08 May 2014

Today Should Have Been "The Day"

Today was supposed to be the day for Luke's open heart surgery, but due to our surgeon having an international trip extended through this week, Luke's operation was moved to next week.  When things were first rescheduled, I was initially irritated with the prospect of having to re-organize all of our arrangements but now that those things have all been completed (again!), it's been nice to have just one more week as a family before our upheaval to Boston.

There is something else on my mind today and it's the conglomeration of people behind "Team Luke" and also the larger effort I've heard referred to as "Team Taylor".  It is the most absolutely wonderful feeling to have so many caring people in our lives.  For nearly the last two and a half weeks, we haven't gone one day without receiving a care package or card (or two or three) in the mail... items have come to us all the way from Canada, Tennessee and even from all the way across our great state of Ohio.  We've been touched by co-workers, friends and family and even acquaintances from Facebook support groups for families of individuals with Down Syndrome.  Emails, text messages and notifications that we're on another church's prayer chain fill our hearts with love, hope and joy.  I've had a few people make comments to me recently about how "strong" we are or how our "positivity" is admirable, but quite honestly... yes, there may be some of that coming from within our own beings, but it's reinforced and strengthened by the outpouring of love we've received from so many special and amazing people each day.  When you experience something like we have over the last two years... a surprise pregnancy well before your first child's first birthday, learning prenatally that the surprise baby was bringing more surprises in the forms of a major congenital heart defect and a diagnosis of Down syndrome and then the subsequent complexities that come along with him being admitted to the hospital four times in the coming year for issues like RSV, a heart cath, bronchiolitis and pneumonia, you learn to rely on faith or you get crushed by the weight of the world.  I recently had a conversation with a friend who lost her young son to cancer and one of her comments really resonated with me, "When you feel like you have nothing else in the world, you can always count on your faith to get you through the unimaginable"... she was so right...

As I try to make sense of life (which is probably pointless as it's impossible to understand the unique complexities of God's plans), I am comforted by the belief that God has orchestrated something wonderful for each of us.  As I reflect each day and pray each night I know that I have been prepared for where my life is headed... with each experience and each relationship formed, I am being guided to where I am supposed to go.. it reminds me of the poem "Footprints in the Sand" by Mary Stevenson.

One night I had a dream--
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord
and across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints,
one belonged to me and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in my life.
This really bothered me and I questioned the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you would walk with me all the way,
but I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life
there is only one set of footprints.
"I don't understand why in times when I needed you most,
you should leave me."
The Lord replied, "My precious, precious child,
I love you and I would never, never leave you
during your times of trial and suffering.
"When you saw only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you."

I can't change the reality of Luke's need for open heart surgery.  It is real and it will be happening in just a few short days... I am, however, optimistic towards the prospect of his heart being fixed and for us to eliminate the challenge that his sweet, pudgy, beautiful little body has to overcome with every heartbeat, which happens about 130 times every minute of every day.  The Lord has prepared us for this event and I know He will be with us every step of the way!

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