Saw the cardiologist and surgeon on Thursday.
- Her condition isn't worse.
- Her aorta has grown a little, but not much more than normal growth. It is still very small for her "age", but they still can't tell for sure if it is TOO small. (which is much better than being able to tell for sure!)
- Below I'll note about statistics, but the bright side of that, Annabelle, as far as they can tell, has no other conditions besides her malf0rmed heart. That puts her slightly on the better side of the statistics, because some of those that have complications have other issues.
- Her left heart is "way" too small to hope that it could be usable. Some babies are borderline, but Annabelle's is not. Obviously, GOD is still in control and could make it grow, and I'm still praying for that, but I'm at the point that I feel God calling me to give it to Him, and that's what I'm doing.
- I clarified her "survival" chances, and it wasn't what I hoped. Before, they'd told me 80% chance of living to the second surgery, and the first surgery is the most risky. However, they didn't mention a % for after the second surgery. I assumed once she got past that, it was very good. But, alas, not so much. The overall survival rate of babies through all 3 surgeries (the last one at age 2) is about 60%, and then there is still a 5 - 10% chance of not making it to age 5. I don't have to tell you how scary and crushing those are, but again, GOD is in control, and he is Lord over all percentages.
- The surgeon noted that this is the riskiest heart-surgery they perform on babies. Not so pleasant news for us either.
So in church last week, I had a thought while we were singing. I didn't write about it, as I felt I'd gushed about Annabelle too much on this blog and was getting a little depressing, so I opted for funny posts last week:-) But this week I felt it again, and knew that I needed to write it down.
We were singing about glorifying God. Really, many of our worship songs are about that, which is GREAT, but it really hit me yesterday. Truly, as Christians, our goal for life in general is to glorify God in all we do.
Unfortunately, when life gets in the way, sometimes it's not so easy to glorify Him. How can we glorify God through our pain? Our struggles? How can I sit in a church service and sing glory to God, praising him and lifting his name up, when my life feels like it's on this tilt-a-whirl and God feels so far away? How can God be glorified through my wee little daughter's pain and suffering?
First, let me tell you: I have NO idea how God will be glorified.
However, I sit here today (yes, with my huge feet propped up!) and tell you for sure that God WILL be glorified. If nothing else, I will choose to glorify God through the storm. Reminds me of the Casting Crowns song that talks about praising God through the storms. Because God is still God no matter what is going on around us.
Reminds me too of the Psalms. King David praised God and cried out to Him, but he also mourned over and over about his enemy's thwarting him, questioned God about why everything was going wrong. But he never ceased to praise God, to recognize that God is still there, that there is still hope, even when everything looks bleak.
I was thinking today too, as we sang about lifting our hands to Jesus with our hearts abandoned, in awe of who God is, that I needed to write this down. To write down my choice to glorify God in the hard times. Because right now, it's fairly easy. Annabelle is still in my tummy, I still have a month to go. I can sit in the presence of God's people and make that choice easily.
But it won't be so simple when I'm in the hospital and my baby is being carried away from me to be hooked up to tubes and monitors. It won't be easy when I see her struggling. It won't be easy while I'm waiting while she is in surgery. It will be so very difficult when I'm standing by her bedside, seeing her hooked up to so many tubes and her chest wrapped in gauze and her grasping onto life. It won't be so easy as we struggle through the months of recovery, the 2 other surgeries. I KNOW there will be times when I cry out to God, "Oh, why, oh WHY didn't you take this away? Why didn't you make her better and spare her from this, Jesus? Where is the good in this?"
Those are the times that I want to have something to look back on, a place where I made a choice that no matter what, I would see that God's name is glorified through it all. Because this will all be meaningless if God isn't glorified through it. My life, Annabelle's life, really ALL of our lives, are meant for that purpose.
A weighty question for today. How are you letting God be glorified through your life right now? Maybe it's through your writing, through a tough situation, through someone you're sharing God with. If you can't think of anything, that's fine, but my prayer is that we all stop for just a second and think about how our lives glorify God. We can sing about it all we want, but until we live out, our words are meaningless.