Thursday, September 8, 2016

Miracles from Heaven (Can Look Differently)

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I gave great pause to the Netflix movie that recently arrived in my mailbox; Miracles from Heaven.  It's not so much I was intentionally avoiding it, as finding the right moment in time to put myself in the proper frame of mind to watch it.  I was already was privy to reactions from other parents in the special needs community to it, perhaps I wasn't sure how I would feel myself after watching in it comparison to their feelings.  Without question if you have a child that is facing a life-threatening illness or condition, or a severe life long disability that also poses it's own set of life-threatening risks naturally as parents we pray and hope for a complete cure.  Not a temporary band-aid, not a little bit improved - but that total and complete healing miracle.
Book by Marji Jackson
The difficulty really becomes when you start comparing your miracles to the miracles of others and then you start asking yourself really detrimental questions:  "Why was their child spared and healed and not mine?"  "Why did that treatment work for another child but not mine?"  "Why did God allow that baby to go without oxygen 45 minutes and mine was only without 13, and he's profoundly disabled and the baby that 45 minutes without life and oxygen is living a normal life?"  (That last one really a true thing for me).  Early on a really wonderful lady that I've lost touch with over the years reached out to me.  A news reporter for channel 9 had given her our story when Noah was just days old in the NICU and she contacted me via email.  Her daughter, twenty years older than Noah, had survived after birth with no heart beat of breathing for the first 45 minutes of life - a miracle indeed that not only did her daughter survive, but went on to lead a normal life, talks - walks... holds down a job - even got married. Sure she had some stumbling blocks and had a portion of her brain removed to control seizure activity, but otherwise is a living miracle.  I should emphasize I expected the same would hold true for Noah.  He was born a fighter his mom equally a fighter in her own right, the odds were in his favor.  Sure they were.  How could they not be?  Months went by and even when milestones weren't being met I still convinced myself things would happen at 10 months, 18 months, 24 months, even five years later.  Because after all the possibility of a miracle can happen everyday.  In fact, sometimes I'll wake up in the morning after an incredible dream where Noah is typical in every way, talking to me and running and playing.  And for a moment I forget it's just a dream because it feels so real.

The thing is though God gave me my miracle in the days and weeks after Noah's birth.  Against all odds, with the belief that Noah didn't even have a functioning brain stem as a result of his severe anoxic brain injury, he survived when we removed him from life support.  I prayed so hard that God would spare him, and I even told God I'd take him any way that I could have him.  In my heart I accepted that I'd be okay with anything that came along with Noah if I could just please have his life - no matter how that looked.  My simple prayer was answered. Not all prayers are and I'm really blessed, so blessed that my cries for my son were heard.

Through the years I've come to accept that miracles are going to look differently for everyone.  People don't really acknowledge a miracle unless it represents full healing or a cure.  In fact many times in the past people have called me out on even titling Noah's blog Noah's Miracle since he is severely disabled and never found healing that left him fully restored and a typical child.  It is hard for others to understand and accept that Noah's Miracle came from the fact that he survived -when no one believed he had a chance.  He's still here. 

A mom still battling her own grief, challenged what about the child she lost?  Why are some granted a miracle of surviving just like Noah?  When she did not pray any less than I did, didn't beg God any less than I did.  There is no secret recipe to receiving a Miracle.  I wish there was, can you imagine how much pain it would spare all of us? Her child no less precious, no less deserving of a beautiful and full life, and cancer won.  Whether we are gifted with three minutes of life, ten years, or fifty decades, I want to believe each individual story and impact we have while we are here means something, and perhaps sometimes we've accomplished what God intended us to do with the amount of time we're given and maybe that's the real miracle.

So, I was able to watch Miracles From Heaven, without a heavy heart.  Without resentment that a family received full healing when my child did not.  I am able to find peace with the fact that miracles come in different forms.  And my miracle and your miracle aren't always going to look identical to each other.  And each day I surround myself gifts Noah has been given that serve as gentle reminders Noah's Miracle; a book re-purposed and folded to say Miracles made by a sweet friend Marji Jackson, Noah's Miracle badge that he received from a loving heart in Australia and her business called Heavenly Trimmings.  God never fails to send me reminders so that I never ever forget the incredible miracle that I have been given.
Noah's Heavenly Trimmings Miracle Badge

Many blessings and love,

Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.