I was 15 when my parents returned from another one of my mother's oncology appointments. They sat us down in the living room (where only the most important conversations were held) and explained to my sister and me that my mother was diagnosed for the fourth time with cancer...this time it was terminal. She would have surgery to get what they could but knew they couldn't get it all. She would come home and we would have a nurse care for her until her last breath. My grandma moved into our home to help care for her daughter while we were at school and my father at work. We videoed my sister's basketball games and brought them home for her to see watching the pure joy she experienced from seeing games we already knew the endings to. She asked me almost daily to sing for her. I would crawl into bed with her and sing whatever she requested...usually the same songs over and over. We held family meetings in my parent's bedroom where we would share our frustrations with the hand we were dealt and she would share her peace with God's Plan. We were walking in the dark...but walking by faith.
I began walking in the dark again last August. I went for a routine prenatal checkup and my doctor couldn't get a heartbeat by doppler at 14 weeks. This was my second pregnancy and I knew from my first that the heartbeat should have been able to detect by 12 weeks...and I was two weeks beyond that. The ultrasonographer did get a heartbeat but couldn't see all four chambers of my baby's heart. We were told not to worry and come back in two weeks to look again. I walked out of the doctor's office and bawled all the way to the car where I completely lost it. I tried to call my daddy to tell him that something was wrong. He reminded me that my sister was born with a murmur and that it probably wasn't anything to worry about at that time...knowing that he was taking my worry upon himself. Two long weeks passed. We prayed for a healthy heart and stayed busy trying not to think about it. I returned on August 23rd for the next ultrasound. First, we learn that we are having a girl...the girl that I've always dreamed of having. I finally will have the babydoll to dress in all the handsmocked dresses my mother made for my sister and me. Oh, and the bows! I was overjoyed for about 2 minutes. Then, as the other ultrasonographer joins us there is still no visible left ventricle. She picks up the phone and requests for me to see the local pediatric cardiologist in an hour and a half. Once again, I bawl all the way to the car. Scott is with me and we go together to the appointment after what was a lame attempt at eating lunch. We walked by faith into a cardiologist's office knowing nothing about what was before us...even a hole in her heart was terrifying...little did we know it was only going to get worse. Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. What? Can you spell that? We have options? Termination? Surgery after surgery upon birth? Transplant? What? Is this really happening? How does this happen? Tears. Prayer. Walking in the dark...walking by faith.
The next seven months I walked by faith in the darkest hours every single day totally unaware of what tomorrow held. I learned to walk by faith and not by sight. I learned to depend wholly and completely on the One who holds tomorrow. I prayed to Him and begged Him to make her heart perfect. I prayed for her complete healing. He answers prayers...not how I ever imagined but in the ways that He knew would be best for His Plan. And I am thankful.
At any given moment, all of us are in some way walking in the dark. The choice that we have is are we going to continue in the dark without direction and without hope...or, are we going to walk by faith depending entirely on Christ to light our paths and hold our hands when we are scared, afraid, frustrated and at our end?
For this new year, I pray that we choose HIM! That we choose to walk by faith with confidence in Our Lord and His abilities...laying our insecurities and fears at His feet...knowing that, one day, we will be rewarded so greatly for walking by faith!
"We live by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7
Praying a faith-filled walk for you all, friends~ Rebecca