Three weeks from today, Hope will be undergoing open heart surgery for the fifth time.
After the success of the complex bi-ventricular repair she had in August, we had hoped she would be done with open heart surgeries, at least for a long time, if not forever. We knew her mitral valve was leaky and the doctors have been closely monitoring it ever since her last operation, but we had hoped things would settle in and not need additional work. Unfortunately, it has not improved and needs to be repaired or replaced.
I’ve wrestled, as always, with the range of emotions I feel each time a surgery date is on the calendar. I wish things were different for our brave and vibrant little girl. I wish I could fix it all for her and keep her from going through this process again.
As I was thinking about her upcoming surgery, one of Jesus’ miracles came to mind. You can read it in its entirety in John 9, but I’ll summarize: the disciples see a blind man and ask Jesus, who sinned to cause the man to be blind, the man or his parents. Jesus replies that it was neither, but that he was born blind, “so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:3)
I’ve been like those disciples in a way. Not asking the same questions, but coming to God with a whole lot of “why?” Why was Hope born with such a complicated heart? Why does she have to walk this road? Why do we as a family have to face this struggle?
Sometimes those questions have festered inside, causing bitterness, jealousy, anger, sorrow, and fear to seep out. Other times I’ve laid those questions at God’s feet and felt His peace that passes understanding, even when I don’t have a clear answer.
As those questions swirl in my mind again, the words of Jesus settle deep in my soul: that the works of God might be displayed.
I’ll never claim to understand it all this side of heaven, but those words bring incredible comfort and strength for the next step of this journey. And those words are my prayer for Hope.
That her life will display God’s greatness in a brilliant way. That her scars will tell the story of His faithfulness and love. That she will walk this road well, and that we will walk it well beside her. That even when we don’t understand, we will say with confidence that God is in control and He uses all things to His glory.
That when people look at her, they will see God’s work on full display.
We appreciate your prayers again as we return to Boston for Hope’s surgery on May 18th. We especially ask for prayers that the surgeon would be able to repair her existing valve in a way that makes it functional and lasting, as opposed to replacing it with a mechanical or bioprosthetic valve. Prayers for wisdom for us as parents and for the medical team, as well as prayers for Natalie as she remains at home are also appreciated. Thank you again so much for your continued support for Hope and our family!
Photo: Annemarie Nina Photography