from Jimbo -
After hanging up with my parents and looking at the clock, I was getting up from our couch to get Lillian more fever-reducing medicine before putting her to bed. She had begun a fever the night before, and we were helping her along with Tylenol and Ibuprofen. Nothing out of the ordinary drill that we are used to with a teething baby. It was about midnight, and she had fallen asleep on my chest as I was skyping, as we were waiting for Timbrel to get home from reflection group.
Timbrel had texted me saying she was on her way home. As I was getting up off the couch, Lillian started shaking, as if she was acting out a dream in her sleep. I looked closer and the movements were the same and more like spasms. I began calling her name, trying to wake her up. She opened her eyes, and then I knew something was wrong. One eye was looking up and one was looking to the side and up as she shook in spasms. The only thing I remember praying was, "Lord, help." She was having a seizure.
She continued convulsing as I called Timbrel, telling her she needed to get home now. She said she was around the corner. I left the other three kids and ran downstairs from our 3rd floor apartment. I got outside, in front of our building, and couldn't see Timbrel. The convulsions continued as I looked to heaven asking Jesus to intervene. Our night guard saw what was happening and ran into the road, trying to flag down someone to take me to the hospital. I told him the other kids were upstairs and that Timbrel was coming. Just then, I saw Timbrel running up the sidewalk toward me. I ran to her and told her to take Lillian to the hospital. There was a car stopped at a stop light, and a guy opened his door and stepped out, asking if he could help us. I told him to take Timbrel and Lillian to the British Hospital (the best in Montevideo) quickly. Timbrel climbed into the back seat of the two-door car, and I told her to keep talking to Lillian. The convulsions continued. Timbrel and the unknown helper, took our baby girl and disappeared down the lonesome street, speeding toward the hospital.
I ran back upstairs to find the other three kids huddled at our door, waiting for daddy to come back. Our friend and colleague, Mark Taube, who had dropped off Timbrel, was on his way up to our apartment as I gathered the diaper bag and a bottle. I was rattled. I gathered the three kids and prayed with them before leaving them in good hands. Then I ran downstairs, jumped in our van, and sped to the hospital.
On the way, I knew I had to call Timbrel to see what was happening, but I was afraid. I didn't want to call and hear bad news of an unchanged status, or of something worse. I called. When Timbrel answered, I heard a beautiful sound. The sound was Lillian, crying in the background. Timbrel said that the seizure had stopped when they were about half-way to the hospital. Still, I raced through the streets, horn blaring, running red-lights cautiously, getting there as soon as I could. I pulled up on the sidewalk, in front of the hospital, and left the van with the hazards on. I offered the hospital guard the keys, in case he wanted it moved. At that moment, I had to get to my family. He waved me along and told me where to go.
I got to their room in the ER just as they were taking blood from Lillian. Timbrel was holding her down, singing and talking to her. Lillian was screaming, of course. The nurses were gathered around and I joined Timbrel in trying to explain what happened. Our vocabulary was definitely expanded in the course of the night. They took Lillian's temperature and it was over 39 degrees Celsius. I had the same reaction as you are probably thinking. I asked, "Is that high?" Apparently it is.
They put a port in Lilly's wrist and gave her some medicine to help with the fever. Other friends and colleagues, the Beers, showed up; we were very glad to see them. Through the night, they made sure we understood all that was being said. The hospital staff ran a series of blood and urine tests and did a chest x-ray. We sat in the room and waited for the results.
Lillian was trying desperately to go to sleep, but the fingers that she sucks every time she goes to sleep were wrapped in gauze with a "tabla" preventing her from bothering the port on her wrist. She waved her wrapped hand around and with her sweet Lilly cry let everyone know that she did not like what was going on with her hand.
Finally the doctor came back and reported the results. Everything came back normal, except a high protein in the urine test. The doctor, who was 6 months pregnant, told us she would feel better if Lillian stayed in the hospital until our pediatrician came the next morning. They moved us to another room in the ER that was more comfortable. Stephanie Beers stayed with Timbrel and Lillian, and I went home. I'm not sure what time it was, but I think it was around 4.
Mark said the kids had just fallen asleep a little while before that, as they enjoyed a late-night movie. Mark left and I unwound a little, feeling the exhaustion as I came down off of the adrenaline rush. Sleep came.
I woke up and heard someone coming into our apartment. It was around 9. Bruce Beers had brought Timbrel and Lillian home. Praise God. Lillian was her normal self, playing with her stuffed bear, very glad to be home. Timbrel told me that the fever spike was due to a UTI (urinary tract infection) and that Lillian was on antibiotics. As we sat in the living room, I began to read Revelation 21. I read the first 8 verses and began to weep. The emotional trauma of the night before was being released as I read the promises of my God.
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem,coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me,“It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
Praise God for His very great and precious promises.
from Timbrel -
God's lesson for me the past few months has been all about learning how to turn on the enemy the attacks and lies that are thrown against me. I have been learning that great victory is often only possible after walking through a dark valley. Last night in reflection group we talked about Jesus' death and resurrection. All I could think about was how Jesus walked through the darkest, deepest valley, knowing that victory was coming on the other side. He loved us so much that He chose to walk through crud and muck so that He could win victory for us. God has been teaching Jimbo and I that in our relationship, it's the same. To go higher in our relationship together, we have to be willing to walk with each other through dark places, icky places, places that show the residual dankness of our hearts. Only through honestly recognizing pain can we honestly recognize the lies that have allowed that dankness to build up. Then we can give Jesus those dark places, allowing Him, the Truth, to cleanse the lies and help us start over again.
So as I sat in the car with two complete strangers, trusting them to get me to the hospital, I desperately pleaded with Jesus to guard my baby's life - the life He gave her to begin with. It really helped me when I began to visualize Jesus in the car with me, singing and talking to Lillian with me. As the night went on, and I saw the stress on Jimbo to be in a hospital room, again, I asked God, "Did it have to be this valley? You know how hospital rooms affect us. Did it have to be this?" Yes. He has victory waiting for us. We can't see the victory yet, but pray for us as we continue to process all that we felt in these very traumatic moments.
As we prepare for a weekend of celebration (Saturday & Sunday) here in our apartment, we have seen the assault of the enemy very clearly on our family in the last few days. We ask you to rally around us in prayer. It is an exciting time, because the enemy is always active when God is about to do something big. We can sense the victory coming, but the valleys are hard. Please cover us in prayer - our marriage, our health, our safety, our connection to His Presence. We are committed to doing whatever it takes to love and serve each other and our kids, and to see His Kingdom come in Uruguay. It is the assignment He has given us; we will not turn back. Will you escort us on this journey, covering us in prayer as we continue to anger the enemy with each new step?
I was pushed back and about to fall,
but the Lord helped me.
The Lord is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.
but the Lord helped me.
The Lord is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.