In the hospital room, I threw another shredded, soaked tissue into the trash. Tears had been gushing from my red, puffy eyes non-stop for three hours. My newborn son was about to have a blood transfusion. Jake was my first-born. I didn’t realize babies weren’t supposed to be yellow until it was almost too late. His soaring bilirubin counts even incited fear in the doctor. “Get him to the ER now!” she had ordered over the phone, after learning his test results.
Two nurses prepared an IV to be put in his head. Then came the crash! I jumped and nearly choked on my sob. The nurses gasped. We all turned around stared at the incubator with dropped jaws. The glass incubator door had swung down.
Jake had busted open the door. Totally true story. He’d squirmed a bit sideways and kicked it open. I have no idea how. Neither did the nurses. I guess he wasn’t having any of that blood transfusion stuff. I quit crying. My boy was going to be alright.
Turned out Jake’s bilirubin counts, at that point, began to come down and he wouldn’t need the blood transfusion. Jake grew up a happy, loving, big boy, with extraordinary strength, even doing chin-ups on the swing-set at age four.
In his sophomore year of high school, life changed for Jake. He was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes. But Jake didn’t want a pity party, he wanted to play football. He had dreams of earning a football scholarship. The doctor told him if he took care of his health, he could still play. That’s all he needed to hear. The picture below shows him thinner, at the time he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
“Maybe God wants me to have diabetes for a purpose,” Jake would say, whenever I got weepy over his illness.
When his coach hinted at him being on steroids when he quickly began to beef up, he said, “No coach. I’m on insulin.”
Jake kept moving on, going the extra mile in work-outs, preparing for the next game. I never saw a child so determined. He never doubted he wouldn’t realize his dream to play college football.
Jake recently completed a four years football scholarship at the University of Wisconsin as a starting tight-end.
My type 1 diabetic child is now preparing to kick down the door of professional football. He had a great Pro Day and is now awaiting the NFL draft. Watch ESPN on April 26 to see what happens.
Before his Pro Day, I told Jake, “You’ve worked really hard. You already own the talent and skills necessary to go that next step. Pray and go. You’ll do great.” He confidently said, “I will Mom.”
Psalms 37:4 says, Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
God gives all of his creation gifts to succeed and achieve the dreams of their hearts. Consider David standing before that Philistine giant, Goliath. That’s what I call maximizing every gift God gives you to conquer the impossible. Don’t doubt. You can’t burst through doors by staring at them or leaning against them weeping. You gotta kick them down sometimes.
With prayer and determination, I’m busting through the door that says, “Novelist.” That’s my plan. I’m going to do it! Jake is my inspiration.
Infant Needing Blood Transfusion Kicks Open Incubator Door. Diabetic Teen Gets Football College Scholarship and Becomes an NFL Player. Shepard Boy With Slingshot Kills Giant. Author Holly Michael Wins Literary Awards.
Strange headlines? Not for the determined. Not for the fighters. Not for a person after the heart of God.
Bring on the doors! Let’s kick them down. What are the desires of your heart? What door do you want to bust through? Anything is possible. Pray and Go! And kick down that door!
***Update: Jake signed with the New Orleans Saints! How fitting! Go Jake!