It’s been five months since we received the news that our newborn girl had a heart condition. At two weeks old she had a heart cath procedure and died on the operating table. I’m grateful that the doctors were able to shock her heart and get it going again. I am grateful God chose to send her back to us (although we had come to a place where if He had chosen to take her to be with the sister we’d returned to Him the year before, we would have still called Him just and true). I am grateful that I was able to curl around her in the hospital crib the night after her procedure and count every breath she took. I am grateful her oxygen levels stabilized and her tiny feet finally turned pink again. I am grateful that the procedure and events leading up to it did not end our nursing relationship.
I am also in a recurring war with anxiety. The “why” questions still come on gray nights; they usually precede the “what if” questions that invite me to examine my pregnancy and try to pinpoint what I did wrong to harm my child. The pessimist disguised as realism likes to pop up and remind me that Baby Girl’s diagnosis was a congenital defect that would require invasive surgery down the road. Realism and faith do not make good companions.
How like God to use a seven pound baby to confront the deep rooted fear of being happy in my life. Everyday is now a Mount Moriah opportunity to trust Him. My emotions try to carve out the groove of, “How will we be able to afford doctor check ups all of her life? Will she be able to be active? Will she have to have a transplant one day? God, I can’t do this!” His Spirit responds, “Didn’t I tell you not to worry about tomorrow? Didn’t I tell you My soul does not delight in the one who draws back from confidence in Me? Didn’t I say ‘Do not fear for I am with you’? Keep your heart clean and I will come to you.”
There’s no faking faith. I look down into bottomless blue-grey eyes trusting me to “fix” all that she faces and realize that I am her model of faith. If I worry, she will worry. My responsibility is to give her the most peace-filled, happy childhood I can give her. That means I have to come into a place of Sabbath rest in the love of God, being confident that my circumstances are not a reflection of His love for me.
We have another doctor visit in a few weeks. If all goes well, we shouldn’t have to go back until the end of the year. If you look at our daughter, she’s thriving; she’s just beginning to sit up unassisted, she thinks she should be walking by now, and if you do not watch carefully enough she will snatch food or drink from you and pull it to her mouth. I am asking God to give us a creative miracle in her heart by growing a third leaflet in her aortic valve (making it a tricuspid valve instead of a bicuspid one); but I am also thanking Him for rosy cheeks and chubby legs on a little girl who loves to laugh, play, and cuddle. Most of all, I am declaring to my stubborn, mistrustful soul that He is good, that He is involved, that He loves. It is well.