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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

When Your Child Doesn't Die....

The worst day of my life was in the year 2001.

My second born son, who was then only 3 years old, accidentally hung himself on the swing set. Some neighborhood kids had received a punching bag for Christmas and we had let them tie it to our swing set because they didn’t have one. Unbeknownst to us, when they took the punching bag down they left the string tied to the top. Jacob saw it and on this particular day he had climbed his way to it and somehow his head became caught in it. I heard my oldest son scream, “Mommy! Jacob stuck!”

I turned around to see my little boy twitching from the nearly invisible string hanging down. My heart fell to my knees. As I ran out I screamed for my former spouse who, thank God, was an EMT. I picked Jacob up out of the loop and laid him on the ground. He was blue, twitching and lifeless.

By then, his dad was over him doing CPR and I was running in the house to get the baby and the phone to call 911. All of this happened in less than 90 seconds. By the hand of God Jacob began breathing but he was still lethargic and seizing. The paramedics did not believe he would make it. God didn’t agree.

Jacob came through it with no damage except for a mark around his neck from the string and broken blood vessels. They were evident all over his face, in his eyes, ears, nose, and all over his scalp. All of his veins had burst from the pressure. When the doctor saw the string that had nearly taken his life he was shocked. It was waxed, deep-sea fishing string. The doctor said it should have severed Jacob’s head completely. He told us we were either the luckiest people he had ever met or somebody up there was looking out for us. Five minutes after I got the news that my son would live and that he should be dead, I broke.

I walked outside of the emergency room doors and with people watching from all over I screamed. I sobbed. I cried so hard I could barely breathe. My diaphragm began to pulsate, my eyes and throat swelled up and my head hurt so intensely yet, I couldn’t stop. I cried for three days thinking of the what-ifs.

Jacob had already been hospitalized three times. He had severe cases of RSV and Rotavirus back to back. The excessive use of the antibiotics caused the bad bacteria to mutate and made him so sick that he was hospitalized a third time for well over a week.

I almost lost my child too many times. I couldn’t take anymore. I rehearsed these scenes in my mind so much that emotionally, I felt as though I had accepted his death.

But, he didn’t die.

My Jacob became an emotional disaster. He was moody, irritable, and unpleasant to be around. He always had to be under my feet and in my face. There were times when I found myself trying to escape from his neediness. I couldn’t give him enough attention. It became such a chore to me. He always wanted more and if he didn’t get it he cried until he did. At 5 years old he was depressed. At 6 years old he was a train wreck. I didn’t know what to do with him. So, I fasted and prayed.

It was then, about two years ago, that God revealed to me that I was the problem. I had put up a wall between me and my son. I had become so afraid of losing him that I literally severed my emotional attachment to him. I could not let myself get close to him. What if he died? I couldn’t survive the pain. I loved him too much.

Jacob felt this.

Again I wept. What had I done?

I have seen numerous books written for people who have lost their children to accidents, illnesses and disasters. It tells them all about how to overcome the loss of their child, how to have victory over the pain and how to attempt to move on. God bless these people and thank heaven that there is some help out there for them but nowhere did I find a book that tells you what you can do in my situation. Was I the only one who has ever felt this way? There wasn’t a book to tell me how to repair my bond with my baby. So, I went back to the only thing I knew. I looked to God’s word.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love
does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of
when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever
the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful,
and endures through every circumstance.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is an action. In God’s Kingdom you don’t have to feel it to do it. You must do it to feel it. I had to act on love to feel the emotional bond of love. I am happy to say that God has more than restored my attachment to my son. He has given me a new, deep, ever progressing relationship with him. It is a gift.
God has enormous plans for Jacob’s life. He is a very talented artist, musician, writer and he is very smart for his age. He is still emotional at times but now I welcome it with a calm voice, smiles, hugs, and kisses.

Of my three children, Jacob is the only one that God specifically gave me a name for. While I was pregnant, a woman prophesied to me and said that I should not name him what we had chosen because He had already chosen a name for him. Not long after, God spoke to me and gave me the name Jacob. We had an ultrasound just a few days later and discovered that he was indeed a boy. I used this opportunity to throw out a few additional names to my former spouse just to see what he would say. In the middle of the list of names I added Jacob. After I finished listing the names he looked at me and said, “Let’s name him Jacob.”

This had comforted me years later when I looked his name up in a baby name meanings book while in the hospital with him for the pro-biotic treatment. The meaning for the name Jacob was: 1. holder of the heel and 2. protected by God. Ironic? I don’t think so.

I'd love for you to visit me at my personal blog: In Pursuit of Proverbs 31

I have posted lots of great pictures from our honeymoon in beautiful Riviera Maya, Mexico. Come by and see!
In Pursuit of Proverbs 31

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Blogger Kathy in WA said...

Amy - welcome home! So glad you're back blogging. This is a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing.

Duckabush Blog

September 25, 2007 at 1:27 AM  
Blogger Jenileigh said...

This post left me in tears. I don't have the words to express what I want to say. I am so glad that our Father tore down that wall. I am so glad that your baby lived. Thank-you for sharing this. It is very powerful and touched me so deeply. Fear can do horrible things if allowed and while I have never been in your shoes I have allowed fear to build walls in my life. This truly was revelation. God Bless You greatly!

September 25, 2007 at 2:06 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

Wow, what an amazing blessing Jacob is, thanks for sharing.

September 25, 2007 at 3:42 AM  
Blogger Laurel Wreath said...

Wow Amy this is powerful. God knows and God has a special purpose. My oldest son was born not breathing and was 3lbs, my Mom said the Drs were going to walk away after trying to save him when all of sudden his leg shot up and he took a breath. It was almost like God breathed life into him. I will be honest he is my difficult child to raise, he is my challenge, but I strongly believe God has a special plan for him. My son' name means "pledge"...."To make a solemn binding promise." Hubby and I had his name picked out also, before we even knew we were having a boy.

God has made a promise on this child's life. Thank you for sharing your Jacob with us.

September 25, 2007 at 8:24 AM  
Blogger Darlene said...

Wow, the end left me emotional. Very well written Amy!! My son's name is Nathaniel (gift from God) I've often wondered if this is a gift of patience. lol

Congrats on the marrriage, I'll have to go check out your wedding photos.

September 25, 2007 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Wow, wow, wow. Amazing story. I can relate to keeping emotionally detached, although my miracle-that-shouldn't-have-made-it was 1 lb 3 oz at the time. It took a clear message from God to get me to overcome my fear and love her in spite of the fact that I might lose her. Thanks for this post, Amy, it was a blessing to me.

September 25, 2007 at 8:18 PM  
Blogger lori said...

WOW...I left a comment at your site too..That was one of the most powerful things I have read in a long time...tears were running down my face!
Fear is a consuming thing and only God can free us...
your post was beautiful, thank you for sharing, you blessed me today with it!

September 25, 2007 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

This was so moving and honest. I know you encouraged many women today who feel shame for what you've described...

Amazing how God transforms the most difficult things to HIs glory!

September 25, 2007 at 11:01 PM  
Blogger Patti said...

Wow ... wow ... wow. I'm an in awe! Thank you for sharing your story!

September 26, 2007 at 8:59 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

What a story! God has amazing plans for Jacob. Thanks so much for sharing this. My youngest one is my great nephew, when he was with his parents he almost died twice. He has alot of emotional problems due to all he eas been through. I love him however I have distanced myself from him. I am not sure if because of fear of one day loosing him (even though I do have custody), or, well I just don't know why. Reading your story helps me to see that, God has put Gage in my life to love!

September 27, 2007 at 5:19 AM  
Anonymous Lynn said...

Oh Amy,

Your pain and the shame you must have had to deal with. I admire your for the strength to be honest. There are probably many woman who need to read this.

Perhaps you are the one to "write the book" to help others.

Powerful and healing post. Thank you.

September 28, 2007 at 3:31 PM  

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