I think the first time I really felt the power of prayer was when I was the lone female counselor for a week long canoe trip. Yes, you heard correctly. It was the summer after my freshman year in college and I was working at a daycare for the summer. This particular daycare was housed in and run by a church so for the week of Vacation Bible School each year, the daycare shut down. I decided to volunteer my help for the week at Bethany Birches Camp in Vermont, where I had worked the previous two summers. I expected to serve in the kitchen, or assist a counselor, but was shocked to be asked to co-lead the canoe camp. As it turned out, they had a dozen or so teen guys sign up for the trip, and one lone female. They had a male counselor but obviously couldn't send the group out with just one female. So I was it.
I don't think I had ever even been in a canoe prior to this experience. Keep in mind that I hate boats. I get sea sick. Granted, they need to be a little larger than a canoe for me to get sea sick, but the association kills me everytime I'm near water for a purpose other than swimming. Besides that, my family had once been enjoying a lovely afternoon on Lake Wallenpaupack in the Pocono Mountains when we witnessed a crash between two speed boats. No cell phones back in the day and no 9-1-1 so we were the trauma response team until we could reach land. This traumatic experience colored every future endeavor involving boats of any kind.
Yet here I was, about to row a canoe for a week, portage with a large pack on my back and a canoe over my head, and pretend that I had been doing this my whole life. Thankfully the other counselor had been a mountain man for all of his life and he and his equally adventurous dog ran the show.
So, before embarking on my first an only week-long canoe trip, I asked some people to pray for me. I memorized John 14:27 so I could put it on repeat in my brain:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
And I had a wonderful week! I portaged like a trooper. I survived a week of being wet and damp, and all of my belongings as well. I did have the peace that passes all understanding and I most certainly felt the prayers of my family and friends. I might have even toyed with some delusions of being slightly adventurous.
So, yes, please know, that we feel your prayers. We know they are working. Please don't stop even though the end is in sight. Keep storming Heaven's gates to bring Big Vic home (Thanks, Nurse Amy, for the nickname).
Today the nurse practitioner told me that the inguinal hernia she noticed several weeks ago is gone. This is good news since this would have needed surgery to repair. He still has an umbilical hernia which may go away on its own or may need surgery down the road.
And now I get to hold him whenever I want! I'll probably stick to the same schedule we've been doing because it works for both of us but it feels more normal to know that I can choose when to hold my son.
Victor is just feeding and growing. Pray that we're out of here in three weeks! And pray that these three things happen in tandem:
1. Victor is released from the hospital
2. We have a court hearing
3. We (John, Victor, and I) are able to come home together