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Strength to Care

Lessons from Matthew & Isaac – Our CHARGE Syndrome Journey

Flash Fear moments…

There have been only a handful of times in my liife where I have been in a state of what I like to call flash fear. When your whole body is frozen in one moment before you instinctively react and create a plan in your mind. This weekend I had one of those moments with Matthew…I will come back to that in a moment.

“The wise man in the storm prays to God, not for safety from danger, but deliverance from fear.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have experienced that flash fear feeling one time while accompanying a friend on a goat hunt in the Northern Rockies in British Columbia as we rounded a logging road on foot and came face-to-face with a sow bear and her two cubs. I have experienced that flash fear while on a moose hunt in Alaska as we landed on the top of bluffs in a canvas sided Piper Cub plane…only to “fall off” the other side to gain the lift we needed to fly…like a roller coaster without the benefit of rails or safety bars. I have felt that fear as Matthew was born and was whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive care because of his struggle to breathe, all the while as they were wheeling a “crash cart” into Theresa’s room after the emergency “C” section to deliver Matthew…Several units of blood behind it.

The experiences that we have continue to shape and form us, good or bad on how we react in every situation. I would like to say that I react the right way every time…If I did I would be lying…just ask my family. I am comforted about the fact the God continues to give us ways to learn and perfect how we react…or don’t react to the things that happen in our lives.

My task for the day was to have some bonding time with Matthew…what could be better to do while all the girls were off to a 4-H event than to go to the local landfill and empty a partial trailer of stuff that has accumulated in our garage from the many little projects that I have built in the garage/shop. The first tremors of how the day would go were the two times that Matthew decided to give me a cardio workout…he bolted out the front door as I was loading the last few boxes into the trailer. He had about a 2 house lead on me which quickly increased to 5. I reacted wrong in that I believed he would tire easily…after all he just had major heart surgery, right? My only advantage is that he took a quick right and headed for the front door of the 5th house…thank goodness it was locked.

I barely recovered my normal breathing when, after placing Matthew in the car while loading the last box, the door swung open and he bolted across the street to the neighbors house…My mistake this time was not putting him in his car seat. Again, I was thankful that the Baker’s door was locked as he has made it into their house on occasion.

A re-enactment of Matthew's escape this weekend - image burned in my mind!

The big one of the day occurred while at the landfill. I had backed up the trailer to the provided dumpsters, did a final lock down on Matthew’s car seat lap belt and began unloading the trailer. All was well unitl I chased a loose paper and noticed the passenger door open and two blue croc shoes on the ground! I ran to the front seat…no Matthew. I ran up and down the dumpsters looking for the giddy Matthew. I next noticed a now empty truck barrelling down the hill from the dumping point of the landfill…I ran to the road to make sure Matthew wasn’t there. I was just about the yell to the other people emptying their refuse to help me search for my boy when I saw his head pop up from the back end of my small SUV. He was emptying my tool boxes and bins of their contents…he never left the car and was happily sitting in one of my tool bins.

“The blessed Lord condensed it all into one single message of eternal comfort spoken to the disciples on the Sea of Galilee, It is I, be not afraid. He is the antidote to fear; He is the remedy for trouble; He is the substance and the sum of deliverance. We should, therefore, rise above fear. Let us keep our eyes fastened upon Him; let us abide continually in Him; let us be content with Him. Let us cling closely to Him and cry, Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea (Psalm 46:2).”  A. B. Simpson

This weekend He gave me another flash fear test of my reflexes with Matthew…actually there were several that led up to one big one that made me stop, breathe deeply, smile and remember who is in control of this little gift we call Matthew.

My prayer this week is to look at the fears in my life more intently…fear of rejection, fear of intimacy, fear of failure.

I also plan to research booster seats for a nearly 10 year old boy with a 5 point racing style harness…I think it will be the next best thing to the blood pressure medicine I take now.

Many have asked if it is okay to share this blog about our Lessons from Matthew…not only is okay, but we emphatically ask that you would. We welcome any chance to show how good God is and how he is working through the power of prayer.