Nothing had happened the way we desired or planned, but it was the way the Lord wanted it to be.
I would not change a single thing.
Our family was strengthened, grown, and humbled by the love and prayers of thousands of people around the globe.
Lili's broken heart was fixed, and her health restored.
Most of all, God was magnified, His name was glorified, and He alone was praised!
I can say with all honesty that I'm grateful for the shadowlands.
They make the Light that much more beautiful.
Instead of sharing something new today, I wanted to share two old posts from our dark time with Lili.
Maybe they'll encourage someone today....
My thoughts before Lili's surgery:
For the Days When God Doesn't Answer Your Prayers.....the Way You Think He Should
The day we headed for the doctor's office wondering if I was in labor, it was hot and muggy.
By the time we left the hospital with baby in tow, it was fall.
Granted, it was Michigan and the seasons move rather quickly there.......but still.
It wasn't what I'd prayed for.
I'd prayed for a healthy baby, and I hadn't received it.
Instead, I'd delivered a beautiful baby girl with a heart problem.
The doctor said that it should start closing on its own.
He said he'd check her at the six-week mark and was quite hopeful it would be closed by then.
He said he'd check her at the three-month mark and was quite sure it would be completely healed by then.
He wanted to see her at six-months, quite positive that it would be normal by then.
He checked her at the eleven-month mark and it was still open allowing oxygenated and deoxygenated blood to mix freely.
The pressure on her heart constant, hard.
Every time I'd prayed, I'd prayed for healing to come...
And it hadn't.
The doctor said her heart needed to be checked before she reached three years old.
If it was not healed by then, she would need surgery.
In March we went to the pediatrician.
We'd hoped and prayed for this day.
We'd prayed that when he put the stethoscope to her little chest that he would hear the strong pounding of blood flowing properly....
but he didn't.
Instead he heard the constant swishing of the "blue" and red blood swirling inside that tiny heart.
The murmur that told him everything was wrong.
I put on a happy face, but inside I was torn apart.
God had not answered my prayer.....
not the way I thought he should.
God is praised and glorified in miracles!
Why hadn't He done a miracle for me?
As we went quietly home, we wondered what He wanted the next step to be.
In the weeks that followed, we were dealt test after test, trial after trial.
They culminated in one of the hardest nights we've had in a long time.
We prayed for God to remove the problem....
but He didn't.
So we surrendered to Him.
And that night?
We saw Him walk us through the driving, pounding darkness, and come out on the other side at peace.
And that night, I learned a lesson that has been my hope these last few weeks.
He didn't answer my prayers that night the way I wanted Him to, because He knew what was best for me.
He walked through the valley with me.
His presence was felt.
And so we prepare again to enter a shadowy place.
On Thursday we will go to the hospital in the capital city.
We are praying that we will be able to see the heart doctor and get the test done that is needed.
With all my being, I hope he will say that she is healed.
but he may not.
I don't want her to have to be cut open....
but he may say she needs it.
I want Him to answer my prayers my way,
but He doesn't have to.
And if He asks me to go through a hard place, a rocky place, a place where I'm completely at His mercy?
Then He'll go with me.
Of that, I am certain.
My thoughts after Lili's surgery:
For the Days When All Is Uncertain.....
There are days when you stand on the brink of uncertainty, not knowing what will happen next.
Days when you've prayed all you can pray, cried all you can cry, and must simply, quietly, trustingly wait.
We've been there and back many times over the last few months.
That hard place where God asks us to believe,
to be patient,
to allow Him to be in control.
We've been to a place of wounding.....and now healing;
a place of sorrow....and now joy;
a place of fear....and now faith;
a place of desperation....and now hope.
God did not save us from the storm.
He saved is IN IT.
He brought each needed thing, every necessary person, and the required places together at just the right instant to help our daughter, grow our family, and bring Him glory.
We would have never chosen this path for ourselves.....
but can only thank Him for walking it with us.
Though each day hasn't been easy, Lili is recovering and growing stronger.
We are trying to get things in order for the arrival of my mom and dad and a friend.
In two months time, we'll head to the heart doctor again and check and see if Lili's heart is shrinking back to normal size.
We've jumped back into ministry just in time to finish our missions month.
These days are wild, messy, and little bit overwhelming,
but when I consider the alternative?
I couldn't be more grateful!