with all my HEART

We went to Dallas on Wednesday to get that miracle. I knew it wouldn’t look how I imagined it. God rarely does exactly what I ask him to do – though usually in a way I can truly appreciate.

We met Dr. Aliessa Barnes – a very young, normal, non-stereotypic doctor. She is absolutely amazing and I’m so grateful for the recommendation from Erik’s doctors. She had immediate rapport with Bryce and asked him very frank, pointed questions.

“Do you get tired before other kids when you’re playing sports?”
“Do you ever feel short of breath?”
“Do you ever have chest pains?”
Bryce answered NO to every question.

So she put down her clipboard and asked him to promise her he would never lie about any of these questions. She recognized that he is a smart boy and he probably understands that if he admitted to any of these things his mom would probably overreact 🙂 She said, “Your mom gets to overreact because she’s the mom. But I promise you that I will never overreact and you can trust me with the truth.”

I was so moved by this and shocked with the thought that he could have been keeping secrets about how he feels. It seemed like Dr. Barnes didn’t believe him, which also made me very nervous. Bryce never did admit to any symptoms, so I’m going on faith in Bryce’s word at this point. Dr. Barnes gave him her card with her number circled and told him to call her anytime if he has questions or feels funny.

She ran some tests of her own, coupled with the tests we had in September and decided immediately that medication is the correct option for Bryce.

Our hope was that medicine would not be necessary. To start down that road just seemed like the beginning of something we did not want to face with our children. Enalapril (Vasotec) is the exact drug that Bryce took twice a day until he was 9 months old; Erik took it from his diagnosis in 1998 until transplant in 2003.

Enalapril is an ACE Inhibitor that will improve the effectiveness of the heart by reducing the blood pressure that the heart must maintain. Basically, it will help Bryce’s heart not have to work so hard which will make it more effective. For me, the struggle is that Bryce will be on this drug for the rest of his life – it’s not like an antibiotic – you don’t just stop taking it.

Meeting Dr. Barnes was a great experience. I appreciated her decisiveness and her connection with Bryce. But in the end, her recommendation was not exactly what I’d hoped for.

So I had a long ride home to contemplate my theories on healing in addition to what I know to be true about my Father.

How many times in life have we all said, “Where is God in all of this?” Oddly enough, I have not asked that question in a very long time. God has proven Himself to me more times than He should have to.

The question I found myself asking all day yesterday and today is “Where is God GOOD in all of this?”

Turns out there are LOTS of answers to that question and it has brought me great peace to meditate on those things. Some revelations have almost taken my breath away – He is so good.

When we left Dr. Barnes’ office, as she shook my hand and hugged Bryce, she commented that this probably feels like the beginning of something we hoped we’d never have to face. I nodded my head and swallowed the gigantic lump I’d been fighting all afternoon.

But on the drive home it hit me – yesterday was not really the beginning. The beginning was actually January 1997 when the doctor delivered news to me that my newborn had 3 holes in his heart. I began a process of surrendering Bryce to his Father in Heaven every single day.

And yet, another beginning in August 2000 when I took Bryce in for his 6-month check up. After explaining that the doctor was going to look inside his heart, this sweet, 3-year old boy said to me, “Well, he’ll just see Jesus there.” That day, Dr. Sridaramont’s echocardiogram confirmed that the holes had completely closed. And we went forth in healing.

I believe I get to claim that same healing today – it doesn’t look the same, doesn’t feel the same – but it’s the same heart and it’s the same God.

I shamefully thought once to myself yesterday, “Well, I didn’t get my miracle.” Then I felt like God asked me, “So whose miracle did you get?”

That got me thinking about the hundreds of mothers out there that would love medication to be an answer for their child. How many moms are begging God right now for a miracle drug? How many mothers would prefer to have a child on this earth instead of waiting for her in Heaven and would be grateful in my shoes?

That shut me up pretty quick. We are very fortunate that this is our lot. I mean, seriously why not us?

Psalm 9

1 I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. 2 I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.

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