Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cleft Pallet Surgery for Grace

A phone call caught me off guard at the store with 3 kids in the cart and barely any room for groceries. I stop in the isle as the voice on the other line says, "Miss Young we have a cancellation and we can get Grace in for surgery this week. Does Thursday work for you?" Umm..sure, yah. Let's do it. I quickly oblige, hang up the phone and realize life is about to change...and just that quick.
My daughter, a beautiful baby girl, born full term at 5 pounds was seemingly perfect. The dr. placed her on my chest. I thought she was beautiful. I ooed and awwed. Then she cried, and I noticed something was wrong. I quickly told the doctor...there is a hole in the back of my baby's throat! They took her into the NICU and confirmed yes, she has a soft pallet cleft. And that was just the beginning. After an emergency run to the hospital at 1 week old, followed by a 6 week stay at the NICU, we found out that the cleft was a byproduct of a chromosome abnormality and she will most likely be delayed her whole life. We had chosen to name her Grace, long before we knew that she really was God's gift of grace to us. Her name was perfect and she was just as God had made her...beautiful and different.
So surgery to fix the cleft is exciting and terrifying. I catch myself looking at her differently. I look at her with compassion, knowing what is coming tomorrow. She has no idea and I could never verbally communicate in a way she could understand. So, I hold her a little longer, kiss her a little more.
I wish I could take it away or maybe just call the whole thing off. But...would that be loving? No, I can't do that. She needs it. She needs this surgery to make her whole, to allow her to eat, to allow her to grow and live.
I pray.
What can I do? I realize all I can do is hold her and be there with her through it, wipe her tears, stroke her blonde curls, rock her to sleep, and never ever leave her side.
All of a sudden it clicks.
God, is this how you feel when you have to lead me through something painful? Now I know it must be necessary or you wouldn't allow it.
That's it Lord. You won't take away the pain; you won't stop the surgery, the trial, the lesson...because with the pain comes healing. I need it. I need it to be whole, to grow, and live. It’s out of love that you allow me to go through it. However, in your compassion, you promise to never leave me alone in the pain. You promise to hold me a little closer. You promise to see me through it and you promise that I will be whole, complete, and beautiful in the end.
I look back and realize that my Jesus has always held me in the hard times. He held me in elementary school when I cried watching my daddy drive away. He held me when my tiny daughter was diagnosed with a syndrome as I held her in my arms in the NICU. He held me this month when I found out my mom has breast cancer and a brain tumor. He has always held me, always loved me, and I know that I would never choose a life without Him. He is my comforter, my joy, and my peace forever.
Psalm 55:22
Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you
1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not for I am with you...
Psalm 28:6-7
Blessed be the Lord,
Because He has heard the voice of my supplications!
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart gladly rejoices,
And with my song I will praise Him.

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