Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Changed Heart

Several years ago I was sitting on a rock that was jutting out of a river in the rain forest of Guatemala.
I had just come from an impromptu swim in the river, and as I sat on the rock drying out, I thought about my life.
I was quite certain that I had everything I needed in life.
I had a good job.
I had great friends.
I had a supportive family.
I was able to travel and see new places.
I was involved in what seemed to me then, the most important thing I could ever be doing: humanitarian work.
I was being pursued by a handsome, older dentist.
I was in great physical shape.
And as a side note, I had great hair.
I'm sure I have a picture...hold on a second while I find it.

Up to that point in my life, I don't think I had ever been more content.
And while marriage and a family would have been a great addition, I knew I didn't need it to be happy.

* * * * *

Yesterday Emily experienced a breeze for the first time.
It was warm enough that I finally dared to take her outside.
We stood on our front porch for a few minutes before we braved the big world of the street in front of our house.
I carried her in my arms, and watched her as she looked at the world through eyes that were as wide open as she could get them.
Every time a breeze blew across her face Emily would catch her breath and reach her arms out and draw herself closer to me.

Today I watched as Emily's eyes followed a flock of newly hatched chickens.  She wouldn't break her gaze away from those chicks for anything.

Tonight as Emily and I were snuggling in the rocking chair before bedtime, Jason came in to give Emily her medications.
Emily opened her drowsy eyes when she heard her daddy and sat up in my lap.
She watched him intently as he put the medicines through her tube, and when he left the room she stayed with her eyes fixed on the door.
After watching for a few minutes she decided that her daddy wasn't coming back.
She turned herself towards me and snuggled back into my arms.  She put her binky in her mouth and within minutes had drifted off to sleep.

* * * * *

When Emily was first born I was afraid to let myself love her.
The first 36 hours of her life had been more traumatic on me than anything else I had ever experienced, and I still wasn't sure that she was even going to live.
If I let myself love my baby I was afraid that I would never be able to endure the heartbreak of losing her.

* * * * *

Our hearts are where the greatest miracles occur.
And as long as our hearts are open for whatever it is that God has in store for us, whether it's joy or sorrow, it could be that a breeze on a daughter's face becomes infinitely more beautiful that a river in the middle of the Guatemalan rain forest.
It could be that a flock of baby chicks makes up for the hair that has turned prematurely grey due to the stress that life has been, and the love a baby girl feels for her daddy is a result of the best kind of humanitarian work there is.

I'm grateful...more than I will ever be able to say...that God took a chance with my heart.
That He trusts that I will continue to find a way to put the broken pieces back together.
And I'm most grateful that he gave my baby girl's heart a fighting chance.


Ali said...

Hey hun! Sorry, I don't know how to reply to your comment on my post and make sure you will see it or not. So I'll just answer you in this comment since I was going to comment on this post of yours anyway!

At the time we were at Primary's they no longer had that senior surgeon (Dr. Hawkins I think?) because he retired early because of his cancer.
They said they were confident in the other surgeons to do the ASD, VSD and Coarctation, but they were a little iffy on the subvalvular stenosis. They wanted us to go to another surgeon that had more experience.
They gave us I think 4 or 5 different options of where to go and we chose LA.
I am so happy too. The surgeon Tanner had was WONDERFUL. I also found out he did a heart proceedure on Arnold Schwarzenegger some years ago, so even better! lol

But back to the comment I was originally going to leave you...
I wanted to tell you that you amaze me in the faith you have in our Lord and the strength that you have shown to your little "Elimy." How you have been able to put it all into words to hopefully help yourself and for her to read when she is older. I have actually been reading this blog and Emily's from the begninning and just caught up yesterday.
Emily is such a little darling, and you and Jason are such beautiful people that I know you were all hand picked to be a family together and be able to handle whatever you have been dealt.
You inspire me and thank you so much for sharing Emily and your life with everyone!
Ok, sorry... long comment. I'm done. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing that. It was so beautiful. Your little girl is absolutely precious...

Erin said...

Wow. I love these sentiments. This life really is an amazing journey, isn't it? I'm in awe at what you have been through. Thank you for sharing these experiences. They really are faith building for the likes of me. Love you!

Yours truly. said...

... I love your blog, It makes me cry like a little girl each time. I decided a while ago that I just couldnt read your blog anymore cuz I instantly cry.So for months I dont come back.then.... I open my blog, and I see you have posted and im drawn to read... two hours later I am caught up on all that I have missed and have done my full crying for the month. I love your spirit and strength. Im starting my own family soon, and my greatest fears are all about my future kids and the possibilities of things going. wrong.But reading your blog I am given reassurance that God wont give me anything I cant handle. Loves you Noelle...

Mr. Thompson and Me said...

You, my dear, are the best person I know.

And just for the record...I want that hair. Someday. Somehow.

Of One Heart said...

You heal my heart. I'm grateful.


Shan said...

I love this.

Janine said...

Absolutely beautiful!!!!! What a precious gem you are are who shines so beautifully Noelle. Your journey is touching so many hearts. We love your precious princess. Her story is healing hearts. Love Janine

Theresa said...