Monday, 29 May 2017
Four Years On // A Testimony
They say that time is a healer.
Whoever "they" are, they are right. It doesn't leave you as you were before... you are battle-scarred. Wounded. Marked and changed.
But healed nonetheless.
The open wound has become a scar that tells a story...
Four years ago today was the worst day of my life. I've had traumatic births, separations from my family, tears over sadness and heartache, days where I've felt overwhelmed and unequipped and like I'm failing since...
But nothing ever comes close to the fear of losing your child.
Because four years ago today was the day I'll never forget. Where it felt as though a dagger went into my heart and twisted and changed the course of our lives. The day we moved from a carefree happy little family into the realm of the unmentionable fear of having a child who's life hangs in the balance.
Our precious 12 week old baby girl.
I remember the moment they told me. I remember sinking to the floor, grabbing her cot rails and sobbing like I've never sobbed before or since. |I remember Dave's arms around me as nurses swiftly pulled curtains around us to give us privacy. I remember the wave of terror, the heart-wrenching question...
"Why my baby, God? Why us?"
Our little Heidi had spent three weeks fighting a disease that the Doctors had been left stumped by. It had been three weeks of fear and anxiety, crossing out possibilities of what it could be, and all the while becoming increasingly convinced that something sinister was going on. Eventually, we landed a consultant who decided to treat her for Kawasaki as a last resort (the fact he treated her is a story in itself and another example of God's gracious, and supernatural, intervention). The treatment was a 9 hour IV drip... only an hour into the treatment, the symptoms had abated, our baby girl was "back" and the ordeal was over.
Or so we thought.
Except when we went to the Brompton for the routine follow up Echo to check no further damage had been done, the rabbit hole got deeper.
"Your baby girl could have a heart attack at any moment. You are not going anywhere. The disease has attacked her coronary arteries and they are in a mess"
What followed was a week in hospital of intensive treatment, followed by a month of high dosage drugs, followed by a year of hyper-vigilence, medication and follow-up appointments, which turned into three more years of medication and yearly check-ups.
Four years later, our little girl runs around nursery with her classmates, a look of cheeky joy on her face. Our Heidi epitomizes life and exudes joy. She is the heart and soul of any party, and the maker of most of the mischief in our home. Yet still, night by night, she relies on a daily dose of Aspirin to keep her little heart safe.
We still live in the shadow of Kawasaki Disease.
And yet that shadow is overwhelmed by another.
The shadow of the cross.
Because the truth is... in all the terror of that day four years ago... in the tears and questions, in the fears and anxieties that followed, in the desire to protect, and the need to let go... God has held us. Sometimes in the subtlety of friends caring, of our church family rallying round, of friends asking, even today, how our little heart warrior is doing, of countless people praying. Other times God's presence has been more tangible; those times it all got too much, yet I felt his arms and heard his whisper. That still small voice.
And the reminder of his love. His all-consuming, never-ending, incredible, inexplicable love that was prepared to do the very thing I couldn't.
As I stood by that hospital cot and prayed, through tears...
"Lord, please don't take my beloved daughter"
He demonstrated his love in this.
By willingly giving up his beloved Son for me.
My testimony is this. In the valleys. In the pits. In the deepest, darkest trenches of life.
That's where you see God's love for you most brilliantly.
Please continue to remember our Heidi.
Four years on.