By Jeromy Guthrie
Once when my son was 4, I remember taking him to get a hair cut. While he was sitting in the chair we kept looking at each other in the mirror. He was being his typical self while enduring the scissors and clippers. He was being quiet… a little shy. As his eyes caught mine in the mirror he would give me this shy little smile that I have seen 100 times now. It was like this unspoken heart language we have. “I love you dad, I love you son.” Being a dad is an amazing thing. In fact, a regular thanksgiving prayer of mine is, “Lord, thank you for letting me be Reagan and Eli’s dad, help me to…..” I think that one of the most important things any parent will ever do for his child is pray and intercede for them constantly. If there is any hope of me preparing my children for life, I cannot do it without prayer. In fact, prayer was the very foundation of my son’s life.
I never will forget what I learned about prayer the day he was born. The night before, my wife and I were resting at home. We had just put our daughter to bed and were just enjoying some quiet time alone. It was late. Then it happened. My wife started bleeding very badly. We would come to find out later that her placenta had detached, and this caused her water to break. The only problem was that it was 10 weeks early. I admit that I was scared, but under God’s grace I was able to remain focused enough to call 911. Once the paramedics came, my immediate reaction then was to call a couple of people who I knew would absolutely drop everything they were doing and start praying for us immediately. We would come to find out later that my wife lost so much blood that she was just a fraction away from a transfusion. That was almost 5 years ago. My wife and Eli are fine now and I am grateful for it.
The first 24 hrs of Eli’s life were uncertain, and the doctors could not give us 100% guarantee that he would live. Several things were wrong; the most crucial one was that his lungs had not had time to fully develop. They were giving him all kinds of medicine, asking my permission, explaining things to me…but it was all numbing. Within 24 hours things changed so much and kept changing. Perhaps the hardest decision I had to make was when we found out that the hospital’s NICU was not able to give Eli the care he needed. He needed to be transported to Children’s Hospital in Colorado Springs. Now, on top of everything else, my wife was going to be in one hospital and my son in another across town.
How could I be there for both of them?
How could I leave my wife behind?
But at the same time, we did not want Eli to be alone his first night, especially given all the circumstances and uncertainty. So I painfully left my wife in the hands of the nurses and we both agreed that it was best for me to be with Eli. But it did not seem right for Eli to be all alone.
My wife was allowed to hold Eli for about 60 seconds before they took him away in an ambulance to the other hospital. It would be days before I, or anyone else, would be able to hold him. I was barely allowed to touch him. I will never forget going to the hospital and walking in the unit after they had transported him and got him settled in. There was so much pain and discomfort in his face. There were so many tubes and IV’s in him. If he could have made any noise you could not have heard him
I stood there quietly praying over my son, trying to be respectful of the noise limits in the room. When Eli’s nurse walked up she interrupted me and said, “You don’t have to pray so quietly.” And then she led us both in this intercession for my son, you would have had to have been completely deaf not to hear her.
Even the next nurse on night shift turned out to be a fellow sister in Christ. She also prayed with me and for me and Eli. I would come to find out later her story and how she and the other nurses would daily walk over and pray for every child there. It was their mission… their calling.
There is a lot I could talk about my own experience of being he NICU, but I am grateful that God provided such love and care for my son through all the nurses, doctors etc... I am grateful for the care that goes beyond medicine and into something greater then all of us. My faith in God helped me. I believe it helped my son. Thank you God for letting me be a dad today.
|Jeromy and his son Eli|