Peace Trumps


The past week has had me spinning, or rather, the earth sped up, and I sat in still time watching, as from outside of my body. I’m not sure, but everything’s wonky and right all at once.

We knew Titus, our 11 month old, had fallen off the growth chart, but I believed in the power of breast milk and in coconut oil and almond butter. I spent a few months trying to catch him up, but two weeks ago, instead of growing, we found that he was losing weight. After 5 days of trying harder, we were still more concerned.  His little metabolism had shut off, and he literally couldn’t take in the nourishment. It wouldn’t fit anymore.

My mother-in-law came right away, and I drove him the hospital while Seth was stuck in an airport. Our community group rallied strong and really let worry be no option for us. I only cried twice. Once when my friend Ginny came, when all she did was hug me. And then after getting home from the hospital, my friend Casee brought a huge pot roast with carrots and potatoes. When she walked over and handed me a candy bar, she hugged me. It wasn’t the candy bar that made me cry. Good old fashioned hugs work. I have never felt this loved while feeling this small. We were in the hospital for 3 days.

The entire time, Holy Spirit has been strong in me, and I’m not in a particularly rigid phase of scripture consumption. I haven’t been praying without ceasing so much. I didn’t do anything special at all. A trial came, and He was present and bigger than the entire thing.

It’s strange to experience such pain and genuine fear, while also feeling peace and having a constant sense that God is good. For today, peace and God’s goodness are not opposite of pain and fear. It’s as if we experience these things in separate dimensions, and the inner-realm of peace doesn’t take the fear away. Rather, peace filtered my fear of losing a child and turned it into a temporary thing. God’s peace is a sense that comes from outside of time; it trumps a moment. I felt eternal, and I saw Titus as eternal.

I kept saying everything is going to be okay, even if it’s not okay. Titus had to have a feeding tube, and while in the hospital, he gained an entire pound. He’s still in a position that if he were to get sick, he would have no reserve to deal with it. We’re home now trying to force formula and whatever crazy thing he’ll eat. So far it’s not going very well. He’s taking in about a third of what he’s supposed to. But it’s okay. Yesterday was better than the day before.

Please pray for my Titus. He’s begun drinking from a sippy cup, but he’ll only take in a few ounces at a time. Pray he’ll drink the whole thing. Pray for our wisdom in what to give him and how to make eating and drinking a positive experience so he doesn’t reject it.

While in our crazy time, I wrote a blog post for Ann Voskamp, which is to say, how did I get here? How did God give me her and you? I would love for you to check out what I wrote there at a Holy Experience, When You’re Somehow Missing Your True Homeland, but also, I would love for you to read about her latest trip to Haiti with Compassion. Her oldest son got to go, and that is such a dream to me. Keely Scott can take a dern good photograph, and Ann processes in a way that transplants images like arrows. She always hits bullseye.

Lord willing’ and the creek don’t rise, I’ll be writing here again regularly. I declare my writing break over. My bones are on fire.

And PS: I’ve heard word that some haven’t been getting emails when I write. I hope to put on my techie hat and figure that out today. Do you get my emails?

amberhaines
About me

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47 Comments

Fiona
Reply July 17, 2012

I shall pray for your dear wee man. I shall pray for continued peace for your mama heart. I adore you Amber, and you're probably the one person I would most like to meet in blogland. So glad your writing break is over.

    Amber
    Reply July 17, 2012

    Fiona, I do want to meet you, too. Oh, and I'm relieved to be writing for sure. Thank you for prayers.

eloranicole
Reply July 17, 2012

"i declare my writing break over. my bones are on fire." i know this. oh, i KNOW this. praying for you - praying for sweet titus. love you, sister.

    Amber
    Reply July 17, 2012

    Love you, too, friend. Thank you.

Shelly Miller
Reply July 17, 2012

Praying for you Amber. Loved you piece at Ann's place. Of course I love all the things you write. Glad your back.

    Amber
    Reply July 17, 2012

    Me too, Shelly - so glad I'm back. Thank you for praying.

Carissa
Reply July 17, 2012

praying for all of you... wishing I could pass along a hug!

Rae
Reply July 17, 2012

"... peace and God’s goodness are not opposite of pain and fear." You always express God's mysteries with such beauty. Thank you. Praying for you and yours. Strength to that boy! Wisdom and peace to his mama.

    Amber
    Reply July 17, 2012

    So much is mystery to me, Rae. Thank you for praying and for encouraging me.

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting
Reply July 17, 2012

My eight-year-old has underweight issues, too, so I know this pain. Wrapping Titus, you, Seth and the boys in many prayers.

    Amber
    Reply July 17, 2012

    Love you, Lisa. Thank you, sister.

Misty
Reply July 17, 2012

Praying for you and your family. What a beautiful testament of God's grace. Just what we need, when we need it. I had a baby who was sick and wouldn't eat, and the doctors weren't a help, and months of misery blurred together. But I remember God's peace well, and He told me what to do when I didn't know what else to do. We got through it. In our case, a wild shot at goats milk saved her life and she is a happy and thriving 3 year old now. She still doesn't eat by the book but she eats enough.

    Amber
    Reply July 17, 2012

    Oh Misty, this is encouraging. So did she start drinking goat's milk? A friend brought over fresh goat's milk yesterday. Should I let him try it, you think?

      Misty
      Reply July 19, 2012

      She gulped it down! She was a younger baby. 9 months. Started refusing breastmilk. Took hypoallergenic formula for a short time and then started refusing that too. Most I could get in her in a day was 2 0z, at the end of the day when she was starved. Refused other formulas after that adamantly. She was literally starving herself which no doctor would believe. They thought I was not trying hard enough. I had remembered stumbling across a blog post from another woman who resorted to making her own Goat's milk formula (based on Nourishing Traditions). I was terrified but felt God's leading. I don't feel like I exaggerate when I say it saved her. The transformation was amazing and very rapid. When I went back to allergist after a few months, he just about threw me out of his office, he was so opposed to the idea. I don't pretend to be an expert but in our case, it was the solution. Continuing to pray.

Elizabeth
Reply July 17, 2012

Amber, you've got them girl. Prayers from this end--my heart will lift you and Titus up to The Healer. And you are missed by me when you are on a writing break. I cherish your words, so keep them coming. They are gift. May you continue to feel peace, strength and wisdom during this season. Blessings your way and can't wait to read what comes out of "bones on fire." Yo go girl. Know that will translate to fingers on fire as you write.

Linda
Reply July 17, 2012

I will be keeping Titus and your whole family in my prayers Amber.

Kelly @ Love Well
Reply July 17, 2012

My favorite part of this?

The entire time, Holy Spirit has been strong in me, and I’m not in a particularly rigid phase of scripture consumption. I haven’t been praying without ceasing so much. I didn’t do anything special at all. A trial came, and He was present and bigger than the entire thing.

This is the walk, is it not? A daily rhythm that keeps our feet moving along. Sometimes we plod. Sometimes we dance. But always, when we need it, we find the music is larger and more beautiful than we can imagine.

HopefulLeigh
Reply July 17, 2012

Friend, this is beautifully expressed. Praying for Titus, praying for you, and rejoicing that your writing break is over. Let the words spill forth!

Ann Kroeker
Reply July 17, 2012

I live too far to bring you a pot roast or a basket full of crazy things that might nourish baby Titus, but how I long to!! Amber, I will pray for him all day to drink down the stuff that will bring him health and life.

Elizabeth Esther
Reply July 17, 2012

I'll pray a Rosary for Titus today and dedicate each bead as a sip of nourishment for his tiny body.

Danielle Smith
Reply July 17, 2012

My friend, even in worry, your words are wise, prayer-filled and glorious. Wrapping you in love and prayers and virtual hugs since I'm too far away from you to do it in person. I adore you and have faith that you are everything that sweet little man needs.... Miss you, much. xoxoxo

Aubrey
Reply July 17, 2012

Lifting up our prayers to join the blanket that is covering you all. Praying for your continued awareness of His peace and for empty sippee cups.

Kristin Gray
Reply July 17, 2012

Lifting you, yours, & Titus before the Lord. And your sweet husband still came and led worship for us. Love and peace to you all.

Jessica Y
Reply July 17, 2012

Im just crying for yall. And saying your names out loud over and over knowing He knows what Im asking. Love you.

the Blah Blah Blahger
Reply July 17, 2012

Sending huge prayers for huge weight gains!!! XO!

kendal
Reply July 17, 2012

i'm so glad you wrote today. i'd seen a couple of facebook posts but didn;t know what was wrong with baby titus. that little guy with the big brown eyes is so beautiful. praying for him. and for fear to continue to stay at bay....

René
Reply July 17, 2012

You tell it so right. I think I understand the paradox of faith-rest-not knowing what's next-faith.....etc.

Seth
Reply July 17, 2012

You are good.

Laura
Reply July 17, 2012

"A trial came, and He was present and bigger than the entire thing." Amber, I just nodded my head as I read this post. Although my boy is much older, a phone call jarred us to the airport and on to his bedside after he was hit head on by someone in a much larger vehicle. My Bible was in the car, there was no planning ahead, and it was me, my hubby, and the Lord.

And He was there. In the midst of it all. He didn't wave a magic wand and make the hurt go away, but He was there. Every day. Every night. Even now. Always.

Ang
Reply July 17, 2012

Prayers and hugs for your little guy.

Ali
Reply July 17, 2012

"For today, peace and God’s goodness are not opposite of pain and fear."

I know this and I have never been able to put good words to it...I should have known you would have the right words. I love you friend...you and that babe hank at my heart. Praying 'he'll drink the whole thing."

Carol
Reply July 17, 2012

Amber,
We are praying for your precious little man. Believing in the Mighty Touch from our Fathers Hand. He not only hears our request, but is moved.

King David prayed, "In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my request before you and wait expectantly."

We will be praying not only in the morning but throughout the day, and days to come..
looking expectantly.

Sarah Bessey
Reply July 17, 2012

I love you.

Prudence
Reply July 17, 2012

Praying my dear friend.

Jen @ Martymom's Musings
Reply July 17, 2012

Amber, I am praying , for Titus and you.

PS-I have noticed that even though I have you listed in my blogroll on my blog it hasn't updated since April. Not to worry, I just come find you and see what 's new.

Darcy Wiley
Reply July 17, 2012

Praying he will be able to take in what his body needs, and that the realization of you being eternal and him being eternal would last back into normalcy and bring a bit of wonder to regular days. P.S. I haven't received the post notifications since the spring, but like Jen above, I always make my way back for a visit.

Melissa
Reply July 18, 2012

I had a wonderful day today...really great.
Still?
Hearing you say your writing break is over might be my favorite part.

Nothing scarier that hospital machines beeping over little boys...so thankful with you that Peace trumped.

Blanca
Reply July 18, 2012

You all are in my prayers, especially your sweet Titus. So thankful the Lord's peace has been with you throughout all of this... He is good, and He will bring you through it.

imperfect prose
Reply July 18, 2012

oh my dear friend. oh. i am praying and interceding over here, that God would awaken sweet titus' metabolism. his eyes, amber. his eyes. they are so full of life.

Suzanne
Reply July 21, 2012

Praying for you and your sweet baby.

Also, I subscribe via RSS, and the posts haven't been coming. It was Nish linking to you today that reminded me that I haven't had the pleasure of reading you for quite some time.

TulipGirl
Reply July 23, 2012

I am so, so sorry. . . What a struggle. My oldest was diagnosed FTT at 6 months. Was a chubby 16+ lbs at 3 months and down to 14 lbs at 6 months. The weight loss happened so gradually. . . first we thought he was just lengthening out. . . growth spurt. . . So hard. Went from nursing to extra-calorie formula overnight. Some testing. . . Thankfully no underlying medical or metabolic problems. Just... not enough calories... Doing my best and still, not enough calories.

Praying that the underlying cause for your son's growth issues is quickly discovered and that it can be addressed as simply as possible. *hugs&prayers*

Emily
Reply July 23, 2012

I have a Titus who is nearly one and a Thomas with a feeding tube :) I so relate to your post and God's nearness, not because of my large faith but because of His unfailing love. I feel the panic in my throat as I read of your little one not gaining but losing weight. I felt the same as I watched Thomas wither away before my eyes. I will pray for your little Titus. Thanks for sharing of His love in your life. He is good and needs no persuading to be so.

Becca
Reply July 25, 2012

I know well the odd and beautiful combination of fear and peace and joy and sorrow that comes with a sick baby and feeding tubes. My little one is about to turn one next week, and I've been praying that God would wrap His arms around you and reveal Himself to you just as He did for us while Caden was in the hospital a year ago. And for the doctors to figure everything out, of course.

Trisha Mckee
Reply July 29, 2012

I will pray for you Amber. It is important to put God to our heart so that He can be able to guide as always.

Sharon Bell
Reply July 31, 2012

Amber, I heard about your baby from Becca Campbell Stucks' mom, Phyllis. I want you to know that I am praying for your sweet baby. Last November, I lost my mother suddenly. There were so many people who we didn't even know who prayed for us and are still praying. All God's people praying together can get you through some tough times and work MIRACLES! I have asked family members to pray and although it may sound strange, in my prayers I have asked God to ask my mother to pray also. I believe that those who have passed on still pray for us still on earth.
My "go to verse" is in Psalm 46 - "Be still and know that I am God". This problem is so much bigger than you, but is nothing that God can't handle. Be at peace and know that He is in control.
Many blessings,
Sharon

Nikki Lyclic
Reply August 21, 2012

We are always here to send prayers for you and for your family.

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