Today has been a good day. Pierce is doing well and seems to be back on track. He's been able to be weaned down some on the ventilator and our hope is that he will be able to continue this trend. Nik and I started praying specifically that Pierce will be off the ventilator by next Friday. Will you join us in doing this?
Today as we rejoiced of our son's progress, we also mourned alongside friends. This morning we attended a memorial service for a precious baby boy that was born at the same gestational age as Pierce. This sweet boy was across from Pierce in the NICU for 9 days before going home to be with our Lord. The bond we feel with his parents is indescribable. I don't know if my heart has ever been so broken for someone else. We know their pain. We know the trauma that you experience when your child is born before they are considered "viable." And we know the feeling of holding your child and knowing it will more than likely be the last time you'll see them alive on this side of heaven. And yet, in all of that, we do not completely know their grief because God has graciously chosen to keep Pierce with us.
But today we not only mourned with this family. We rejoiced. We rejoiced because death is not the end for us. Death is not the end for their child. Every day that we walk the halls of the NICU, we are confronted with death. We are forced to stare death in its face. We are forced to confront our deepest fears. Have you ever realized how much we all try to avoid dealing with death? Or how scared we are to die? Death is not something to be discussed routinely at the dinner table, in casual conversation. It isn't something we generally anticipate with great joy. And certainly the death of a child, your child, is not something one can bear to think on. And yet, in Christ, death is gain. Death is glorious, because it presents an end to the suffering, sickness and sin and offers us complete and perfect union with God. When we are Gospel-minded, we suddenly become antithetical to the world. Our perceptions of death begin to change. Death no longer looks as scary, because death brings us Christ. Christ conquered death. And Christ is more than enough for us.
Throughout this experience, I've found myself often singing one of my favorite John Mark McMillan songs: "Death in His grave." I love how this song is chocked full of theology and really paints a picture of what was accomplished on the Cross. It reminds me that while death is never far off from any of our lives, death is not to be feared. I thought I'd share it with all of you. Here is a link to a commentary by the artist for those of you who are interested :)
Trusting in Christ today as we ask Him for continued healing for Pierce.