I’ll be honest, it felt like someone had punched me in the gut. Only the last time someone tried to punch me, I was able to punch back (I’m not saying that was the right thing to do!). This time all I could do was take it. It was pretty surreal. We’ve been at this for 14 days. There have been some ups and downs; although mostly downs. But always hope for the next thing to try. Today marked the crossing of a new line of sorts. According to the doctors, there really isn’t anything else to do. The last major crisis was when the right side of Justus’ brain was swelling. The pressure got pretty intense. It led to first a “bolt,” which several hours later informed them that the pressure was building up dangerously high. The solution – cut a hole in the skull to relieve the pressure. That was 2 days ago. Since then he’s been pretty stable and our “new normal” has been pretty calm. But we always knew there was a possibility the infection hadn’t stopped progressing. And actually we don’t know what the infection is doing. What we do know is the swelling hasn’t stopped and is now putting pressure on the left side.
This morning we were told there would be no MRI because, even if it confirmed swelling, there was nothing they could do that they weren’t already doing. So we sit and wait. Only this time, we know there is a problem. His left side is exerting pressure. How much? We don’t know. Will it get worse? We don’t know. What happens now? No idea. Generally speaking, they would say the outlook doesn’t look good. Obviously if the swelling were to stop, then he would slowly get better. But if the swelling continues to get worse… well you can finish the sentence. Is there hope? There’s always hope. HOPE! I think we all know how important hope is. 1 Corinthians 13 closes with this verse ~And now these three remain; faith, hope, and love…
We’ve been punched in the stomach. I’m not looking to punch back. What I’m asking of my family is to take a deep breath and regroup. The doctors now say the outcome is bleak and we should prepare. I say we never give up. I know some would say I’m in denial. I promise I’m not. I know where this could end. But until God has spoken, I’m not going to give up. I will keep praying for healing. I will keep looking for solutions. I’ll keep asking the doctors if they’ve thought of everything, have they exhausted every resource?
2 Samuel 12 tells the story of the death of David and Bathsheba’s son. I realize that makes it a terrible choice for the situation we’re in, but I think a lot of how David approached his son’s situation. Before I explain, let me highlight one huge difference between his story and ours. God told David his baby would die. God has said nothing of the sorts with Justus, if anything he has given us a sense of exactly the opposite. To summarize the story, because of David’s sin with Bathsheba, the Lord told him his son would die. When his son was stricken, David was distraught. He fasted and prayed and refused anything his servants tried to do for him. When the baby finally died, the servants were scared to tell him. After all, look how bad he was before the baby died. But when the baby died, David jumped up, cleaned up and ate. When asked about it, his answer is enlightening and can help us today. In verse 22 it says,
“David said, “While the baby was still alive, I fasted, and I cried. I thought, ‘Who knows? Maybe the Lord will feel sorry for me and let the baby live.’
God told David his baby would die, but while his baby lived, David prayed for him. The doctors aren’t super optimistic. So what! I’m going to continue to pray believing that God will heal my grandson. Not because I’m in denial, but because I believe in a God who is good and a God who is able! And can I tell you how encouraging it is to read how you all continue to pray. My faith faltered at times today. I choose to believe that at those moments, some of you were standing in the gap for me in prayer. No, that’s not in the bible. But the principle of prayer and community and loving one another and intercessory prayer are!!
So please keep praying. We’ve been punched in the gut. We are watching Justus closely. We don’t know what the swelling is doing. Pray that our family can regroup and begin hoping again for God to perform a miracle. Pray that Jason and Alyse can believe again, even though it carries the risk of breaking their hearts one more time. Like David, while there is still life, we are going to believe! While I was holding Justus’ hand, I kept saying, “Don’t give up. Never give up.” I was speaking to him, but I was talking to myself. And I’m talking to you. Until God has spoken, we never give up!