One thing I learned on our journey with Titus is not to hold onto my plans too tightly. Many, many times I’ve had to surrender my plans to God in order to keep pressing on. From before Titus was born to receiving his terminal prognosis, I found myself grieving the loss of my dreams for Titus: my dreams for a family of 5, dreams of having a healthy baby. However I’ve found so much joy in clinging to the Father as I gave (and continue to give) Him my dreams and trust His plans.
Our stay at Freeman Hospital was earlier than we anticipated. I had hopes of taking Titus home after a couple of weeks’ recovery from his first surgery. We found that was not to be the case. Once again, I found myself grieving the loss of my plans and trusting God’s plans.
When we were uncertain whether Titus would live or not, our friends Helen and Ruth brought Asher and Eva Joy from Carlisle to meet their little brother. I expected having them with us in Newcastle would bring comfort. And it did. Oh, Asher and Eva Joy were the healing balm for my soul. God used that in ways I didn’t expect.
We stayed in hospital accommodation during our time at the Freeman. We were warned upon moving in that a stomach virus was going around. We trusted God would protect us from it because we desperately wanted our older children with us. God had other plans. I got the stomach virus. Then Eva Joy got it in the middle of the night. After removing ourselves from quarantine and going back to our friends’ home, Leon got it with a vengeance. I was frustrated. I desperately wanted to be with Titus, but I couldn’t visit because I’d had the stomach virus. God showed me I needed to lay down my own desires in exchange for His.
While Leon and Eva Joy recovered from the stomach virus, Titus transferred back to the RVI. I had every intention of staying with him so I could feed him. However, as soon as I set foot in his cubicle on PICU, I knew the rest of my family needed me back at our friends’ home. My heart was torn between Titus and the rest of my family, but I found so much freedom in realising that God wanted me to serve the rest of my family for the moment.
Jesus said, “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for me, you will find it.” (Matthew 10:39) Today I’m grateful for the grief over the death of my hopes and dreams. I’m also thankful for the freedom and joy found in giving my hopes and dreams to Him. Giving God my hopes and dreams allows me to fully live.