Finding strength in joy

I haven’t been very public about my #3. Honestly, it’s no one’s business. Ha! How’s that for the first two sentences of a public blog?

Zeke man. What a joy this kid is. He is our happy kid. It doesn’t mean he is without a tantrum, or brotherly argument, or stubbornness. He’s just generally happy. He laughs and smiles and sings and dances. He feels the beats of a song in his soul… that kind of happy.

He was one of my best pregnancies. I was healthy and active. We were shocked at our ultrasound to discover a third boy and a son with a choroid plexus cyst on his brain. Every parenting journey is different, but news of the cyst didn’t move my husband and I. We both immediately had a peace that can only be explained by the work of the Holy Spirit. There was no worry. No doubt. Just overwhelming peace that God was in control.

By week 32 in pregnancy, the cyst was gone. We had also decided on the name, Zeke. In Hebrew, Zeke means God strengthens. If you know anything about me, you know that I love to know name meanings. We didn’t accidentally choose any of our children’s names. There was a purpose behind them all. It only seems appropriate that we would name our little happy man “God strengthens”. During the hospital stay post delivery, Zeke failed his newborn hearing test. The same peace I had 20 weeks earlier was still there. Apparently he passed it the second time around, but the hospital never informed us. We left thinking he didn’t pass the test. I knew he could hear. Life went on with happy man. He was thriving, active, and joyful.

Somewhere around 6-8 months, Zeke began having ear infection after ear infection. We made the decision for ear tubes. Success! Soon after that he failed another hearing test. We were sent to the children’s hospital for further testing. That came back inconclusive. Shortly after Zeke’s second birthday, I began to have concern for his lack of language. We eventually found ourself learning basic sign language and beginning speech therapy. Things started to progress. Zeke was thriving again! After a year and a half with no symptoms, Zeke developed his first ear infection post tubes. One thing led to another and we failed a hearing test. We were sent to the children’s hospital again for further testing. After months of consultations and testing, we had the results. Zeke man has mild to moderate hearing loss. In May 2018, Zeke received hearing aids. What a journey. Whew. Take a deep breath with me here.

Zeke’s hearing loss is borderline. So much so, that he can pass one hearing test and immediately fail another. His audiologist reported that Zeke’s type of loss can go undiagnosed for many years. Sometimes a Momma just knows when things aren’t 100%. We call it mother’s intuition. I will call it the discernment of the Holy Spirit. I didn’t know what “it” was, but I knew my happy man had some difficulties. We are all a walking testimony to some degree, but I am telling you, there are big things coming from this lil fella. This momma also feels that deep in her soul. My happy man is constantly being strengthened by God. God has strengthened me through Zeke.

It took me three children to calm down and relax. To savor the moment. To just be. The never-ending-to-do list will always be never-ending. Three children to hug a little tighter, snuggle a little longer, kiss more and more. Three children later to know that I have absolutely no control over my life and God is way smarter than I will ever be. Three children to know that real peace can only be found in Christ. Three children to watch deep soul happiness exude from the imperfect body of a little human. Three children to know that my soul mate is one of the most incredible people I have ever met. Three children to understand that life is short and I have to constantly make the most of it. Three children to finally rest in the goodness of God. To know that we live in a fallen broken world, but God… He’s still God… Holy… Perfect… Awesome… Sovereign… Never Failing… Strong… Powerful… God.

And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

Nehemiah 8:10

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

Psalm 28:7

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