Rhonda and Jason

Rhonda and Jason
Our Wedding Day

Sunday, February 19, 2012

CONVICTION

It seems like time is slipping away.  Haven't posted in quite a while, and I apologize.  Rhonda and I had planned from the start to attempt to use this post to glorify God and help witness to others how He is leading us through a difficult time.  I have recently found that I hadn't been doing that, and have actually been filling my time with projects and tasks to avoid having to face things.  It is completely out of character for me and was very depressing to discover.
For those who know me, it is probably hard to picture me without downtime.  I have spent my life with more than a little "me time", sitting on the couch, pondering, thinking or just plain spacing out.  So last night when I realized that it had probably been weeks or longer since I simply did nothing, it hit me.  I was avoiding the confrontation of mine, Esther, and Rhonda's situation.  Not all to rare in these circumstances, but definitely out of character for me.

So, today you hear from me again.  In my absence we have had several small struggles, joys, triumphs, and have transformed a little from the extremely faithful servants we started as.  I don't necessarily think we are questioning God, or have lost faith.  We have simply grown closer to the "scary time" when we will be "in it" for the long haul.  Appointments have gone great to God's glory.  We learned, as Rhonda posted, that Esther's foot was no longer clubbed (amazing!), she is growing and developing as expected, and moves like crazy in her Mama's tummy.  For a first time daddy that just lights me up.  I can only imagine what's going on in there.

Last appointment, this last Wednesday, could almost be described as routine (again, it is amazing when anything seems routine or there is no news).  University of Washington doesn't need to see us for 5 weeks when we will be setting a date for induction of labor.  We met Dr. Cheng, and were instantly put at ease.  We had been hearing about her since our first appointment and were not let down.  She is the head of the department and will likely be delivering Esther.  She is simply, naturally comforting.

In the meantime, life goes on.  We have had a few repeating spiritual struggles and continue to pray through them.  There is lots to do, but I have found conviction to be a very big comfort and am allowing the Lord to lead me as I lead my family.  We would like to thank all those who are following our little epic.  Thank you for thinking of us, praying for us, sending us your encouraging words and blessings.    For understanding, forgiveness, hope, strength, and most importantly, FAITH.  It is actually noticeable in tougher times I have found and don't believe that is a fluke. 

Due to the emotion and conviction of the last couple of days I just wanted to share a personal experience from my family.  As those who know me know, I lost my eldest brother 9years ago in a car accident.  Through that experience and the pain, grief, loss, chaos that it brought, I found just how close God comes in our hour of need.  I have been a christian since my youth.  My walk has not always reflected that and I even told God at one point "I got it covered.  I know what you want and command of me, but I think I can show you another way."  When my brother went to be with Christ, I was at a point where I knew I didn't "have it covered".  During the days and months that followed, God not only sustained me, He gave me hope in hopelessness, peace in chaos, and oddly "We", Rhonda and I, can maintain faith and assurance when our situation doesn't grant it.  When we are at our lowest, most empty times is when God is most "real" or present.  You can actually feel, see, hear and know Him.
We need God!

So, as Rhonda's coach who has been through this very same trial with his 13 year old son said, I am excited for you.  In our struggles we get to be more intimate with God than any other time.  I am terrified of our near future, but I am excited to see God.  To hear from Him, feel Him holding us when we are ready to give up and feel His peace in our chaos.

I hope my rambling gives a little insight and understanding into our situation, and can be useful or helpful for your own situations.  Don't be afraid to ask God to come into your struggle.  There is nothing you have done or could do that He would avoid you for.  He literally loves you no matter what.

18 comments:

  1. Thank you Jason for sharing. I love your honesty......it is so important to be real with where you are at! God knows and HE is the one who sustains and comforts and will carry you through. His grace covers you and will continue as you walk this difficult road. It is encouraging to hear your desire for more of the Lord. HE IS GOOD......Bless you and your family~ Monica

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  2. Sorry that you are going through this, too, but it is nice to hear from other parents, especially parents who are also trying to glorify God through this difficult time! God bless you all! I´ll be keeping up with you!

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    1. Becky- I am praying so much for you guys as I follow your blog. Thanks for your heart for the Lord in this journey. It is encouraging to us all!!!

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  3. Thank you for sharing...
    We are definitely praying for you and sweet Esther. Our doctor at the University of Washington was also Dr Cheng. Gabe was born 6 months ago. If you see her, will you tell her Gabe is doing very well. He is the baby with Downs Syndrome and half a heart. We are headed to Boston soon for his next heart surgery, so I don't think we will get the chance.

    Anyway... I want you to know we have you in our prayers.

    These babies, they are fighters. The team of doctors at University of Washington are absolutely breathtakingly wonderful- the delivery teams especially.

    You are in GREAT hands.

    Julia

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    1. How are things going? We are so thankful for your prayers and your story to encourage us also. We will say hi to DR Cheng when we see her next for sure!!! Love the people there!!!
      Take care and praying for you guys!!!

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  4. Praying for strength for your family and especially precious Esther. I am a mom to a CDH and ECMO survivor, he will be 8 next month! Always hold on to hope and your faith. My son was not diagnosed until shortly after he was born with CDH and I questioned my faith and why this was happening to my beautiful son. My faith and hope is what got me through the difficult days and to look at my son today, I am so thankful I did not give up on my faith. CDH babies are so strong and each one their story and journey is different, but they have one thing in common, they are warriors. It is difficult to picture what Esther will endure, but you will see past the wires and tubes and machines and you will see the most perfect beautiful baby girl, the life you created. You will be able to comfort her with your touch and voice, until the day you get your full on cuddles with her. Sing to her, read to her, for your voices and love will be what she draws strength from. She will draw strength from you. I have heard amazing things about Seattle and the doctors and the CDH team. They have had some precious survivors come home in the last few months. Look forward to following your journey and cheering your baby girl on! Stay strong Esther....you can do this!!

    (((HUGS))),
    Tracy, Ian's mom from CHERUBS

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  5. Just found your blog via your comment on the Knolls. I am mama to Finley, a soon to be 19 month old L-CDH Survivor in Portland. I can connect you to one other mama in the Tacoma area who is also friends with the Rondeau's who has been down this path and has a 3 year old survivor. I will be praying for Esther and for you and your husband. I know God will continue to hold you close through this and you will experience him in a way you never have before. I know, because I did. My relationship with him has changed so much because of what we have been through. I have seen and felt the power of prayer.

    Prayers for peace and calm during the final weeks of your pregnancy. For Esther's lungs to grow. If you have any questions or just need support along the way - I am here.

    Love,
    Liz www.finleyanabelle.wordpress.com
    dooleyliz at gmail dot com

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  6. Rhonda,

    Thanks for the comment. I just added this page to my blog, which has my "advice" as to what helped us in the NICU, or things that the nurses told me...

    http://finleyanabelle.wordpress.com/for-expecting-cdh-parents/

    Love,
    Liz

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  7. Hi, I am a mama to a 3 year old CDH survivor. My daughter was right-sided CDH, and was also born unexpectedly at 32 weeks and 5 days, so was a premie on top of everything else. She did go on ECMO briefly, but had a fairly smooth recovery after that. She is now a perfectly healthy, developmentally appropriate, smart, sweet little girl who just started preschool. I will be praying for your Esther!!!!!!
    Hugs,
    Jennifer
    Mom to Dakota 12-25-2008
    RCDH survivor
    jennifertrafton@hotmail.com

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement!!! We pray the same for our little girl!!!

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  8. Hi Jason and Rhonda,
    Just want you to know that I am thinking of you and remembering you and your precious little Esther in my prayers every day. I pray that God will continue to keep you close to Him and give you that peace that only He can give, that He will give you all that you need when you need it, and that Esther will be healed for His glory.
    Love and hugs,
    Brenda Thomas

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  9. Hello Jason and Rhonda,
    I am a friend of Jason's cousin Jennifer M. and she shared this blog with me. I am also a nursing student soon to graduate from the community college and I had some shifts on Jason's floor during my clinicals. Every time I looked at Jason I kept thinking he looked familiar but I didn't put my finger on it until I saw the wedding picture and then it all clicked. I just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you both and Esther. Your road ahead has the potential to be very long but thankfully for us we don't have to walk it alone. I am sure you have lots of friends and family behind you but if there is every anything that you guys ever need don't hesitate to ask and if I am able I am happy to help, whether its bringing you something in Seattle, taking care of something here, just ask. And Jason, nurses are not always that good at taking care of themselves so please have a plan in place to take care of you when your natural instincts will tell you otherwise and you have a wife and baby in a situation you can't fix. Wishing you many blessings as you walk this special road.
    Sincerely,
    Crystal Barlean

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    1. Thank you so much- from the both of us!!!

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  10. Hi,
    I came across your blog and just thought I would leave a comment. I was on bedrest and delivered my boys at UW. Although Dr. Cheng didn't deliver my boys, she was one of our main doctors and she is AMAZING!!! She is so smart and kind, you are in very good hands. Praying for you guys as you are in the unknown, I've been there and I know how hard it is. Praying for peace and comfort for you and strength for your little girl.
    Jana Kimmel

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    1. We went to church together growing up!!! My sisters Monica and Michelle have told me all about your journey along with my amazing friend Monica Zylstra. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. I know we will be there for the long haul but we are so thankful we have the Lord so close to our side!!! We love love love Dr Cheng and have met great people along the way. Thanks for everything!!!

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