Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Leaf in Room 28

I walked around the corner and it smacked me in the 28 had the sticker with the leaf on it.

"A tiny leaf has fallen from the tree of life"

I volunteer at the hospital that Elle was born into. I started volunteering there in October. I knew that God was telling me to do it; to go back to the place where sorrow resides. Now, 4 months later, I know He wanted me to know that sorrow is not the only thing that resides there. There is Joy in that place; Joy and excitement and anxiousness and anticipation and dreams, lots and lots of dreams. There is newness and life; little tiny hearts that are beating wildly. There are Mommies and Daddies who are so nervous yet so happy; there are tears of Joy, for most.

There have been far too many deaths since I have started there in October. I was hoping that my presence there would somehow stop the cosmic forces and allow my sorrow to be the only sorrow there, but I was living in a dream thinking that would happen. There have been many and each one is devastating to me, the sorrow that those people are feeling punches me right in the gut and well, takes my breath away. This past Thursday was no exception.

I was stocking room 29, my normal duty there. I put all the linens in the rooms. I make sure all the Mommies have all that they need to be comfortable; towels and washcloths, those really sexy and self-esteem building mesh underwear, pee cups, gowns, blankets, sheets and pillowcases. I also stock the rooms with prayers; prayers calling down joy and peace and health and safety. I pray that those Mommies and Daddies will love their babies and treat them as the precious gifts that they are, I pray that they will know that God has given them a blessing that not all people get to experience. Well, as I was doing this, I was walking back to room 29 with arms full of towels and mesh underwear when I saw the sticker on room 28. 

I stopped in front of the room, in the middle of the hallway and just stared at the sticker. It all came rushing back to me. Our room, room 45, and our sticker and our silent room and our empty hearts. As I was standing there, a couple was walking toward me. I did not even see them. They stared at me as if saying, " Get out of the way chick". I just shook my head as they moved around me and I wanted to yell back "Hey, don't you know what that sticker means? You are going to see someone who has a baby but these people, they don't have a baby...theirs was taken!" After staring at the sticker for a while I realized that I had been in that room. I had just stocked room 28 two days before. My prayers were in that room. I had stocked that room for that Mommy and I had made up the baby bed for that baby that would never fill it. I had filled that room with prayers for joy and for safety and for peace. Tears filled my eyes as I slowly walked into room 29 to stock that room for the next Mommy and to fill it with prayers, again for safety and joy and peace.

I know now that my job there has nothing to do with me. Yes, the Lord wanted to show me, in his INFINITE LOVE, that joy does come out of that place and someday it will hold that for us. But, my job there is to pray. My job there has nothing to do with stocking shelves or cleaning IV poles, it has nothing to do with rolling heartbeat belts or working at the front desk. My job there is all about all those Mommies and all those Daddies and all those babies. It's about the Mommies that leave there with their babies and all those Mommies that don't. It's all about those prayers for peace and for strength. It's about the prayers for safety and for health. It's about the prayers for love and enjoying the blessings of God. God wants me to fill that place with prayers, and if that's the only thing I do there then that is good enough for Him.

I stayed close to room 28 most of the night, so curious about how they
 were doing. Were they surrounded by love? Were they feeling the effects of my prayers? Was joy around even though they were surrounded on all sides by sorrow? Was that Mommy and Daddy relying on Jesus? Did they know Jesus? My 'need to know' (as my husband calls it) needed to know! I didn't find out that night and I still don't know. All I can do is pray, I filled their room with prayers before they were ever even in it and I continue to pray for them now. Jesus knew who would be in that room and the prayers that they would need.

Next time you are running through the hospital to see that beautiful newborn baby, please fill that place with prayers. There may be tiny leaves there that have fallen off of the tree of life. Their families are there and they are in desperate need of the God who brings all peace and all joy. Those Mommies and those Daddies need it more than anything...

Jesus, be with the family in room 28. Be near to their hearts and bind up and mend all the brokenness. Bring them your peace that passes all the understanding that this world gives. Allow them to experience your joy in the midst of the sorrow. Bring a thankfulness to their hearts for the plan that you are always writing for our lives. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of praying for them before they ever even arrived. You knew, Lord, you knew. Thank you for teaching me all about prayer. Thank you for giving me your wisdom to see the things you are trying to teach me every day. Thank you for leading me to that place and allowing me to learn so many lessons there each week. I am in awe of the way you are intimately involved in my life every single day...

Elle's Mommy


Rachel said...

I am proud to call you my sister. I wanna be just like you when I grow up. I love you so much and I live her so much too :) Missing her terribly today

Elle's Auntie :)

Anonymous said...

I was at the hospital today with a friend, I got to see a family with this same brokenness, The grandmas and grandpas filling the entry ways with balloons and flowers, only to be met with a hospital nurse who told them the worse news that they have heard, and there in the hospital waiting room, they bared their souls and cried tears of sorrow, and all i wanted to do was cry for them, and pray over them and their sorrow, asking the same questions you did. I can not even begin to imagine their immense pain. Thank you for writing this!

Kim and Mat said...

Oh Nicki! You are a beautiful and amazing woman! God has, is, and will do so much through you and your willingness to be used. I love reading your blog and hearing your heart. Keep em comin!

April said...

"A tiny leaf has fallen from the tree of life" How sadly appropriate. Your strength is huge. I am amazed that you are able to volunteer on the unit where you too lost your sweet Elle. You are so selfless leaving your silent prayers for the next family who is blessed with life. They are lucky to have you ♥