Today we were in the car on the way home from church...Jim and I, Joshua, Faith (Clark's girlfriend)...and Meredith, a college girl from our hometown that is going to school where we live now. She has been coming to our church, and has gotten to be friends with Faith. Holly and Aaron had gone to early church, and Logan decided to go home for lunch. Clark had a leadership meeting after church. None of this is really important to the story, but I'm from the South and over-explanations are what we do. Since we had the two college girls with us, we decided to take them out for lunch.
And it should go without saying that Joshua was in ALL his glory being with us and two pretty college girls.
After lunch, we dropped Meredith off at her dorm and headed to Faith's house. We started talking about Meredith's Dad (and Mom) being a good friend of our family...and how, nearly 18 years ago, when it became apparent that nothing could stop my labor with Clark, and I would deliver him 12 1/2 weeks prematurely, Meredith's Dad, Bill, drove down to Little Rock to be with Jim and I. Mainly to be with Jim.
He is an OB/GYN doctor, and so he knew the seriousness of the situation.
I remember Bill being in a room with us, praying for us...and then Jim was gone. I think it was right before my C-section, and Jim had gone to scrub...and some how I ended up in a room with just me and Bill.
Bill was...is...a Godly man, and a wise doctor...but he is typically very quiet. His wife, Ruth? NOTSOMUCH.
She and I have been friends for forever, and we can both talk a blue-streak about everything under the sun, and not come up for air for hours. We are kindred spirits, she and I.
Bill and I? NOTSOMUCH. Because he's a guy. Soooo...
So, obviously, I was worried sick about what would happen in the next few minutes. Would the surgery go well? Would Baby Clark be okay?
I've already said how I am not a fan of awkward silences, and so I felt the need to fill the space with sound. I mean, I'm laying on a gurney, covered with a blanket...in a room alone with Dr. Bill. I started by thanking him for coming. I was shocked that he drove down to be there with us. He is one of the busiest people I know. He's a doctor but I was not his patient. It meant so much to Jim to have him there. I wanted to tell all of this to Bill, but I stumbled over my words and the tears began to flow.
Like it wasn't already awkward enough.
I just remember him telling me to be still and rest...and even tho it went against everything in my spirit to just close my eyes and lay there, that's what I did. I focused on my breathing, slowing it down. I focused on the voices. When Jim got back in there, I could hear him talking with Bill, but I didn't open my eyes or comment. I focused on the goodness of God, knowing that whatever happened in the delivery room in those next few minutes, He was in control and He would use it for my good.
So, back to today...from the back seat of the car, Faith asked me why Clark was born so early, and I started telling her what we knew...how the placenta looked like it was attached, like from the ultrasound images...but in reality, it was attached only on the sides, allowing blood to puddle underneath. And how the blood would be released in waves...and then my body would think it was time for the baby to come...and I went into labor.
They tried to stop my labor with drugs, and that kinda-sorta worked for a short time...but after a week, Clark was on his way and there was no stopping it. In that week of waiting, tho, I had rested in the hospital. I was away from my family and friends. I had hours and hours with nothing to do...nothing but to be still and rest...so that's what I did day and night. And I read my Bible and prayed like crazy.
Faith and Joshua were in the backseats. I was having the conversation with Faith about Clark's birth...along with Jim chiming in as he drove.
My sweet Joshua, who has a VERY hard time hearing unless he is close to the person and there's not much background noise...heard enough to know that he wanted to contribute to the conversation, and so he does. While I am telling the above story to Faith...about the circumstances that led up to Clark's birth, Joshua is back there having his own conversation with Faith..."and I was in the 2nd grade...in Mrs. Faith's class. I didn't know what was going on...and I went in the bathroom and no one could find me...I was in there crying because I was worried about my brother and my mom...and Mrs. Faith found me and gave me a hug..."
All of this was going on while I was talking. I glanced back at Faith at one point, and she had the most confused look on her face. She was trying to listen to what Jim and I were saying, but she was also trying to listen to Joshua, who had NO CLUE that the rest of us were deep in conversation. Bless her heart...she wanted Joshua to know that she was sincerely interested in what he was having to say, but also trying to have this other conversation. And every time she would ask us a question, Joshua would respond in his own way...AT THE SAME TIME...WHILE WE WERE TALKING. Poor Faith! Her eyes were going from Joshua to us to Joshua to us.
The last thing I heard Joshua say was, "born at 8:03."
Jim mumbled under his breath to me, "I don't know what he is talking about because I'm pretty sure Clark was born at 9:12 on 2/12." I said, "well, he's gone from Clark's birth story...to his own...and he was born at 8:03."
When there is more than one conversation going on, it's difficult to hear any of them clearly or get an accurate picture of what is being said or described. We can get bits and pieces of each conversation without getting the real truth. We could end up agreeing to wear the puffy shirt on the Tonight Show. Seinfeld, anyone?
We need to turn off the background noises in our lives...spouses, kids, work, parents, carpool, church activities, friends, social media...and take some time to focus on the Only Voice we need to hear.
Be still and rest...
"...Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10