This past week, I celebrated a birthday (May 3rd), and, when the time to make a wish arrived, only one request came to mind: “God, please make my son healthy and my wife happy.” Now this is not a normal practice for me. Over the past three decades, I have NEVER used a birthday wish on other people. If there is a day when angels hand-out passes for excusing selfishness, it would have to be on your birthday. Birthdays are never championed as days dedicated to piety or generosity. We are allotted 1 day out of 365 days to be selfish, and, out of the 24 hours within said day, there is a ten-second period when not one person will fault you for thinking about your own needs, wants, desires, and aspirations—the moment when you make a wish and blow out your candles.
I hesitated at first, discomforted by the lack of traffic flowing through my neurons. But it didn’t take me long to realize that I truly didn’t want anything else. There wasn’t any concrete or abstract entity I desired more. No personal goals came to mind. No item leaped into my imagination. No destination aroused my adventurous spirit. My wish-list only had a singular bullet point. The point was bold, embossed, and italicized in 90-point font: I want my wife and son to be completely restored.
It’s a liberating feeling to be singularly-minded and solely invested. For the vast majority of my life, I have spent my days hopscotching from one craving to another. I have probably spent thousands of dollars trying to discover what will satisfy me, and I have spent tens of thousands of dollars attempting to procure the object of my passion. Stores have profited from my internal restlessness. Subscriptions have capitalized on my wavering appetite. Amazon orders have been submitted due to the multiplicity of my interests. A lack of acute focus has escaped me on every birthday before this. Various wishes have always jockeyed for position as my lips puckered with anticipation, preparing to extinguish the tiny flames before me. But not on this birthday. There weren’t multiple options zooming around my brain. This year, as I leaned forward over the red-velvet birthday cake, my thoughts were calm and my heart resolute. I knew what I wanted. And I closed my eyes to whisper a prayer before blowing out my candles. “Yahweh, in the name of your son Jesus, heal my family.”
Here is Jesher’s current medical report:
PDA—Jesher’s Patent Ductus Arteriosus [PDA] is beginning to complicate his heart development. His previous echocardiogram showed signs of uneven growth. One side is enlarged due to the extra load it is carrying, while the other side is shrinking due to the lack of work is doing. As a PDA persists, the blood is do not flow in its correct pattern. The open valve cycles the blood back to the body before it has an opportunity to flow through the lungs (where it receives new oxygen to distribute throughout the body). This causes certain parts of the heart to overwork and other parts to atrophy. The doctors have informed us that they are considering surgery, but we have been faithful in claiming that Jesher will not have to go under the scalpel during his NICU stay. PLEASE ASK YAHWEH TO DELIVER OUR SON FROM NEEDING SURGERY; ASK HIM TO SEAL JESHER’S HEART AS HE HAS PROMISED TO SEAL EVERY WILLING HEART (EPHESIANS 1:13).
SLEEP APNEA—Jesher has been experiencing ‘spells’ caused by periodic sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition where the body stops breathing for short periods of time. When it occurs in preemies, the brain won’t always restart the breathing process. The times when Jesher doesn’t restart his breathing on his own—requiring external stimulation from a nurse or therapist—are called ‘spells.’ Up to this point, Jesher has not had issues with ‘spells,’ but, over the past week, he has begun to ‘spell’ and the frequency of these ‘spells’ is increasing. PLEASE ASK THE LORD TO KEEP JESHER VIBRANT AND STRONG; ASK GOD TO QUELL THE INCREASE OF THESE SPELLS SO THAT JESHER CAN SLEEP IN PEACE.
WEIGHT—Jesher successfully reached the 3lb mark this week! We asked God to help him achieve this milestone by May 5th, and Yahweh answered our request. Weight is a very important variable for discharge eligibility. Although we have a while to go before a discharge is considered, we want to be proactive about placing some of the required discharge benchmarks before the Lord. PLEASE ASK GOD TO CAUSE JESHER TO INCREASE IN WISDOM AND STATURE!
My birthday petition is still at the forefront of my mind. I haven’t let it go. I won’t let it go. Not until the Lord blesses us. My family does not yet reflect the total restoration that I have been praying for. We are still bruised, hurt, and perplexed; however, I still believe in the power of a single wish. I believe in the power of specificity, and I now believe in the power of sharing a birthday wish.
I look forward to the day when God gives me my birthday gift.
“And the angel said, ‘Let me go, for the day breaketh.’ Jacob responded, ‘I will not let thee go, until you bless me.'” Genesis 32:26