March Cloud of The Month!!April 1, 2010 6:08 pm 10 Comments
Dear Mark & Team,
Let me introduce you to a living miracle, Sullivan. Sullivan was born 14 weeks premature and adopted at 2 days old. Sullivan weighed 2 pounds 5 ounces and was 13 1/2 inches long at birth, but dropped to just under 1 pound within a few days. His birth parents never laid eyes on him; he was literally born with no one but Jesus at his side. He had no name so he was called “Baby Boy” by the hospital staff.
When his mother and I received the call by our adoption agency to come to the hospital we were exuberant to say the least. We’d been trying to have our first child for several years and going through the adoption process for about a year at that point, with several broken hearts along the way. At the time of our introduction to “Baby Boy” neither we nor our agency had a good understanding of Sullivan’s condition, let alone whether he’d survive. Yet, when I looked through tear clouded eyes into a plastic box at a little boy who looked more like one of those shriveled mummy babies you see on the History Channel than a human baby, the Holy Spirit said to my heart, “Don’t worry. He’ll be fine. He’s your son,” all fears melted and complete peace reigned and coursed through my very being.
Sullivan had a rough road ahead of him, but we still had no grasp of the significance of his prematurity. You see, his birth mother was a severe drug addict, and at this point so was our son. The complications of the drugs along with the prematurity put Sullivan into a slim category for survival. A few days after his birth his doctor told us it would be foolish for him to guess at Sullivan’s survivability rate because it was too low for him to do so. Sullivan was air-evac’d to another hospital because he needed surgery near his heart if he was to survive. The surgery went well, but he was on death’s door for several days. God graciously brought our son through only to see him contract pneumonia.
One Wednesday night at about 8:30p.m. my wife and I sat across from each other at a restaurant talking about our son and praying for his improvement. Then my phone rang. Sullivan’s doctor was on the other line. She spoke words no father wants to hear, but words I will never forget, “If you want to see your son alive again, you’d better come soon. He probably won’t make it through the night.” It’s about 18 miles from where we were to the hospital and normally took us about 30 minutes at that time of night. I think God had every cop in town at the donut shop sale, because their were none around on that trip! On the way to the hospital my wife turned on our local Christian radio station to help calm our hearts. The most stirring song was playing, but we’d missed the beginning of it. Throughout that night at Sullivan’s side; watching him fight for every breath we prayed. But as I prayed my mind couldn’t help but return to the chorus of the song I’d heard earlier, “Can you hear me? Am I getting through tonight? Can you see him? Can you make him feel all right? If you can hear me, let me take his place somehow. See he’s not just anyone he’s my son.” Then I asked God for something I thought I never would. I leaned over his isolette, never taking my eyes off of this frail child, and prayed, “God if it means taking my life so he can have life, take it.”
The next morning Sullivan was stable, much to the doctor’s amazement. So, I went to get me and my wife a Starbuck’s. I turned on the same radio station we had listened to the night before and “He’s My Son” came on. As I sat and listened, I wept (much like I’m doing now). Yet again, the Holy Spirit confirmed something for me that had yet to become a reality – I’m a dad and he’s MY son. God had given me this “Baby Boy” and God would not abandon him, or us, now. This was something I’d preached to others for years as a pastor, but was now becoming a reality.
Sullivan made it through the night, but spent a total of 14 weeks in the hospital; contracting pneumonia several times, requiring many blood transfusions, having a couple of surgeries, and coming very close to death on more than one occasion. Throughout it all, we listened to Mark’s song and gained encouragement and strength.
Fourteen weeks later, Sullivan was ready to come home. We stayed overnight with him at the hospital his final two nights. In the middle of the night I got the munchies, so I told my wife I was going to the vending machines for a “healthy” snack. As I passed the waiting room I casually looked in. There, sitting in the dark, was a man with his head in his hands sobbing. Remember, I was passing by, not going in. The Holy Spirit said, “Hey jerk! Turn around. He needs you.” I stopped and went back. Within a matter of minutes the man had related an all too familiar story – his son was fighting for his life in the very room Sullivan had so many weeks earlier. After finding out he was a believer, I shared Sullivan’s story like I just did here. I encouraged him to listen to “He’s My Son,” prayed with him, and went back to my family; forgetting all about my midnight munchies. The next day, as we were leaving with Sullivan, a woman stopped me. She was crying. She asked if I was the man who had spoken to her husband the night before. Then she went on to tell me the reason he was in the waiting room. That man had given up on God and on his son, saying he’d lost all hope. She thanked me because my encouragement helped him have the strength to walk back into that hospital room. She said he had hope again and that he was ready to walk through this trial with God.
Mark, thanks. Thanks for having the willingness to walk through the valley of the shadow of death with others. Thanks for allowing God to use your musical gifts to encourage us in similar trials. “He’s My Son” not only encouraged me and my wife, but has been used to encourage a score of others along the way, not to mention the lost who have heard the gospel in the process.
David and Heather S
Click Here to watch video made by Sullivan’s Father
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This post was written by oddmotion