One year ago today, Hope underwent her most complex heart surgery: the biventricular conversion that gave her circulation with four pumping chambers for the first time in her life. It was a huge operation with a lengthy recovery. Nine months later we would return to Boston for her mitral valve repair, her fifth open heart surgery before she even turned five years old.
Last week, Hope climbed a mountain.
Sure, it was a short hike, just a half a mile, but the trail was uphill gaining elevation nearly the whole time and she was determined to do it all. We stood on top and took pictures together with the beautiful backdrop behind us and I was overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness.
There really aren’t adequate words to describe how amazing it is to see Hope thriving. Her energy, enthusiasm, and stamina for doing things she physically was incapable of before is astounding. I can only imagine how she must feel.
This summer has been an incredible gift. The first in five years where we didn’t have to be away for a surgery, have a surgery coming up on the calendar, or have the potential for a surgery looming over our heads. We have enjoyed simply being together in a way that is so precious. I am beyond grateful to the many people who have had an impact on Hope’s life and am forever thankful to God for His faithfulness to her and to us.
From those first weeks in my pregnancy when we found out about her heart, and still today, these words are so true:
“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.” Deut 31:8
I am reminded too of a song that fits Hope’s journey so well. I’ll share some of the lyrics here but it is worth a listen too. Here is the link: Never Once
Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us
Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us
Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
Thank You, Lord, for being the one to go before us. Thank you that we have never walked alone. Thank You for how far we have come.