A Heart Journey

Yesterday was a special day.

It was a nephew’s 6th birthday, a sister-in-law’s birthday, the 5th anniversary of our daughter’s adoption finalization, and the day our baby boy successfully made it through his first heart surgery.

If you follow Frugal Granola on Facebook, you may have seen the quick announcement yesterday, as we headed into surgery. Baby Haven (now 2 months old) was diagnosed with Aortic Valve Stenosis on Thursday, and immediately admitted to the hospital to prepare for surgery.

We have become those “non-rockstar” parents, learning to navigate the maze of hospital hallways, medical policies, procedures, monitors & acronyms, munching overpriced hospital cafeteria food in shifts, experienced in holding and nursing a child with an average of five wires/IV lines attached to his body, pumping breastmilk in the midst of a crowded & bustling shared hospital room, dozing on a couch amid the constant lights & sounds of a hospital, and dropping everything at the tone of a hospital pager or alarm. (Yes, we are tired.)

We are so thankful for the encouragement of a Christian pediatric and cardiology office who quickly gave us his diagnosis, for the blessing of friends accompanying us during the days at the hospital, our cheerful and capable cardiology and nursing teams at the hospital, grandparents caring for our other two children & business, and for the many prayers of friends, family (and even people we’ve never met!). Thank you, dear ones.

Handing over your tiny child to be placed on an operating table is one of the most tearful, intense moments as a parent. And yet, in the midst of the unknown, all I have to do is whisper my son’s name in prayer, to be reminded of my true Refuge, our Haven of Rest.

I know, believing the truth that “Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see,” that my God is good. The wonderful gratitude practice encouraged in my reading of Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts, has been the perfect exercise for glimpsing God’s goodness, in preparation for times that do not seem good (and may even be horrendously horrible). He is still there.

(The parameters of my current life experience do not change who God is. I merely get a different glimpse of my multifaceted, eternal Lord in each moment.)

I know that God is writing (and has written) Haven’s story (as well as our own, as parents), and I will cling to the knowledge that “God is Who He says He is, and will do what He says He will do,” as our pastor & friend has often faithfully reminded us.

Do you know what He says He will do?

“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21)

I trust that He will guide us in each step, one step at a time. He has been faithful to prepare us for this journey, and will never leave us. (I’ve also been encouraged by Angie Smith’s journey of faith, too, knowing that He will carry us.)

Over the past few years, during especially challenging seasons of life, I’ve found it especially uplifting to recite Psalm 23. It is a precious reminder that sometimes, “He makes us lie down.” There are times when we just have to stop running, to be still and wait for what He has next for us.

I don’t know what the days ahead will hold for little Haven and our family. But I do know that our Lord is faithful, and He is our Prince of Peace.

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