I was lost in thought as I drove. I wanted to be home - NOW. But it was after 4pm on a Wednesday and was caught in early commute traffic....home was an hour away at this point. I heard dinging....what in the world was dinging? It was the car - it needed gas. It had needed gas before I left to take Savannah to her cardiologist appointment, but I had forgotten to stop. I wiped the tears from my eyes and pulled into the next gas station. I jumped out of the car and immediately checked on Savannah. I wanted to make sure she wasn't blue....she needed to stay PINK. Gas. That's right, I needed gas. I got my wallet and slid my card. Now I heard beeping. "Unable to read card" blinked at me in the midst of the beeping. I slid it again....the whole process repeating itself. I looked at the card that was in my trembling hand, puzzled. Well, my Costco membership card wasn't going to get me gas. I got the correct card from my wallet and slid it. Gas! $10 would get me home. I'd fill up later. I just wanted to be HOME. I peeked at Savannah again. She was sleeping. She was PINK. There was no doubt this was going to be the longest drive I just might ever drive......
As I pulled back into the heavy traffic my mind was overwhelmed. A few hours ago I had left Rob at home with our boys so I could take Savannah to her cardiologist appointment for that silly heart murmur that wouldn't go away. We'd thought there was no reason for Rob to go....we would have had to find a sitter for the boys and no one knew about the murmur....it seemed silly to worry everyone about something we thought would probably result in nothing more than meds prior to dentist appointments, like Dylan's heart murmur. We were SO wrong.
Rob was not present when I learned Dylan had Down syndrome. He was on a business trip when we received the official diagnosis that Jeremy would never father children. History had repeated itself today. The "silly" murmur was much more complex than we thought. After an EKG, X-Ray and ECHO, it was confirmed that Savannah had a Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) - Tetralogy of Fallot, to be exact. Her oxygen level was holding at 92%. They said she was in the "Pink" stage but this could change. She needed to come in 2-3 times a week and have her oxygen and weight checked. If it fell below 92%, an ECHO would have to be done. She needed to put on weight. She HAD to stay WELL. If she started to turn blue, we needed to push her body into the fetal position. This would open her airway and allow the oxygenated blood to properly pump through her body. But the words that stung the most....my baby girl needed open heart surgery.
I drove on. We would be BACK next week to go over everything in more detail with the doctors. In the meantime - FEED her and WATCH her. I was in agony. She was in the infant car seat and I couldn't see her. What if she turned blue while I drove? I yelled at God. I was alone. He'd better be watching her as I drove! In this moment, I got my hand slapped by Him. "HELLO?!?! I created her, of course I'm watching her - she's MINE." The tears flowed. He was not only watching over her, but the entire car as I drove home.
I began to talk with God. Every....single....time....I had received news about our children, Rob had not been present. Rob is my other half. I'm incomplete without him. Yet, in these moments when I wanted nothing but his arms wrapped around me, he wasn't there. But God WAS. He was demanding me to talk to Him - to depend on HIM and HIM alone. He wanted my undivided attention from the beginning of this journey - He had requested it in all the bumpy roads I had traveled with my children. This was the beginning of a long journey. In that moment, the song "Blessed Be Your Name" began to play on the CD that was playing. It's a song the Lord has used repeatedly in my life since Dylan's birth. I drove and cried even harder. What was my heart going to say? Would I curse His name or praise it? He gave me a beautiful daughter, but took away her perfect health. In this darkness - this dessert, what would I CHOOSE? It was going to be painful to watch my daughter go through the weeks, months and years to come and only I could decide how my heart would move forward.
For nearly an hour God held me captive, depending solely on Him in my initial reaction. As I turned onto our street and into the garage, I told God I was devastated with the news I had just received. I had no desire to travel the road ahead of us. I just wanted to sit back and enjoy my sweet girl. I couldn't understand why He would put us through something so big again, but I told Him I would praise Him and find blessings in the midst of this trial. It wasn't going to be easy for me....I was upset with Him. VERY upset, to be completely honest! Yet His peace was beginning to surround me. It was ok to be angry, but I had to keep my eyes on Him - that's all He wanted from me, at least for now.
As I got out of the car, I looked up to find Rob standing in the garage. His arms were open wide and I fell into them. God wanted me to depend on Him first. But He knew I needed Rob. As I stood there crying with his arms around me, I was already praising the Lord's name in the midst of heart break. I had the Lord. I had Rob. We all had each other. Everything would be ok, whatever "ok" was......