Thursday, October 22, 2009

Life with Miracles

At first glance Max Brooks looks like any other sweet little baby boy. With twinkling eyes, and chubby little cheeks dressed in matching pajamas just like protective big brother Clay. Max was born with a rare, severe form of sleep apnea called hypoventilation. This has resulted in several surgeries and now leaves young Max with the constant presence of a trach. So soon after his birth the Brooks family realized that they had some decisions to make and took to heart that it takes a village to raise a child. They made the decision to move their family from Sevierville, TN back to Cookeville, TN in order to be closer to family, which provided a much needed and appreciated support system. The Brooks family has been showered with love, prayers, and helpful hands. This is a family of fighters, believers, and constant prayers. While the road ahead maybe a gravel one, little Max is already reaching milestones, and proving miracles are to be believed in!!! I want to thank Max's Mother, Dusti, and her family for allowing me to share their story with my readers.

Walking through Your Tragedy like it’s a Comedy
By: Dusti Brooks

The Celtic Christians had a name for the Holy Spirit. They called him the Wild Goose. The name hints to the mysterious nature of the Holy Spirit, much like a wild goose. The Spirit of God cannot be tracked or tamed. An element of Danger and an air of unpredictability surrounds Him.

I understand that a wild goose chase typically refers to a purposeless endeavor without a defined destination. But chasing the Wild Goose is different. The promptings of the Holy Spirit can sometimes seem pretty pointless, but rest assured, God’s working His plan. And if you chase the wild goose, He will take you places you never could have imagined going, and by paths you never knew existed.

I’ve had a few tragic situations in my life that turned to laughter. Such as the time when I picked up an electric drill and began playing with it while my little two year old sister was close by. I got her hair caught in it and the only solution at the time was to yank it out, but with that left a perfectly round spot in the middle of her head. It was tragic. Even then she had great hair. We can laugh about it now but then not so much.

Another time was when we got pregnant with our first son Clay. We were not planning on having kids anytime soon and I was devastated. I was still in college. I had a lot planned and kids were not in the picture. I thought this baby had ruined my life. I was scared I would resent him for upsetting my plans. To me, at the time, it was tragic. I wanted to get a good job. I never wanted to be a stay at home mom. Then baby Clay came and has been the one to wake me up with a smile on my face most everyday!

So then we had a not so tragic beginning with our second pregnancy. We tried for 6 months and found out Jan 18th we were expecting!!! The timing felt perfect. Clay was becoming more independent. Daniel had a good job. We were thrilled. Then we found out it was another boy!! We wanted Clay to have a buddy.

I knew the day I was going to have little Max. I had my bag packed and Max’s diaper bag ready with his sweet little coming home outfit. I got Clay ready. I picked up Daniel from work. Dropped Clay off at Staci’s, and off we went to the Dr’s office with no labor pains at all, but I just knew. 13 hours later, here came little Max!!

And the room was silent. Daniel didn’t move from my bedside. I asked him to get some pictures of Max and he quickly returned. I kept asking, “Is he ok?” “Is everything alright?”. No response. I was then given some morphine and it got a little hazy after that. When I woke up my dad had just walked in the room, very solemn, with his arms crossed. He said nothing. Without hesitation I asked, “He died didn’t he?” Dad jumped back and said “Oh no, no, no, but there is something wrong. The doctor is on his way to talk to you.” It was more than tragic. I was devastated. I couldn’t even hold him. They wheeled him in a little isolate where I could only stick my hands through and touch him. He did not want to breathe on his own. I was confident nothing big was wrong. I loved God. I had been serving Him since I was 15. We were youth pastors for crying out loud. We had to be covered from crazy things like this.

So I stood strong…until day 14 came in the NICU. We were suppose to go home at day 7 they had said but still we had no answers and a baby on life support. Then day 21 came and he was tested for a rare genetic syndrome that is simpler said as a rare form of sleep apnea. I knew God was just going to heal him so I tried not to worry. Day 26 Max had tracheostomy surgery where they placed a trach in his throat so he would not have to intubated and sedated. At that time he had been sleeping with drug assistance for 26 days. We could barley touch him. When we did it would cause him to stir which would cause his intubation tube to move. That would gag him and cause him to throw up.

But with no sedation our Miracle Max began to shine! Everyday with Max was different. We had good days and hard days. But one thing is remained the same, Whose Name we called on. Everyday we cried out to the God we knew saw our every tear, heard our every frustration and listened by being all we needed. I never felt abandoned. He was ever present and I knew He was the giver of life.

Max began to do so well we decided to try him off the ventilator. Before this he was 24 hour vent dependent. He went 7 hours the first day, 10 the next, 13 after that and his labs were coming back just beautiful. My prayer began to change to what Max needed that day, not a generic prayer of “God please heal my son.” Max had specific needs so that’s how I began to pray.

Psalm 23:2 says “He lead me beside still waters.” He leads me. God isn’t behind me yelling GO! He is ahead of me bidding, come! He is in front of me clearing the path, cutting the brush, showing the way. Just before the curve he says turn here. Prior to the rise, He motions step up here. Standing next to the rocks he warns, watch your step here. He leads us. We will find grace to help us when we need it Hebrews 4:16. He places himself between you and the need.

And I began to not be moved. Because I was not longer leading me anymore. My Sheppard was. But sometimes it takes a shipwreck for God’s plans to succeed. So how we handle these shipwrecks determine whether our lives become a tragedy or a comedy. We can not always control what happens but we can control our response. You still get to choose your attitude. The ending to your story is entirely contingent on whether you turn to Jesus. If you don’t, the tragedy stays a tragedy, but if you do, the tragedy ends and the fairy tale begin. Not to leave out where Jesus said in this world you will have trouble. Bad things happen to good people, but when you give Jesus complete control over your life, He begins writing His story through your life.

Soon after Max’s tracheostomy surgery, he had to have a feeding tube put it because he was aspirating. Six months later it was removed. He is now only on the vent at naptime and nighttime!! Dr’s said he would never talk. He says dada, bubba, and bye bye! He has hit every developmental milestone. Trying to walk at the moment. The doctors have exciting plans for Max’s future.

So what are we doing now? RUNNING!!! For our life, for Clay’s life, for Max’s life. Why? Because we hear Him calling Come, Believing everyday that our wild goose chase is not pointless but strategically mapped out into the story God has written out for our lives!

If I could be any encouragement to where you are in life, I would say trust the leading of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes it may feel pointless, but He knows what he is doing. Sometimes it may take longer than expected, but the last sentence of your story has yet to be written so have hope and be confident in the author of your life!


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