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  • John Martin

One Month; 10,000 Reasons

Updated: May 29, 2019

It’s been one month and our hearts are full. This has been the deepest, most difficult valley we’ve walked. Every day is a challenge to maintain perspective and trust God’s purposes. But His kindness, provision and assurance have been ever present. He is drawing us closer. We wouldn’t have chosen this for ourselves, but in the pain there has been peace and in the darkness there has been joy. Four weeks ago we weren’t sure if Jack would live to see four days and here we are celebrating one month of life with our son.


Jack was rushed into his first major surgery just one week after he was born. It was raining hard that morning as we prepared ourselves for the potential that he may not survive. But God chose to sustain our little boy, and as my Dad and I left the hospital that evening a brilliant rainbow lit up the sky. A poignant reminder of divine mercy. We took a picture and started referring to it as “Jack’s Rainbow.” A large print of that picture is hanging on our apartment wall, along with the third verse of the hymn, “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go,” by George Matheson.


“O Joy, that seekest me through pain,

I cannot close my heart to Thee;

I trace the rainbow through the rain,

And feel the promise is not vain

That morn shall tearless be.”

Jack's Rainbow

It would be impossible to trace the ten thousand lines of providence over these last four weeks, but here are ten:


No C-Section - Lisa was in full labor and having contractions every two minutes when we arrived at Hemet Hospital. But the doctor told us a c-section was our only option for delivery and that it would be risky for both mom and baby. They had rolled Lisa into the O.R. and were about to anesthetize her when her water broke and she gave birth. No c-section. As a result, she was discharged from Hemet Hospital quickly and able to be with Jack at Loma Linda (35 miles away) later that same day. If the c-section had been performed, it would have been days if not weeks before she would have been able to see him.


Loma Linda Children's Hospital - If Jack hadn’t been born in Hemet, he wouldn’t have ended up at Loma Linda Children’s Hospital. The cutting edge “Tiny Baby Unit” where he is being cared for is virtually unrivaled and he is receiving the best possible care.


Nurse Lena - We love Jack's primary nurse, Lena, and she adores Jack. I don’t think it’s coincidence that he seems to do the best on the days when she's working. We are so thankful for the gift of knowing that he is in such skilled, compassionate hands.


Jack's Surgeons - Jack has had two major surgeries in his short life and each time we were blessed to entrust him to some of the most well-respected pediatric surgeons in the world. Imagine the dexterity, steadiness and informed focus required of a cardio-thoracic surgeon operating on a heart roughly the size of an adult’s thumbnail!


Life in Redlands - One week after Jack was admitted to LLCH, we were signing the lease for an apartment in Redlands. The unit we secured was the last one available that would fit our needs and it was ready for move-in exactly when we needed it. The apartment manager bent over backwards to expedite the process in light of our situation and a local church stepped up to furnish it for us. It has been the perfect provision for us to establish some sense of home for our girls while being just a few minutes away from Jack's NICU.


Our Friends - It’s impossible to describe how truly overwhelmed we are by the outpouring of love, prayer, financial and practical support from so many dear friends. Jack’s story has gone far and wide and even people we’ve never met have gotten involved. I don't think a moment has passed when we haven't been lifted up in prayer from some corner of the globe.


Our Church - Our pastors and church family have been a constant source of encouragement. Many have prayed, driven hundreds of miles, given sacrificially, and anticipated countless practical needs. One dear family even stepped up to cover our first month's rent in Redlands! And it hasn't just been our church. We've been blessed by a number of local churches who have adopted us as their own and served us in very meaningful ways.


Our Girls - Right after Jack was brought to LLCH I was at his bedside for quite a while and it was particularly intense. Later, when I walked out to the waiting room where my parents had been sitting with our girls, Ella (5 yrs) jumped into my arms and gleefully said, “Daddy, did you know that unicorns eat Skittles for breakfast!?” It was a sweet ray of sunshine that lifted my heart and made me smile. Our amazing little ladies have not been fearful about their brother, but have embraced the situation with a spirit of flexibility and joy. We are so blessed!


Our Family - Lisa and I have both been blessed with the gift of incredible parents and siblings, and boy have they mobilized to serve us over the last four weeks. From the moment this journey began our families dropped everything to be at our side, caring for our girls and selflessly doing whatever, whenever. Absolutely amazing.


"The Organizers" - Within 24 hours of Jack's birth a group of superheroes we'll call "The Organizers" started an effort to raise funds for his care, handle communication and administrate details on our behalf. They have worked tirelessly on a thousand details to ensure that we are well cared for and freed up to focus on Jack and our girls. Logan, Michelle, Beth, and Mindy; we are so grateful for you!


Psalm 42:5 - Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation.

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