Thursday, April 16, 2009

I was gonna...but then decided not to....

A couple of our family members have been "encouraging" me to write another blog post. I've been meaning to for weeks, but have really had a reservation in my heart about the format in which I was planning on posting. You see, I had it in my mind to post all kinds of pictures of Jake's AVM - and the progression of the AVM through these past months. I was going through pictures, trying to find the best ones that weren't too graphic, but represented well his struggle of living with such a burden. During this whole time, I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach that maybe I should hold off. I learned a while ago that a lot of times, when you have that "gut" feeling, that's the Holy Spirit speaking to you.

My intentions were good - I wanted to post something that I would consider to be a monumental praise report to everything God has done with Jake (and the whole family) since finding out about the AVM. I wanted it to be a story of pictures that would promote emotions of gratitude and relief for how far Jake has come. But yet, amidst these good intentions was an overwhelming feeling of hesitation. I kept putting off my post.

And then Tuesday night, I realized why.

Jake had a scrimmage for baseball, and it was a very rough night for the two of us. Michael and Chris had gone to Michael's softball game, and I took Jake to his scrimmage. The evening started out well enough; Jake got to wear his uniform for the first time this year (and oh did he look handsome!) We got to the diamonds in time for him to warm up, and things seemed to be going well. During the 3rd inning, things took a turn downhill. Two of the families on Jake's team, decided to bring their dogs with them to the scrimmage. One family had a beagle, and the other family had 2 pit bulls. Long story short, one of the pit bulls got loose, and attacked the beagle. It was horrifying! It happened about 10 feet away from all the boys on the team. Thankfully, the beagle is okay, but it was not a good image to have embedded into memory. In addition to the dog attack, Jake didn't get much playing time. He was very disappointed. (They had to call the game early due to darkness). He did, however, get to bat once. I did my best to take pictures from afar, and after the game, as I was trying to cheer Jake up, I was showing him the pictures.

I had also taken pictures of Jake before the scrimmage as well. He looked so very handsome in his baseball uniform, and I wanted to show him how great he looked. When I cycled through the pictures on the camera, I mistakenly went the wrong way. At that moment, I realized why I had a check in my heart about posting pictures of Jake's AVM. In my error of cycling the pictures in the wrong order, we came across pictures of Jake's AVM. Jake was so disturbed by it, he had to look away. Quickly, I tried to cycle through the pictures to get away from them, but since this has been a long process, many AVM pictures were sprinkled in with our regular, good time pictures. Each time a picture of the AVM came up, he had to look away.

Thankfully, at the end of this, we were able to end on a great picture, that left him with good feelings instead of the disgust he was feeling. But it was a solid confirmation to me.

As I prayed about this, trying to figure out how exactly I could post a glowing praise report, God really laid on my heart that I can praise Him with words and actions as well as visuals. As dramatic as a visual in this case may be, it's closer to God's heart to guard Jake's heart. I can't do anything that will cause him hurt or grief. As his mother, it's my job to protect him against such things. God brought to my mind a verse that I never had thought of in this context before: Ephesians 6:4 "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."

I've read this verse tons of times, and really never thought much about it. It wasn't a "refrigerator" verse that you hear quoted a lot. But God really touched my heart with it today. He made it clear to me that in my case with Jake, it would provoke Jake to anger if I posted pictures that wouldn't be uplifting to him. That I'm bringing him up in the instruction of the Lord by listening to the Holy Spirit speak to my heart, and holding off on my plans. In this situation, by doing what's best for Jake's heart, I'm following God's will. Wow!

So, all that to say that I apologize for my delay in posting an entry - but it was a good delay. God was in it, and He's once again, proven Himself to be a loving and tender God. He's also given me another opportunity to praise Him. Not only did He heal my son (and oh how I praise Him for that!), but He's alive, and speaks to my heart in very real ways! What an amazing gift He's given me by simply loving me.

And - in honor of Jake's miraculous healing, I'm proud to post these wonderful pictures of him, ones that I know he loves.


Dana said...

That is wonderful that you followed the leading of your heart.
Jake really looks great in his uniform! He looks so tall!!!! Very grown up!!! I miss him. Good luck to Jake for this coming baseball season!!

Brenda Deeter said...

Thanks for sharing this! I'm so proud of you for paying attention to the Holy Spirit! Love you! Mom D