I occasionally share stories that are straight from the heart…….today is one of those days.
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The last photo shoot in our fifth house (we sold our house!- find all the deets here) was in my girl’s room. Her room at the new house will be much smaller…..or rather more of a normal sized kid’s bedroom……and so we had to purge and let go of a few pieces of furniture. One thing in particular that was hard for me to let go of was her pink chenille rocking chair.
For the first nine months of her life she and I basically lived in this chair. I nursed, rocked and slept in this chair. I know a lot of people have rockers in their nurseries, but this rocker became more than a childhood memento. Letting this rocker go wasn’t just about letting go of the baby phase.
My girl was born with a heart defect, a tiny little hole in her heart. To be specific she had a patent ductus arteriosus (pda). In the world of heart defects your child can have, this is the one you want. In the world of being a parent, you don’t ever want to hear the words heart murmur, heart defect, congenital heart disorder in the same sentence as your child’s name.
In most cases this issue resolves on it’s own. In most cases by six months the opening closes on it’s own. But our case wasn’t like most.
At nine months old she had heart surgery. By nine months old it was clear her case wasn’t going to resolve on it’s own. It was clear that without surgical intervention the situation was going to get worse not better.
At nine months old we handed her over to a pediatric heart surgeon. She had a cardiac catheterization. That there a people in this world that perform these kinds of surgeries on tiny little hearts still blows my mind. No doubt there’s a special place in heaven for those amazing surgeons.
For nine months I prayed that her case would be like most. I prayed that this issue would resolve on it’s own without surgical intervention. I rocked her in that pink chenille rocking chair and I prayed. I pleaded.
And God didn’t answer my prayer.
That’s how it goes sometimes. Sometimes our prayers aren’t answered. Sometimes the plans we have for our lives aren’t the plans that God has for them.
The night before her surgery my prayer changed.
I prayed for courage.
I prayed for faith.
As I rocked her to sleep that night, I prayed that He would take away my fear over her surgery and replace it with strength.
And the next day is the day I learned what it means to be fearless.
Fearlessness is not the absence of fear.
It’s in the presence of fear, choosing to let your faith be stronger than your fear.
That Bible verse…….the one that says……..”though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil”……. I don’t think it’s about “not being afraid”……. I think it’s about feeding your faith so much that it squashes your fear.
I know we all believe in different things……….but the thing is fear doesn’t discriminate does it? It doesn’t care if you’re a man or a woman, what color your skin is, where you grew up, what school you went to, or where you worship. Fear is something we all feel at times in our lives……….sometimes really deeply. When it comes to being fearless, I think it’s about which f-word you’re going to give power to – your fear or your faith?
*photography by Sarah Grashel Photography