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Today is my daughter's open-heart surgery.
This journey began only a little over 12 weeks ago, but it feels like an eternity. The night before I had her, who she is, and what she'd look like, and how I'd feel to have a girl was all still a mystery to me. Just four days later, when we brought her home, we'd already experienced the NICU and what it's like to hear a sobering diagnosis about our three-day old daughter. In one short week we'd gone from parents who naively assumed our children would be healthy to people who'd experienced first-hand the shock and grief that accompanies unexpected problems. We started learning to feed on God's faithfulness and also to enjoy the moment, cherishing the child we'd been given.
Soon after her heart defect was discovered, we learned of a much more life-altering diagnosis that cannot be fixed with surgery. I, especially, felt such tremendous anger at God, and it almost crushed my spirit. It didn't crush my faith, however, and before long I was able to see why my anger, although natural, wouldn't last. I need God too badly to continue to push Him away.
As time has passed, my emotions have been all across the board, I've thought more deeply about my faith than ever before, and my heart has been stretched to feel deep compassion for children and families who experience the mountains and valleys of difficult diagnoses. Some days, I'm honored that God has allowed me to be Addison's mother, knowing that I'm the right one to love and cherish her. Other days, my lack of peace overwhelms me. In the midst of this, we've learned of a kidney problem that will also possibly need surgery. And then when I'm at the depths again, God picks me up and reminds me I'm in the shadow of the Almighty.
Now that her heart surgery is today, I'm trying to remember that He is holding our hearts, and that we're not going through this alone.
Thank you for lifting up our cherished daughter to the Lord, and for the support and encouragement you've given our family. Before this journey began, I'd experienced God's goodness in the mountains of life. Now, I can say that He is also good in the depths. At the end of this day, when this part of our journey is completed, we can together say that yes, the Lord is good--all the time.
Photos courtesy of Chris Prater