You may have heard it through various sources by now, but we want to confirm that it’s true. After almost nine weeks in the hospital, Mr. Bowen is finally headed HOME! That’s right, read it again if you have to, we are homeward bound. It looks like we’ll be able to check out of the hospital this coming Monday. The doctors have decided there’s no reason we can’t care for him at home while we wait for his genetic testing for HI to come back. If his test comes back positive then we will have to go to CHOP, but they want Bowen to have his second open heart surgery (the Hemi-Fontan) before they consider surgery on his pancreas. They have tentatively scheduled his Hemi-Fontan for late February or early March, and if we have to go to Philadelphia it will be sometime after that.
We’re so ready to be in our cozy home with our whole family together. We know it’s going to be very challenging to care for all of Bowen’s special needs, but we’re ready more than ready. We’ve already welcomed our little boy into our family, now we can’t wait welcome him into our home.
Sarah and Matt
A friend visited us in moderate care a couple weeks ago and told us that several families in the PCTU were having a rough night. All the parents had to leave the unit because a baby boy was being placed on life support, so I decided to walk down to the PCTU waiting room to check on some friends. The first person I saw was a woman that I’d noticed around the hospital for several weeks, but had never spoken to. I decided to introduce myself and an incredible conversation transpired. I wrote the following paragraph in my journal that night.
“Tonight I spoke with a woman that I’d seen in the halls for the past seven weeks. I’m not sure why we hadn’t spoken yet. Once we started talking it didn’t take long for us to realize that we are living the same experience. That somehow in the midst of what should be the darkest time of our lives, we are being consumed by glory. The glory of God is being shot into the dark crevices of our hearts and minds, awakening in us a new sense of what we are meant to understand and how we are meant to live.”
That night, I discovered that Mary and I had not only been thinking and feeling the same things, but had been writing strikingly similar things in our journals about the glory of God in suffering. I remember her saying, “I’m writing things I don’t even understand, things I have to read over again” and “I can’t stop thinking about glory.”
How is it possible that two strangers walking through one of the most painful seasons of life, also surrounded by the suffering of so many others, could both be consumed by these same thoughts and feelings? How is it that instead of having hearts consumed with anxiety, we both had hearts consumed with glory?
Glory is what you feel as you reach the end of an epic movie, when your favorite team wins by a thread, when a gut wrenching war is won or a life is saved against all foreseeable odds. Notice what all these scenarios have in common. Without the battle, there is no glory.
I want you to read what Paul wrote in Romans 5:1-5. You may need to read a couple times to understand all of what he’s saying.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Strange as it may seem, Paul rejoiced more in suffering than in hope. He understood that you can experience suffering without hope, but you can’t experience hope without suffering. I’ve mentioned this in previous posts, but I want to reiterate that without suffering Christ could not have been put death. Without his battle, without his blood, there would be no hope of the glory of God. We would be left settling for the glory of cheap thrills and entertainment that die with us. The hope of the glory of God is something we carry beyond the grave.
The thing that Mary and I have in common is our faith in Christ. What we feel in our hearts is the glory of our faith being tested, and proven, through our suffering.
The light always shines, but it’s brilliance and beauty (it’s glory) is revealed in the darkness.