You remember, right?

You remember when Annie’s heart failed, right?

You remember how her 8-week-old body didn’t know yet that her heart was deathly sick, but the pictures on the screens and the numbers in the blood proved it, right?

You remember agonizing moments begging for answers, hoping for good news, praying for another goodnight kiss, right?

You remember putting your baby to bed in a sterile room, giving the night nurse instructions for her care, waiting on the shuttle to cart you 15 blocks “home” to a 45-room house full of teary-eyed mommas whose arms ache empty, right?

You remember wrangling a 2-year-old on city streets because little sister’s children’s hospitals don’t have backyard swingsets, right?

You need to remember because today Annie’s heart is failing again. 

Today Annie’s body doesn’t yet know that her heart is deathly sick, but the pictures on the screens and the numbers in the blood prove it.

 

Today was full of agonizing moments begging for answers, hoping for good news, praying for so many more goodnight kisses. Today we wait to know more while we relish in normal for a few more nights.

But you remember, right? How there was no hope. There weren’t any viable options. There weren’t many doctors willing to take a chance.

You remember, right? How her life was threatened by a simple cold virus. How she needed a blood transfusion. How she had “60% chance of surviving the operation.”

But you remember, right? HOW GOD HEALED HER! How her failing heart showed miraculous, medically-unexplainable normal function 2 days before open heart surgery.

But you remember, right? How the surgery was a breeze. How the surgeon acknowledged the miracle. How she went home 5 days later.

You remember, right?

God, we remember. The horrors. The despair. The suffering. The fear. But most of all we remember your miraculous touch.

Would you join us in asking that the God who fearfully and wonderfully made Annie would miraculously heal her failing heart again?

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Again, Again!

Every day I pray for Annie’s health, for Annie’s heart. Those are the prayers I pray out loud. But every night there’s another prayer that I can only barely whisper.

“Hold you me. Again again!” Annie squealed and spun, dipped and giggled. If he put her down to catch a quick breath, she shot her arms up, pinched her fingers at him, and begged, “Again again!”

Annie didn’t have to do much convincing for the game to go on. My brother must’ve twirled her for at least half an hour, over and over, tickling, hugging, nuzzling, loving her little cheeks again and again.

When she finally tired of the kitchen tile dance floor, she remembered the bowl of icy red punch. She knocked her fists together to sign and audibly demanded, “More more!” The family punch recipe has been a hit with every generation yet. I refilled her mini cup and helped myself to another scoop too. More punch is always right.

As we head into a new year, I keep hearing that we need to put things behind, hope for something new, set our sights on a dream ahead. I’m tempted to make resolutions like I want to change _____ or I’ll do less of _____.

But no. Not in 2016. Not with Annie. Not today.

Each night I tuck Annie back into her bed. I kiss her plump lips. I hover over her round cheeks. I stroke back a stray curl. And I whisper, whimper, bargain, plead, “God, please, I want to do this again tomorrow.”

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The part of CHD life I never knew to prepare for is the reality that any tomorrow could change every day for the rest of our lives. The part of heart mom life that is harder than anything else is living with the unknown.

So in a new year I want more more, again again. I want another year like the last one with happy, healthy Annie, getting good reports, outliving prognoses.

In a new year I want more more, again again of God’s nearness and mercies enough for today while I wonder about tomorrow.

In a new year I want more more, again again of the grace to believe that whatever God’s plan is for my family is in fact the right plan for my family.

In a new year I want more more, again again and every night I’m going to keep praying I get it.

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