He Goes Ahead

In March, when the whole coronavirus quarantine began, I decided to take advantage of the extra time with Natalie to read The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis) together. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read them, but this was the first time with Natalie and it was such a joy to experience them through her eyes.

We finished the series in June and one line has been lingering in my mind since then, especially because it was June when we got the call to schedule Hope’s next surgery.

The scene is from The Last Battle at a rather hopeless moment when all in Narnia seems lost. As the king and his small band of allies absorb the terrible news, Jewel the Unicorn proclaims, “Nothing now remains for us seven but to go back to Stable Hill, proclaim the truth, and take the adventure that Aslan sends us.”

Take the adventure that Aslan sends us. Those are the words on repeat in my mind.

To me the word adventure usually conjures up fun and exciting things, but that’s not the case in this story. Instead they are headed into a dangerous battle with the odds stacked against them.

But they don’t run away, they don’t give up. They accept the path before them and, even more so, they press forward with courage, acknowledging Aslan’s control over the outcome, whatever it may be.

When we first found out, back in June of 2017, that something was terribly wrong with our unborn baby girl it felt like a hopeless moment. But even as I grieved and feared the future, I knew that God was sovereign over it all and that He would be with us.

Deuteronomy 31:8 became a precious reminder to me to cling to in the months leading up to her birth and it continues through today:

The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.

On July 28th, Hope will return to Boston Children’s Hospital to have her 3rd heart surgery. This isn’t the “adventure” I would have chosen for her or for all of us as a family. I hate that she has to walk this path. I wish she didn’t have to fight this battle. There’s grief and fear now, just as there has been at other times along the way.

And yet this is the “adventure” before us and we can press forward now, as we have in the past, because we know who is in control. The God who has gone before us every step of the way will be with us again. He will not fail or forsake Hope. He will not fail or forsake us.

We can rise to this next challenge with courage, not of our own strength but filled with the strength of the God who loves us and holds all things in His hands. We will take this next step, resting in the truth that He goes ahead.

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We sincerely appreciate your prayers over the coming weeks. Please pray for protection and health for Hope, for wisdom, guidance, and skill for her surgeon and whole team, for safety as we travel and navigate a hospital stay, for Natalie as she remains home with grandparents, and for our entire extended family who walk this road alongside us. We cannot tell you enough what it means to know we are being lifted up in prayer!

For anyone interested in the details of this surgery, here’s some more information:

In February we had a follow up in Boston (echo and cath) to review Hope’s progress since her last surgery (Nov 2018). The team was very pleased with the growth of her left ventricle and her mitral valve and feel she is a candidate for possible bi-ventricular conversion. However, the team determined that, given the amount of work that needs to be done, two more stages of surgery are needed.
This upcoming surgery will address the septal defects (holes between Hope’s ventricles) and work on her mitral valve. The valve is the biggest hindrance to a full bi-ventricular repair because it is both small and offset in location – it opens up over both ventricles instead of just the left one. Ideally the valve can be “moved” to open only over the left ventricle as it should, allowing enough blood flow through to the left side and not leaking into the right side.
If this is successful then we will re-evaluate progress for a full bi-ventricular conversion, potentially within a year although we haven’t been given exact timing on that step. If the valve remains too much of an obstacle to overcome, no bridges are burned with the work that has been done and we would take the single ventricle route instead. Because a bi-ventricular heart (aka normal) is significantly better, we are praying to be able to follow through with that repair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “He Goes Ahead

  1. shirley patteson says:

    Megan, Steve, Natalie and Hope, please know that Pat and I have been praying for Hope and will continue to pray for a successful surgery for Hope. Wisdom for the doctors and strength for Hope as she undergoes the surgery. Healing for Hope, comfort in the process. Peace and safety for you and Steve as you take this journey to Boston, strength and encouragement to know our great, mighty and awesome God has all of you in the palm of His hands.
    Shirley and Pat Patteson

    Like

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