Thursday, May 17, 2012

April II

The Sunday after the retreat during prayer time I had a really good time with the Lord where I broke down and I could hear Him say "It's ok, I've got you." Then on my back I felt a little hand and I heard AJ's little voice say "Thank you God for Mommy." I melted all over again. Thank you Heavenly Father.

The next day I was on the phone with one of the ladies from the retreat and she said " I just have to let you know that today at both of our morning services (traditional and contemporary) we took communion and both times during service we took the bread in memory of Nathaniel and asked that God would just give him a new heart. Not just fix the old one but give him a whole new one." Amen

Again throughout this month I got a chance to talk with many people about Nathan's condition and I find myself saying at the end of conversations "But God still does MIRACLES." Praise Him!

Close to the end of the month the lady that prayed with me at the retreat came over to bless me with some prayer and to wash my feet (something that was done in Bible times as a sign of blessing someone as Jesus washed the disciple's feet to represent respect because that wasn't something they could do for themselves). One of the things she brought up was about Seth. He was the third born and a boy from Adam and Eve, and eventually Seth's family line brought Jesus. My friend joined us for this time and she said that this time was just for me. She said "I can tell there are times that you feel alone in this mission and you are not, the Lord is with you every step of the way. Take this time to relax, enjoy and open your heart and mind to what the Lord wants to speak into you."  Some of the things that stuck out to me the most that she said while praying over me was He trusts you and Dave to handle this task just as He trusted Mary and Joseph and Dave and I are partnered with God to create and bring Nathaniel into this world to bring Him GLORY.

Three days later I had an OB appointment. Nathan's heart sounded good beating away and his growth was great still measuring a couple weeks ahead. The next day we had a Cardiologist appointment. The doctor said everything still looked the same (we still have hope). We will only see him one last time before Nathan arrives just to make sure that they have as good of a clue as to what is going on as they can. He had us take a tour of the NICU while we were there just so we would know where it was and meet some of the faces that we would be seeing between my hospital room and Nathans first couple hours of care. I was filled with emotions as we went through the NICU. On one hand it was scary to look around and see all these little sick babies and know that this is what the doctors are going to say it is going to look like for my baby (maybe even worse because he will need a bypass machine to help him breathe before he goes in for his first surgery). It also kind of helped me to see all the nurses taking care of these babies and giving them great care and all the machines that they did have readily available to care for these little gifts. I pray we would just see a miracle and Nathan completely healed and not have to go through all of this.

That weekend Dave had won us tickets to the Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage seminar. It was great for the two of us to get away in the middle of all these doctors appointments and just have a good time.

Monday we were back to more doctors appointments. On the way there (it was my birthday) I told Dave the greatest gift I could get would be the doctors saying he's all better, you don't have to go to all of these crazy appointments anymore, you can go back to seeing the midwives, etc. However, that was not in the doctors vocabulary that afternoon. The Perinatologist did say that they think they may have found his spleen (something they have been unable to find and can be missing in babies with this heart condtion) but if it is his spleen it is on the wrong side of his body. He also said baby was still measuring a week and a half to two weeks ahead weighed 3pounds 3oz. I also received a text from my cousin after refering her to the blog that said the following "Thank you Missy. I know that even in the best of circumstances, it is difficult to not worry or wonder what the worst is to come. You and your family have been one of the greatest opportunities and I can't thank you enough, or be greatful enough to have this beautiful story touch my life. Dave, AJ, Elisha, and Nathaniel are truly blessed to have such a wonderfully strong woman in their lives. And yes you are incredible to lead so many people in faith and prayer. Nathaniel is a great miracle of God, but don't forget that you are too. Add Arkansas to your list of believers who are praying and believing in your miracle. Next after our home and onwards. We love you and your beautiful family so much and look forward to meeting your newest member." This touched me so deeply. Thank you God for putting this cousin in my life and using her to remind me who I am in you. Amen

April I

This month didn't seem as busy. I think it was because we had come to grips with the fact that we would be going back and forth to many appointments and so we were able to brace ourselves with prayer before each one.

The first part of the month my friend came up to me and asked what song I had told her about that was explaining my feelings a month or so ago. I searched through my notes and couldn't find anything in particular that matched the description she gave, which is that it was an Aaron Shust song. So I spent the afternoon researching all of his songs and nothing came to me. That night at church during prayer I heard the words "A peace that passes understanding is my song , and I sing, my hope is in You, Lord." That's it I yelled. Then I went to her to find out the rest of the story. She informed me that she heard that song on the radio and the announcer said that Aaron's baby that was just born was going to be going in for open heart surgery. I almost started crying that this song played in my head while I was experiencing what I was going through with Nathan and the writer himself was going through something similar. I felt like it was made for us to say "you're not alone." After church that night one of the guys who attends our church asked me what our next appointment was so he could be praying for us. I told him that actually the next day was our next appointment. As he was walking away he turned and said " just remember, God has a plan in all of this and no matter what happens He is in control."

The next day we had an appointment with the Perinatologist. They told us Nathan is a whopping 2pounds now. Then of course he has to bring up the other stuff he said the fact that Nathan has this heart defect gives is a 25% chance that it is congenital and the two vessel cord ups that percentage a little bit. Then he went on to say "however, babies with congenital disorders are usually very small and your boy is measuring at least a week and a half ahead if not more so that brings your percentage back down a ways." Praise the Lord!! I keep remembering the fact that they have yet to pin point a cause for the heart defect. It could only be God waiting to show Himself mighty when He heals our boy.

About this time is when the idea of a blog came to me. I have already been writing everything down and with all of the people we have all over the country praying for us it would be easier for people to follow us. My hope for it also would be for people who are going through similar situations to see the hope, peace, and faith we have and hopefully they will come to know the Lord through it, if they don't already.

This month we also made our first trip home since finding out about Nathan. We decided to make the trip Easter weekend. I was really nervous about how people would act toward us. I prayed a lot before going. God answered my prayers and people mostly just asked how we were doing  and how Nathan was growing. Quite a few people also told us they were praying for us. I can not wait for God to heal little Nathan to increase everyones faith around us.

Just after Easter I had my Glucose Screen. I was not looking forward to it and not for the same reason most women don't like it (I really don't mind the drink)  #1 because it was in the same lab where we had our ultrasound and found out about Nathans heart, #2 I really dislike needles, and #3 I didn't control myself too well on the Easter candy over the weekend. At the end of my one hour wait the
lady called me back to do the blood draw and she asked how the pregnancy had been going so far. I took the opportunity to share with her about his heart and how we had hope that God will heal him and all she said in the end was "well bless his little heart." A few days later was my next OB appointment to get the results from my screen. The doctor said i passed with flying colors (thank you Lord.) I was in a really good mood especially after hearing that and the doctor even made it a point to say he noticed we were in good moods today. Then at the end of the appointment he told us that in a couple weeks we would start going to weekly appointments with him where we would to the regular OB checkups as well as a onehour Non-Stress Test (NST) where I would be hooked up to monitors so they can keep an eye on Nathans and my stress levels to make sure everything is ok. Not only would I be doing weekly NST's with my OB he also said that I would also be going to the Perinatologist once a week for the same thing. So Mondays I will be at the Perinatologist and Thursdays at the OB. Well if that's what my baby needs then that is what I will do.
I can't wait for him to be healed.

Mid month there was a Womens Retreat where women from churches all across our area came together for a Friday and Saturday conference to worship and learn from God's word. Friday night we separated out into groups of four or five people to branch out and meet new people. During our small group time I had a chance to share Nathan's story with the women in my group. After small group time one of the ladies from my group asked if she could request prayer for me during prayer time. I agreed. When evening session was over she came and got me and took me to one of the ladies from her church who was on the prayer team up front. The lady prayed for me and shared a good word with me that included God chose Dave and I for this task because He TRUSTS us and found us worthy. Just like Mary bringing the miracle called Jesus into the world. At the close of camp the second day the sermon ended talking about HEALING POWER (something I did not expect with the other sermons we had heard that weekend). Then we were all handed cards and we were instructed to write a letter to God telling Him how we were going to take what we learned about this weekend and apply it to our lives. After writting the letters we were to take them up and put them on the alter and the speaker was going to take them home and pray for all of them individually. I took my card up front and when I turned to go back to my seat I was stopped by a woman who is a Pastor's wife from a neighboring church that I know and she said we are going to pray for you please wait here. So I stood up front while the music continued and people were having their own prayer time. When the room was quiet again she grabbed the mic and announced to all the women that were there that she wanted the women from my church to come up and stand around me and then she told the other ladies that they were going to pray over me and Nathan and that the doctors say he has half a heart but we know that God can heal and she invited anyone else who wanted to come lay hands to do so. Before I knew it I had around 80-100 women around me I felt hands on my shoulders, head, back, stomach, arms, legs, and even feet. I could definatly feel the power of God around me at that time and it was very humbling. As everyone was finished and walking away I heard a lady (I didn't see her there were too many people around me) say "I believe you are the reason most of the ladies were called up here this weekend so they could pray for you." That made me start crying all over again and filled my hope again.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

March part II

A friend from church invited the kids and I up to her house to catch up during the day while the husbands were at work and the older kids were in school. She hadn't heard a recent update so she asked for one. I began to share with her that they found the veins were not working right which would mean he would have to have surgery same day and told her about all the tests they wanted us to take. Now this friend is someone that I can share a lot of myself with so I went on to tell her that I just want Nathan to be healed and I know God can do it, but the human side of me is thinking long term about all the bad stuff that "could" happen. She flipped around and said "Stop... you can't just know God can heal your baby, you have to say it will happen, thank Him for it, and move past it." She shared with me a sermon she receives monthly through the mail from a few years ago that talked about unbelief. Reading it later that night I read about the mountain I want moved will not be moved when I am dwelling on stuff. God can't move in my life if I don't believe that He will. I have to BELIEVE and claim it. The sermon also talked about the "Final Prayer". With your problems or issues you need to say "Lord this is what I want you to do but Your will be done not mine." He knows what is best for your life. He is on your side.

The following Sunday after church I was handed a letter addressed to Miss Missy & Mr Dave. I was a little curious as to what it said but I felt that because it had both of our names on it I decided to wait till the drive home to read it out loud to Dave and myself. I began to read and tears started welling up in my eyes:

Dear Mrs Missy & Mr Dave
God said that Nathaneil has a whole <3 not a half a <3 but a whole one. I told my mom about it and I felt lead of the Lord to tell you that Nathaneil has a whole <3 and you don't have to worry anymore. God Bless you.

It was signed by an eight year old girl in our church. Then at the bottom of the page was a drawing of a little baby with a big heart drawn over the chest and the heading for it was Nathaneil Ethan Watkins with a whole heart. I looked over at my husband and all we could do was smile. All that we could think was "the heart of a child". It reminded us that the Bible tells us to have the heart of a child and come to Him believing everything He tells you just like a child does with an adult influence.

While reading a devotional it talked about the story of Lazarus and how when he died Mary and Martha blamed Jesus for not being there and "Jesus wept." His weeping showed His God sized capacity to feel the pain we feel in times like these. These ladies were short on hope but when they saw their brother brought back to life they were again filled with hope. This encouraged me and reminded me that NOTHING is too big for Him. He can raise people from the dead, He can move mountains, He can do ANYTHING. Nathan's heart is a small thing for Him to fix. I have faith God WILL fix his heart and I have faith that the Lord knows what is best for my family.

2 Timothy 1:7 God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. When your fearful you get too wrapped up in the issue that is staring you in the face. Instead you need to look around the fear at how God can use this situation to touch you and others around you and bring Glory to Him. With us we are able to tell people this horrible diagnosis but then talk about how God will heal him and how important our faith is to us. He has been faithful to us before and He will do it again even if the outcome is not the way I wanted it to go, He's got it in the palm of His hand.

1 Peter 3:15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. As we meet people and they wonder how we can have such faith we need to make sure we are studied up in the word of God. He will never leave nor forsake us.

We got to meet the OB doctors for the first time. I was so nervous. I went to midwives with both of my other kids and I loved the relaxed atmosphere they brought into a room. It was like having your favorite aunt with you. However, because I am now considered high risk I now need to be seen by an actual doctor and deliever at a completely different hospital so the doctors can all be there and be prepared for him. The doctor asked us how we were dealing with what all we had been told and we told him we had a strong support system between God, our church family, our families and friends that we were doing pretty well. He said he was very glad that we had a great support system.


In my line of work, running a pre-finish shop doing alot of stain and laquer work,I'm very careful about what I drag home as far as fumes and such. I found myself almost wondering and blaming myself for Nathaniel's conditions. "What did I expose my family to that this happened?" This kind of thinking is not only unhealthy physically but spiritually as well. I found myself in a dark place on the inside, but putting on a smile on the outside. This lasted for about a week or two, then through the words of my pastor in his sermon on a sunday morning I was reminded of John 9:1-3. Jesus heals a man that was born blind, walking by the desciples asked Jesus who sinned, was it the man or his parents that he was born this way? Jesus answered, niether, but that the glory of God could be shown in his life.

Hearing those words really put my mind at ease. I came to the realization that Nathaniel was not being "punished" for anything I had did, or because I was covered in fumes, but that the glory of God would be shown through him. Also that Missy and I were chosen for this journey. God saw us as faithful to handle this. We would give glory and honor where its due, which is what we aim to do through this blog, to inform everyone about progress, and ultimatley to honor God through this.

We appreciate everyone taking the time to visit our little blog here, it's very humbling to think that this many people would take time out of thier busy lives to see what's happening in our lives, thank you and God bless you in everything you do!