Tuesday, July 15, 2008

rachel, abram, john and eva.

“i did not come here to offer you clichés and i will not pretend to know of all your pain but just know that when you cannot, then i will hold out faith for you.”

these triplets had been in the hospital for over 2 ½ weeks when i visited them for the third time last Monday. i quickly saw that though eva was doing much better, john was still pretty sickly and abram was in a far worse condition than the other two. after looking at him for about a minute and seeing he had only gotten progressively worse over the past 2 ½ weeks and not progressively better, i had it decided in my head that if we didn’t do something and get him real medical attention, he would die in the next 24 hours.

after some drama with the nursing staff at the hospital, we got them transferred to an actual medical center down the road. the afternoon we got them there, they tried and tried to get blood from all three babies in hopes of running some tests on them. they successfully drew blood from only one of the babies. the level of dehydration in these little ones was astonishing, their veins were invisible. after being told that they would continue to try and get blood from little abram during the night, we left them there with their mother and father telling them we’d return to visit them all first thing in the morning.

8:30 the next morning we go to visit them and are told that they aren’t there. i ask where they went and the doctor proceeded to tell them that they transferred them back to the hospital they had came from because they couldn’t get the blood from abram. [all this translates into is that they were a bit lazy and didn’t want to or didn’t care to work hard enough on behalf of this little baby] after calmly explaining to the doctor that we had brought these babies to them because they weren’t getting the medical treatment they so desperately needed at the other place and that i was disappointed with the way their center handled the situation, we left very frustrated. not five minutes later, Rachel walks up from behind us. she said something really fast that i didn’t catch but the next words out of her mouth were ‘abram died’. i was floored and instantly said ‘what?!’, thinking that i heard wrong. she repeated herself and then said that they had refused treatment and had sent them back to the hospital in the night and that abram died a few hours later.

when she said this i was utterly at a loss of words. i’m pretty sure i didn’t get out anything but a couple ‘what’s’ and a few ‘i’m so sorry rachel’s’. my mind was going a million miles a minute.

i was incredibly sad that abram no longer had a beating heart. my heart ached because this family just lost a child, brother and grandson. i was exceedingly angry at the staff at the center that refused to treat abram. almost immediately i felt a little guilty and played the ‘what if’ game in my head. everything was so overwhelming in those moments.

as Rachel and her family went to the burial, my day didn’t slow down. i had things to pick up in walukuba. we were visiting a suubi woman at 10am. my sister who had been here a month was leaving that evening. everything seemed to spin but i knew that i couldn’t slow down yet.

after i was able to process some things on the night drive home from the airport Tuesday, we were able to visit Rachel Wednesday morning. she seemed to be doing okay and like i had felt the day before [except magnified 100 times for rachel], life couldn’t slow down for her yet. she still had 2 babies in the hospital that needed her attention. we were able to help her get some necessities and visit her at least once a day for the rest of her time in the hospital.

it was just this afternoon that we were finally able to see the leave the hospital and send them home. she had been there for about a month. i think eva will be fine. Rachel insisted on going and the nurses okayed it but part of me still thinks that john was taken out of the hospital prematurely. God is bigger than my little mind though and not only knows what he’s doing but knows why he’s doing it. i’m putting my trust in that.

all of that said [and know this is a very very shortened version of the story] please think of and pray for Eva and John and Rachel and their family. there are still some great struggles ahead of them and covering them in prayer would be so helpful. may they know in the depths of their heart that though the road is rough and path uncertain, they’ve already won the fight and that even through the death of a small and helpless child, victory will always be theirs through Christ.

“i believe you’ll outlive this pain in your heart, and you’ll gain such a strength from what is tearing you apart...when some time has past us and the story can be told, it’ll mirror the strength and the courage of your soul.”


everything that has happened in the past weeks has really encouraged my mind to ask some of the harder questions in life. i ask these questions over and over again and yet the only answer i can seem to come up with is:

i don’t know and i don’t understand and i don’t know if i ever will.

all i really know is that the sovereignty of God is strong in the storm and His grace is flowing even in the desert.

my work here may not be physically demanding but it can sure as heck be tremendously emotionally, mentally and spiritually challenging. some days are long and i don’t know what to do with myself but i don’t doubt for one second that it’s the hand of God that has me here. . i mean that with my whole heart. God seems to have somehow etched onto my heart that though he never promises it’ll be easy, He does promise it’ll be worth it.

when you want to give up and quit, you’re still being beckoned into true Life. when a cold wind blows around you and you feel lonely, you’re still loved. when you feel obligated to succumb to the flesh, remember the Rock that created you.
friends, good times or bad, this is life and we ALL only have one.


Emily said...

Julie, this was intensely sad yet encouraging. I'm so happy that you are doing what you love and trusting in God so much. It's always even harder for me to accept and understand when a baby is lost...They are so lucky to have you over there btw.
I'll be reading from now on!


Courtney said...

this was hard to read, so i can't imagine how incredibly hard it was to actually experience first-hand. know that we're all thinking and praying for you. tell rachel, eva, and john that they're in my prayers.

Ralene said...

Hey Jules...I agree, this post was a hard one to read. It's often hard to understand why these things happen, so it is good to hear that you have such a good grasp on God's presence in hard times. I will keep you all in my prayers.

manueri said...

God bless you mightily