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Monday, May 14, 2012

Thoughts From My Wife



Michael and Sarah pre-op

My wife, Sarah, journaled some of her thoughts very early this morning, and with her permission, I would love for you to read it if you choose:

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"You know that feeling, that moment, when your brain enters consciousness in the morning, but you haven’t yet opened your eyes and you can just about tell what time it is based on how you feel?  You feel the stiffness from lying in one position for so long and there’s something about the temperature of the room and the weight of the blankets that make you seriously consider allowing your brain to drift back into oblivion.  Sometimes we succumb to that blissfulness, but other times our minds start to engage in what our day is going to look like, where we’ll go, who we’ll see, the ‘to-dos’ that have to get done because they were transferred over to today from yesterday’s list, you know what I’m saying.  



"There was a morning a short time ago that is forever etched in my mind.  There was that moment when I became aware that it was morning, but everything felt a little off and I didn’t have the capacity just yet to open my eyes.  I was trying to get my bearings and recall where I was because I felt different, I was cold and uncomfortable and I remember thinking in those seconds that my eyes and my head hurt and I didn’t know why.  And then it happened.  I remembered.  I remembered all of it.  And before I even opened my eyes to greet the day, a heavy tear fell down the side of my face and dripped into my ear; it was January 14th and I realized that the day before really did happened.  I gave birth to a son with an extra chromosome, who was considered mentally retarded, who had a heart that was terribly compromised and who was in the NICU fighting an infection that had already ravaged his little 5 pound body.  It was still very early and I was trying to be quiet, but I couldn’t stop tears from falling.  I rolled over on my side away from Aaron, who was sleeping in the chair next to my bed, and pulled my blanket up under my chin and cried.  I still hadn’t opened my eyes yet and I didn’t want to.  I just kept pleading with Jesus.  I felt the warmth of Aaron’s hand on my left arm and it calmed me.



"That was four months ago today.  I’m in a different place now than I was.  I was overwhelmed by fear, feeling trapped in the unknown and uncertainty of what was to come.  Grieving the lost dreams and the loss of the baby I thought I was carrying.  While there are still unknown chapters ahead of us, I am not afraid.  I feel honored that God would give Michael to us and I am truly excited to see how He will continue to shine through our boy.  Today we will take him to the hospital and I will lay him down on the table where they will create in him a new heart.  I can’t help but think about Abraham and how he must have felt laying his boy down before the Lord.  When God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, I can only imagine the initial thoughts of confusion and anguish because God promised Abraham that his lineage would be blessed through Isaac.  Well, how will that work if Abraham has to sacrifice him, his only son?  Abraham trusted God.  He knew God had a plan.  He said to the servants traveling with himself and the boy, “We will worship and then we will come back to you.” (Gen 22:5)  Abraham didn’t know the future, but He knew God’s promises wouldn’t return void.  He knew that God would make a way for him.


And God did.  

"I fully, completely and wholeheartedly trust God.  I believe He is good.  I believe He has a plan that is perfect and I desire His plan more than my own that is tainted with flesh and sin and selfishness.  I have such a peace about what is to come, and that’s not to say I have peace because I believe Michael will survive this and thrive, but because the God who had Michael in mind when he laid the foundations and corners of our infinite galaxies has a plan.   And whatever that plan looks like, in death and in life, it is good.  It is perfect.  Albeit hard for us to wrap our heads and hearts around, it is still absolutely perfect."

-Sarah Shust     

32 comments:

Kris Eberle said...

Beautiful and courageous words from a beautiful and courageous woman. Much love to you all and prayers for little Michael today...<3

Beck Gambill said...

Praising God for your faith and praying God's grace for Michael! Thank you for sharing such intimate and beautiful thoughts with us Sarah!

Krista said...

Praying for your sweet family today.

Amy Troyer said...

Thank you! You have put into words exactly how I felt when my precious gift from God Ryan was born Jan 7 2001. He had open heart surgery at 3 months and I felt exactly like you! 11 years later and God's plan is moving along beautifully! Ryan is growing and thriving and I am working on my degree to counsel special needs families! Continue to give praise for our children because they are here to change lives! Ours first!!

Blessings to you!
Amy Troyer

Lori Pass said...

All I can say to this is WOW!!! My eyes filled with tears when I read your words. It is amazing what God can do for us and especially in us when we let Him. I pray for your family and your little boy. Please pray for me and my son who is in his teens and we are struggling so much! I just want to love him like the Lord loves us especially when he is so unlovable. Happy Mothers Day to you...your sister in Christ, Lori P.

Rev. Robyn J. Plocher said...

Precious...and resonates with my mother heart so much. I am praying for you all. Grace and Peace

votemom said...

beautiful, good, mysterious, trustworthy TRUTH.

Victoria said...

I have been praying for your family since January. I don't know you personally, but that surely doesn't matter to God. As I pray for Michael, I'm also praying for you, Aaron and your family -- for peace, comfort and continued faith. My heart hurts for you, and I am so sorry you're going through this. But Michael is a tremendous blessing and a light in this world. You are his mother for a reason, and it's clear to see why through your words. May God continue to wrap his living arms around you.

Rai and Shannon said...

I've been praying for Michael all day!! Praying wisdom for doctors, and peace for you guys! And strength for little Michael! While we don't know you, we love you all just the same, and we really do appreciate the way you share your heart for Jesus in the way you live!! Prayers will continue!!

DD said...

Thank you for sharing Sarah's thoughts with us. You and her and all of yours are in my family's prayers. Praise God for her strength. We will continue to pray for renewed strength and peace for your both. God bless you two! :)

Ellen said...

Thank you for sharing. Praying for your family as the hours tick by...

T said...

Thank you for sharing your wife's heart and faith. What a Blessing Sarah is!

Deedee said...

Beautifully said, Sarah. Praying for you, God's perfect will to be revealed and bring Him glory
- Deedee Freemire

GODSHEALING24 said...

Sarah, I can't pretend to know what you and Aaron are going through, in regards to Michael's health issues. My middle child was a drown victim at age 15 mo., she should have died. The doctors figure she was under the water between 5 & 6 minutes. We had instant prayers going all over the world through our church, not believing that she was going to live without some kind of brain damage. Miraculous enough, she not only pulled through it, but went on to become a corporate accountant, graduated at the top of her class, carrying a 4.0 all 4 years of collage. She is my miracle child, and I know that God, is with us every step of the way, and yes, he does have plans for us, plans that sometimes we can't even comprehend. I believe that Michael is in God's hands today as he goes through his surgery, and all of you are in my prayers daily. Thank you so much for sharing Sarah, it really means a lot to me, to know that I am not the only one that struggles from time to time. With Christian Love, Starla

Colleen Reske said...

Beautiful, Sarah. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I know many are praying today. May God and His angels be with all of you. Lifting you all up in prayer. Rest in God's comfort and peace.

Cynda P said...

Thank you for sharing your very tender heart in such a beautiful and transparent way with us.

Brittnye said...

This is beautiful and I love that the verse of the day from biblegateway.com on the side of the page coincides perfectly with this entry. Michael is fearfully and wonderfully made! We all are! Praying for you guys as you continue to trust God's will and care for your new, precious little treasure.

bgood.techrep said...

Our beautiful 4 year old daughter Anna had open heart surgery may 4th. God heard our prayers she she is happy and recovering amazingly. I pray that not only will God take care of this surgery but will also bless your family as much as he has ours with a special child :)

Natalia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Natalia said...

Sarah, Thank you for such a deep and transparent thoughts! You are a hero! Great blessing to hear how God cares for you and gives you thoughts and trust that passes understanding. Thank you for sharing it.. hope you'll include it in the chapter of your book! yes, I hope you consider writing and publishing a book :) Praying for you all especially today and can't wait to hear about Michels quick recovery.. much love and hugs to you...

Carrie T. said...

What a beautiful, heartfelt entry. Your family has been on my mind all day, and I have been lifting you up in prayer. Hugs to all of you!

Randy Schlichting said...

Well said sis. And well prayed.

Melody Joy King said...

Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. Michael has been on my mind and in my prayers today. Many blessings to you and your family!

Bridget said...

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
—Philippians 4:6–7
Sarah, I am praying for you and your family. Two of my children have been through kidney transplants and many years of health issues. I believe in the power of prayer, and I can relate to your fear and pain. But know that God doesn't want us to be afraid or worry. Your faith will be your strength. May the Lord Bless you, you family, your little boy, his new heart, and the doctors that care for him.

SteveW said...

AMEN! Sarah

teal915 said...

That was beautiful. I remember the days of praying something very similar to what you wrote. I prayed for you throughout the whole day today. I will keep little Michael in my prayers as he recovers. Prayers for a quick recovery.

Williams family said...

Thank you for sharing....and for allowing us to walk this journey with you, when you don't even know us. He IS with you!

Russ H. said...

my wife & I saw AARON in concert this past Saturday, May 13, 2012 (and previously a year before also in Ft Wayne, Indiana when his voice gave out while singing 'Give Me Words'). Aaron asked us to pray for Michael and his surgery and we have. K-LOVE & WBCL radio both had it on their prayer lists after I called in. Michael and your family are bringing us all closer to God through this journey/experience. We will continue praying - God's plan will be revealed. GOD BLESS YOU ALL!! You have all immeasurably touched our lives!

Tara said...

This was a beautiful post. I really liked the line about peace, not because you believed it would all turn out well, but because you trust in God. I wrote a post before my son's heart surgery that was very similar (but not as eloquent or assured). I wrote that there is a fear born of faith because we know His ways our not our own...and sometimes, I think I would rather be in control. :) So glad your wee one is home and safe! My chromosomally enhanced son is 3yo, now, and those baby days are a distant memory. Sit often, enjoy him always, hold him while he'll still let you. :)

Melissajoyy said...

When I read this post, I just had to leave a comment (which I don't usually do on people's blogs). My son, Trevor, was just born on February 12, 2012 weighing just 5 pounds as well and was diagnosed with down syndrome and fighting for his life that week in the NICU.

I had the EXACT same feelings as you did when you described how you were waking up in the morning. I couldn't have wrote it better myself. It is a such a strange feeling when everything is all new and scary. It is so nice that we have God to talk to and rely on, knowing that He promises good to us and that He has a plan to prosper us and not to harm us. I relied on those promises every day those first few weeks when things were so rough.

I, too, am in such a different place now 5 months later. I can't explain how much joy that Trevor has brought to our lives. Life is no longer scary - I am so thankful for his life and that God saved him. His middle name is "Isaac" and I just find that it is so ironic, because we were planning to name him Trevor Isaac before we even knew about all that was to come.

I would love to stay in contact with you as you go through this new life. If you would like to e-mail me, please do so: jmcripe@hotmail.com.

Thanks so much for your post. It is so comforting to know that other people are going through the same things in life and that we are not alone in this process.

Melissa C.

MsJCoffin said...

What a beautiful post! A blurb on KLOVE led me to this blog, so I know this was posted some time ago, but I just had to respond anyway. God definitely chose you to lead this precious child through life and you will be blessed. I too have a 3 year old girl with that same extra chromosome and I vividly remember how God helped to turn those initial raw feelings and fears slowly into a beautiful acceptance and then into inexplicable joy! As you move from months to years, it only gets better! Some great verses to cling to are Exodus 4:10-12 and John 9:1-3. Truth be told I've also clung to some of your husband's songs through it all :). May the Lord bless your family always.

Kellen and Lauren said...

Sarah,
I met you back while you are were pregnant with Michael. I actually did your ultrasound around 35 weeks (I think) or so. You really wanted a 3D for a press release and little Michael was face down! Having you as my patient was so encouraging. Our conversation about raising children in the Lord was so uplifting! I remember checking this blog around your due date to see if you had delivered or not and I was in complete shock to learn about Michael having DS. Your whole family has been in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for continuing to be an encouragement to many and glorifying the Lord through your struggles.

Lauren