Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Spreading Encouragement

On Monday I took a break from Roscoe's room and went to the waiting area, so that I could sit and rest my feet. I sat down and started checking email/text messages that I'd received while I was in his room. Another family was in the waiting room and I overheard some of their conversation. I heard them mention "chest compressions" and it gave me flashbacks of Roscoe's near death on Saturday. They also talked about worries over whether certain organs were functional and I remembered having those same conversations in the days after Roscoe was born. It was hard to hear because I knew first-hand what they were struggling with. I had been in their shoes.

It was time for me to leave, so I walked out of the waiting room and through the thick air of their heavy conversation. As I took steps down the hallway, I couldn't help but feel like they needed something. When I was in their situation, I just felt lost and powerless. My steps down the hallway slowed and then I stopped. How could I keep walking away from their pain, when I had so many people across the world praying for Roscoe? Surely if somebody could send us encouragement and support, I could do the same for someone else a few steps away. It wouldn't be fair to do otherwise.

I stood in the hallway, staring at the floor and making up my mind to go back in the room. I didn't want to, because it would be hard and I don't like crying in front of people (especially strangers). As the seconds ticked by, I realized that me coming back into the room would be more awkward since they just saw me walk out. I formed up some words in my head and walked back in. I started with "I didn't mean to eavesdrop on your conversation ..." and then started to lose it. I let them know that we almost lost Roscoe on Saturday, that he'd been in the NICU for 8 months, and that we would absolutely be praying for them. I encouraged them to stay strong and pray hard. I guess I've been around the NICU too long, because the guy asked me if Roscoe had been on life support the entire time, and my response was "What do you mean by life support?".

I gave them the blog address later in the day when I passed them in the hallway again, so they might even read this post. Their baby was born on Father's Day and is having trouble breathing and maintaining a heartbeat. They worried that continued chest compressions to revive their baby would cause damage to his rib cage or internal organs. Yesterday I learned that their baby probably wouldn't make it, and they'd already had a priest come by. Talking to them brought back so many memories of pain, stress, worry, and struggle that each time I think about it I start to break down.

I wanted to post about this interaction so you'd know that encouragement spreads and replicates. Without the support we've received, I probably would have kept walking down the hallway without ever speaking up. Everyone who has encouraged us has indirectly helped encourage another family who is struggling. Thank you.


  1. Awesome! Thanks for sharing that with us! Thank you, God, for giving Shaun the strength & confidence to talk to the other family! We will be praying for them as well!

  2. Shaun, that had to be hard to do, but in the end you had to feel good about doing it. I told Tifany yesterday that although I followed Roscoe's story for a long time, it was quite a while before I felt comfortable adding my comments. Then, when I realized Roscoe needed prayers the most, I knew it was time. Somehow with God's guidance we seem to know when the timing is right. Your encouragement to that couple was probably more helpful than anything anyone else could have said to them. You have been in their shoes, and even when doctors may have some answers, there is no substitute for first hand knowledge. It is wonderful that you would reach out at a time when you were still hurting. As I pray for Roscoe, you and Alisha, I will also pray for the couple you meet with

  3. "Paying it forward" is a good thing!
    Praying for you three and that family this morning!
    Hey, I just thought of this...."Praying it forward"!!!

  4. I am so proud of you for doing something hard and uncomfortable - trying to encourage another family when I am sure you still need plenty of encouraging moments of your own. Thank you for passing it along - we all certainly want to pray for that family (do you happen to have the name of their baby?). We are continuing to pray for baby Phin as well.
    Thank you for sharing with us - and good job for listening to the "nudge"! It's not always comfortable, but it's always worth it.
    I love you!

  5. Thank God for tender hearts & willing men who will build bridges with their strengths and not ignore or hurt others but rather reach out and encourage them to seek Jesus in their struggle. Lord bless you more! We B Prayin.

  6. Shaun that is so awesome that you listened to the "nudge" as Tif put it. In my conversations with some dear friends lately there has been talk of doing that even when we are unsure if it is the right thing to do. If you feel the nudge, it makes you a little uncomfortable but will be uplifting to another soul, listen to it. The Holy Spirit is working in so many people, and in so many ways right now. Love your willingness to share these thoughts and encouragement.
    Love you all!


    Everyone check out this website, if you haven't already, and leave a message to Roscoe and his family.
    Please keep praying!
    Thank you.

  8. That was amazingly giving and loving, Shaun...