My “Red Sea” and the stones of remembrance

When we had to rush Ronin into the ER, he was very close to dying.

I think it’s how quickly everything changed that makes it all seem so surreal. On December 9, two Saturdays ago, Ray and I said goodnight to the girls around 9:30pm, then started settling into our night together while Ronin napped in his swing. Less than two hours later it went from my husband reassuring me that everything was alright — to all the sensors beeping and the calm straining and Ray  s c r e a m i n g (!)  that we had to get Ronin to the emergency room.

Within minutes we were tearing out of the driveway.

I only had time to throw on sweats and a pair of sneakers (no socks), and swaddle Ronin in a blanket off our bed. He was only wearing a diaper and his oxygen. No time for his pulse ox, no time for a diaper bag, no time for the car seat.

The drive out to the ER is a blur of prayer and adrenaline. Time stands still when you’re not sure if this would be the last time you’d be holding your baby in your arms – not sure if God was already calling home the baby you’d barely just met.

At home he was turning purple from a lack of oxygen, but under the starry black skies and country street lights, Ronin looked perfectly content. I felt peace in my heart that if he were to die that night, I’d see him again in heaven. But I also felt God’s presence so strongly in that moment, letting me know that it wasn’t his time yet.

Somewhere between Edgewood and Canton, I knew that this would be my Red Sea – that God was using this night to reveal HIS MIGHTY POWER and that He was using this to strengthen my faith in Him.

Throughout my life, God’s given me so many shows of his gracious mercy and faithfulness. But as soon as they pass, I’ve always allowed myself to forget.

I think this is humanity.

We see God’s work in our lives, but then doubt creeps in. He leads us out of bondage, and we choose to grumble that we’re somewhere different. He gives us a new life, but we’re tempted to look back to our old one.

And to me, as a sinful + forgetful Christian, this seems like the most human prayer: “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

I want to be done with the fickleness of my unbelieving heart.  So for the first time, on that night, as I saw a miracle unfolding before me, I made the conscious choice to keep it locked in my memory. Something to hold on to as a lasting reminder of God’s faithfulness and His mighty acts. A way to remember how much He loves me.

I saw my husband going through a panic attack and everything was clouded in a dreamlike haze, but in that moment I only wanted to be in the center of God’s will. As much as my heart was aching, I only wanted to truly and deeply trust my Father. I knew that I’d find peace there because I knew I could trust Him with my son’s life. God’s been doing something amazing in Ronin’s life.

And again on that night, He was faithful to me.

So from now on, I’ll be faithful too.

In the book of Joshua, after God stopped the Jordan River to let the Israelites cross into the Promised Land of Canaan, He commanded Joshua to have 12 stones placed to memorialize the wonders He had worked on behalf of His people. “And he said to the people of Israel, ‘When your children ask their fathers in times to come, “What do these stones mean?” then you shall let your children know, “Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.” For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever.'” (Joshua 4:21-24)

These stones of remembrance in Joshua’s time were meant to encourage the people’s faith throughout the generations. My “stones of remembrance” are dog-eared memories of the miracles I’ve been blessed to witness firsthand; something to look to as I trust Him in the future. And something to point to as I share my story with others.

When the doctors said Ronin’s heart wouldn’t be operable, God was faithful. When Ray and I witnessed our 3-week-old baby being resuscitated by several doctors, God was faithful. In every one of my sweet boy’s smiles and giggles, God is faithful. And by how He’s changing me into the woman I’ve been called to be, God is faithful.

I am so very blessed.

Thank you, Lord, for your presence and gracious mercy. Thank you for being the author and perfecter of my faith. Thank you for loving me when I am unlovable, for showing me grace when I’m so undeserving. I’m sorry for my doubts and fears. I’m sorry for my forgetfulness. Please help me keep these miracles stored in my heart, so that I’ll always remember all of Your mighty works. Help me use the faith You’ve given me as a testament to Your strength alone.

In Jesus’ Mighty Name I pray, AMEN.

4 Comments

  1. I’m praying for little Ronin. He’s a precious baby. Also praying for all your family 🙏🏻🙏🏻❤️

  2. Oh my goodness Hayley, your heart for God is a breath of fresh air! You inspire and encourage me in my own walk. Praying for Ronin and all your family.

  3. Sending prayers and positive thoughts! Love to all!

  4. To God be honor and glory and power, NOW and forever.

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