So sorry for the long delay.... we have been so busy planning for a very special littlest Joyner's 1st BIRTHDAY!!!! More pictures to come...
Yes, as of March 28th, this past Sunday, Shepherd was 1 year old. One year ago, I was posting THIS. It has been such a full year and there were SO many who shared this year with us. I will write more about it in a couple of days but I had to take the opportunity to write quickly (I'm headed out for a girls only weekend with my most favoritest ladies!!).
It was around this time on April 1st of last year that we all prayed and hoped our way through Shepherd's heart surgery. I wished that it had only been an April fools joke, but alas, this time last year my littlest guy went through one of the most painful surgeries a person can have. It is called cardio-thoracic because they get to the heart by cutting through the muscles and tendons in the side of the chest and pulling the ribs apart. OUCH!
My baby was 4 days old.
His heart was the size of a walnut and didn't work right.
He could not have lived without the procedure.
Risks included paralyzation and death.
The area they were working on was his aortic valve and was about the size of a small straw.
We arrived early to pray with him and hold him and kiss him, not guaranteed that we would have him at the end of the day.
I tried to keep my composure as Noah and I and a nurse walked Shepherd to the OR.
I went through way more kleenex than I'd like to admit.
I thought of how unbelievably perfect he looked and begged God not to let it be my last glimpse at his beautiful face.
Then they came to get him and acted like this was old-hat. It may have been for them but not for me.
We walked a long hallway back to the PICU waiting room to lots of family and all of our pastors...and we all prayed, together, out loud......I wrote their prayers down to help me stay controlled and to always have them to remember....and we waited.
And God met us. There in the waiting room. There, walking the halls of the Pediatric Intensive Care to the beeps, the noises, the smells, and never any crying- at least of children. He was with us when we walked them day after day. When we held our new friends and neighbors at the hospital, as they lost their children. The expected 2 weeks became 2 months and the "fairly common" heart surgery became a very uncommon little boy with every uncommon complications they never expected. That we never expected.
And here we are, a year later. Everything didn't turn out exactly like we had hoped. But that's not the point of life and something we are not guaranteed.
And at the same time, everything turned out far better than we had hoped. And THAT is not the point of our life or anything we are guaranteed, either.
And we're young, we want more children.
Shepherd still has a trach and a possible heart surgery in the future. There are so many moments and years ahead of the unknown. But in all of the unknown, one thing has become more known.
In all of the complex emotions and the stumbling around that this life holds, there is one that is prefect and unchanging.
There is VERY little I know about my life or it's promises and disappointments. As long as Jesus continues to be there in the middle of these moments, showing me His great beauty, I pray I can walk, maybe even stumble through the past, present and the future. Even in the unknown.
He's been so good, because he can be nothing but Good. It's the very essence of who he is, regardless of out lives circumstances. We are forced to redefine "good" not on what meets our expectations, but based on trust.
And this year has given us ample reason to trust the goodness of God.
So may I repeat the title of my post as of a year ago, "Thank You, Jesus."