I didn’t realize how prominent the letter ‘B‘ would become once Jesher came home. Our life has become inundated with the second letter of the alphabet. The “bassinet” has become the central hub of all household activity. The day’s schedule is now controlled by the words “bottles,” and “burps.” I am constantly reaching for “blankies” or “bibs” or stuffed “bears.” “Boba’s” and “Boppies” have become my new favorite accessories. “Bath” time is now a pre-planned event. “Bedtime” is ever fluctuating, and my wife and I are constantly reminding ourselves to “breathe.” Yep, our “baby” lives with us now! There is no doubt about it! But oxygen isn’t what we need most these days—“bravery” is.
I now see that there was a gap in all of the advice and lessons shared with me before Jesher came home: No one ever told me how “brave” one must be when caring for a newborn. Yeah, people mentioned patience. Dependence on God was referenced dozens of times. Humility and attentiveness were also mentioned. But no one ever talked about “bravery.” Maybe its because the use of the term is usually reserved for soldiers, activists, firefighters, and missionaries. (To be honest, I’ve never seen parenting listed as one of ‘the most courageous jobs in the world.’) Yet, over the past week I have been confronted by challenges inside our home that have dwarfed the challenges I have faced outside our home. From sleep deprivation to coping with the rigor of Jesher’s three to four medical evaluations per week, the task of caring for our son has only become more challenging. Relief and relaxation were not included in his discharge packet. The demand never relented; the work just continued. So I often find myself standing in front of a mirror at the end of each day, chanting the same phrase until my blood pressure normalizes: “Be brave friend; no matter what, be brave.”
By definition, “bravery” is primarily a revealer of character. It’s not simply an expression of valor. The concept of “bravery” denotes a value system or ethical foundation that fuels uncommon effort. The word presupposes a collaboration between sacrifice and courage. It is where integrity and audacity intersect. It is the proving ground of fortitude. “Bravery” is rigid; it never changes its standard, but it is a generous rewarder of those who diligently pursue it.
And that’s why ‘good’ parenting is such a “brave” act—it requires everything you have all of the time. Periodically, I’ll look at Jesher and say, “Wow, you’re my responsibility for the next lifetime!” The thought is so gargantuan that I sometimes black-out for ten seconds due to a brain overload. The implications of such responsibility are infinite; the weight of such a calling is tectonic. The undertaking just seems too overwhelming. But when I get to my wits end, I just walk back to my bathroom, splash cold water on my face, stare at the man in the mirror, and repeat the eight-word motivational speech that’s been getting me through the torture of 2am feedings: “Be brave friend; no matter what, be brave.”
Here is Jesher’s life update:
“BABY BLESSING”–Lhorraine and I have decided to present Jesher to the Lord earlier than we had originally planned. We know that we are raising a miracle baby, and we don’t want to delay in dedicating our son back to the Giver of All Miracles. So this coming Satuday, July 21, 2018, we will be dedicating Jesher to God’s service at the Riverside Nashville Church [800 Youngs Ln, Nashville, TN 37207]. I have also been asked to share a message about our journey, outlining something I’ve learned about Yahweh and His kingdom during this tough season. We are excited about our son’s progress, but we also know that our son is not ours…he belongs to God. Lhorraine and I have simply been asked to care for Jesher on behalf of our Father in Heaven. And this is what will be symbolically represented through this ceremony. The experience will be live-streamed at www.riversidenashville.org. PLEASE ASK YAHWEH TO EMPOWER LHORRAINE AND I WITH THE STRENGTH AND WISDOM TO BE GOOD STEWARDS OF THE MIRACLE HE HAS CALLED US TO RAISE.
CONSTIPATION–I want to thank you for all of the feedback and counsel concerning Jesher’s constipation and digestion complications. Quite simply, a newborn’s tummy just isn’t calibrated for formula. And Jesher is just the latest little tyke to struggle with the heavy additives found within industrial formula brands. But after doing a great deal of research, we were able to change his formula [to a highly rated vegan option] and start a regiment of digestion aids (probiotics, constipation aids, medicinal oils, etc.) that have helped Jesher move his bowels at a higher frequency. PLEASE ASK THE LORD TO HEAL JESHER’S SYSTEM SO IT CAN PROPERLY DIGEST HIS FOOD AND PROCESS-OUT HIS WAIST.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY–So far, Jesher is showing great signs of natural, neurological development! Based upon his age-corrected milestones (meaning, his development is being tracked according to his ‘due date’ not his premature ‘birth date’), Jesher is meeting–and in some areas surpassing–expectations. The doctors and therapists will continue to closely monitor for any neurological delays until June 2019. PLEASE ASK GOD TO TOUCH JESHER SO THAT NO DEFICIT, DISORDER, OR DISEASE WILL DELAY JESHER’S HEALTHY DEVELOPMENT.
With all the “B” words flying around our house, you might have expected the word “blessing” to be my number one choice. After all, we now have a 7lb. 4oz. “baby” in our home who wasn’t expected to live past his first 36 hours. Wouldn’t our story be more accurately represented by the word “blessing”? Well, don’t get me wrong; we are a deeply grateful and thankful family of three! Against insurmountable odds, our family did not revert back to being a unit of two. Indeed, we are “blessed”! But the “blessing” we have experienced has not freed us to be naive. You see, “blessings” don’t negate the need for “bravery”; oftentimes, our “blessings” are the variables that elicit the need for its expression.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.” Psalms 127:3-4
13 thoughts on ““B” Is For Bravery”
❤️🙏🏾 Welcome home nephew! God’s abundant blessings to you all. I can’t wait to meet the handsome prince with the brave parents.
Well said! I wish I could be with you guys on Sabbath. I will definitely catch it online after the fact as I’ll be speaking in WI. I am assuming the live stream will also be archived??? Love you guys and can see your bravery even from afar.
I am SO HAPPY for you guys!!! I can’t wait to kiss “My Peanut’s” cheeks some day soon!!
Uncle Steve and I wish we could be there for Jesher’s blessing, but because of responsibilities here, we won’t be able to make it. Know this…our thoughts, prayers, and heart will be there with you all at this most sacred presentation of Jesher back to The Lord Who gave him…! (We’ll be watching the archived video!!)
~Love you all!!! ~Kiss Peanut for me!!
Just yesterday the thought crossed my mind how much I missed updates on Jesher. Thank you so much for continuing to include us on this BLESSED journey! We will definitely tune in on Sabbath.
Praise God… we will be viewing the dedication.
Dear Michael and Lhorraine,
I have no doubt you both are being and will continue to be top rated christian parents training Jesher in the fear and admonition of the Lord of your lives.
I will pray strength and wisdom for you as you are embarking on this most serious and challenging lifetime journey. I will also pray as requested for Jesher’s digestion and development believing he is indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made.” And speaking of “B” words- May the Lord ” bless” you and take care of the “blessing” He has entrusted to you. Thanks for the update. Blessings on the dedication!! I will be traveling to Baltimore, MD. and plan to stream it from there.
Praising God for what He has done and will continue to do for Jesher and your family!
Continued prayers on Jeshers behalf.
May Jesus Christ be praised!
On Thu, Jul 19, 2018 at 1:28 AM, Prayers for Jesher wrote:
> Polite Prayer posted: “I didn’t realize how prominent the letter ‘B’ would > become once Jesher came home. Our life has become inundated with the > second letter of the alphabet. The “bassinet” has become the central hub > of all household activity. The day’s schedule is now contr” >
You are definitely brave. Your bravery is your bravery. As I like to say “you don’t have to climb mt. Everest to be brave!”
Today I sit here thanking God for such an experience in the life of Jesher. He has done a great thing and even gave me an early birthday present by weighing a little over 7lbs! Thank you God for a specific sign that you heard prayer. How I wish I could be there but I will be watching to see this most beautiful boy being dedicated to his Heavenly Father by his Brave earthly parents. Look how far you’ve all come! I’ve saved each correspondence because it must serve as a reminder of Gods mercy and grace and that even today, He performs the impossible. Thank you so much for sharing. I am ever grateful. I pray for a mother whose first challenge was to fight on her knees moment by moment while her heart broke, pleading for her sons life. I pray now for Lhorraine’s heart to be full of joy and peace. I pray that she has renewed strength as she watches him grow and bond to her, and I pray she enjoys every moment with pride. I believe God has equipped you both to raise this very special child with love and balance. Let him laugh and know what fun is. Help him to meet God outside of the man-made traditions. Let him see how much you adore his mother. Spend time with him and give him good counsel. Let him talk to you about everything and remember to hang in there with him even if he makes mistakes. God has you all and I’m so very very happy for you. Blessings and so much love!
Hello Polite family, Labor Day greetings! How is Jesher doing? He is still on my prayer list.
God bless you. Kerth Payne