Thank you, Carolina Panthers

We stopped by your practice field today for a quick glance and to see the BofA stadium up close. We pass the stadium twice a week on our way to therapy and every time we pass it, my four year old asks to get out and see it. Today, I decided to indulge his request.

As we walked up, we noticed a crowd of folks waiting with football gear in hand. I must've looked confused because one of the men waiting quickly explained that the team was just about to finish practice and that if we waited around long enough, we might just catch a glimpse of the players.

Of course, my boy, a die hard football fan (heck, he oftentimes introduces himself as Steve Spurrier) decided without hesitation to forgo lunch (y'all really have no idea how big of a deal that is for him) so that he could wait and see the players.

After about 20 minutes of waiting, the gates opened and a steady stream of players piled out. I watched as Greg Olsen stopped, stooped low enough to meet eyes with my boy and then gently reached out his leather gloves.

And then this amazing player came up and not satisfied with the gate between them, opened it and knelt down beside Pierce.

Another player passing by offered his gloves as well. Two sets of gloves?! What's a boy to do? Guess he'll be doing a lot of catching practice.
We were just about to leave when Pierce spotted Cam. I heard his tiny voice say "Cam, keep pounding!" Cam catching sight of Pierce, walks over to him. "Hey man, how are you?," Cam asks. Silence. Our boy is star struck and in awe. Cam leans over the gate and places his arm bands on Pierce's arms. Still silence on our end.

As Cam walks off, I hear Pierce say, "wow." We make our way back to the car and sitting quietly, he clutches his newly acquired goods.
As we pull away he whispers, "I like the Panthers. I like Cam Newton." Yes buddy, I do too. I do too.

This week on social media there's been a lot of back and forth on Cam's dancing in the end zone. Last week it was on his removal of an opponent's banner. But today, none of that mattered (not that it really mattered before either). Today we saw Cam's heart and compassion and that's really what it's all about, isn't it? So to Cam and the rest of the team, we just wanted to say "thank you." Thank you for taking the time to stop by and chat with Pierce. Thank you for your gifts that will serve as reminders of his favorite players on his favorite team. You made his day, and it was a day he'll remember for a long time to come. I'm sure he will talk about this day each time we pass the stadium. I also know for certain that I won't be able to get those armbands and gloves away from him anytime soon. I'm already debating on how to convince him that he can't take them in the bath tonight!



It's been a week since Pierce had surgery to replace his VP shunt. Thankfully, since then, it's been smooth sailing. We were able to be discharged from the hospital on Saturday and thankfully, have been settling in at home. Fortunately, the take away for Pierce has been that he got a new ipad at the hospital, so we are thankful that he doesn't seem to have any fear or bad thoughts towards all he has been thru.

We wanted to thank you all for your prayers and support. And for the many gifts that were showered on Pierce. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Please continue to pray that this shunt (now on a new side of his noggin') will work a LONG time (forever would be nice!) and for no infections. Pierce has big plans of starting preschool next month (cue the tears) and we would love nothing more than for him to go through the school year uninterrupted by medical complications.

Thank you for walking this journey with us,

Nik, Lindsay and Pierce



Still in business, making phone calls and answering emails
Update on Pierce: We've had a few quiet, good days. Overall, Pierce is himself with little to no pain. Thankfully his biggest ailment is boredom and for that, we are so, so thankful. Thanks to everyone who has sent our boy mail and care packages to help pass the time. Yesterday Pierce had his PICC line placed to help with the administration of his antibiotic (before he was needing a new IV daily). Infectious Disease finally identified the bacteria that caused the infection- Micrococcus (kudos to anyone who has ever heard of that). They said the good news is that he is/has been on the right antibiotics. However, they'll need to wait 10 full days since his last positive culture before re-internalizing the shunt. That means that next Friday is the first possible surgery date. He will then need to be hospitalized for a few more days to finish out the antibiotic course. And so we wait, and pray that nothing new shows up in his cultures so that surgery can proceed as expected.

I'd be lying if I acted like this time around has been pie in the sky and fairy dust. Nothing about watching your child endure pain and suffering is easy. Nothing, not even the boredom they face because they are stuck in a hospital bed. It all stings.

This isn't easy
This isn't clear
And you don't need Jesus
Til you're here... 
("When A Heart Breaks," Ben Rector)

We find comfort in our good and loving Father and knowing that His sovereign plan is at work. These are the times where the darkness seems so thick and so pervasive that He is hidden from us. I am reminded of one of my favorite hymns which states "when darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace." Indeed it is true that His grace sustains us. It repairs us. It restores us. It is His grace that spurs us to hope. It is where we find our rest.

Almost every night as I've fallen asleep on the parent bed rock hard chair, I've thought about why God has us here. Why here, why again? And why with future surgeries almost a guarantee?

And then I hear the reminders of His grace that come rushing in: This trial, just like the others you've faced, is preparing you for something far greater, and grander- an unseen place where Christ's glory reigns and sickness is no more. This suffering is not in vain. It is demonstrating God's glory and His all sufficiency to those around you. This suffering- Pierce's suffering, your suffering- it is not wasted. It will not be wasted. It will make you, and him, and your husband more like Christ as you join in His sufferings. This suffering, it will be used this to bring those you love, those you pray for, into the Kingdom.

He is enough. He is good and he is True. He is where we find our peace and rest. And thanks be to God that we can rest in His grace and not in our own efforts or temporary feelings.

17For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Thanks for walking this journey with us.
Nik, Lindsay and Pierce

PS- Shortly before I posted this, we learned that a dear friend's son is also having a shunt revision surgery tonight. Please pray for him as well. We love him and his family dearly.