The outpouring of love and support that we’ve received since Bailey went into the hospital is evidence of the overwhelming kindness of our merciful savior Jesus Christ. A consequence of that is that many more people desire updates than we have time to give personally. Thus, I thought it necessary to document as best as possible what is going on with our daughter for ease of sharing with concerned friends. Please understand how grateful we are for your love and support. The texts and calls and donations and offers of help have meant more to us than you will ever know in this life. And forgive me if this seems impersonal to you. I mean no offense.
I am going to try to provide an update on Bailey’s status, some history, and many examples of God’s wonderful providence on display throughout this whole trial.
Today is Tuesday, April 11, 2023. As of now, here is Bailey’s status. She is in the ICU at THE Ohio Status University Hospital and is under heavy sedation. Due to damage done to her brain, she was having seizures which have gotten under control with medicines, but those are bad signs. She went some period without breathing and the loss of oxygen to the brain has a disastrous effect.
Her brain is not doing the bare minimum things that brains do even without conscious thought. There’s a system that is (at least commonly) called the autonomic nervous system. Think of this as the part of the brain that handles things you don’t think about. Reflexes like gagging and pupil dilation. Digestion. Reacting to pain. Even breathing. The beauty and awe of these systems are evidence of how fearfully and wonderfully made we are by God.
Her brain is not doing all of these things on its own now. The further extent of her brain damage is unknown, and somewhat irrelevant if she doesn’t show that she can do these things.
This happens when your brain is deprived of oxygen. When she went into cardiac arrest on Easter morning, her brain stopped getting oxygen for an indeterminate amount of time. Thus, the plan is to slowly wean her off the sedation and seizure medicines and then watch and see if her brain takes over. After that, we’ll know more about what her future holds.
But the doctor we talked to today isn’t hopeful based on what the tests are showing. It sounds like there’s very little indication that Bailey may ever even breathe on her own, and, even if she does, she may never regain cognitive functions. We don’t know yet. But I want to remind you that where human research and wisdom are limited, God’s providential power to do whatsoever He pleases is not limited.
So, although God hasn’t promised physical healing to Bailey in His revealed Word, it is a good and right prayer to cry out to Him for physical healing for Bailey, and it is within the realm of His power to do so. Please keep praying for her.
We are facing some possibilities of decisions we’ll have to make which are normally only ethical dilemmas presented in philosophy classes. Pray we have God’s wisdom in the matter.
A lot of you may realize that you don’t know much about me or my family. This isn’t an intentional attempt to hide anything, but my wife and I were saved from situations where writing about or publicizing personal matters could be hurtful to people who may not want their dirty laundry aired. How do I put this exactly? What I am trying to say is that we are surrounded by people who have done some terrible things to us and out of concern for protecting their reputations and being cautious about gossip, I don’t always make public things that have been done to our family.
One day everything will be brought to light, and whether I’m the revealer of some of these things or not, I do not know. So I am going to reveal some things which previously had been kept private in the hope that sharing them helps others to avoid some pain.
There is a lot more history to share about Bailey, but for now, let me say that Bailey is a very troubled young lady. She is in the ICU as a direct result of the unwise choices she has made. She abused drugs and alcohol and it may be that it directly results in her death. We are dealing with conversations now where we are being prepared to think about “pulling the plug.” I don’t want to unnecessarily disparage my daughter, but I also want her situation to be a warning to others.
The end is not as glamorous as the parties.
No one has stopped by and said, “Hi, I used to party with your daughter and wanted to see how she is.”
It’s desperately sad. And I’ve revealed very little of the depth of this.
One thing that needs to be clarified is that I adopted Bailey. I know people don’t mean harm by the things they say sometimes, but to be clear she is not my step-daughter, nor is she Erin’s daughter (to the exclusion of being MY daughter). I don’t take it personally when people clarify this truth, because yes, I am not blood-related to Bailey and that’s a distinction that can be made for the sake of accuracy. But I am sure I speak for all adopted people and parents who have adopted people when I say she is MY DAUGHTER just like a girl you yourself gave birth to is yours. Bailey is as much my daughter as she is Erin’s.
Phil Johnson preached what is still my go-to sermon to review regularly and point others to when I want to help them understand how, as cessationists, we are more certain of God’s involvement in our daily lives than even your most charismatic friend. I highly recommend it to you. In fact, I stole his title for this blog post…it’s such a good title!
For this post, I want to share how God has put his providence on display to us through this situation. God’s providence is his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all of his creatures and all their actions. He is in constant and perfectly detailed control at all times. His providence is most recognized in the “normal” everyday occurrences of life that we most commonly refer to as coincidences or serendipity.
But to the Christian who knows the One true God of the universe, everything is predetermined by Him and there is nothing that is outside His ordination. There is comfort in knowing this, and once in awhile, God gives us glimpses of how our circumstances are truly ordained for the good of His elect and His glory by letting us see a good result even during a trial by fire.
Our Friend Tom
When Bailey was taken to the hospital, instead of being in Dayton where she lived, she was in Marysville at the time of her cardiac arrest. Then she was transferred to the Ohio State University in Columbus where her mother and I live. On Sunday, when Erin went to be with her, I said, “You should text Sue and find out if Tom is working today. He might be able to stop by.” Our Christian friend Tom is an RN at the hospital and not only was he working but he said he was “only 100 feet and a flight of stairs away.” He came to visit multiple times which was supremely comforting as I could not be at the hospital with my wife and daughter until Tuesday.
In fact, in another remarkable work of providence, my typing was interrupted by Tom coming to visit us just now. What a dear friend and what a merciful God we serve. We had a great conversation just now.
God worked out this little detail which stuck out big to us as a work of his kindness. How many more things is He doing we won’t recognize or see because of our own sinful view of the world or our own bad theology of His control.
A Pastor in Texas
Half a year ago I consulted with a dear pastor named Jonathan Murdock in Texas regarding some help I needed with a church situation. Our conversation was brief, but I felt like we made a friendship due to the power of the Holy Spirit and the unity we share in Christ. We didn’t stay in touch afterward, but his name made it into my contacts.
When this whole ordeal began, one of the complications was that I rushed out of bed to Bailey’s boyfriend’s house so I could pick up her almost 2-year-old son, my grandson before children’s services took him. Now Kylen has been living in Atlanta with his paternal grandmother for most of his life anyway, so when grandma contacted me and said she’d be happy to take him so that he could be with family while we minister to Bailey, I was very grateful.
Except children’s services had other ideas. When I picked him up, I effectively took custody of his, so when I was on my way to meet Ky’s grandmother in northern Tennessee on Monday morning, CPS called me and told me that I could not take him out of the state to leave him in her care. There’s a longer story, but they were just trying to do their job and follow the law and meant no harm. But it was while this was happening that I got a text message from Jonathan Murdock telling me that “if there was anything he could do that I should not hesitate to ask.”
Since I believe that the prayers of a righteous man are effective, and in God’s providence he put Jonathan at the top of my Messages app at that time, I decide to ask him to pray about that specific situation with CPS. He did, and after a few hours, the children’s services called me and said I was approved to give the baby to his grandmother and the case was closed. What had been a stressful circumstance was worked out by God even through the providence of His praying saints.
Throughout the dealings with child protective services, I was tempted to sin by anger, rudeness, harshness, frustration, and impatience. But God delivered me from those temptations and made my words kind and gentle with the State of Ohio. I don’t know if that affected their decision, but it had the effect of a clear conscience for me and that’s worth more than pearls.
A Shoutout to Joella’s and an Exhortation to the Church
There is a pithy quote about treating people well because you don’t know what they are going through that day. I know some quotes are trite, but there’s some truth to how you can make or break someone’s day without knowing it.
One of my favorite restaurants in southern Ohio and Kentucky is a little place called Joella’s Hot Chicken. I decided to go there for dinner on my way home Monday, because, why not? I was with my 6 year old son who had been in the car since 7:15 AM and wanted to just rest and talk to him.
What was a marvelous kindness of God is that the staff was so friendly and helpful that it nearly brought me to tears. I wanted to tell them, “You have no idea how much your kindness means to me. I’m driving home after what’s been a 12-hour day and having my first meal at 7PM. My day entailed giving away one of my favorite people to his grandma so that I could hurry home to be at my bride’s side and my daughter’s bedside while she appears to be dying.”
And simply being kind and patient with me at the restaurant meant so much. It’s convicting too. I’m convicted that I want to be that kind of person for others and I have failed in that area many times. I’m also convicted of how many times someone has asked me to pray and I didn’t pray or continue in prayer.
I’m so grateful for the prayers of the saints at this time and I can’t count how many times I’ve scrolled right past a prayer request like my own and simply didn’t even stop to read it. Or I prayed but didn’t pray fervently or continually. Jesus is truly kind to preserve a failure like me. Praise His name.
I will try to post more updates as we get news.
We appreciate the support that has come in so many ways. Thank you.