Smitten wife. Joyful mother of 3 boys.
MOM – Mother of multiples. Twins in fact.
MOP – Mother of preemies.
MOSNC – Mother of special needs child.
Reader. Writer. Artist. Wisdom seeker. Truth finder. Word nerd.
Lover of sweets. Encourager. Sporty. Wretched sinner saved by grace.
Broken. Cinnamon gum addict. People person. Received forgiveness I don’t deserve. Procrastinator. Forgetful. History buff. Fearful at times.
Passionate. Stubborn. Indecisive.
On a daily quest to really know Christ, not just say I do. Committed to know the heart of Jesus and to give him the whole of mine.
I am…a recovering Pharisee.
The heart of my testimony lies in Mark 7:6 This people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. At the birth of premature twin sons chaos ensued. My tiny two pound tot Isaiah endured:
- 7 months at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital NICU in Nashville, TN directly followed by
- 4 additional months at Boston Children’s Hospital NICU
- Necrotizing enterocolitis, osteopenia, very low birth weight, short gut syndrome, c-difficile, liver failure, illeostomy, multiple central lines, diminished immune system, oral dysphagia, feeding tube, complete TPN (total parental nutrition) and lipid dependency, chest wall rigidity, 6 broken ribs, multiple episodes of sepsis
- 3 distinct and unforgettable near death health crisis’s
- 13 operations
- Liver failure
- Baby #91 in the Omegaven Clinical Trial in Boston, MA…
To put this abbreviated list into perspective, my son hit not one but two LIFETIME maximums on his health coverage’s. Both maximums were more than 5 million dollars. In addition to Isaiah’s critical illnesses my husband and I cared for his twin Joshua. While healthier than his brother, he spent close to 3 months in the NICU and had 1 surgery to insert a feeding tube. Elijah, their older brother was only 17 months old at the time of their birth.
Isaiah spent his first night at home when he was nearly 1 year old. When he arrived he had a central line, a feeding tube, a home health nurse and medication infusions around the clock. We spent week after week, month after month and year after year juggling the daily realities of 3 healthy little boys not to mention 2 with special needs. There were weekly doctor’s office visits as well as physical, occupational and feeding therapies. Not only that but my husband was out of work for 6 months after being let go the day after his job protected family and medical leave was exhausted.
Needless to say, my world turned upside down. When this tsunami of life hit I was ill prepared. My comfortable, beautiful rug was jerked from underneath me and my house of cards toppled. The rocky foundation I was so sure held me up was exposed for the sinking sand it was. Emotions I had never had a problem with began to surface. Anger, bitterness, resentment, self-pity, fear and doubt took up residence in my mind and heart.
On the inside I was slowly dying but on the outside I kept my happy face on. I wouldn’t let anyone into the ugliness of what I was really thinking and feeling. “Why is this happening to me? What did I do? You can handle this Callie. You’re not supposed to be feeling what you’re feeling. Just keep pretending Callie, it’ll get better soon.” But it didn’t. The pain and hurt were real. Even after being diagnosed by 3 different doctor’s with PTSD I refused to accept it. There was little I could control and that loss of control put me on a path that led to destruction.
Our families storm affected our child and that makes it seems worse than any other, but as you well know EVERYONE experiences life’s storms to one degree or another. Most buildings seem strong and well built on the outside but until a massive storm comes along and exposes it’s foundation you don’t actually know what lies underneath. The same is true of our hearts. They are revealed and exposed for what they really are when trials and tribulations hit.
At that point, all the professions we’ve made are put to the test. Mine didn’t hold up. After a 32 year profession of Christianity I was exposed for the hypocrite I was. Through a series of excruciatingly painful events and by God’s amazing grace upon a wretched sinner, I had an encounter much like Paul on the road to Damascus. God pulled me from the pit of despair and placed a new heart within me. It was at that moment I experienced true conversion. I thought I was a Christian. I had been since I was 5 when I prayed the sinners prayer! I knew I was not perfect but I was ok, right?
Like scripture describes the Pharisee’s, I outwardly appeared righteous unto men but within was full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Like them, I cleaned the outside of the cup while inside was dirty. I had for 32 years honored God with my mouth while my heart was far from him.
When God picked me up from the floor of my bedroom I was terrified of being who I’d always been. That’s all I’d ever known. A precious friend told me, “Callie, have more faith in God’s ability to keep you than in your ability to fail.” Those words have stayed with me when fear of my own failure is high. Psalm 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart O God, thou will not despise.” The Hebrew meaning to the word despise is to turn away. God promises that when my heart is broken and contrite he WILL NOT turn me away. I have endeavored since the day of my true conversion to cry out to God for a broken and a contrite heart.
I have always loved writing, but that day I began to really write. I have logged more than 15 personal journals to God. On the pages of my journals I make sure that I pour out my heart to him. Daily. Continually. For real. I found Him to be so loving, so kind and so patient. I found that he is not put off by my questions about him but faithful to answer them. I found a love my heart never knew. Through those pages I am falling in love with love himself.
This blog is birthed from a heart deeply burdened by the countless men and women who profess Christianity but like I did, draw near to God with their mouths only while their hearts are far from him.
Perhaps disappointments and hardships in your own life have left you questioning your faith. While difficult, I believe that is a wonderful place to be. Pain causes us to question things that can be asked by no other means. The trials I experienced above rocked my theology to the core. Christ said, “ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
Greater than the tragedy of going through a tragedy, is to go through it and do nothing with it. So together let’s ask, seek and knock! Journey with me as I seek to give my whole heart to Christ and to fall in love with love himself.
May the grace and peace of our Lord be with you as you do the same.