Tuesday, April 29, 2014

For the Days When You Have to Let It Go......and Let God

One day a family was blessed with a little girl.
She had white-blonde hair, big brown eyes, and one elf ear.
They had waited, and prayed, and hoped for four long years before they found out she would be joining their family.
When she decided to arrive, she did so quickly.
Doctor slipped on his gloves as he ran through the door, just in time to catch her little self.
She was tiny, cold, and a bit blue, but everyone said she was fine.

She didn't seem very hungry, so mama snuggled her close to warm her up a bit....
But she didn't.
Eight hours after she was born, God sent a NICU nurse down to the main maternity ward to help check the babies before bed.
When she came to check this little one, she started asking lots of odd questions and then said she needed to take her out for her hearing test.
After an hour, daddy went hunting for baby and came back with the news that she had been taken to the infant intensive care unit......and couldn't be seen until some tests were done.
For eleven days mama and daddy lived a split life filled with doctors and beeping lights and needles and dark hospital rooms and the rattle of oxygen machines and driving back and forth and trying to take care of her worried sisters.
She came home......
but with a "broken door" in her heart.

Her doctor was a good one.
He was so gentle and kind every time he had to hook up the monitors and measure her heart.
He thought that the "door" might close on its own....
but if not, he said it would have to be shut.
He thought that it would be safe to wait until near her third birthday,
but he didn't want to wait any longer and risk permanent damage.
He warned us to watch for sicknesses, infections.

The little girl and her family packed their bags and went home far over the seas.
When they arrived they began checking around for a heart doctor for children....
but they were told there wasn't one in their country.
So they went back to life as usual.
The little girl was growing, but not nearly as big as her sisters.
She was slow to move and didn't cry too much.
She slept a lot and was content to snuggle on mama's lap much of the time.
She was quiet, but healthy.
No sicknesses; no infections.
Mama held her close, hoping that in doing so she could keep her safe.

For a while all seemed well.
But then the heat came, and the electricity was off many nights, and this little one seemed always tired.
Her breathing became a bit more labored at night, and mama and daddy began to realize that maybe the door was still open.
Maybe her heart had grown worse.
They sought to hold her tighter....
let her sleep more....
make sure she always ate well....
but nothing they did seemed to make a difference.
They were scared.
And as much as they wanted to hold on.....
they knew they couldn't.
They had to let it go....let her go.

They began by asking their Father what to do.
He led them to their near-by clinic where he had prepared their own pediatrician, 40 years before hand, to know exactly what their babe's problem was and to sit and give them advice on what their next steps should be.
He asked if she'd ever been sick or had any infections.
He couldn't believe the answer.
They returned home afraid, but trusting.
They knew they had to let it go....let her go.

The sent an email to a missionary hospital in Togo that they had learned about some months prior when their friends had a sick baby.
Their friends hadn't been able to use the hospital information, but it was right there waiting when the little girl's family needed it.
The pediatrician there kindly wrote them back and told them to take her to the government hospital in the capital.
He said they had a good heart department, but didn't know if they had the testing machine the child would need.
The mama and daddy began to read about the hospital.
The learned that the government had sent a group of doctors to Germany 25 years prior to learn how to heal "broken" hearts.
He'd set everything in place for their daughter long before she was born!
So they let it go.....let her go, again.

The family got on a large red bus and headed to the capital, not quite knowing what to expect.
While at the guest house, they began talking to a missionary doctor who lived far in the northern part of the country and rarely came to the capital.
She asked them if they had a referral letter from their doctor, but they did not.
She inquired about sicknesses and infections, shocked that she'd had none.
She quickly got her things and stayed up late into the night checking the little girl and then typing up a referral letter so she could go straight to the cardiac center and bypass several days worth of red tape.
Since hospitals in this country run on a first-come-first-served basis, the little girl's daddy went very early to get in line at the hospital.
By the time mama and the girls arrived, hundreds of people were waiting, too.
The head registering nurse for the day was from the city this family calls home.
Once she heard them speaking her heart language, she did all she could to help them get in to the doctor quickly.

The doctor asked if she'd ever had sicknesses or infections.
He couldn't believe the answer.
He said she needed the special test to make sure there were no other problems in her little heart.
He told them to make an appointment with another doctor who had the machine at her clinic.
A week later, daddy and little one found themselves talking to the only pediatric cardiologist in the whole country.....
the one who had moved back to Ghana after living almost her entire life overseas.....
the one who arrived the same month this little girl and her family had returned.
And mama and daddy let it go....they let her go.

The doctor said that her heart was having to work too hard.
It was beginning to enlarge.
The door had to be shut as quickly as possible.
She asked about sicknesses and infections.
She was stunned by the answer.

After days of people all over the globe praying, the daddy made a phone call.
He told the doctor that she should take the steps necessary to prepare for surgery.
Doctor said that blood work needed to be done right away,
so daddy and girlie prepared to go to the capital.
But before they left,
daddy and mama knelt down and once again let it go.....
they let her go.
How could they not?

I wish I could express to you clearly how God has heaped miracle on top of miracle on us regarding Lili and her "broken" heart.
He's provided everything and everyone we've needed every single step of this journey.
Thank you for taking the time to encourage us with your kind words, loving gestures, and overwhelming prayer and support.
We are nervous, but trusting....
daily letting go....and letting God.
We know He can hold her safer than we ever can.

We've been told that surgery will probably be next Monday or Tuesday {the 5th or 6th of May}.
As soon as we know for sure, we will share it with all you dear people who've taken our burden as your own.


  1. Still praying up here in Greenland! Baby Lili is a household name here :-)

  2. All I can say is, He is the Great Physician, and He saw you and your sweet Lili before there was a you or Lili, and He is there and provides like none other. We will pray! Love you!

  3. I am praying God heals her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Our family leads a parallel life I think God know that when my girl friend sent me this post. My wee daughter is 12 now but she was born with the same thing (while in her hat and lazy valve) but has been sick off and on but God has been too good and we have put surgery off and just snuggle and keep her happy and through God's grace healthy for know. Praying for your little mircle. I pray we will bump into you when we arrive in Ghana this summer.

    Anita Wells

  5. Oh Patti...praying for your sweet, little one! You are an encouragement to me. Love you!

  6. Just saw this on facebook. Don't know you all but will certainly be praying! So great to read how God has been working out all the details!

  7. Patty, praying for your precious little girl.

  8. Thank you for your beautiful faith and encouraging words. Praying for you from a Missions Conference in Virginia. Will ask the church family here to be praying! Julie Alexander, Missionary to Liberia

  9. Your testimony is such an encouragement. It is such a blessing to see the Lord working. I am praying for Lili and for you.

  10. We've sure been praying for Lili and all of you. This post brings God great glory as you share the amazing ways He's been leading and providing just the right person at just the right time. How does that saying go....He's seldom early, but never late!!! What a mighty God we serve!! We are trusting Him to provide comfort and wisdom and strength for you in the week ahead. You can be sure we will be praying for you every day-many times a day!! We love you all.
    P.S. Did you get my email? I was hoping for an address so I could send her some cards. I mentioned it to my Sunday School class and we've been praying. Would love to send her some cards to enjoy while she recovers from the surgery. (my email address is cindyslewis54@yahoo.com)

  11. Love and prayers for you sweet friend. Love you!

  12. And we are praying too, praying for Lili's full recovery and for peace for the whole family. Always remember God is holding your hand.