Christmas was a time of special blessing for tiny Samuel. One of the NICU nurses made him a warm, red flannel sheet with white snowflakes on it, and another of the nurses knit him a snug “Santa” hat. God bless dedicated nurses who go so far above and beyond to care for their tiny charges! As a special Christmas present, the grandparents were allowed into the NICU to say hello for a few minutes, although (of course) we still couldn’t touch Samuel…just look at him through the isolette and tell him how much we love him. That will be our only chance to see Sammy until they lift the ban on visitors due to influenza in our area.
I was thinking about knitting. One of my girlfriends said she was going to put a pair of knitting needles in the window in front of her kitchen sink to remind her to pray for Samuel, that God will continue to knit him together until he’s fully developed and gets safely home to Dan and Brianna. What a great idea! I received Christmas greetings from all over the world saying that friends have been praying for Samuel Azariah, and tears sprang to my eyes when I realized that the prayer request at the bottom of one friend’s Christmas update was for our little Sammy! In our new Sunday school class, two different couples approached us to say they’d been praying for Samuel before they ever met us because some totally non-related friend had asked them to pray! Not only is God knitting Sammy together, God is knitting us together as a body of those who believe in the power of prayer: “…from whom [Christ] the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:16). We are growing in our faith and in our love for one another while Sammy is growing in his tiny body! And, there has been a dramatic improvement in Samuel’s health this week too! He still needs help with his breathing and nutrition, but he’s gone from 1 pound 8 oz. (his low with pneumonia just a 3 weeks ago) up to 2 pounds 11 oz…which is such a miracle after watching him only gain and then lose a few ounces back and forth for several weeks.