Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1, 2014 -- Happy Birthday Hope . . . and Surgery Tomorrow!

On a day where there is usually a lot of excitement. . . the first day of school where we snap a picture of our dollie girls as they head off to another new year of adventure and learning together. . .

. . . instead our family will be making a very early trip into the hospital and leaning heavy into the grace and mercy of God as we entrust our precious girlie into His hands for a scary yet necessary surgery.  And all of this on the tail of her birthday.  Today Hope turned 12 years old!  How much she has gone through over these past 3 years, and yet how much God has restored, healed and wrote an incredible story of His power, love, and salvation in and through her young life!  We are so incredibly thankful for this precious girl!

Two things that do not go together. . . birthday and surgery.  And yet for Hope, that is exactly what will be.  It was a good day, but bittersweet in many regards as we all feel a heaviness from what is about to come.  Hope's surgery is a big deal.  It will be very painful, and it will be a very long recovery.  There are no guarantees that it will successful. . . the Lord holds the outcome in His hand as much as He does the surgery itself.  There are many potentials for complications and many reasons for concern with Hope's unique circumstances.  As her mama, I could be a pile of useless emotional goo. . . how I wish I could take this for her!  But how much more her Heavenly Father loves her, is faithful to her, and will carry her through this according to His perfect will and plan!

We have had some amazing joys and triumphs in this journey, watching God do miraculous things . . . such as the removal of her intratheccal Baclofen pump this past April!  In fact, I realized that I forgot to share with you pictures of the wonderful cake that a dear friend made for her.  Here's a couple pictures. . . 

Katie and her son brought this awesome Skor celebration cake in honour of Hope getting rid of the "hockey puck" (Baclofen pump)!!!  Not only did it look great, it tasted delicious too!!!  : )

Hope asked for a hockey puck cake with her favorite Skor buttercream filling and frosting.  She also asked for it to say, "God is fantastic!!!  He healed me!!!"
I share these pictures with you now, first because you didn't get to see them, but also because it is a reminder of those joys and triumphs where God answered, "Yes!" to our requests for healing. . . amazing and miraculous healing that was never supposed to happen!  That surgery, although also painful with complications, further hospitalization, and about a 2 month recovery, was a celebration of God's goodness and His power in a deeply desired and long requested outcome. . . Hope's healing!

Tomorrow feels quite a bit different than that surgery.  It is unwanted, permanently altering Hope's body and function, and it is a lot more scary.  It does not feel like the answer we were praying for. . . healing.  It feels disappointing at best and even despairing in those moments where feelings take over.  Why this answer, God?  Even tonight, as we prayed as a family over Hope before she fell asleep, we asked that He might heal her back by morning, or even as the doctors go to start the surgery.  In our limited understanding, we are asking for what we see as best.  And what we are learning much more about, just as we did almost 3 years ago, when the Lord set us on this journey, this marathon that was not going to be easy, nor fast, nor often anything close to what we would want or ask for. . . we are learning that God's ways are always best, whether we see it or not. . . we are learning that this life is not what we are living for, but rather for the life that is to come. . . we are learning that even when we think we are in control, we are not. . . we are learning, and we will continue to learn, even as we embark on another painful trial tomorrow. . . a trial of continued submission to God's plan, trusting in His goodness and seeking His glory and His Kingdom in every circumstance!

It has been an emotional past week preparing for today and tomorrow. . . a birthday and a surgery. . . it feels like a mountain high that Hope was able to celebrate turning 12 today, especially when we remember that we almost lost her not too long ago. . . she is a miracle!  But if Hope is not healed tomorrow and her surgery goes through, then tomorrow will be painful, it will be stretching, it will be devastating, but as I shared in my last blog post, we can and we will have hope!  We will have hope because Jesus Christ is alive, and our hope in Him will never disappoint!

I have a post from Hope that I will put on tomorrow morning. . . I know that I'm a biased mama who loves her children dearly, but you are gonna love it!  She worked hard on it, and it is precious! : )

I will keep you posted as I am able tomorrow and throughout the days to follow, as to what's happening and how you can pray specifically as needs become apparent.  Right now I can tell you that the major complications to keep in prayer are blood loss, infection, seizure control, oxygenation, and pain control.  We will be leaving home at 6 am to arrive for check in at 6:45 am.  We have not been given an actual surgery time, but I'm guessing they will take her in to surgery between 8-9 am.  I will try to post after she goes into surgery.  The surgery could be anywhere from 4-10 hours. . . we are trying to be prepared for a full day of waiting, so that it is not as agonizing as feeling it is going into overtime.  Hope will be going to the ICU following the surgery, for at least a day/night.  She will go to a regular unit once it is safe for her to do that.  They are expecting a week long hospital stay, if all goes well.

Finally will you please pray for our hearts, dear ones?  They are heavy!  I keep thinking of the verses Matthew 11:28-30. . . 

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Please pray that the heavy burdens in our heart and as we wait hour by hour for news on our precious girl, knowing the loss she is going to experience as a result of this surgery, and yet hoping that God will redeem that loss down the road with positive outcomes. . . please pray that we will lay those burdens at the foot of the cross, and that we will take on His yoke, trust in Him, and experience His rest for our hearts and souls!  Especially for the hearts of our girls. . . Hope and Gabi!  For Gabi as she attends her first day of school without her big sister alongside.  For Hope as she submits her body and future to the will and plan that God has for her.  And for Trevor and I as we entrust both our most precious treasures into the loving and sovereign hands of their Creator God, and as we strive to shepherd the girls to know and love Him more, especially through continued trials and unwanted answers!  Please pray for the surgeon and his team, for skill in what they do, but also for their hearts to be pointed to Christ!  Most of all, would you pray that in whatever lies ahead, that God will continue His work in our hearts, and in the lives and hearts of others, that more might come to call Him Saviour, that many will worship and praise Him more, and that He will be glorified through it all!  Your prayers and your hearts of love and support for our family continues to be an treasured encouragement to us!  Please know that you are dearly loved, each and every one of you, that takes your precious time to stop and read this blog and follow Hope's story!

Because we are loved and purchased by an amazing Saviour, and because we are held in the hands of a loving, powerful and sovereign Heavenly Father, I have hope for tomorrow!!!

Romans 15:13  "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."


  1. Praying for you right now: 8:49 am (CST). Much love to you, Heather.

  2. I have followed Hope's journey over the past 3 yrs. Have prayed for her often. I am so amazed at our Great God and how He has clearly been with you and your family through this trial. Thank you for your honesty and your unwavering commitment to put God 1st in everything you do or say! I am praying for your precious daughter, the surgeons and you and your husband this morning.