Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Miracles, Modern Medicine, & Gratitude

When Ephraim was born, they found a murmur in his heart. Before we left the hospital, we had a candid talk with the cardiologist telling us the scary symptoms to look for.

But they barely appeared. It was encouraging, and though highly unlikely with the type of hole in the heart that Ephraim had (a large VSD), our family started praying for a miracle. Please, bless our boy to be healed.

After several months of basically normal living, we went back for another test. The hole had not closed up. Although he appeared totally healthy, this did not bode well for the rest of his life, and it would have to be repaired.

I did some soul searching. In my reading I found the story of King Lamoni, who, although he knew the Lord could do all things, decided to act as a negotiator to help get his friends out of prison. It was silly of me, I decided, to think that the only way my baby could be healed was by an out-of-context act of God. He works through people too.

And that he did.

On August 6th, 2014, a skillful surgeon stopped my baby's heart for close to 2 and 1/2 hours and made repairs while he lived through a bypass machine. Ephraim was under surgery so long because the doctor was actually done, closing up shop, but things didn't seem exactly right. Our surgeon decided to put him back on the bypass machine and found another problem that he was able to fix. The first problem had been masking the second problem. A "miraculous" healing of the hole could have made our boy very sick.

The surgeon's hands were the Lord's hands. 

Not only am I grateful for our boy being fixed through surgery and his speedy recovery (he is currently making a great recovery comfortably here at home), I am so struck by the people who made it possible.

I think in awe of the surgeon. The path of his life. How many hours of homework has he done in med school? How many late nights has he spent studying and contemplating the functions of the heart? How much time and dedication he gave so that my boy could have new life? I could never be more grateful. Although I am grateful for "modern medicine" in general, I am grateful for him. For him making modern medicine possible.

I think reverently back on the skilled nurses in the CICU. These women are strong. They are not only skilled and knowledgeable, but gentle, loving and kind. As I contemplate my upcoming schooling, I was overcome by my gratitude that these women had given of themselves in this way. Here was a fellow mother, a nurturer, an advocate for me in what would have otherwise been a lonely place.

I am humbled by the service of my mother-in-law. This has been a tearful experience for my own mother, what with her being out of the country and all, so I was indeed grateful that my girls were in my mother-in-law's loving hands. She turned a situation where the cares of home could have been overwhelming and freed us up to focus on healing our boy.

We had so many people praying, thinking about, and personally reach out to us showing concern and love. I was grateful for them being the Lord's hands, buoying and lifting us up to let us know that we are not alone. But I was also grateful for their individual faith in Jesus Christ. Their individual good works. Not because God "favors" these people more, but because they make it possible for Him to bless them more.

But what if he hadn't been healed? Would your faith have been in vain? I don't know why some people's babies are taken and others are not. That was not the path I was asked to take this time. But faith is never in vain, you will always see a benefit in believing in God.

I will tell you one way your faith blessed me. I was never scared or worried about the outcome. It was unsettling to me, at times, that I was not worried, and I knew that it was coming from a source that was not my own. Thank you for giving me that gift.

And now I get to enjoy this gift in my arms. God gives and he takes away. May we never forget and ever be grateful for what we have.

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