Thursday, September 1, 2011


Our church puts out a monthly publication, called The Bethany Beacon. This month I wrote a little something for them to add to it. I wanted to update those at our church, who may not know Gavin's full story, on how he is doing. I also wanted to share my thoughts on how blessed we are to have Gavin in our lives.....and most importantly, how blessed we are to be dependent on God!

Since what I wrote pertains to Gavin, I thought I'd put it on the blog to share it with all of you! So, here you go!

Reflections on (In)dependence

This year on the Fourth of July, I began reflecting on our independence. Every year as this holiday rolls around, I am aware just how blessed we are to live in a nation where we are granted the freedoms that we, as Americans, are blessed to have! It feels so freeing to celebrate, what so many countries do not have the opportunity to possess. This year as we celebrated our nation's independence, I suddenly had a revelation about just how independent we are.

I have Gavin to thank for this revelation.

I am often asked how Gavin is doing. I enjoy sharing my sweet boy with others, and I look forward to talking about him with whomever shows interest in his wellbeing. One of the questions I am often asked, "Is Gavin crawling yet?" The answer to this question is way more complex than, "No, he's not." So, if you've ever wondered just how well Gavin is is a short update on his life.

Gavin's life started out very fragile.......but we had no idea just how fragile he would become. At 7 months of age, after having several cardiac surgeries, Gavin was doing quite well. Things were looking up for him and our family, but while recovering at a local hospital, an unexpected mistake occured. Due to this profound error, Gavin suffered a hypoxic brain injury, otherwise known as a stroke. The stroke left Gavin's brain severely damaged. His entire brain was affected. There was nothing that could be done to correct what had happened. But, God kept him alive, despite the fact that doctors thought he wouldn't survive. We are very thankful for this gift!

This leaves us to the present day. Gavin turns 5 years old this month, and yet, he is only at a 4-6 month old level. And, he is unlikely to progress much further. In fact, Gavin is totally dependent on many for his survival in this world. He is dependent on a pacemaker and cardiac medications to keep his heart pumping. He is dependent on medications to prevent him from having seizures, and also for helping his lungs to breath properly. He is dependent on a feeding tube inserted directly into his stomach, in which to gain nourishment and fluids to grow and live. He is dependent on many doctors to keep him healthy and well. He is totally dependent on his family. In fact, without us holding him up into a sitting position, he would fall right over. He also depends on us to change him, position him, help him when he is gagging, administer his nourishment and medications, give him breathing treatments, move him from place to place.....and the list goes on!

Gavin is far from independent!

Some people might look at Gavin with pity, because he is so reliant on others. The truth is, Gavin is probably the happiest person that I know! He is a bright light in this dark world. He is totally unaware of his dependence on others. He is free from the worries that most of us spend our days concerned with. I believe that most of us like to think that we are in control of our lives. We go about our days, making decisions and thinking that we are achieving plenty of goals. This makes me think about the bumper sticker that reads, "God is my co-pilot." The reality is, if we think that we are in the driver's seat, we had better switch seats quickly!

Since Gavin came into my life, and since having to care for his many needs, I've been made aware just how dependent we ALL are! Gavin is very dependent on others, but I like to think that his life also presents an opportunity to show others what a blessing it is to be dependent on Someone Else! Gavin's dependence may be very obvious to us all, but the truth is, we are all dependent. We are dependent on the maker of heaven and earth, our Almighty God! And, knowing this fact can truly set us free! Relying on our dependence on the Lord, is the best medication there is! When we fully depend on God, we are given the worry-free and joyful existence that our son Gavin is blessed to live. I am so thankful for the perspective that God has given me since Gavin came into our lives! And, I can't imagine going through life without my dependence on Him!

I remain grateful to possess the independence that comes from living in America, but I am even more grateful for the knowledge that as a child of God; my life is not my own.....and I am truly dependent on Him alone!

"He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength." Isaiah 40:29


Reagan Leigh said...

What a great post...and awesome perspective!!!

Amy said...

This is SO wonderful!! So glad you had this chance to share your story and enlighten others with your wisdom and grace. I'm so proud of you, my sweet sister!! xoxo

Lacey said...

Great post. Jax is the same way. No need for pity, he is always happy, without a care in the world. A ray of sunshine!

Annette Gysen said...

Thanks for sharing the lessons you've learned! I can't believe Gavin is almost 5! So many of us have learned so much from your amazing little boy.

Debbie said...

Really awesome....I think I need to keep this post in my back pocket, for "those" times.....a great reminder in what ways their dependence is a gift....if only I could be that dependent on God at the level Hudson is dependent on me....WOW! Thx

Carole Doty said...

Beautifully written dear Alicia! It brought tears to my eyes...tears of pride for you my dear daughter, and tears of joy for the knowledge of God's love and mercy. The best is yet to come! light up my life and I love you so much!!!!

April said...

Beautiful post! Your Gavin is such a light to so many! (and so are you!!)

Kara said...

His face is just radiant! My girls and I have been enjoying all the pictures of Gavin. My heart broke a little more when I read about how Gavin suffered a brain injury. I'm sure there must still be heart-breaking moments about what could have been (I still have those) but to see you having hope in the face of loss is absolutely beautiful.