Teenage girls love to use this phrase these days. If something goes awry, they will “tweet” soon after with “On the bright side!” naming a positive to follow their perceived negative. Now those of you who don’t know what a tweet is, well, you just might be showing your age. Twitter accounts are used to “tweet” short little phrases to give your followers a little “heads up to what is going on in your world”. With technology moving so fast, most probably won’t even know what a “tweet” is within a few years. However, for now it is the quickest, shortest form of communication there is.
So, “on the bright side,” Lily Grace was released from her captors (i.e. NICU) on a wonderfully brilliant fall day. You know the kind. Where the sky is so startlingly blue, meeting the red, orange and yellows below; making it seem surreal as if you just stepped into a painting. So brilliant and crystal clear, everything appeared to stand at attention like a parade to welcome this child home. It was such a relief to so see this young family escorting their newest edition to what would become her permanent place of residence.
These homecomings are a bit different than those you usually hear about for a new baby. No one was there to greet them, there were no streams of well-wishers, no casseroles or cookies. It was just them pulling into their familiar surroundings with hopes of settling into a regular routine after a storm. Much like a hurricane, flood or fire, it takes time to adjust once you have returned home. You must assess the damage and rebuild if you will. This family would begin right away by making their oldest feel safe and secure again, reassuring him that mommy and daddy were not leaving any time soon. They then introduced his little sister to her new sanctuary that had no wires, cords or noisy machines. It is a precious peaceful room with her name over the bed, a rocker in the corner, and framed scripture on the walls. One reads “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6. May I go on? Verse 7 and 8 says “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to our body and refreshment to your bones.” Now verses 5 and 6 are displayed right there in her new space but I couldn’t resist sharing the next two verses and how very fitting they are for this situation. How much like God’s Word to be so sharp! Go ahead read all 35 verses of this Third Proverb, it’s chocked full of things we all of need every day.
Even though the baby was handed over to her rightful owners they are still fretful for her well-being. Their heads are full of questions and concerns. Is she sleeping too long? Is she eating enough? Is she gaining weight? Is she breathing too fast? Nights are filled with anxious moments. When all is quiet mommy will jump up from a sound sleep “just to check on the baby.” The trauma of an entrance like Lily’s has long lasting effects on a family. It will take some time, but God has a way of pouring grace into our skeptical hearts bringing with it a peace that passes all understanding. Philippians 4:7. Like Job, we are probably not ever going to know why this was the path chosen for Lily and her family but we did see glimpses of His Hand at work there in the NICU and beyond. Countless people were changed because of her illness. Thousands prayed, many for the first time. This hurting couple would minister to other parents in the NICU who were there for the first time. They prayed openly over their child’s incubator, effectively preaching the gospel without ever saying a word. Nurses and doctors alike would be affected forever because of this small life.