GRACE - I always feel a deep sense of gratefulness when I think of who God has placed in my life to love and support me. Yet, I have a hard time comprehending grace - I know what it means, but I need to internalize it - really trust its' meaning.
In the first month of Emma's life, we found out that she had a heart murmur. Actually, Brent found out at one of her appointments, and kept it from me for several months. No, I was not mad...because honestly, I worry A LOT. They weren't concerned and were sure it would go away by her first birthday.
Well, her first birthday rolled around and it was still there. I really did not worry much about it, and I have no idea why. Maybe it was God silencing my fears, maybe it was a little bit of me growing up and not being so paranoid. Who knows. Emma has NEVER had any other issues - no breathing difficulty, no signs of not developing, etc...so I really had no reasons to worry.
At her 16 month appointment, they really urged us to get it checked by a cardiologist, so I did start panicking a bit. I made the appointment, after they called to remind me several times (I was reluctant to even deal with it! I thought if I didn't make an appt., it would go away - right???) I was in the middle of the busiest work season ever - advising. I had 125 students to see in less than 3 weeks - that was around 8 a day. To make a long story short, I had a great appt at a great time with the chief of cardiology, but he got called into emergency surgery so we had to reschedule....and wait another week. Thankfully, Brent was able to take off as well and come with us - I certainly did not want to do this alone.
Emma was such a trooper - when Dr. Robinson heard her heart, he assured us he thought it was an innocent murmur, but wanted to do an ultrasound to make sure. She was fantastic during the ultrasound - watched a movie and didn't mind the sweet technician rubbing gobs of gooey-ness on her chest and probing with the ultrasound wand.
|already stealing mom's wallet...|
Dr. Robinson did find a very minor defect with Emma's heart - and it is called mild pulmonary valve stenosis. Basically, the valve to her lungs is slightly closed and creates turbulence when the blood flows through there, which causes the murmur. In only 1% of the cases, do patients need surgery if the condition worsens, and that would only be later in life and gradual - like in her teenage years. She can run around, play sports, be an Olympic athlete - whatever she chooses! He said she has no chance of having a heart attack or stopping breathing, so I can rest assured. It was a relief, but I certainly cried when we left the office. I was overwhelmed with relief, but also sad that it could have been worse, and there are families out there who do get bad news. I kept feeling guilty wondering why God had spared us, while others have to endure so much pain?
And then I'm reminded that it doesn't matter what I have done, or do, or will do - God's grace and love are not influenced. And our struggles or accomplishments have nothing to do with His love for us. They are not connected - we aren't rewarded for good things and punished by Him for bad. His love is a constant - always.
But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. - Ephesians 4:7
But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. - Romans 11:6