I would want to share her story because I have seen our God, who can do anything, do the miraculous. It wasn’t a coincidence, and it wasn’t lucky. It was purely the reckless love of God intersecting our lives in a way that I would want you to know about because this great God is the One we all have an opportunity to know. This great God is One who is trustworthy and will lead and love you forever if you let Him.
Our lives changed in an instant.
On day three of our daughter’s life, there was a fight. It started between the doctor and the nurse in our small NICU room and ended with a granted request to get an echo of our daughter’s heart. Upon seeing the test, the doctor ran to us in a panic. As I clung to my husband and wept, he said we had a 1/3 chance we were going to lose her, 1/3 chance she would need a heart and lung transplant and 1/3 chance she would recover “in some form” because she wasn’t getting enough oxygen. Basically the life of the little girl you thought you were going to see skipping down the sidewalk, is no longer.
They loaded her into the ambulance, and my heart proceeded ahead of us as we transferred hospitals in hopes that her body would hold long enough to get her on ECMO.
We pulled into the hospital and yelled ahead to see if she was still alive. She was and we followed them into the hallway of the pediatric ICU. As things continued to fail, we were ushered into a small, quiet, sterile room.
Grim news continued to pour in. It was very apparent this was not going well. She was drowning in her blood and they couldn’t get her ventilated. They had cut her neck open to harvest the vein to put her on ECMO while she was receiving chest compressions…things were failing. As we received yet another report, the doctor’s eyes expressed a lack of hope. I remember after he gave us the grim plan (that in hindsight was preparation for the “we have done everything we could do” talk), saying, “I trust you because I trust my God.”
When the doctor left and the room was again quiet, we had the rare privilege to choose. We had the rare privilege to stand in between the physical reality and the ultimate reality. We had said forever that we believed the Bible and God’s promises to be true. Could we hand our daughter over to our God? Could we stand on that belief? That answer was yes.
As we sat another doctor entered the room. They reported a change: it seemed like they were unsure what was happening, but it sounded like a glimmer of hope we had not yet seen…still grim, but not certain death. Her cardiothoracic surgeon entered a bit later and said, “I had everyone stop, and as we watched things started to change. I don’t know what to tell you, but I didn’t do that. Sometimes you stand by a bed and you know there is a Creator.”
Samantha had a third of her blood in her lungs, and thirty minutes later the blood was gone. It was unexplainable. Over a series of weeks, she came home from the hospital and after her final heart procedure, looking for a reason for the crash, a cardiologist said, “We just can’t figure out why she tried so hard to die and then just came back.”
I have seen the goodness of God. I have seen the things our God can do. I am convinced that as you trust Him, you will see them too. So this week as we celebrate her eighth birthday, we celebrate with candles that we didn’t think we would see her blow out, and as we do, I am overwhelmed with goodness I do not deserve from our God who recklessly lavishes His goodness upon us.
The God who the trees reach high for, the One who controls the waves while we sleep, telling them where they may go and when they may go no further…He is worth surrendering our life to. There is a life where we live held. It is a life of faith and trust and it is found in the eyes of God who waits while we wonder. He is patient and kind. He is strong and just. He holds the keys to the peace and meaning we are looking for today and for forever.
What strikes me this week is that the God who we trust with our eternity we can trust with our today. He has got all of our tomorrows and our actual tomorrow. We can ask Him for our very next step and He is right there and will be every single day.
Let’s let God. Let Him care for you. Let Him forgive you. Let Him give you peace. As I lower my resistance and let God love me I find there is no greater love, no greater life, no greater freedom, no other way to live free.