2. ***Part #2...God blesses Christopher with A HEALING MIRACLE!***

Call, tweet, face book, and e-mail a friend!!!  You can also leave comments/questions on this blog, or contact me at christophersstory@gmail.com

I invite you to help me get the word out about God's instant healing miracle!!! Call a friend, tweet about it, or add this site to your face book page. E-mail everyone in your contact list. God is doing BIG things, and we need to let the world know about it. This blog entry is just one in a series detailing the incredible healing power of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. With God, ALL things are possible. EVERYBODY NEEDS TO HEAR THE GOOD NEWS THAT GOD IS STILL IN THE MIRACLE BUSINESS!!! A few clicks on your keyboard can help this go viral, so that we can encourage the hearts and souls of a world in need.

Thank you for your loyal readership and support!
God bless,

Philippians 4:6-7  Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.  Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

God Blesses Christopher with a Healing Miracle

There are moments in life that stand out above all others because of their special and unique significance.  I distinctly remember the details of my wedding day, and I will never forget the first time I held each of my children.  As we walked into the church that day,  I sensed that this would be one of those moments.  Christopher had been prayed for many times, but something was different this time.  We had been given a special invitation to prayer, and I had the distinct impression that God was about to do something BIG.

Still, there was a tug of war going on inside my heart, a hushed apprehension vs. a quiet excitement.  Had I misunderstood what God was trying to tell me?  Had I pushed all reason aside because of my yearning for my son to be free of chronic illness?  My mind had doubt percolating inside it, but my soul was screaming to trust God and RSVP his invitation with obedience. 

The church where Bruce was speaking that day was meeting at a local school.  The congregation met each Sunday in the school commons area (kind of like a big cafeteria).  It was a huge room with lots of seating.  Mike, Michael, Ryan, Christopher, Ga Ga, and I took our seats in the back and waited for the service to begin.

It began like most church services.  There was lots of singing, praising God, prayer, and church announcements.  Then the time came for the pastor to introduce Bruce VanNatta.  The congregation gave Bruce a warm and friendly welcome as he made his way to the podium to share with them the miraculous story of how God had healed him.  Even though I had heard his story the night before at the charity dinner, I was still captivated by the details.  His story was undeniable and awe-inspiring.  It stirred my heart and prepared my soul for the miracle that God was about to do in Christopher.

As Bruce shared the incredible details of his story, I watched the faces of my children.  I was so glad that they were there, and that they had the opportunity to hear the amazing news of the miracle God had done in Bruce.  Christopher was paying particularly close attention.  I could see that he was wondering too.  Would this time be different?  Was God really about to do a miracle in him?

During the service I prayed hard for Christopher, harder than I ever had before.  By the time the service was over I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted, yet my spirit felt hopeful excitement.  Inside my soul, God had readied my spirit in anticipation of the miracle that was about to happen. 

We walked towards the front of the room where Bruce was already in prayer with the souls who had gathered around him.  I felt a buoyant and electric excitement inside me as we waited for our turn to talk to Bruce.  When he was finished, I introduced Christopher to him.

They had an immediate connection, an instant camaraderie.  As they shook hands, they started comparing scars and histories.  Christopher briefly explained his medical condition and a few details of the medical intervention that he had experienced in his life.  I couldn't help but notice his nervous excitement and sincere desire to accept  what God wanted to do in him.

Then Bruce gave a few disclaimers.  He told Christopher that he didn't know why God chose to do the miracle that He had done in him after the accident.  He explained that he was just an average guy who had been given an extraordinary gift.  He also told Christopher that he had no special powers to heal anyone.  He made it clear that it was God who had all the power.  He also said that he didn't know what God's timetable or methods were for healing Christopher, but he asked Christopher if he could pray that God would heal him that day.

Christopher accepted his invitation to prayer.  We all gathered around Christopher as Bruce prayed aloud for God to heal him.  During the prayer it felt like the world was holding its breath.  The air in the room was still and silent accept for the movement of the holy spirit working inside my son.  The world literally melted away as the universe was suddenly hyper-focused on the young man at the center of it all.

Bruce was still praying when Christopher announced that something was wrong, something was happening!  He was grabbing his G-tube and saying something was happening to it.  Bruce stopped praying and asked Christopher if he needed to sit down.  Christopher said that he was okay and wanted to keep going, so Bruce began again.  He said that we had to keep going.  God wasn't done yet.  At this point, I couldn't close my eyes.  I had to watch.  I could feel the sweet weight of the Holy Spirit moving among us, and I wanted to watch Him work.  As Bruce continued praying aloud, I continued praying with my eyes wide open.

I didn't see all the people still in the room.  I didn't hear any other conversations accept for the one going on between Bruce, our family, and God.  All sense of time and place had disappeared.  It was just this moment in this place that mattered. Christopher's body was trembling slightly.  His face was completely flushed, and he had a look that I had never seen before.  It was VERY serious, VERY intense, and VERY all-consuming.  He was wearing a light t-shirt.  His hands were at his side, and his eyes were peacefully closed. 

That's when I saw it.  I saw the movement.  I felt my eyes widen in absolute amazement as I witnessed the vibration, the movement in his G-tube.  I watched it vibrate and pulsate independently of the rest of his body.  Then I saw that same vibration move down through his abdomen following the pattern of his intestines.  As it reached his J-tube, the J-tube began to visibly palpitate with the beat of the Holy Spirit at work in him. There was a tactile, pinpoint focus.  It was like God had a laser beam aimed directly at Christopher's abdomen, and He was healing him as it moved along his GI tract.

I didn't know it then, but Christopher later told me that it felt like an electric shock moving through him.  He could feel the vibrating movement, the healing power of God.  He said it was difficult to describe, but it was undeniable.  He felt God healing him.

We were a cloud of Christian witnesses in the midst of a profound moment.  It was one moment in time that would change all others.  We were witnesses to an instant healing miracle, and our eyes were opened to the extraordinary power and plans of God.  We were not only blessed by Christopher's healing, but we were blessed to be direct participants and witnesses as the Lord bent near the Earth, smiled on my son, and healed him.

Bruce finished his prayer by giving thanks to God, and then we all said, "Amen."  We thanked Bruce for praying with us, and he asked if I would e-mail him with updates about Christopher's condition.  I happily agreed to keep him informed. 

Walking out to the parking lot, we all agreed that something had just happened.  It was difficult to explain or describe the raw emotion of the Holy Spirit at work among us, but we all felt it.  Something had happened.  Something had changed in Christopher.  We all knew it, and God's healing power would shine brightly as it manifested itself that very day as Christopher ATE HIS FIRST REAL MEAL FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME IN HIS ENTIRE LIFE!  It was an extraordinary gift that would keep on giving!

Tube fed Christopher

God healed Christopher, and now he eats REAL food!

Special Note:  I invite you to learn more about Bruce's inspiring story of healing. Only he can tell it like it really happened. He has written a book about his experience called Saved by Angels. He also has a website at sweetbreadministries.com

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray something like this:

More tomorrow...

1. ***Part #1...An invitation to a miracle***

***This blog entry is part #1 in a 2 part series that sets up and describes the INSTANT HEALING MIRACLE.  Check the archive at the right for part #2 that describes the actual miracle itself!***

Blog Instructions:  At the right hand side of this blog there is an archive.  For quick reference Part #1 and Part #2 of Christopher's miracle are listed first followed by three other miracles that God blessed our family with. They are listed as numbers 3, 4, and 5. The archive then continues with the list of posts that tell the whole story starting with "The beginning" and ending with "Knock, knock, knock." They are in chronological order.

For the rest of the story...My blog archive will only display 100 posts at a time. There are a total of 178 posts on this blog. To view the 78 posts that are not listed on the blog archive, simply click on last post titled "Family ties." Once that post is displayed on the page, you will see the words "OLDER POST" at the bottom of the post right below the comments section. Just click on "OLDER POST," and it will take you to the next post. You have to keep clicking on the words "OLDER POST" on each additional post you access in order to get to the next part of the story. There are an additional 78 posts. You will know you made it to the end when you get to the post titled "Knock, knock, knock." I apologize for the inconvenience!

Call, tweet, face book, and e-mail a friend!

I invite you to help me get the word out about God's instant healing miracle!!!  Call a friend, tweet about it, or add this site to your face book page.  E-mail everyone in your contact list.  God is doing BIG things, and we need to let the world know about it.  This blog entry is just one in a series detailing the incredible healing power of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  With God, ALL things are possible.  EVERYBODY NEEDS TO HEAR THE GOOD NEWS THAT GOD IS STILL IN THE MIRACLE BUSINESS!!!  A few clicks on your keyboard can help this go viral, so that we can encourage the hearts and souls of a world in need.

Thank you for your loyal readership and support!
God bless,
It was an invitation to a charity event.  It was an invitation to help orphans in Honduras, but it turned out to be an invitation to a miracle.  As we sat around the table with our friends enjoying our meal and chatting about life, little did we know that God was about to move in a huge, undeniable, life changing way.  His love and mercy would be displayed through His astounding plan for Christopher's life.

God had brought us to this particular event, at this particular place, and at this particular time in order for us to hear the speaker that night.  His name was Bruce VanNatta, and he was there to support the Christian mission in Honduras and to share with us the story of how God healed him. 

He began his talk with the basics, the life and times of Bruce VanNatta.  It was the story of a young boy growing up, living life, finding success, making mistakes, and trying to find God in the process.  He shared with us how he had started his own business repairing semi-trucks, and how he often traveled around his home state of Wisconsin fixing huge trucks in need of repair. 

Working on trucks was his specialty.  It was what he knew, and he had a lot of experience doing it.  His business grew over the years and became very successful.  He knew fixing trucks like he knew the back of his own hand, and it was his livelihood until...it wasn't.  It was his life until...the accident.

It was one of those unexpected moments in life where everything gets turned upside down.  In an instant, agendas and priorities are wiped out as you are confronted with the real possibility of your own mortality.  One minute Bruce was lying under a big semi truck making some adjustments, and in the blink of an eye the truck had fallen on him.  The axle had practically cut his body in half.  He had five completely severed arteries, and his chances of survival were next to nothing.  Actually, as it turned out, his chance of survival turned out to be zero because he soon found himself having an out of body experience.

As he watched from the top of the truck garage, he saw angels ministering to his body and paramedics attending to his injuries.  He felt no pain, just peace until he heard a paramedic say his name.  Then as he bent near to see "who" was underneath the truck, he suddenly found himself back inside his broken body looking up at the paramedic who had spoke his name.

Because his injuries were so severe he was not expected to survive, but God had other plans.  No one in the world has ever survived with five severed arteries except Bruce VanNatta.  The doctors have no medical answers to explain away the healing miracle that God did in Bruce.  He is a living, breathing testament to God's healing power.

I sat in my chair listening to every detail of his story, and it was the details that tweaked my soul.  He used medical vocabulary that I knew, and he spoke about procedures I was familiar with.  That's when God started to whisper into my heart.  I kept hearing Him tell me that I needed to go talk to Bruce, that I needed to tell him about Christopher.  Instead of saying yes, I made excuses like...he will be too busy to talk with me, and he will be overwhelmed with people wanting to share their stories with him.  My excuses were no match for God's plans.  He simply told me not to worry.  He would clear the way.

Still, I was reluctant, but God didn't give up.  It was loud and clear inside my head. He told me there was a reason that Bruce was "speaking my language," using words I knew and talking about medical procedures that I had seen Christopher endure.  My excuse parade continued...but I can't just leave my friends and run off to talk to someone else.  We invited them.  That would be rude, but God countered with...they will understand.

Bruce continued to speak to the crowd, and God continued to speak to my stubborn heart.  Looking back now, I can't believe that the God of the universe was speaking to me about His plans, and yet I had the audacity to think that my plans might be better.  God was directing my steps, and I was trying to walk the other way.

My arrogance was no match for His plans.  He continued to gently reassure me and encourage me to move in the direction He was leading.  When Bruce finished speaking, I excused myself from the table.  Then I made the choice to take God up on His invitation, and it has made all the difference.

The room was filled with tables and people, but they all seemed to just fade away as I walked to the front of the conference room to the table where Bruce was seated.  I was on a spiritual mission that I hadn't planned on.  When he saw me coming, he got up from his chair as if he was expecting me.  Maybe God had been talking with him too preparing his heart for Christopher's story.

I began to tell him about Christopher.  I could hear the intensity and years of sadness in my voice.  Bruce listened carefully, and then he asked me a question I found curious...has anyone ever prayed for him?  The question took me by surprise because, of course, Christopher had been prayed for tons of times at church, at school, at home.

But...Bruce had never prayed for Christopher, so he asked me if he could pray for him.  He wanted to know if Christopher had come to the charity dinner, so that we could pray over him.  I explained that at 16 Christopher enjoys spending time with his friends, not attending boring charity dinner with his parents.  Bruce, being the father of four children himself, needed no further explanation.

That might have ended the whole thing right there.  Christopher wasn't there, so thanks for trying, but spiritual mission ended.  Our God is an awesome and powerful God, and He wasn't going to let a little thing like location get in the way and either was Bruce.  He told me that he was giving a speech the next day at a local church.  He invited my husband and I to come with Christopher, so that we could all pray together.  It was an invitation to prayer.  It was an invitation to a miracle.

Psalm 37:5  Commit everything you do to the Lord.  Trust Him, and He will help you.

Special Note:  I gave limited details in this blog entry about Bruce's testimony, so I invite you to learn more about Bruce's inspiring story of healing.  Only he can tell it like it really happened.  He has written a book about his experience called Saved by Angels.  He also has a website at  sweetbreadministries.com

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ into your life, you can pray something like this:

More tomorrow...


Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles He performs for people.  Psalm 66:5

My friend, Kim, soon pulled in the driveway with a pickup truck and a couple of strong Honduran exchange students to load up the items that would be put on the container bound for Honduras. While the young men loaded the truck, Kim and I went in the house to chat for awhile. It wasn't long before Christopher and his girlfriend, Breanna, joined the conversation.

Map of Honduras
We talked about the orphanage and all the incredible things God was doing in Honduras. Kim told us that she had just returned from a trip to Honduras, and that Bruce VanNatta (the man who had prayed for Christopher when God healed him) had been there too. She explained how they had gone to a hospital in Honduras and prayed for many patients with cancer. Kim had been the organizer, getting everyone who wanted prayer a chance to pray with those who had come to pray with them. God was doing incredible healing miracles, and we were amazed as she shared with us how many of the cancer patients had actually walked out of the hospital completely cured of the cancer that had been ravaging their bodies!

My mind was still processing the fact that God had instantly healed people of terminal cancer, when Kim said something that got my attention. She told us that when they were done praying at the hospital, she noticed that her hands were red and swollen. She asked Bruce VanNatta if he would pray for her hands. He said he would be happy to, but that there was really nothing medically wrong with her hands. Kim was obviously a little perplexed by his statement. She was curious...why were her hands red and swollen? Bruce then explained to her that her hands were like that because she needed to stop organizing people for prayer and start praying with people for God to heal them. That's when something stirred in me. I had an idea.

I looked at Christopher, and then I looked at Kim. I pointed out that, clearly, we had someone here who needed prayer, and apparently we had someone here who needed to pray for other people. It seemed like a match made in Heaven. Besides, what did we have to lose? If it wasn't God's plan for Christopher to be instantly healed of this infection, then we would make our way to the hospital. It seemed like a no-brainer. Both Kim and Christopher agreed, so right there in the middle of our kitchen we gathered around Christopher.

Kim (bravely...because his stomach was pretty disgusting) put her hands on Christopher's abdomen. She began to pray and ask God to heal the infection that was plaguing Christopher, and as she did Christopher started to fall backwards from the electric shock that suddenly went through his infected stomach. If we hadn't been there to catch him, he would have fallen backwards for sure. Then something very curious but amazing happened. The infection began to (and I know this sounds gross) squirt out of him!

The awful liquid continued to squirt out in fits and spurts for several hours until it was all out. Then we literally watched in awe as the hole began to close before our very eyes. We kept checking it every once in awhile, and by bed time the hole was just about gone!

Christopher had a grin on his face from ear to ear! He could hardly contain his excitement. In fact, he couldn't contain it, so he began to dance around and jump for joy. The peace and absolute happiness  that came over him were indescribable. It was a surreal scene to behold.

His "test" is now his "testimony!"
By the next morning when Christopher got up, the hole was no longer a hole. It was gone, and all that remained was a normal looking, infection-free scar that was completely sealed shut. Against my very vocal protests, he even tried to pull it apart, but he couldn't because God had healed the infection and completely knit the skin back together.

It was at that very moment that the door finally closed on that whole chapter of our lives. Years and years of chronic illness, hospital stays, surgeries, and tube feedings were now nothing but a terrible distant memory...or were they? Yes, much of what Christopher had gone through was horrible. It was a long, awful, and at times an unbearable test...but look what God had done. He had blessed us with not one but two instant healing miracles, and in so doing, had turned our "test" into a "testimony!" He didn't want us to forget what we had been through. He wanted us to share what He had done. God had proved that He was bigger and more powerful than any of our problems. He had not only given us the grace to endure, but then He blessed us with the mercy of healing.

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray something like this:

More tomorrow...


 They were God's words, not mine. I felt that He had put these words on my heart because it was His truth, and I believed that it spoke to what God was about to do. I typed it out (in blue, Michael's favorite color) and posted it everywhere...

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

It was on the front door as the guests arrived, and it was even next to the fresh flower bouquet on the counter. It just seemed like this verse said it all. It revealed God's heart, power, and mercy for us all.

After all our guests arrived we gathered in our family room. My husband, Mike (always the "techie genius"), rigged up skype to our television set, so that we could all see and hear Bruce Van Natta more clearly. Our immediate family...Mike, Ryan, Christopher, and I stood near Michael at the front of the room. Kim was there as well, standing with the family around Michael.  Some of our guests were seated on couches, chairs, and the floor. While others chose to stand.

There was a hush of nervous excitement in the room. The same question was on everybodys mind..were we about to witness another instant healing miracle? Would this be the last day that Michael would suffer from the ravages of Bi-polar disorder? We didn't know the answers to any of these questions, but one thing was clear. God has perfect timing, plans, and methods. God is in control, and His ways are higher than our own. God always answers our prayers. Sometimes He answers them in ways we might expect, and sometimes He answers them in ways that are beyond even our greatest imagination. Sometimes the answer come immediately, while other times the answer is a process. 

It seemed like the best way to find out the answer was to simply ask God the question. I began by introducing Bruce and Kim to everyone. Next I read 2 Corinthians 5:17, and then turned it over to Bruce and Kim. Interestingly enough, Bruce began by holding up a piece of paper with the same verse (that I had just quoted) written on it. He too felt that God had put that verse on his heart as he was preparing to pray for Michael! 

Bruce continued by talking to everyone about Jesus and the sacrifice that He made for all of us on the cross. He spoke about the importance of accepting Christ as our Savior, and he asked Michael if he believed in Jesus. Michael nodded his head and said that he did believe in Jesus. Then Bruce asked Michael an interesting question...is there anyone you need to forgive? It seemed like it took an eternity for Michel to answer. Then looking down at the floor and in a very quiet voice he gave the answer that pierced my heart. The person he needed to forgive was himself. In that moment I could feel his sorrow, his pain. I could feel all the loneliness and isolation that he felt in his prison of depression. I could see all the guilt and frustration literally hanging on his shoulders like a heavy weight, and then I began to see it lift as Bruce and Kim began to pray, and Michael finally let go of all the unforgiveness. 

Being able to let go of unforgiveness was a huge miracle in itself. If God had stopped right there we would have celebrated His blessing, but God wasn't done yet. Since Kim was physically in the room, she actually laid hands on Michael. Then Both Bruce and Kim prayed aloud while the rest of us prayed quietly in our minds. 

There was an undeniable sense of seriousness in the room. After all, Bi-polar disorder is serious business. When your brain chemistry is out of balance, it causes all kinds of endless pain and problems. Not only had Bi-polar stolen Michael's joy, but it had even threatened to steal his life. We had tried everything to combat it: psychologists, psychiatrists, medications, and even a hospitalization. At this point nothing had really worked. It seemed like we were just masking the symptoms, putting a band aid on them. It often felt like we were always chasing a moving target, never quite able to hit the bulls eye. Michael wasn't getting better. He was getting worse. As his situation deteriorated, so did our hopes that he would live a happy, normal life. 

However, with each word that Bruce and Kim prayed, that hope for a happy, normal life that we thought was dead began to come alive again. The atmosphere in the room changed. The serious nature of mental illness was overwhelmed by the serious nature of God's healing power. God began to make his timing, plans, and methods known...especially to Michael who experienced it to such an intense degree that he could no longer stand up under it. Michael began to fall to the floor. At 6'1" and weighing over 200 pounds it could have been a painful landing, but Mike and Ryan were standing just behind him and caught him on his way down. They helped him the rest of the way to the floor where Michael laid on his stomach for several minutes. He began to sweat profusely, so we put cool towels on him, and he laid there unable to move for quiet awhile.

He later explained what it felt like when God healed him. Michael said that at one point he could no longer stand. His legs just kind of went out from under him. He explained that he began to feel really hot (which explains the profuse sweating). While he laid on the floor, he said that he felt like he couldn't move, like someone was holding him down.  Finally, after several minutes it was over, and he knew that he had been healed. He knew that God had just blessed him with an instant healing miracle.

When I looked into Michael's eyes, I knew too. I knew why God had put 2 Corinthians 5:17 on my heart. Michael was in Christ. He was forgiven. He was healed, and he was a new person! 

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray something like this:

More tomorrow...

The Beginning

Christopher at the hospital
I am going to share my story with you, but before I do I need to make a couple of disclaimers.  First of all, I have never written, read, or even seen a blog.   In fact, until today I didn't even know what a blog was.  I know, pretty sad!  I am completely clueless about computers.  Fortunately, I have a friend, Christie, who is a computer genius.  She encouraged me to share my story by blogging, and she helped me set it up.  Thank you, Christie!

Secondly, I am a wife and a mom.  I taught kindergarten and first grade before I had kids, and I haven't been back in the classroom since then.  I have no special medical, psychological, or ministerial training.  I am just and ordinary person who found herself in a "not so ordinary" situation. 

Thirdly, I am a Christian, so I write from a Christian perspective.  I put that out there because I want you to know where my heart is. 

Lastly, I decided to write this because I know there are other people out there who are in unusual and tough situations too.  Maybe something about my story will prove helpful to others.

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray like this:

More tomorrow...


Do they really happen?  I know they do.  I have heard stories about them, read books about them, and even seen movies about them.   I know they exist, but why do some people get the miracle they have been hoping and praying for while others are left wondering?  Maybe miracles are reserved for really special people, or really smart people, or really holy people.  I don't know why some people get them and others don't.  I do know that I  was in desperate need of one, but I wasn't sure I could really expect a miracle in my life.  I really needed something big. Not some little coincidence or twist of fate.  I mean a "full on", blow your mind miracle.  One that the doctors couldn't provide or explain. 

My baby was sick, critically and chronically ill.  As a mom you want to kiss it and make it better, put a band aid on it.  Unfortunately, they don't make band aids to fix this kind of thing.  Now what?  Pray for a miracle.  Well, if miracles are only handed out to special, smart, and holy people then I may be in trouble.  I'm just your average, everyday person living an average, everyday life.  I'd like to think I'm smart, but I'm smart enough to know that that there is much more that I DON'T know than I DO know.  I am a religious person.  I try to go to church, read my Bible, pray often, be kind to people.  You know, all the usual stuff Christians try to do, but I just don't know.  Is it possible that God will choose to work a miracle in my life?  If He did, what would it look like?  Would it be instant or would it take time?  How much time?  Hey, is there anything I can do to hurry it along...ya know, pray more or maybe read my Bible more?  Now it sounds like I'm trying to bargain.  Guess that answers that holiness question.  Wow!  This is going to be hard.

Matthew 19:26
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray like this:

More tomorrow...

"And baby makes 5..."

You know life.  You are supposed to grow up, get married, have kids, get a dog, own a house.  Ya know, the "American Dream".  That's what we do.  That's whats expected, so when you find out you are pregnant that first time you're excited!  You tell your family and friends, and all you can think about is the good stuff:  birthday parties with presents and balloons, Christmas morning around the tree, your son graduating from college, and on and on.  It's all going to be so great.  You're going to be the best mom ever because you're going to surround yourself with other good moms, read lots of "how to raise the best kids ever" books, and pray,pray, and pray some more.  Of course your child will be the best kid ever.  He will be handsome, smart, kind, trustworthy, and everybody will love him.  He will do great things in the world.  He most definitely will become President if he wants to, well, that's if he's not too busy being a doctor, or a lawyer, or a famous celebrity. 

I know. I know. Having kids is bad stuff too.  I know they get the flu sometimes.  They cry, have dirty diapers, fight with their siblings, "forget" to do their chores.  I know all that stuff is part of parenting too, but the good stuff overshadows all that... right?  I mean nothing really bad happens...to us, to our kids.  Accidents and serious illnesses, those happen to other people's kids...right?

When I found out I was pregnant with Christopher, I was already the mother of two boys, Michael and Ryan.  The first couple of times around I was younger, just learning how to be a mom.  I'd had my share of spilt milk and lots and lots and lots of laundry!  But to tell you the truth, I didn't mind cleaning up that milk and doing all that laundry.  I loved being a mom, and I really thought that this is what I was born to do.  Besides, those birthday parties were so much fun, and truly there is nothing like Christmas morning with your husband and kids.around that tree.  The dirty diapers and bickering were worth it, and the great thing was this time...this time I was more prepared.  I could most definitely handle a third child.  No problem,  I knew what I was doing.  I had faced down ear infections without a hiccup.  I could talk on the phone, hold a kid on one hip, and clean the kitchen all at the same time.  A third child would be a breeze.  After all, what's one more?

They say "life is full of surprises", ups and downs, hills and valleys.  Just when you think you have it all figured out, is when you find out you haven't figured hardly anything out at all!  Boy! Oh boy, was I about to find  that out.  My life, our lives were about to change in ways we could have never dreamed, but God would be there. He'd be with us, in us, holding us.  He would carry us through.  It would be an unexpected journey full of all those hills and valleys.  In the end God would bring it all together.  His glory would shine through!

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray like this:

More tomorrow...

I think someone is trying to tell me something

While I was pregnant with Christopher,  I did all the things you are supposed to do.  I took pre-natal vitamins, I gave up my morning coffee (that one hurt), and I got plenty of rest .  No problem there.  I'm a world class, gold medal sleeper!  Anybody who knows me would agree with that.  I also made sure to eat a healthy diet.  Believe me, I took that "eating for two" advice to heart.  I gained 50 pounds, yikes!  Anyway, for the most part it was a normal pregnancy.  All was well... a healthy mom and healthy baby.

At about the 7 month mark the first "emergency" developed.  I was rushed to the hospital because I had gone into premature labor.  I was absolutely petrified!  The hospital staff tried to assure me that everything would be okay.  I was told that lots of babies are born at this point and do just fine.  Somehow I knew this was different.  Something was not quite right with this baby.  It was as if God was trying to prepare my heart.  Fortunately, they were able to stop the labor, and we went home thinking we had just dodged a major bullet.

Unfortunately, we had to duck for cover from that same bullet a month later.  At 8 months I went into labor again.  This time the doctors were more confident.  I was further along, and the odds for a viable, healthy baby were better.  They were less concerned, but I wasn't.  Again, I think God was knocking on the door of my heart.  I just had this feeling that my baby just wasn't ready to be born yet.  Luckily, the doctors were able to stop the labor, and I didn't go into labor again until I was 2 weeks past my due date! 

Looking back I know Christopher's late delivery saved his life.  He would need every  extra pound and every ounce of strength he could muster from that tiny little body to survive what was to come.

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray like this:

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It's a boy!

We had a plan, a birth plan that is.  However, as often happens, plans change.  The original plan was that I was to have my labor induced.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with that, they basically hook you up to an IV and give you a medication, called Pitosin, which causes labor to start.  However, my labor started on its own the day before I was to be induced.  At 9:30 am on a Sunday I was awakened by a whopper of a contraction.  My husband rushed me to the hospital where I was in stunned disbelief to find out that "the window of opportunity" had closed for me to get an epidural (blocks pain, also part of the  original plan).  The baby was already crowning, and it was time to push.  By 11:25 am Christopher entered the world.  Talk about a rush delivery!

As I mentioned in my last blog, the fact that Christopher was delivered 2 weeks late was critically important  to his survival.  He weighed in at just 2 ounces shy of 9 pounds!  I know what all you ladies are thinking...ouch!  I wholeheartedly agree.  Fellas, this is why your wives deserve those flowers on Mother's Day! 

At birth, everything seemed fine.  Christopher did all the things that babies are supposed to do.  He cried, he pooped, he slept, and he ate.  Well, he tried to eat.  He seemed to be spitting up more than babies usually do.  The doctors and nurses said it was okay, and that babies sometimes have hard time latching on.  They assured me that things would get better, and as for the spitting up, I was told that it looked like more than it actually was.  Besides, he was quite a little heavy weight.  Don't worry.  Everything is going to be fine.  He is a healthy, bouncing baby boy.  We were released from the hospital and went home.

But...this was not my "first time at the rodeo".  I was already the mother of two.  My oldest was 3 and a half, and my middle one was 1 and a half, still in diapers.  I was very familiar with what was "normal" at least for my kids.  Despite nagging doubts, I decided to trust what I had been told.

Okay, here we go!  Home at last.  The whirlpool I call my life is spinning with two in diapers, lots of crying (I mean me.  No, just kidding.  Well, okay, me too), and a very rambunctious toddler.  Oh, and don't forget about all that laundry!  Life is going to be very busy, but I can do this.  After all, what's one more?  I was about to find out.

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray like this:

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Blessings, blessings, blessings (Thanksgiving 2011)

Christopher eating at Thanksgiving!!!
I want to take time out today from our story in honor of Thanksgiving, so I may wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!

God has blessed our entire family in so many ways!  He gave us each other, and He provides  for all of our needs plus more in abundance!  God is amazing!

Today I want to share with you something I am especially thankful for.  For the first time in his life (he is 16) my son, Christopher, will join us in actually EATING Thanksgiving dinner.  That's right!   He will EAT whatever he wants from the turkey, to the mashed potatoes,  to the rolls, and pumpkin pie.  For those of you who actually know him, you know how absolutely remarkable this is!  For those of you who don't know him, this will foreshadow what is to come in future blogs.

Evidence abounds all around us that God is still in the "miracle business"!  May God bless all of you, and may all glory and praise  go to our Lord, Jesus Christ!

Again, Happy Thanksgiving to all from our family to yours!

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray like this:

More Tomorrow, that is after my "tryptophan coma" wears off...

It's a 3 ring circus!

The three ring circus
Ladies and gentleman may I direct your attention to ring number 1 starring "Michael the Magnificent".   In ring number 2 we have "The Amazing Ryan", and last but certainly not least in ring number 3 it's "Christopher the Courageous"!  Yes, it's true.  With three boys under the age of four, I definitely lived at the circus, but fortunately, I was a master at juggling "aka" multitasking.  I made the perfect ring leader or " Mommy (Master) of Ceremonies".

It's a good thing we had a "traveling circus" because Christopher was now 2 weeks old, and it was time for his 2 week check at the pediatricians office.  I loaded all my little circus acts in the van, and off to the doctor's office we went. 

The circus grown up a little.
In order for you to really appreciate what it's like to take 2 toddlers and a new born baby ANYWHERE , let me set the stage for you.  Set aside the fact that just getting in and out of the car is a "Herculean task" with the car seats, diaper bag, double stroller, etc.  Just imagine being in a small, confined doctor's exam room with this circus.  Picture it.  "Michael the Magnificent" was literally doing laps around the room.  "The Amazing Ryan" was where he always was... clutching my leg with both arms wrapped around me so tightly that I couldn't even move without lifting him along as I walked.  Under these circumstances, I think I deserved that "amazing" title more than he did, but I digress.  Anyway, his constant death grip on my leg kinda irritated me at first until I realized that it was actually a great way to lose that baby weight.  The only thing was I had to make sure I switched over to the other leg occasionally in order to get an equal workout on both sides.  Anyway... let's not forget in ring number 3 "Christopher the Courageous"  who was pretty much crying or puking all the time due to the fact that he was a very sick little boy.

As the ring leader, I was trying my best to contain the chaos when the pediatrician walked in and told me that Christopher had lost a significant amount of weight.  I told him  that I was not surprised at all given the fact that I had called him on the phone several times in the last couple weeks with my concerns about the fact that Christopher was eating very little and throwing up a lot.  The pediatrician listened to my concerns, did the examination, and gave Christopher his "puppy shots" (vaccinations).  He maintained the company line that his spitting up just "looked like a lot",  and told me to keep a closer eye on what he ate.  To say the least, I was tired and irritated.  I took my circus and went home.

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray like this:

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Going For Distance!

I wish I could report to you that we came home from the pediatrician's office, and everything was fine.  Unfortunately, the circus continued, but "The Courageous Christopher" learned a new trick.  His eating continued to decline, and he started to do this thing called "projectile vomiting".  Now if you have never seen this before, all I can say is that it's a very scary and concerning sight to see.  Sure, all babies spit up, but this is not just any ordinary spitting up.  It really is hard to believe that such a tiny little infant could even manage this.  The name "projectile" is no accident and definitely describes what happens.  The baby vomits with such force that it literally shoots out of the babies mouth and across the room.  I had never seen anything quite like this.  Christopher was definitely "going for distance" every time he spit up! It is that scary looking, and believe me when I say that they do not make burp rags big enough or absorbent enough to handle this.  This required towels, beach  towels.  As you can imagine, it is not healthy for an infant to keep this up for long.

As luck would have it, my husband was out of town on a well deserved fishing trip.  For some reason my husband being out of town became a recurring theme whenever  a crisis would arise.  Anyway, I took the traveling circus over to my mom's house, so she could help me maintain calm.  It was a beautiful spring day, so we sat outside on her porch to enjoy the sunshine.  Christopher continued to "lose his lunch" (and breakfast) all day long.  I called the doctor several times, but kept getting the "just watch and wait" advice.  Finally, it got to the point where he was listless and not having any wet diapers.  Now I have no medical training, but I do know that newborns can dehydrate very easily.  I decided to take Christopher to the emergency room.

Welcome to crisis #1, only the first of many to come.  The emergency room doctor diagnosed him with Pyloric Stenosis.  If you are thinking what I was thinking, then you are asking yourself about now, what is that?  It sounds bad.  Well it is, and it isn't.  It is a condition that some babies are born with where the muscle between the stomach and small intestine is overgrown and causes a blockage, so the baby continually throws up, forcefully.  Sounded about right to me.  There was a small catch though.  Christopher needed a diagnostic test to formally determine that this was the correct diagnosis.  Unfortunately, we would need to go to a different hospital to have the test done.  I thought it was odd that on our way out the door, the emergency room doctor asked us if we had had dinner yet.  We said no, and he told us not to stop anywhere along the way and go straight to the hospital. 

Upon arriving at the hospital we went to the information desk, and then we were directed to take a set of elevators to the 9th floor.  Okay, I thought, this must be where they will do the test.  The elevator doors opened and a nurse was waiting for us.  He grabbed Christopher out of my arms, directed us to follow him to a hospital room (huh??? what are we doing here???), and told me that he was going to put in an IV.  He said the surgery would probably be early the next morning.  Needless to say, I was in shock!  Oh, I said, there must be some mistake.  I told him he must have the wrong patient.  We were only here for a test, and then we were going home.  So...put down that needle! 

I can still remember the pained look on the nurse's face.  Then he told me that there was no mistake.  The next morning Christopher would have his first surgery at the tender age of 2 and a half weeks.  Luckily, Christopher was blissfully unaware of what was going on, but I was an absolute wreck!  The phone call to my husband was no picnic.  He met us at the hospital, and we braced ourselves to face something that we never thought would happen to us, surgery on our newborn child.

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray like this:

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Inside the mind of a distraught mom

For nine months I had been so careful.  I took my vitamins, got lots of rest, went to all my doctor's appointments, and tried to eat all the right things.  Since Christopher's birth I did my very best to care for him, and now they were telling me that he needed surgery.  I just couldn't wrap my brain around that idea.  Were they actually talking about cutting open the child I had worked so hard to care for and protect?

Mom's are hard wired to protect their children.  If you think your child is about to get hurt, it is amazing how you can literally dive on top of your child to shield them from harm.  That wasn't going to work in this situation.  It made me feel completely helpless. 

I tried to tell myself that they weren't really trying to hurt him.  Their intentions were admirable.  They were trying to help him, save him.  Why didn't it feel that way though?  I felt like I had failed somehow.  Maybe I had done something wrong when I was pregnant or since he was born.  Maybe I had missed something, or maybe the obstetrician or pediatrician had missed something.  Did he really need this surgery anyway?  Maybe there was another way, a pill or some other less drastic procedure that didn't involve cutting my newborns pristine little body.  Maybe I should look on the bright side.  After the surgery, everything will be normal...right?  We can go back to our lives, and this will just be a horrible memory. 

The more I thought about it, I knew that the answers to these questions all led to the same place- surgery.  I needed to compose myself, be strong.  I should be positive and help others who are struggling around me, but somehow in my postpartum haze I just can't muster the energy.

They are ready to take Christopher now, but I can't let go.  I am trying to hold on as tightly as I can without hurting him.  I just can't let go.  I won't.  This is crazy.  My heart tells me that these doctors have to be wrong, but my mind is telling me otherwise.  I still can't let go, so my husband gently nudges me, and I hand him over. 

As we sit in the surgical waiting room waiting for news about the surgery, I look around and can't believe that I actually belong here.  This is a very foreign place to me.  It seems so wrong.  This isn't supposed to happen.  Why?  Why?  Why is this happening?  I am crying so hard I can't see.  My stomach hurts.  My heart hurts.

It seems to be taking too long.  Did something go wrong?  Why haven't they come to talk to us yet?  I think I might be going crazy.  How do people do this?  I've seen stories on television about things like this, but those people seem so strong.  I'm not strong.  I can't do this.  I realize that I don't have a choice.

My mind is racing, my emotions are running on all cylinders, and my body is exhausted.  I'm so tired, but the tears still fall.  I need to see my baby, hold him, and know that he is okay.  Where is that doctor anyway?

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I want to go home

After what seemed like an eternity, it was over.  The surgery went as planned, and Christopher was doing well.  We were told that he would be in recovery for an hour or so, and that we would be able to reunite with him back in his hospital room.  My heart leaped for joy in my chest!  It was over.  He would recover, and it was over.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

We went back to his hospital room to wait for him.  I hated the sound of that, "his hospital room".  Babies aren't supposed to have a hospital room.  They aren't supposed to get horrible illnesses, and they most certainly aren't supposed to have surgery.  Oh well, at least it was over.  Just a few more days in this room, and then we would be going back home to the way life was supposed to be. 

Mike and Christopher
Tick tock, tick tock.  Hasn't it been an hour yet?  Finally, they bring him in.  He looks so small, so pathetic.  They put the IV in his head!  Apparently babies have great veins in their heads, but it looks so awful, so wrong!  He is still so sleepy. 

My husband and I are exhausted but relieved.  This was all so unexpected, but at least it's over.  I look around the room.  We are sharing this room with three other "little people".  Like us, two of them will go home with their parents to a normal life, but one of them will not.  He is chronically ill.  This will not be his last time here.  It's obvious that his parents are well aware of this.  I can't help but wonder what it must be like for them.  My problem is solved, but theirs is just beginning.  I can't imagine being a "regular" in this place.  I am so thankful that's not us, that's not Christopher!

The doctor tells us that Christopher will have to stay a few days to recover, and then he will be released to go home.  I can hardly wait.  "Home" is the only place I want to be right now.  I want to take my baby and go home, back to normal- back to the circus.  Suddenly, the circus sounds perfect.  It sounds right.  I know it's total chaos, but I can hardly wait to get back there. 

I miss Michael and Ryan.  They are staying with my sister, and she is taking excellent care of them.  I appreciate her help, but I'm supposed to be the one taking excellent care of them.  I know Michael is happy as a clam.  He is having a grand old time at "Auntie's" house. They love her.  She always makes things so much fun for them.  Does he even miss me at all?  My mind flashes to Ryan.  He is my "little shadow".  He follows me everywhere.  I never have to wonder where he is.  All I have to do is look down, and there he is.  I chuckle inside my head because it occurs to me that walking has been "lighter" the last couple of days without him attached to my leg.  I wonder if he is okay.  He is just too little to understand all this.  Well, at least we will be home soon.

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray like this:

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"The look"

A "few" days turned into 5 long days at the hospital.  Soon after the surgery, Christopher developed an infection at the surgical site, so they had to give him antibiotics through his IV.  This meant he had to stay at the hospital a little longer.  I hadn't left the hospital since the day he had been admitted, so my husband stayed with Christopher while I drove home to freshen up and get a clean set of clothes.

As I was driving up the hospital parking lot, I saw her walking slowly along the sidewalk.  It appeared by the way she carried herself that she was carrying a very heavy load.  She looked so tired, and it seemed like she was trying to revive herself by soaking in the beautiful spring sun.  She kept looking up as if the "answers to it all" might just be right there waiting for her to reach up and grab them.

I will never forget the "look" on her face.  It was one of total fear, sadness, and disbelief.   In fact it seemed to emanate from every pore of her body and weigh her down as she tried to walk off the feelings.  Suddenly, it occurred to me who I was looking at.  She was the mom from Christopher's hospital room.  It was her son who was chronically ill.   He was going to be a "regular", and so was she. 

Now it all made sense.  It wasn't that I was trying to eavesdrop, but the room we shared was so small that it was impossible to have any privacy at all.  I had heard their story, and they had heard ours.  The truth was that their son was chronically ill, and our son  was definitely not. 

As I continued to watch her, I couldn't help but feel sorry for her.  I kept thinking that I was so glad that that would never be me, but I would soon learn the cold, hard truth of the saying "never say never".

Psalm 16:1
Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge.

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray like this:

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