"I once attended a funeral service for a teenage girl killed in a car accident. Her mother wailed: "The Lord took her home....He must have had a purpose....thank you Lord." I have been with sick Christians who agonize over the question: What is God trying to teach me? Or, they may plead: How can I find enough faith to get rid of this illness? or How can I get God to rescue me? Maybe such people have it all wrong. Maybe God isn't trying to tell us anything specific each time we hurt. Pain and suffering are part and parcel of our planet, and Christians are not exempt." (Philip Yancey, "Where Is God When It Hurts")
Charlie's heart appointment was great today.....it looks as if the hole in his heart has closed up completely. Praise! Hope's heart appointment, however, did not go well. It appears her "Love Balloon" has increased and changed in size and the patch on her heart has started to protrude and bulge out as well. She had two heart ultrasounds today, but neither found the culprit resonsible for causing this change in her condition. Her doctor is at a loss and was surprised her heart had changed this much in such a short period of time----her last appointment was only 6 months ago. The doctors have "conference" on Thursday morning when the entire cardiac team will get together and go over Hope's images and hopefully offer some thoughts to us.
The next weeks, I will be blogging alot about this new journey we are on with Hopey. Well, I guess I should call it "walking a little bit further" along the same worn path of a five year journey. Over 300 people checked the blog today. Thank you. I believe each of you prayed for our little one and I cannot even begin to express my sincere gratitude. If you decide to check in on me via the blog over the next days and weeks, you are going to possibly find my writing to seem very much like waves crashing into the beach.....full of ups and downs, tides in and tides out, crystal clear at times and full of seaweed and junk at other times. I'm just giving a fair warning: I, once gain, have alot to work out with God.
I considered taking my blog "private" today.....only sharing it with family. My reason? Because I want to be honest and "bare" about what I am feeling inside, but fear my wrestling through emotions could offend or become a stumbling block. And, if I worry about being a stumbling block, it is likely to become nearly impossible for me to be totally honest and open. However, after much consideration, I decided against taking my blog private for a completely selfish reason: I am desperate for your prayers for Hopey, and those who choose to walk with me (though there may be only a few who hang in with me for the long haul), are people Hopey needs in her life, even if it is "cyber friendship" at best.
I go to bed angry tonight. My fist is raised to heaven. I read Yancey's words this evening and wondered what kind of God would choose to allow His "beloved" children to suffer? What kind of God allows children to starve, to be abused, to suffer from disease, defects, and disorders? Why do we have to be SHOWN our need for Him?
And then I recall how much Caleb and Lydia learned from our adopting a needy little orphan from Russia......and how much Caleb, Lydia and Natalie learned from our birth of Hopey.....and again through our adoption of little red-headed Charlie. I remember the eye-opening experience Chappy had in Africa last fall when he met true poverty face to face and touched it with his own hands. Each time we have visited a nursing home.....lesson learned. Each time we have fed the hungry.....lesson learned. Each time we have stopped to give money to a beggar.....lesson learned. And all of these experiences have formed us into individuals who don't disregard the afflicted and who give thanks for the blessings many take for granted.
Maybe God works this same way. Perhaps by showing us our imperfections and weaknesses, we really do begin to sense our need for Him to be real.
Hopey has a most unusual case; there isn't another documented case like hers to be found. If you desire to pray for something very specific, please pray that God will lead the cardiac staff to a hidden case that is similar to Hope's. There has to be one somewhere in the world.
And to all of the blog followers who know Hopey, who have held her and loved her.....I am so sorry to give you this news. I know you ache for our family and especially for our little angel. While I am hurting this evening, my thoughts of you are what brings me the most comfort. Thank you a million times for loving Hopey in spite of her many imperfections.