An Opportunity

As typical first-time parents, whenever people would ask us whether we wanted a boy or a girl when I was pregnant, we would always respond with something like, “You know, it doesn’t really matter either way.  All we really want is for this baby to be healthy.”

Fast forward several months later and there we were in the NICU, staring down at our 29-week-old baby boy hooked up to machines and monitors that were literally keeping him alive.

I still remember the chaos that was storming inside of me as I walked up to his incubator for the first time.  As everything started to look like a rainy windshield, I vaguely realized there were doctors, nurses, and specialists going in and out of our room, murmuring strange things like, “absent left kidney…”, “a hole in his heart…”, “possible tethered spinal cord…”, “surgery first thing tomorrow morning…”

As the shock began to wear off and the reality of our son’s prognosis began to set in, I dared myself to ask the question that had been nagging at my weary soul – “God…why?”

Google only proved to exponentially multiply the fear, worry, and dismay.  As words like, birth defect…” ,”exact cause unknown…”, “1 in 5,000…”, “1 in 400,000…” floated across the screen, it only caused the question to echo louder and louder in the recesses of my soul – “God…WHY?  Why our son?”

I was (and sometimes still am) stuck between a rock and a hard place.  I know that He is the Good Father, the Almighty God, the Great Physician, the Giver of Life.  I know that He fearfully and wonderfully made my son.  I know that He works miracles, heals the sick, and raises the dead to life.  I know that He loves His children and desires to give them the very best.

And sometimes the gravity of this Truth in the face of the impossible leaves me awestruck.  It compels me to rise up from the despair and declare that once again, my son will be fully healed.

But sometimes the disparity of this Truth in the face of the impossible leaves me conflicted.  I’ve asked this so many times I’ve lost count – God, You don’t do birth defects.  That’s not in Your nature.  That’s not what you do as the Almighty Father God.  So why does Josiah have this ‘birth defect?’  How does this make sense?”

I wish I could say that I’ve heard an answer.  That I’ve heard His audible voice or seen the presence of an angel.

But then I wonder…if Josiah’s birth hadn’t happened this way, if he hadn’t had any of these medical conditions…would I have prayed as fervently as I have in the last several months?  Would I have been stretched to believe in the impossible, not because I’m some superwoman of faith, but because there IS NO OTHER OPTION but for my son to be healed?

Would I have witnessed miracle after miracle, seeing him grow from a 2 lb. 6 oz. tiny baby only just a bit bigger than a dollar bill to the almost 15 pound happy chunker that he is today?  Would I have experienced the awe in hearing the incredible news that the two holes in his heart have closed up with no intervention only five months after his early birth?  And I’m only just getting started!

Now don’t get me wrong…I’m human and I’m a mom.  If I had to choose between my son having medical conditions or my son being a healthy, normal boy, I would choose the latter in a heartbeat.

But here in the tension of what is and what truly is, we’ve been given an opportunity.

An opportunity to testify that God is alive and at work through the prayers of His people.  An opportunity to actually witness creative miracles come to pass.  An opportunity for our faith to be strengthened in the refiner’s fire.  An opportunity to find treasures in the heart of the Almighty Father.

I still don’t know the answer to  “God…why?”  And maybe we will never fully know the answer.  But I do know this.  We’ve been given a precious opportunity.  One that maybe only 1 in 400,000 families gets to experience.  And I trust that on the other side of this, we will taste of His goodness in ways that we cannot yet fathom.

 

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Our Miracle Son

On Sunday, November 20th, our precious son – Josiah Jisung Lee – was born at 4:20AM, at 29 weeks and 4 days, weighing in at 2 lbs. 6 oz. and 15 1/4 inches long.  His expected due date was February 1st, so he arrived into our world about 10.5 weeks early.

Josiah is currently in the NICU at the children’s hospital and is recovering well from his first surgery (which took place on Monday).  The picture above was taken on Monday before he went into surgery.

There is so much to share with so many at this point (and many questions to answer) – prayer requests, how Josiah is progressing, how we’re doing right now, what our life looks like, etc.  And we will do our best to share what we can, when we can, and this blog may just become the perfect place to do that with you all.

But above all else, there are two resounding truths that are permeating every hour of every moment these last five days – (1) we are just so grateful that Josiah is alive, that the Lord is ever so present and near to us, and that there are so many who are reaching out to help and support us on this long journey and (2) God’s Word is the final authority, He is the Great Physician, and He is not done with Josiah yet.

In the hours after I got discharged and we saw Josiah for the first time at the NICU…when we had to come home without our son for the first time…when we lay in bed praying and crying together for the first time as parents…when I felt the void in my womb…there was a clear answer that rang across the vast unknown of our souls.

This son will be a miracle…a testimony of the greatness of our God and that He is alive and able to do the impossible.  All for His glory and for His namesake.

So, we hold onto that truth today.  We cannot wait to see how our God will cause His Word to come to pass in our lives.

Thankful For the Gift of Family

I have decided that fall is pretty much the most perfect season of all.  The scenery is beautiful, the weather is happy, the air is crisp and clean, and the thought of all the joy of the holidays coming around the corner (without the actual stress of being in the middle of it) is just like a perfect dollop of whipped cream on a slice of pumpkin pie.

But nothing could have made the joy of experiencing fall for the first time more perfect than my parents and grandma visiting us from Arizona.  They flew in and spent the last few days with my uncle’s family and my husband and I, and it was the perfect breath of fresh air.  Although they didn’t have a lot of time with us, we did get to all of the important things… Read more…

“You Had Me At a Cup of Honey Lemon Tea…” // The Story of How We Met & Fell in Love {Part Three}

For my friends who haven’t read part one and/or part two of the story of how we met and fell in love, click on the links to get caught up on the story.  The rest of this post won’t make as much sense without the context, and for me, what’s coming up next in this post is the most important part of the story.

I was originally going to leave it with just part one and part two (got what I did there?  Yup, go and read it if you haven’t 😉 ), because in essence, that’s where the narrative part of the story “ends” (I mean, our stories never end, but you get what I’m saying).

But it didn’t feel fair to end it there.  Because see, there was a lot of heart messiness and thought processing that went on behind the warm, fluttery feeling within my stomach whenever I saw “cute guy.”  There was a lot that happened in my walk with the Lord before “cute guy” even showed up on my radar.  And if I thought I was “done” in this process of growing and wrestling with the hard stuff of my heart because my status had changed from “single” to “married,” boy was I wrong about that, too.

I want to share with you some of the honest, not so social media picture perfect parts of this journey and what I’ve learned from it.  At the same time, I’m also acknowledging that by no means is everyone’s story the same.  I remember watching my friends fall in love, reading other people’s love stories on their blogs, and flipping through article after article about “how to wait for the one” when I was single.  But in a lot of ways, my story unfolded unlike anyone else’s that I could compare it to.  So I say this to tell you that I don’t have all the answers.  I don’t always know what I’m doing.  But this is what I’ve learned and if anything, I pray that it will somehow encourage you and shed light on your own journey, wherever you may be. Read more…

Happy Children, World Aquariums, Sweet Reunions, and Nitro Cold Brew Coffee

It’s about 5am here in the Motherland and after having spent the last two hours tossing and turning (darn you jet lag) and doing all the things you’re not supposed to do when you’re trying to go to sleep (aka scrolling through Facebook and Instagram countless times to find that nothing has changed in the last five minutes), I figured it was time to update the world on our June adventures.

I did mean to update along the way, but I learned something revolutionary over the last few weeks.  Ready for it?  Read more…