I was actually doing pretty well this morning as we packed up and headed to Duke. But by the time we checked in and talked to the doctor, I think my hands were noticeably trembling. Chris insisted he was cool as a cucumber. I let him think I believed him :)
THIS IS CHRIS NOT BEING ANXIOUS :)
When they took her out of my arms, I felt nauseous. Not because I was worried about her - I knew she was in good hands - but because I honestly expected more bad news. The odds were not in her favor. The past 11 months of discouraging results and (what seemed to be) unanswered prayers had not laid a foundation of hope leading up to this moment. And now I was handing her over, painfully aware of my inability to save her or do anything to change the impending outcome. No matter how much we willed things to be different, all we could do was wait for the results.
And so we waited.
Two and a half hours passed, and when the cardiologist walked through that waiting room door, I was prepared for the news - armed with waterproof mascara and tissues in hand. Dr. H had seen me cry so many times that I wasn't even going to try to hold back the tears in order to save us all from an awkward moment. He seemed to move in slow motion to that chair facing us. Inside I was screaming, 'GET IT OVER WITH ALREADY!' Based on this inner dialogue, you can imagine my surprise when I heard these words:
"There was significant improvement in Emi's heart and lung pressures. (Significant!!!) I see no reason why she won't be able to live a long, healthy, normal life."
I didn't even know how to respond! I looked at Chris and he was grinning from ear to ear. I think I even heard a sigh of relief from the man who wasn't the least bit worried ;). A few months ago we were told if she continues down the path of 'no improvement', she would have only a 50% chance of making it to her 10th birthday. And NOW we're hearing that our daughter might need medication for the next few decades, but she will live a LONG, HEALTHY, and NORMAL life.
It's been a rough year - one that has greatly tested my faith. In my darkest hours I doubted God's goodness and questioned His love for me. But He never stopped sustaining me. He didn't punish me for my moments of unbelief. And despite my doubt and waning hope, the God of all creation has proven His power and delivered me.
"O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand? TURN and ANSWER ME, O Lord my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die. Don't let my enemies gloat, saying, "We have defeated him!" Don't let them rejoice in my downfall. But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because He is good to me." Psalm 13
I've never understood God's unconditional grace more clearly than I do at this moment as I'm watching Emi sleep so peacefully - completely unaware of the mountains God has moved for her. She may never be able to cognitively grasp His sacrifice nor give Him the praise He deserves. But He chose her. He rescued her- not for what she could do for Him, but because of what He could display through her. And I know this is just the beginning.
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but fulfilled desire is a tree of life." Prov. 13:12