Verity is quiet now, but she was very restless in her car seat through the night, choking and crying off and on. We think she has her days and nights mixed up, because she hasn’t adapted well to the plan to add a longer stretch between two night feedings.
Sometime during the wee hours, looking into my little daughter’s face and watching her struggle to breathe, it dawned on me where I had seen and heard this before.
I saw it in 1994 when my dad and brothers and sisters and I were gathered around my mom before she died. That is engraved on my memory.
And again in 2004 when Joe’s parents and our whole family were gathered around Joe’s grandfather before he died.
It is the look and sound of approaching death, the lungs filling with fluid. In Verity’s case, the process is moving very slowly and the Lasix, a strong diuretic, is helping her condition stay under control.
Learning about what is done during open heart surgery is sobering. No one would dare attempt such an audacious move were it not a life or death situation.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me.”
This is just the shadow of death I see, because Verity is here, alive, in my arms, taking in nourishing milk with the help of a tiny tube.
But the reason we do not fear is not that she is still alive. It is not the hope that her heart will be repaired next week. It is because God is with us.
If we weak and sin-prone parents can be in this place with our precious baby, the physical strain of night after night of lost sleep, astronomical medical bills, and our family being under ongoing pressure and disruption, and have an underlying peace in our home and hearts in place of fear, then we add this to the body of proof that the triune God of Scripture lives. We are here in this place we would have dreaded to be in, but so is He. And all He tells us about Himself is true!