Thursday, July 7, 2011

Paradigm Shift

A couple of days ago I started Stephen R. Covey's The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People for the third time. Now don't be too impressed. I'm not a Stephen R. Covey fan, it's just that I've started the book twice before and never got past the first few chapters. So I'm starting it again for the third time.

Anyway, back to the point. In the book Covey talks about how our paradigms - the way we see things - affect the way we think and act. It makes sense. Each of us reacts to the world around us based upon the way we perceive, understand or interpret it to be.

It reminds me of the series of ads by HSBC that I often see at the airports where they show a set of pictures but describe them from different perspectives. For example:

All this to say that I had a revelation yesterday. If you've been keeping up with my blog, you've probably noticed that I get pretty emotional whenever the doctors speak negatively about Alicia or deliver us some bad news about her health.

And granted that that's a natural response. But over the past couple of days God's been giving me a new perspective. It's a perspective that he began speaking to me in my heart, but then confirmed through a conversation that I had with a new friend of ours.

Basically it comes down to this. Whenever we hear news about Alicia, her health and her development I have two choices.

I can either choose to receive the negative prognosis as a sentene of doom and get upset or depressed about it. Or I can choose to look at the diagnosis as God inviting us to partner with him and as a chance to pray and intervene for our daughter.

Once I had this revelation, I felt like the weight was ten times lighter. So often over the past few weeks as I've tried to remain positive, I still got weighed down whenever the doctors said or told us anything that was slightly negative. But what I'm realizing is that I don't need to take the things they say might happen as fact. Because, in fact, they're not fact, and they aren't NECESSARILY going to happen. Each preemie is so unique that doctors can only give their best educated guess as to what can happen.

So they say, here are the facts, she's still on the ventilator for her fifth or sixth week after birth. She's got lung damage. So this may mean that she may have asthma, or weak immunity, or other repiratory problems in the future. Now we hear this and we can get sad and anxious. Or we can take this information and pray the opposite. We pray that she will get off the ventilator quickly, that her lungs will heal and be strong, that her lungs will be and are like the lungs of a newborn. We pray and thank God that she will NOT have asthma, or any other physical problems as a result of the time on the ventilator.

It's so freeing. No longer do we have to take these words and feel scared and powerless. No! For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So we take the words from the doctors and we give thanks. We thank God that he is showing us exactly which areas to pray for, exactly which areas we can proclaim life, healing and health for Alicia.

We are in a battle, and it's as if God is giving us insight into the strategies of the enemy so that we can be on the offense and fight back.

So we celebrate. We celebrate that God has given us the power and authority to speak life and to pray and to partner with him.

Alicia continues to do well. She's up to 756 grams and just gets more and more adorable each day. She's developing some fat on her body which is a great sign. Her toes which once were tiny little buds actually have a bit of pudge on them now. So precious. She's got super long limbs, fingers and feet. I think she's going to be a tall girl.

She's pretty stable in terms of everything else. Still on the ventilator. Still has trouble breathing when she's full and also when she's got mucus, but other than that she's breathing pretty well. =) We're very thankful for that.

She had another eye exam yesterday and her ROP is still at stage 1 which is great! It means it'll probably just go away on its own. We're so thankful for that.

In other news, Alicia's neighbor Kai Ge has graduated to an open air bassinet which means that he's got enough fat to maintain his own body temperature. We're really happy for him and his family. And it gives us something to look forward to.

Thanks for the prayers friends. Please do write and let us know how you're doing, any thoughts you have about Alicia, etc... We'd love to hear from you.



1 comment:

  1. Have you heard of the song "Stand on Grace" by Jimmy Needham? I've always loved the song but because you have talked about the importance of grace, now it makes me think of Alicia. :) Praying for all of you!