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It is  1:30 in the morning and I’m due to fly back to London in the next 4 hours. In typical ‘man fashion’ I’ve just finished some last minute packing. The last task before I go back home is to see my little Boy. I eventually make the trip to the hospital for the final time, to see Joel.

The nurse looks quite surprised to see me. She asks ‘what are you doing here at this time?, I reply ‘to see my son before I travel back to London in the morning’. Usually they wouldn’t allow any visitors at such a time but given the circumstances she was gracious and allowed me to say my goodbyes.

Having visited this hospital every single day for near enough three and a half weeks, I’ve become almost immune to the sounds and sights of the hospital. That night in particular, I managed to drown out everything, except my only son. 

He’s fast asleep, wrapped in several blankets with an oxygen mask attached to his tiny face. I wanted to hold him just one more time but alas it wasn’t possible. I placed my hand in the incubator and place my finger in his hand. Joel held on so tightly to my finger, a grip so strong you wouldn’t believe he is but a mere few weeks old. He refused to let go. For some that seems like a very normal thing for a child to do and you would be right, however, for me it was almost magical. It was as if Joel was saying ‘Dad, it’s going to be ok, you do what you need to and I will do the same’. I’m not a superstitious in the slightest but I genuinely believe it was a sign. Although, he can not articulate, I’ve never heard a baby speak so clear by merely a gesture.

I stayed there as long as I could, praying that God would just heal my son and bring him home safely. Through this whole time, he held on relentlessly, not letting go at any moment. All manner of thoughts are running through my heard and I’m pleading with God that somehow, he would make my son well.

Uncertainty is a terrible feeling in a situation like this, especially when the outcome is completely out of your hands. There isn’t a single thing I can do and it pains me, more so because I’m about to leave and be so far away, needless to say I felt like I’m of no use right now. I can’t begin to explain to you the emotion I felt at that very moment. 

“Nevertheless, I trust”.

I’ve heard countless christians use the phrase “Trust God” in conversation with me before. A phrase, while drenched in positivity, can sometimes leave me feeling somewhat discouraged. Why? Because it forces me to take the current situation out of my own hands and leave it in the hands of a sovereign God. I can no longer dictate the outcome, and whether I would like to or not, I have to give it over to the one who knows best. This is the only thing I am the master of.

So that’s what I’ve decided to do. I’ll put aside my fear, doubt and anxiety, and simply leave it to God. I can only cling to hope at a time like this. Don’t be deceived, I do this in reluctance, but just maybe that is how God wants it to be so I can truly understand his greater plan for Joel.

Joel is currently 33 weeks, and thankfully he’s eating via a tube and breathing as well, but he’s not well enough to be discharged from hospital. We have to wait, there is simply no other option.

While I head back to London, making sure we have a roof over our head, my wife stays in Portugal with our precious son as he fights for his very existence.

If there was ever a time I need your prayers, now is surely the time.

Written by Daniel (db)

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