"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
There are many ideas, philosophies, and "things" that offer peace. When the savings account is looking good, we have peace. When we get a clean bill of health from the doctor, we have peace. When we feel like we are accomplishing our life's purpose, we have peace. And those are all fine and well, but all these things offer us a peace that is understandable. On the other hand, when the doctor tells you there is a significant risk that the right side of your son's heart could eventually wear out and kill him and yet despite you're fear and anguish, you are overwhelmed with a sense of joy, that is a peace that surpasses understanding.
And that is the news that we got today. We knew that we weren't completely out of the woods, but this is the first time that we had ever heard that there is a possibility that Pierce's heart could shut down. In micropreemies, especially 23 weekers, their lungs are very immature and the right side of the heart has to work a lot harder to keep blood flowing to them. The right side of the heart is only supposed to "lift light things," we were told. And when it has to work so hard to push blood to Pierce's lungs it can wear out, thus causing heart failure. And as we were told, there is simply nothing they can really do to prevent right side failure of the heart.
When I was told this, for some reason I wasn't scared. As I have reflected on the news, there have been many emotions flaring. Of course, if I dwell on this threat I would soon go crazy. And one thing this experience is doing is teaching us to not be anxious. Anxiety will suffocate you. I have also been angry and frustrated. Sometimes it is hard to get an accurate answer about what is going on. Three different people will tell us three different things. Then we will research stuff (journals/books, not Google!) and get a different take. On top of that, we have witnessed miscommunications between the different shifts. It makes it hard to comprehend what's going on when you can't get a unified answer and the team coming in doesn't have an exact knowledge of what went on with Pierce three days before. However, we know that the medical team at Levine is one of the top in the country and that God is sovereign despite any human errors.
However, most of my reflections have produced peace. God didn't let Pierce's heart stop when it was pumping for 72 hours+ with a potassium level of 9, eventually reaching a level of 10 (miracle!), and I just don't believe that He is going to let him die now. James 1:17 is constantly brought to mind. God has consistently answered our prayers to sustain Pierce, and we are trusting in His character. As James 1 reminds us, God's character does not change over time.In light of this, we really do have a peace that surpasses all understanding. We are not lying and it is not denial. It is the grace of the living God at work in us.
To be clear: there are no signs of Pierce's heart failing right now and it is not guaranteed by any means that it will, but there is certainly a significant risk. It is just one more thing to be concerned about (concerned, not anxious :) ).
Please continue to pray for Pierce. The immediate requests are for his lungs and heart. But really we need prayer for everything else we have discussed over the past few weeks too. Pierce appears to be getting a tad better. He definitely had a better day today than yesterday, and for that we praise God.
We appreciate all your prayers and support. May you be blessed in this as much as we are.
Nik, Lindsay, and Pierce