January 14, 2014 was a big day for Stacey and me.
It was an even bigger day for our nearly six-month-old son Nolan.
He was scheduled for open-heart surgery to repair a heart defect he was born with.
Even though we were assured the AV canal repair had a 98% success rate we still were nervous knowing our son’s heart would be stopped as he was placed on the bypass machine.
We knew people were praying and we knew God had not forgotten us, yet it was impossible not to be nervous as we drove silently along the dark, empty highways at 4:30 in the morning.
Every now and then Stacey or I would start to cry quietly.
We’d squeeze hands as we continued towards the hospital and it helped take away some of the fear.
I had told Stacey I would take Nolan from her and hand him to the nurses when it was surgery time.
After all, I’m the man, and there’s no way she’d ever let him go.
Children’s Hospital in Seattle is a wonderful and horrible place at the same time.
It’s wonderful because of the incredible doctors and nurses and people there. It’s horrible because it’s just so heart breaking to be there.
After we checked in and Nolan’s vitals were recorded the waiting game began.
Each passing moment became more and more difficult.
Finally some kind, soft-spoken nurses arrived.
Stacey rocked him and kissed him. She handed him to me.
I couldn’t believe what I was feeling.
It didn’t make any sense. I didn’t want to let him go. I couldn’t.
He was safe in my arms. Letting him go was risky. He was out of my control.
What would happen? Would he make it? Would I get to hold him again?
I just cried and prayed.
“God please watch our son. Jesus, hold his hand. Heal our boy.”
We had to let him go.
Healing could not / would not happen if we held on.
Nolan’s healing was found after we released him into God’s care and the expertise of the surgery team.
After four and half hours and many updates along the way it was time to go see our Nolan.
His scar was startling and all the stuff hooked up to him made him look like a little baby Frankenstein.
But he was so beautiful and peaceful.
Resting and waiting for his healing to begin.
16 days later we got to go home. He began to smile again. And it finally felt like Nolan was coming back to us.
Life is full of times when the need to let go is clouded by a temptation to hold on.
Past hurts, abuse, guilt, shame, regret are often things we feel the need to keep hold of.
We somehow think we can heal while keeping these issues close.
In truth, just like for Nolan, our healing is found when we let go.
It may feel like you just can’t let it go, but you must, healing is waiting for you once you do.
God is good. Healing comes in various forms and timeframes. Trusting Jesus, our healer, is an exercise of faith no matter who you are.
Today is a great day to let go of some of things you’ve been onto for far too long.
Forgive someone. Forgive yourself.
Let go. Let the healing begin.
Before too long, just like Nolan, you’ll begin to smile again.