. I got to be in the room this time around, and it was a moving experience. He explained (with Scripture) a lot of the same things that Gene Hall had told Mom to be doing, that we had just taken on faith. For example, he told us that we need to thank God for His healing now...even though we don't see it yet. He reasoned that we have not seen physical evidence of our salvation, but we still say that we ARE saved. Even though we haven't gone to heaven yet, we still believe we have salvation NOW. In the same way, God has promised healing, so we need to thank Him for it NOW. That's part of faith. He, like Gene, expressed the power behind our words, and the importance of Mom being surrounded by people who encourage her with their words. Humans are the only other beings that God fashioned in His own image, and how did God create the world? speaking it into existence. Satan, and his demons, cannot read our thoughts, but they can hear our words. If we speak our fears aloud, then it gives him a foothold of something to use against us.

I didn't really plan on writing out all of that, but I have been learning so much since I've been here. I believe that there is more intimate fellowship with God, that we can have on this earth, that I have been missing out on. I don't feel like I've been wrong, but I do feel like I want to experience all of Him that I can. I heard this healer start to speak in tongues. It was BEAUTIFUL and so obviously of God. No man could make their voice do what his was doing. I was awestruck. He anointed her with oil and water from the Jordan River, while we all prayed. The Lord was almost palpable in that room. The healer said that he had seen people raised from the dead without feeling the anointing as much as he did when he was laying hands on Mom. Please keep praying with us, having faith with us. Thank you for your love and prayers!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Moving Mountains

I am really sorry that I haven't given an update on Mom in so long. You all prayed with us about Gene Hall and I have left you hanging with the results. Life has just been a whirlwind.

First the trip to Savannah: Mom and Dad went to Savannah and met with Gene Hall on Friday night. He told them that God had confirmed to him, and to some other people in his prayer team, throughout the day that He was going to heal her. He said that he had a churning in his stomach that always preceded God's anointing. On Saturday morning, the day of the healing service, Mom was so sick that she could hardly lift her head off of the pillow. When they arrived to meet Gene, he told Dad that he'd never asked a spouse to come in the room before, but God had given him a vision that morning of Dad being in the room as well. They praised God for 4 1/2 hours! and during that time Gene's hands became warm with God's healing power more than he had ever experienced before. He laid his hands on Mom (and Dad) several times and they both felt the great heat coming from them. At one point, he lied face down on the floor beside Mom and started weeping. She asked him if something was wrong and he said that God had given him a vision of Mom giving her testimony about her healing and fire coming from her mouth.

I think that we (our family and friends) were all expecting an immediate and total healing, and apparently that was not God's plan. Mom left the healing still feeling very weak and displaying all the physical symptoms of her cancer. However, Gene seemed happy with the day's result. He has said since that God has confirmed to him that the healing power is in her. I am telling you what happened, but I am afraid I can't tell you that I understand what God is doing. I only know that He is a mighty God and His ways are perfect. Gene told Mom and Dad that the last person he laid hands on, did not receive complete healing until two weeks later.

Now: I am in Dothan with both of our little girls. Mom has been really sick. Really sick. However, God has still shown us his great love through his people, and we are still waiting for His healing. As mom said so beautifully Sunday night as she pointed towards heaven and addressed God himself, "I know what you told me, you gave me Luke 5 and Matthew 8 (the passages about Jesus healing the leper), and you are not a man that you could lie."

So, I am planning on being here until God heals her. I do want to make clear here that God is not on trial... We are all just trying to follow Him as best we know how, but we are human--imperfect, and no matter what, God is Sovereign. I know that there are no two people I would rather be following into this battle than Mom and Dad, and now I would ask you to continue to pray for God's healing power to be released within her. Jesus told his disciples (when they had been unable to heal someone) that their faith had not been great enough. With faith as small as a mustard seed, they could move mountains. So all I know to do is to have faith/believe what God has told Mom, Dad, my Grandma (and many others) and wait for our powerful God to move the mountain

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Back to the Hospital

This past Thursday morning, I was undressing Mary Aplin for her first "post yucky belly button thingy is gone so you can finally have a real" bath, when I noticed that the little bald head resting against my cheek felt a warmer than normal. I took her temp, and it was 100.1. I went and checked my "Discharge Instructions" from the hospital, vaguely recalling seeing something in there about what temperature should lead you to call a doctor in a newborn. You see, I have this fear of seeming like a hypochondriac to medical people. I think it stems back to Dr. Lees making me feel like a big faker as a child in the pediatrician's office, but that's another story. I find what I'm looking for, and apparently, you aren't supposed to call unless the newborn's temp. is above 100.4. So, I go on about the day.

Later, I hear a little cry as she wakes up from her afternoon nap. I go into her room and scoop her up, and as soon as that little head touched my cheek, I knew we'd exceeded 100.4. Sure enough, her fever was 101.3, so I called the doctor's office. Mrs. Ohs, a dear family friend who Jeremiah lived with that year he was playing cowboy in Montana, happened to be at our house for a visit. I was trying to cook a fun dinner that night in her honor, so I asked if she would stay with Mary Aplin and Pace (since both were napping) while I ran to get a couple of things at the grocery store. Freedom!!! While I was shopping, the nurse called me back. I'm expecting her to tell me what dose of Tylenol you can give a 2 week old baby. Instead, she asks me if I can re-check the temperature immediately. "No, I'm at the grocery store..." I reply, and I feel a knot begin to form in my stomach as the condemnation comes roaring through the phone line. "Well Mrs. Maddox, a fever in a baby of Mary Aplin's age is very serious. You need to take her to Children's Hospital ER immediately. I'm calling ahead to let them know you're on your way." (Translation:Why, negligent mother, did you leave your infant and go to the grocery store when she is obviouly ill. Take her to the doctor, now, and not when you finish your ridiculous grocery shopping) I would also like to add that my phone is beeping and about to die while she is talking and putting me on hold to confirm things with my doctor. I was frantically asking the kind workers at Publix how I could get to a phone to call the evil nurse back if my phone did die--rendering me an even more neglectful mother who takes a semi-dead phone with her while she is abandoning her sick newborn. I am really nervous about going back to Publix after the scene I made. There were actually two people who tried to shove their cell phones on me, as I dashed to customer service with my full cart of groceries, to get to a phone.

I, thankfully, was able to leave Pace and all my groceries that needed to be put away, with Mrs. Ohs. I zipped to the ER telling myself that the nurse was just being precautious and that my sweet Mary Aplin just had a low grade fever and was going to be perfectly fine. In the meantime, that knot in my stomach was growing bigger by the minute, especially since my doctor husband wouldn't answer his phone OR my pages that I had typed 911 after. The knot got larger as I noticed all the horribly (honestly dirty) and sick children crouching in every orfice of the waiting room in the ER. I concluded that if Mary Aplin wasn't deathly ill when we came in, she certainly would be by the time we left. The knot grew larger when a nurse came in and told me that they would be performing a "lumbar puncture" (surely they could find some other phrase to use besides something that brings visions to a mother's mind of a poking holes in her tiny baby's spine), drawing blood, putting in a cathater to get a urine sample, and starting an IV for antibiotics. I was still holding onto the need to NOT be the dramatic, over-exaggerative mother until the doctor came in and added that we would also have to stay in the hospital for at least 48 hours. The dam broke. There was only so long I could hold it together on my own.

I soon found consolation in sweet Mary Halsey Maddox. She was in Jeremiah's medical school class, became one of our good friends, and is now doing her residency in the ER at Children's. She came in and assured me that every doctor and nurse who cared for us was the best. Then she assured me about all the prcoedures that were going on, and paged Jeremiah to let him know that he REALLY needed to come, and that I wasn't just being a hypochondriac this time :) While we waited for the test results to come back, we discovered that the hospital was at full capacity, so we would have to spend the night in the (dirty) ER. This turned out to be OK, since Jeremiah was on call at Children's that night. He would leave our room, see a consult, then come back. I actually saw him a lot more than I would have on a normal night on call.

All the tests came back, and Mary Aplin has a urinary tract infection, which is apparently pretty serious in babies as young as she is. They told us that we would have to stay in the hospital for 7 to 14 days to do intravenous antibiotics. Since they have virtually no immune systems, these infections could potentially spread to their blood streams and can even cause spinal meningitis if you don't catch it early enough or treat it properly. You also worry that something didn't "form right" (why does that sound so country as I type it?) when you see infections this early. They did an ultrasound, and Mary Aplin does have all of her organs in the right place. However, there was some fluid in one of her kidneys, so they are doing another test Thursday morning to make sure she does not have reflux. This would mean that when her bladder contracts, some of her urine is going back to her kidneys. Even if she does have reflux, they say it would probably resolve on its own as she grows.

SO, if I could end with a few more prayer requests for you :) Pray that Mary Aplin doesn't have to stay on long-term antibiotics or have surgery. Pray that Pace, who is staying with Mrs. Ohs at our house, will behave and not think that she has been abandoned by her parents since Mary Aplin has gotten here. Finally, Mom is definitely going to Savannah to meet with Gene Hall this weekend!!!!!! so keep praying for HEALING and to see God's glory through all of this. Love you all and greatly appreciate your encouraging notes and phone calls. Does anybody else feel like they have way too much drama in their life????