Words cannot express the level of thanks and gratitude we have for each and every person who took time to pray for our sweet Clare this past week. Our Father heard each and every word lifted up and He showed mercy, mercy which is new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).
She had spinal surgery to untether a tethered cord and to remove a dermoid which had formed over her spinal cord. It’s hard to explain the feelings a parent has knowing their child is going to undergo major surgery. Some of you know this feeling, some of you may not and hopefully never will.
It’s this feeling of fear – fear of the unknown. What if something goes wrong? What if the surgery is unsuccessful? What if the surgeon finds more than he had prepared for? But Joshua 1:9 tells us to “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” I came back to this verse over and over and over again during the days leading up to Clare’s surgery, knowing that I would not find one ounce of peace in fear. It’s still not easy to turn your baby over to the anesthesiology team and watch them wheel her down the hallway. The silly juice she drank just before that moment eased the fear a bit, providing some sweet moments giggling and smiling just before surgery. Yes, it’s a scary thing, but we must place our trust in God and not fear. We can do the best that we know how to do for our child and the rest we must leave up to Him.
The other thing I learned was to truly stay focused on what matters. My husband and I, in our opinion, made the absolute best decisions we knew how to make regarding Clare’s surgery. We researched, we read, we asked questions. In the end, I had to stay focused, focused on Him. Exodus 15:2 tells us “The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” I had to focus on Him.
Fast forward to today – three days after surgery. Clare was released from the hospital, is doing beautifully and we pray each moment that she continues to do so. We still have to be careful and pray to avoid infections or complications. Were there long, sleepless nights? Yep. Was every second consumed with comforting or entertaining Clare? Yep. Were there moments of pure exhaustion? Yep. But she is the strongest little lady I know and I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else these last three days. She still has a few weeks to finish healing and recovering, but the doctors feel that the incision looks beautiful and that she is doing wonderfully. We were able to pick her up for the first time yesterday which was like a long embrace after time away. And she was on her feet for the first time today and was all smiles.
I’m so proud of her. She is amazing. And I’m so thankful for a wonderful loving husband who wouldn’t have been anywhere but by her side. And I’m thankful for family who stepped in to help on every side, and for hundreds and hundreds of you who spent time praying for Clare. Thank you. 🙂