In many ways we are grateful for this day. We are grateful that our loving God chooses our path for us and then leads us along the way. There are certain roads in life that we would not necessarily choose for ourselves, but God knows they are best. In His infinite sovereignty He sees all and knows all. From this Divine perspective, He leads in His perfect way. The path may not always seem perfect to us because we can't see the big picture, but to Jehovah God, the way is perfect. Katelyn and I have begun to learn what it means to truly depend on the Lord. Joel's health made us aware very quickly that we are completely unable to take care of or raise Joel in our strength and ability. While Joel was in the NICU, we felt utterly helpless. We knew that Joel was entirely in the hands of our loving Savior & Lord. As Joel's parents, the Lord has showed us that now and throughout the rest of Joel's life, we are completely and entirely helpless without the Lord. This is a lesson we never desire to forget.
Also, we are thankful for learning to appreciate little joys. You know, at times we begin to expect things in life. We expect everything to go good, for everything to "normal," for life to be as "easy" as possible. However, this is not the way of our loving God. He has taught us to enjoy little things. Like after not holding our son for a week, I was able to hold him on Sunday, or maybe it was the joy of being "allowed" to change his diaper after several days of being in the NICU. We even loved going to the hospital each morning and evening because we were going to see our son. These little joys would have never been learned had Joel come home when we thought he was supposed too. Thankfully, God's plan is far above ours and His plans did not fit according to ours.
Today, Thursday, February 5th, Joel came home. We left the hospital about 11:45 this morning with a beautiful (or handsome, whatever you prefer:) little boy in the back seat. He is so precious. We love having him home. It is wonderful to see him without all the monitors or other things attached to him. Our hearts are truly over joyed in how the Lord has brought him home to us. Thank you to those of you who have been praying for Joel. The doctor and nurses were very surprised that he came home so quickly; they expected him to be in the NICU for much longer seeing that his condition was so grave just one week ago. But, we are confident that God heard the prayers of His children. Should we be surprised that our God hears prayer as He has promised to do for those who love Him and are called according to His Name? Surely not - God is faithful and for this we are grateful.
We are going to continue posting blogs as Joel grows and changes. Lord willing, this will give you a little insight into the Schroeder house over the next months. Below are pictures from today! We hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoy our son!
This is Joels' last feeding before leavning the NICU.
Our family picture once we came home :)