Well today marks 2 weeks till we head down to Dallas for Ella's next open heart surgery. We were originally scheduled for the 6, but things change frequently in the medical world. So we will head down on the 11th to get settled, Ella will have testing all day on the 12th and if all looks well on the tests she will undergo her third open heart surgery on the 13th. Lord willing, after this one, we will only have one more open heart surgery to go, but unfortunately still several caths. Ella is still rocking out like a champ! She is happy as can be, she will be 5 months old on Jan. 9th! We ask that you continue to pray for her heart function, for her (and our) health, for her continued growth, and most importantly for God's timing on her upcoming surgery! I have been very anxious lately, carrying many burdens, and worrying. I fear Jon or I will get sick and not be able to be with her for her surgery, I fear that worse she will get sick and have to be postponed and placed in the hospital or worse... I fear that something will go wrong this time. I fear. I guess here lately I've been feeling like we have been so blessed this far that our blessings might just run out... It doesn't help that I have been starting to feel like I'm fighting off some sinus junk that could potentially turn into a cold and in turn I would have to stay away from Ella. That would break my heart under any circumstances, but right before she is to undergo a major heart surgery well... maybe you can imagine the fear that seems to grip my heart. Last night as I was laying in bed, headache, nauseous, and wearing a mask (for sinus stuff) All I could do was pray, asking God to show mercy. As I prayed desperate prayers over and over I heard a still small voice in my heart reminding me that God chose me for this journey, but He never indented on me walking it without HIM! I had taken those many many burdens and fears upon my own back when He is willing to carry them. So I struggled as I began to realize that I have no control and fighting for control is a losing battle. Besides I clearly couldn't handle control lol! So I laid their battling myself and my fears repeatedly giving them to the Lord and then two seconds later realizing I was doing it again... so maybe I have a long way to go :) Nevertheless God is there for me rather I utilize His help or not. After a somewhat long night of endless tossing and turning, crying baby (she crys when she drops her passy...), and a midnight dose of medication for my pounding headache, I woke up to another day. Another day wearing a mask, not seeing other humans, and battling my own fears, but somehow I feel incredibly blessed for this day! God is here to help me when I fear, Jon is home, Ella is smiling, and with no one to see and no where to go I might just take a nap :) ! So two weeks out and reality seems to sink in all the more, fear rises often, and true the risk is high, but knowing that so many of you are praying for us truly helps. Please pray for health and peace these next two weeks especially. Sometimes as I watch Ella play or sleep and my eyes fill with tears, my heart hurts for all she has endured and all she has yet to endure. I'm sad for all we have endured and what we have yet to endure. Then I feel almost guilty for being sad when everything has gone far better than was predicted. I think it's hard sometimes for people to truly understand the reality of Ella's condition. The reality is she shouldn't be here, she certainly shouldn't be out of the hospital, she should for sure be on oxygen, and her eating full feeds from a bottle by this point is nearly unheard of in her condition! Ella has never once struggled gaining weight, that never happens with these babies!!!! She has made it through four surgeries several drain tubes, cardiac lines, pacing wires, art lines, iv's, ect. never once did she have an infection... UNHEARD OF!!! She had two open heart surgeries her first hospital stay, and she was only in the hospital a month... CRAZY! Yes my friends God is good... no GREAT! So instead of being frustrated that some people think we are exaggerating the circumstances I should be full of Joy that she is doing so well!!! Friends, I realize it's hard to believe that Ella's cardiologist told Jon and I that Ella had a 20% chance to live before she was born, please don't rob Christ of the praise He deserves for the MIRACLE He performed in her life by shrinking the severity in your own minds! Ella is doing so well only by HIS GRACE AND MERCY! God has done a miracle HE DESERVES ALL THE PRAISE!!! Jon and I frequently comment on our unbelief before our own eyes! She is a constant reminder of His love toward His children! I will get down off my soapbox now, but God is sooo good! Thank you all for your constant prayers for our sweet Ella Dawn and for Jon and I, we ask that you continue praying for us all as this journey still has such a long unknown path ahead. You all are treasured, I pray that God will use Ella in your lives as you are able to witness His goodness in her life! Many blessings on your families, I pray that you will know the love of God in your own homes as well!
Please keep Emma in your prayers too, she has had some very hard days and is now waiting on a heart.