I stumbled across this post recently and wanted to share it again three years later. My son Andrew just turned three and daughter Sophie just turned seven last week. It was absolutely heart warming reading where my mind and heart were at three years ago with Andrew still in the NICU and my wife Naomi still recovering from surgery. There is so much power in looking back in life and seeing God moving in hindsight. God is good.
Daily Readings: Joshua 7-8, 2 Corinthians 12, Psalm 60
But the Lord said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
My grace I sufficient for you.
On Sunday February 11th at 7 PM our family had just wrapped up a birthday party celebrating our amazing daughter Sophie turning 4 years old. Sophie is a cancer survivor that was diagnosed at just 2 months old with a rare form of cancer and, at this moment, is nearing 3 years cancer free.
It wasn’t more than 30 minutes after the last guest left that my wife called me upstairs and said we needed to go to the hospital. At the time we were 7 months pregnant and she had started bleeding significantly. We quickly called my parents, who only live a mile away, to come stay with our other three kids as we rushed to the hospital. The bleeding stopped by the time we got their, but the doctors told us they would be needing to keep Naomi there for observation for 5-7 days, because if it started again Naomi’s life and our unborn son’s life would be at risk at that point, and they would do an emergency cesarean section.
After being their several hours, they told me to go home, but to leave my phone on just in case. 90 minutes later, shortly after I had fallen asleep, the phone call came that I was desperately hoping to avoid, and I was driving as fast as I could back to the hospital, running inside, putting on scrubs, nervously waiting in the hallway, and finally entering the operating room with my wife.
Needless to say, it was an emotional several hours. That second drive to the hospital at 1:30 AM was the most scared I have ever been.
I threw out a group text at 8:08 PM when we were first heading to the hospital to a group of men that I do life with. Christian brothers in arms ready to go to battle with me and for me. The prayers began.
These are the moments earlier in my life where I would have waited until I knew more before sharing what was happening with anyone in my life.
“No point in worrying everyone. What if it is nothing? How will I look if I am just scared over something minor? Besides, they are busy, and I don’t want to burden them with something that might ultimately be no big deal.”
Lies crafted by an enemy with centuries of practice.
Satan wants us to do life alone. He wants you to believe that you are a burden to others, that no one really cares, that you are strong enough in your own power, and the power of prayer isn’t real anyway.
It isn’t until those moments in life where you have a child diagnosed with cancer, a wife being rushed into an emergency surgery, an infant taken up to the NICU, or any other extreme life event completely out of your control; that you realize what a complete illusion “control” is.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
God has blessed our family with a fair amount of worldly success. We have an amazing family, I run a successful company, we have incredible friends, and by lots of worldly standards, we are a success story.
Rarely has any of our worldly success given us the ability to minister to others and speak about God’s glory in the same way we have been able to because of Sophie’s cancer. Already, in just a short week and a half, I believe that the experience spanning February 11th-12th has already allowed us to give glory to God more than any career accomplishment ever could.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Naomi is recovering well from her surgery. Andrew, as of Feb 23rd, is still in the NICU and will most likely remain there for another week or two, but is moving in the right direction faster than we could have hoped for.
God is good.
However, God is not just good because of this individual result. When I sat outside the operating room while they prepped Naomi my prayer over and over again was, “You are a good God. You are a good good father. Regardless of the outcome, I know this to be true.” I prayed that same prayer when we first got the news with Sophie.
God already knows this. This prayer was necessary for my own heart.
In a perfect world, I would rather not have our newborn need to spend the first 3-4 weeks of his life in the NICU. I would rather that his sisters (who are super excited to meet their baby brother!) not have to wait a month to meet the newest addition to our family because kids under 18 are not allowed in the NICU. I would rather everything had gone beautifully according to plan.
However, Paul said it perfectly today:
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
We have always said as a family that we want to live out James 1:2-4 when James wrote, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
We decided about five months ago that our son’s middle name would be James in honor of this book in the Bible. We never expected he would live into his name so quickly!
However, we are considering it pure joy.
I know this trial will be far from the last we will face as a family as we journey through life, and this one is still not yet over, but his grace is sufficient and his power is made perfect in our weakness.
Amazing story. Thanks for sharing Aaron!
Such beautiful truths and such a powerful testimony of your families faith!! We have a good good Father and He is faithful to the end!! Love you guys and are so excited to see y’all and meet this precious new baby boy!!
Congratulations and Welcome to Andrew James! Thank you for sharing this story. Some times it can be hard to know how to faithfully respond in hard situations. It is a beautiful thing to see someone who I admire give a perfect example while he experiences some of the most difficult situations anyone one could ever go through. “You are a good God. You’re a good good Father. Regardless of the outcome, I know this to be true” – I will carry that with me.
Another inspiring post. So happy to hear that everyone is doing well. Also had a s Are last night when Becky was rear ended and we weren’t sure if everything was okay with her and our expectant twins (until this morning-everyone is doing fine!). I’m out of town and was feeling so helpless this morning when Insaw your post. It so reminded me of where my comfort comes from, to whom I should be directing my prayers, and, most importantly that Father knows best! That’s for calming me and redirecting my thoughts from the worst to the Lord!
That’s some good stuff!
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Wow! Thank you for sharing. What a great reminder that our “worldly successes” rarely allow us to minister to others!