The days are closing in on us and we will be in Dallas for surgery before we know it. Thinking back to last November when Callie Anne was born and we began learning about all the medical care she would need, I can’t believe we have already made it to this point. We’ve come up against many, many obstacles and scary moments so far and have surprised ourselves with how well we’ve all come through them and we know this won’t be any different.
As we’ve been preparing for this, there have been so many emotions rearing their ugly heads. There is so much to be done: insurance companies to haggle with, surgeons, hospitals, anesthesiologists, and so many other medical offices to call, therapies to reschedule, pediatrician appointments to keep for blood work and shots, setting up the dog sitter, balancing the checkbook so we can afford a week away, making hotel arrangements, thinking of what all we have to take with us, the list goes on and on. With every new day and every new thing that must be done, I seem to break down in tears a little less. There have been a LOT of tears in the last week or so as I am beginning to wrap my brain around the fact that this is all actually happening and not something we just talk about that will need to be done eventually.
“Eventually” is now.
So, as all of this is happening and the stress of 11 months now of being a single income family is forcing us to take a second look at some things, I can’t help but look back at all the people who have made it possible for us to get to this point. We truly could not have made it without the help of hundreds of people who have donated money, gifts, time, and prayers to our family so that we can provide all that little miss Callie Anne needs. When we found out she would be born with medical problems, we quickly began building up our savings account knowing we would need it in one way or another, but even with that (which didn’t last as long as we thought it would), we wouldn’t have been able to make it as well as we have without the generosity of others. Taking CA to Dallas for her surgeries was a big decision because it is extremely expensive. But, when it comes to the care your child needs which will greatly affect her for the rest of her life…you do what you have to do! We KNOW we made the right decision and that she is getting the exact care she needs. The only way we know to say “Thank You!” to everyone who has helped us to get where we are is to raise our daughter to help make this world a better place.
In church this morning, our pastor, Don Morrow, preached about “Enlightening Yourself.” The main thing I took away from his sermon today was that God created us to have relationships. He expects us to use those relationships to learn from Him. Don said, “God speaks to us through other people.” This has never been more true in my life than since Callie Anne was born. As everyone knows, it was difficult for us to accept help at first, but we finally came to the conclusion that God was telling us to accept the blessings of others because that was His was of providing for us and allowing us to do what we needed to do to care for our daughter. Since then, He has spoken to us through so many people, it would be impossible to name them all. We have seen God’s love in so many ways since we were blessed with our sweet angel!
Another important note I took from the sermon this morning was, “Listen to what God is telling us through others.” The outpouring of support and well wishes from loved ones and strangers is, without a doubt, God telling us that He has got Callie Anne in His hands and He will get her and us through these next few tough months. So many people may never know that God is using them to comfort us, and that’s ok. We are getting the message….loud and clear.
Lastly, in the words of our wise pastor, “We are called to enlighten ourselves and then share that enlightenment with others.” I hope that as we are learning so much about life and God’s love through our baby girl, that we can continue to share that with others and through our story, they will find something they can use in their own lives. I know this is already happening because I regularly get emails and messages that send chills up and down my arms about how someone has been touched by Callie Anne and our family.
These next few months of surgeries are not going to be easy. They will not be fun. They will not be pleasant. However, we will be looking for opportunities to see God at work in our lives and will enjoy sharing that with others. It is our hope that by sharing our ups and downs, others can see God’s love in our lives and that we are not just reading and believing, but LIVING in the way of our Lord.
***On a side note…stay tuned for a blog post this week about Callie Anne’s upcoming surgeries!