When August was born Krista and I spent many days in and out of the NICU. We were surrounded by monitors, cords, medicine, and nurses. We regularly look back and realize how blessed we were with how well August did, and how the Lord used this to teach us so much.
One thing I remember specifically is what the nurses called Kangaroo Care. This is a form of developmental care that is especially helpful for babies that are in the neonatal care unit. You may be like me thinking that this involved a series of tests, medications, or fancy medical equipment — it’s not. When the nurse first showed us Kangaroo care she would gently lay August against Krista or my chest — and that’s it. She said the more we did this the better.
This skin-to-skin “kangaroo care” has many benefits. A few of those are less pain & crying, better sleep patterns, brain development, and even the stabilization of organ function and growth! Let me say this again; August just laid there on our chest… that’s it! It is amazing!
Over the past few months it has felt at times like the picture painted in Psalm 46. The earth gives way, and the waters roar and foam — but “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”. I have been stretched more than ever before. There are days of doubt, days of joy, and days of fear; but he is present in all of them. I am learning to lean in and have an intimate awareness of my savior like never before. I am in a sort of spiritual kangaroo care. The lord is moving in my heart and in our family – making us more aware of His grace. All we have to do is lay there.
The closer we get, the more we lean in, the better we are able to discern every move the Lord asks us to take. My prayer from the very beginning of this process has been that the Lord would draw us in so close to our walk with Him, that our strides would align. This is a good place to be. We trip at times, but we then fall back into the stride, continuing on to what he has called us to do.
We don’t have all the answers. In fact sometimes it feels like we just get more questions. However, we do know that we have a savior that is intimately aware of our situation. He is pulling us in and if we stay skin-to-skin — we will be safe.
My prayer is that we get even closer, and that the Lord will allow our family the chance to share this with others. The chance to bring others to this same place. A place of refuge and strength.