As I sit in my son’s hospital room today I feel similar to the way I have in the past.
Children’s Hospital in Seattle has been home away from home for our son Nolan.
He’s spent nearly two months of his 19-month-old life here so far.
They are wonderful. The doctors and nurses take such good care of him and our family.
But looking across the room at our son with tubes, wires, IVs, and tape wrapped around him never gets easy.
This visit is another attempt to fight off a virus that has been attacking his under-prepared airways. A cold that would sideline you and me for a few days has the ability to do far worse to Nolan.
So here we sit. Here we cry. Here we pray.
Help our boy. Heal our baby. Hold him in your arms.
And I’m not exactly sure why, but it’s here I feel the same overwhelming feeling I’ve felt before.
I feel like Jesus is right here with us.
It seems strange on the surface.
I’m not sure I can fully articulate why. Maybe I should feel forgotten about. Maybe I should be shaking my fist at God or pretending like he doesn’t exist.
Because come on, how could a loving God allow a sweet little boy to go through so much?
But I really feel close to God in moments like these.
Maybe it’s because Jesus has a history of being close to the hurting. He has a history of touching the untouchables and loving the unlovables.
The truth is I tend to feel more distant from God when things are perfect. I pat myself on the back and congratulate myself for all the right decisions I’ve made that make my life so wonderful.
Silly. Embarrassing. Foolish.
God loves all his kids the same perfect way. Unconditionally.
But for now Psalm 34.18 is our verse:
If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there;
if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.
Thank you Jesus for being with us.
I need you. Nolan needs you. We need you to be close.
Thanks for your presence today. Help me sense your closeness everyday.
42 thoughts on “Close”
Beautiful. Thank you for sharing these words & feelings & thoughts. We’re praying.
Thanks for your friendship and leadership. Not being corny or anything, but the Peace and Rest book is a real help. It’s in Nolan’s ICU right now.
Praying! It is so true P. Andy. If we don’t struggle and have hardship we will never know or fell how good the Lord really is! He is with you and your family. Peace be with you all!
We receive his peace today. Thanks for praying Gillian.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. May God grant Nolan a speedy recovery. God bless
Thanks for your prayers Angela. Congrats to you on grand baby #3!!! Wow, Enzo is handsome.
So good AJL. Praying for a miracle in Nolans body today. Afterall, He is the God of miracles.
Amen. And thank you for the amazing cappuccino this morning.
Thank you for keeping us updated Andy. We continue to pray for our sweet Nolan and also for strength and comfort for you & Stacey.
Thanks PA. Thanks for pastoring our Andrea through this time as well.
Praying for sweet baby Nolan and family. Jesus please heal, comfort and protect. Hold sweet baby boy close and surround his Mama & Daddy with your presence. Thank you for your promises and healing. Amen.
Amen. Thanks for praying Coni.
Praying for sweet baby Nolan and all of you. Jesus, hold sweet baby Nolan close. Heal, comfort and protect. Surround his mama and daddy with your presence. Thank you for your promises, your healing, your love. Amen~
Hugs to you!!
I suppose we all go through valleys in life. Thanks for being supportive as we walk through this one.
Prayers for little Nolan, and hugs to you and Stacey. XOXO
Thanks Jolene. We miss you, Brian and the family.
Andy, I worked with Norm for several years until I retired in December. (Norm actually replaced me when I retired)
“Close” is an amazing post. I just wanted to let you know that I am partnering with you in prayer.
Thanks for taking the time to write Phil. My dad had many wonderful things to say about you. Thanks for praying with us.
My heart goes out to you and your sweet family in all that you are going through, but I am moved and grateful by how close Jesus is in all this. Praying for little Nolan and for renewed strength for each step on this long journey. Thank you for this powerful, beautiful post, Andy.
Thanks Jodi. We know God has good plans for Nolan.
Heart breaking and heart warming. Nolan is a very special kid and Jesus is working through him. Nolan will move mountains! Thinking of your family today and praying for him and his doctors and nurses.
Thanks Emily. Nolan is an amazing little man. You should meet him.
Andy and Stacy,
We love you guys and we are praying for you and your precious baby boy…I see all of the Ivs and medical treatment and instantly know from a nursing perspective how serious it is and then from a mothers perspective my heart breaks in two. I’m sorry that Nolan is sick…I’m sorry that you are having to face such turmoil…your words in your post are so honest and brave..thank you for sharing.
Hugs from the Colby’s
I bet pictures like that mean so much more to you Bria. You’re probably doing your own diagnosis as you look at it. Thanks for praying with Stacey and me.
i couldn’t say it better myself. Beautifully spoken. I pray for Nolan’s body to heal. Keep is updated. Prayers for Nolan xoxo
Cousin Erica and family ❤️
Thank you Erica. He is a tough little dude.
we are sending lots of love and prayers your way!
Thanks Laidlaws. Grateful to call you friends. You know, we should hang out… we live pretty close.
Andy, my heart goes out to you……Just remember that God does not give us more than we can handle. Stephen and I Pray Gods healing for Noah and Strength for you and your family. I leave you with Isaiah 43:2…..When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
Thanks for the scripture Jeana. We appreciate you and Stephen greatly.
Praying for the Holy Spirit to rest on you all as you wait and look torward hope and healing.
Thanks Amanda. We’re leaning on Him today.
Praying for you Pastor Andy & Stacey. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for being transparent and real. Excited to read the blog about Nolan’s soon miracle 🙂
Thanks for your kind words Amy. It’s weird for me to write about this stuff. I don’t pretend to have a corner on the market of painful experiences. We’re thankful to have people like you and Logan supporting and praying, even though you’re far away.
God’s powerful healing, peace and rest will surround you now and forever.
Amen. Thanks Kristin.
Thank you Andy- These moments you share with us are the things that help all of us as we face life’s struggles. We lean into God’s arms with you and for your sweet family.
It’s good to know we’re not alone in dealing with heartache. Thanks for your support, we’re grateful to have you, Brian and Ashah in our lives.
Andy….We will be praying for your little guy….we send our love to all of you…you and your family have always been special to me….some day hope to meet the kids… love ya.
Thanks Bea. I still remember you as my first Sunday School teacher years ago. I think it would be wonderful for you and Darrell to meet our kids someday.
Andy, that was well said. I think when things are going well we can get too wrapped up in ourselves forgetting that we need God ALL the time. Isn’t it nice to know that God never gets too busy for us and he is there ALL the time just waiting and wanting us to call out to him. Often times people quote Jer. 29:11 (and I’m doing this by memory so I might not have it perfect) For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (but the next verses which I rarely hear quoted are just as good) Then you will call upon me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and you will fine me WHEN you seek me with all your heart. Let’s seek him with all our heart on behalf of little precious Nolan. Nolan and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
Linda, you write as if you know something about this… Stacey and I are thankful for your friendship and example especially in dealing with heart wrenching stuff.