Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Heart Surgery Next Week

I've been procrastinating on writing this. How does one sum up all the emotions of what's to come?

We hand our beautiful daughter over to surgeons next week for her heart surgery. We place them in her care and our trust in our Lord. 

And then we'll wait. 

We've been simply enjoying each day lately. We're soaking up homeschool time with our other kiddos, celebrating birthdays early and playing outside when we're home from the city. We've been starting the quiet process of hibernation for winter. We're doing some fun last minute things to soak up the last of this fading summer, reflecting on the fact that we barely had a summer. Spending nearly all but about two weeks of summer in the city at the hospital was not on our list for summer vacation, but we made the best of it. We kind of feel like things jumped from Yay!! School's out!! to Yay! First day of Kindergarten!! We made it to the local pool once all summer (good thing we didn't buy season passes). We made it to the zoo exactly one time. We mowed our own lawn exactly twice all summer. And I nearly blew up the mower the second time. Billows of white smoke. Guess I was out of practice

Then again...we're all ready for fall. We're ready for this surgery to be over and our stress level to lighten. We're ready for schedules and routines. For our own pillows. Our own beds. Our own home. Our own family all together under one roof again. Ready to crank the Christmas music and decorate for fall. We're ready for our 2nd annual Christmas chalkboard competition. We're ready for the smell of burning leaves and cuddling on the couch watching movies and sipping cider. We're excited to take Chloe to her first pumpkin patch. In our backyard. To avoid germs. And thankfully because we never got around to really throwing away our old pumpkins last year, they've grown a nice patch in our yard for picking this year. I've picked out our fall family photosession wardrobe, and am praying Chloe will be able and healthy by end of October for this special picture, my heart set on our first official professional family picture. I should probably book that session soon. Another thing on the "we wait and see how the surgery goes" list. Yep. That list exists. 

She's ready. We're ready. We honestly couldn't ask for Chloe to be any more healthy than she is in this very moment as we prepare for surgery. Other than slight fevers from cutting teeth, she's been happy, playful, doing physical therapy and occupational therapy. She's kicking so hard that she's rocking her entire crib. She's rolling from side to side. She's getting sideways in her bed and her nurses are finding that she's a mover and a groover. She's a pooping monster. She's learning to grab BOTH feet with BOTH hands. This is a HUGE praise!!! Something we've been working on for quite awhile. My heart is blessed and overflowing when I see her doing her therapy time.

And we pray for her healing. We pray for surgery. We pray for wisdom and for His will. 

There was a hymn I was listening to last week that is one of my favorites. There's a line that says, "Praise to the Lord, for He is thy health and salvation." It got me thinking how much we all pray for physical health, and ask the Lord to fix us. But to pray to fix us all the time means we don't trust that He made us each in our own way for His reason. To pray for "fixing" us all the time must mean something went wrong when He created us, which it didn't. He knew exactly how Chloe would be intricately formed. He knew exactly that this person would have a cleft lip, or that person would have a heart condition, and so on. To say otherwise would be to undermine the Creator of Creation. 

We can pray for healing, but we cannot pray for complete 100% fixing this side of Heaven. 

There's been so much focus on His healing for Chloe and her health and guidance through this surgery process, and for that we're endlessly thankful. But when we say that He is they health and salvation, we're talking spiritual health. I can't help but think of how much we pray for physical healing over spiritual heart healing. If we spent as much time praying for the weakness and health of our own hearts before the Lord as we do for physical healing... "Ponder anew what the Almighty can do"... 

Chloe's heart surgery is what she needs to live. It's her last chance at living to more than her first birthday. It's scary, it's risky, but it's our only earthly hope. So we know we must do it. Trusting in the Lord is the same. It's scary at times to set everything aside and say, "Ok, Lord. You've got this. I trust in You for __________" (Fill in the blank. This is an interactive activity). It's so hard to do, but it's the only way for our survival. We live in a fallen world. There is sickness and disease (as we've experience now in our own little lives). There's sadness and pain. There's hurting and questions. I honestly cannot imagine, however, walking these lines of the fallen path without God. We can only pull and grasp the motivational jargon of "I've got inner strength and sending positive vibes" for so long. Our own personal strength only reaches to the clouds, but not beyond them. Our own positive thoughts cannot bring us inner healing. We have to choose hope. Which is what we've done since last summer's NICU days. If we didn't choose hope, our daughter wouldn't still be here. We're so grateful for the many of you who have joined us in praying for our daughter's healing. But another prayer of ours during this journey has been for our (everyone reading this blog and following Chloe) spiritual health as well. The eternal kind that can only come from the Giver of Life and lead to a place where He will wipe away every tear. That Chloe's life and this blog is to point to the Lord and especially during this part of the walk through her life, that anyone struggling to place their trust in the Lord and not walk this life alone would do so, with hope. 

Our sweet strawberry-golden-haired daughter is now sixteen months old. If you count the time she was in my belly, we've been on this journey for two years. We've been dealing with medical speak and iffy situation and scary scenarios relating to her health for two years. We should be used to this by now as our normal, right? Nope. But we press on. We grow daily. We learn often. We listen much. We grieve missed milestones. We celebrated delayed milestones met. 

And we brace ourselves for the storm ahead. The one that's brewing on the horizon as the colors change from the coral hues of a Kansas summer into a a melting pot of greys. Because we don't know what's to come. If any of you recall, last summer's heart surgery gave us many scares. We're praying and trusting that this one goes more smoothly. But we are cautioning ourselves with what to expect this time around. 

So thankful He is our safe harbor in the storm. That walking into a boat that we know will be rocked and tossed during those long hours next Wednesday as we wait for surgery updates, that we're not in that boat and rocking waters alone. He is our anchor and hope. He is our stability, security, safety (Hebrews 6:19). 

So for the many who are thinking of us and wondering how we're doing, here's the best way to sum things up:

We're tired but running the race. {Hebrews 12:1-2}
Concerned but trusting. {Proverbs 3:5-6}
Apprehensive but assured. {Isaiah 55:8-9}
Worried but resting. {Psalm 46:1}
Sad but rejoicing. {1 Thessalonians 5:16-18}
Weary but fueled.  {Hebrews 12:28}
In the fire but not burnt. {Isaiah 43:2}
Fearful but safe. {Isaiah 41:10}
Hoping against hope. {Romans 4:18}

And on the day of surgery "I will lift my eyes up to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and earth." Psalm 121

And when I'm in doubt I'll think of Job chapter 38 and remember I wasn't there when He set the boundaries on the waters of the ocean to the sand. 

And when I'm anxious, "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

"Wait for the Lord. Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:14


Post a Comment