Have you ever wondered where the saying, “the devil is in the details” comes from? I mean I know for me personally, I love the details and I love data.
I have always believed that “the data” doesn’t lie. The data, the numbers, the supporting documentation, the details give you a baseline. These things provide us with a way of making decisions and if analyzed correctly, they give us a higher probability of making the right decisions.
I watched our team, whether that was our nurses, the PCICU doctors, the transplant doctors or the surgeons do this constantly while we were in the hospital. The data, Townes’ numbers, were why decisions were or were not made.
But what happens when the data starts to consume you?
For instance, people often ask me what “percentile of weight or height” does Townes fall? Up until an accidental discovery this past week, I have deliberately chosen not to ask.
One reason is because our team of doctors have not seemed concerned with percentiles and don’t speak in these terms when we discuss his progression. And currently for Townes the main priority is for him to gain weight, which he is! He has doubled his food intake per feed since we arrived home 3 weeks ago!
During my pregnancy, at almost every doctor’s appointment – an average of one a week- how CHD (congenial heart disease) children often suffer from other cognitive or physical “setbacks” came up in discussion. I prefer to call them setbacks, not delays or disabilities. After each appointment, I can remember praying and releasing those fears and concerns to Jesus. My prayer was simple, “Jesus I am trusting you to take care of my son. I am not going to give in to the fear that he may have learning disabilities or be small compared to other children. I can’t control it, you can, and you are trustworthy with the life and gift you have given.”
The week before my schedule C-section, our high-risk OB estimated that Townes would be born a little over 6 lbs. She was thrilled because he was at a healthy weight and since once again a main concern for CHD babies is them being underweight upon birth this was really good news. Sure, he would be in the lower 50% of percentile in weight but a healthy weight is what we cared about the most because this would give him the best opportunity post-delivery.
When she told us, I remember thinking to myself “of course he is because Jesus is taking care of us!”
This week I have found myself consumed in the data and details of Townes’ charts. Yep, you guessed it, those “percentiles” I have deliberately chosen not to analyze.
I accidentally discovered them on his health portal when I was looking for his prescription information. What I found was a chart that illustrates a dramatic decline in his percentile relative to his peers in both weight and length. And I mean a decline of almost 100% from where he started.
And so the spiral began…worry…anxiety…fear…down the rabbit hole, I go. Then this morning I asked myself, if Jesus was trustworthy during my pregnancy, isn’t he still trustworthy.
A resounding YES!
Matthew 11:28-30 says “come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I am reminded Townes’ weight and height in comparison to other children his age is not mine to carry. By pouring all my energy and attention into those metrics, it will not speed up his progress – potentially the internal stress I carry will manifest onto to him and have the counter effect.
So today I am choosing to live out Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Thank you that in this journey with Townes, you have been intentional with every detail even down to his name. Thank you that I don’t have to worry about his height and weight and that you are carry this with your hands.
I looked up the meaning of “the devil is in the details” out of curiosity after writing this post because in reflection, I was thinking shouldn’t it really be “God is in the details”?
According to Wikipedia look what I found?!
“The devil is in the detail” is an idiom that refers to a catch or mysterious element hidden in the details, meaning that something might seem simple at first look but will take more time and effort to complete than expected AND derives from an earlier phrase “God is in the detail.”!
Don’t believe me…look it up yourself!
I think from now on I will say “God is in the details” because he is, isn’t he? What have you found yourself consumed with these days that isn’t adding life, hope and joy but providing a contrary result.