As I sit and reflect on this day 4 years ago, my mind can take me right back. On this day, my husband awoke to find me unable to stand up, rocking our one week old baby after a long night of sleeplessness with her. On this day, I would return and be admitted to the hospital I had only just left 5 days ago with our new little family of 3. On this day, I would say “I’ll see you soon” (not knowing what “soon” meant) to my newborn baby girl, whom I’d only just met…to face the fight of my life.
April 6, 2012. It was Good Friday.
This time of year is always difficult for me as I reflect on that day and the days that followed. It’s a memory that I’d like to forget, but one I’ll remember forever. Each year, I want to stop myself from doing it, but I just can’t. It’s like my subconscious pokes me and stirs within me to remind me of the date(s). April 6th – April 17th (2012)…I can give you a play-by-play of what went on. How long I was in the CCU vs. ICU. My nurses names. My ailments. My scans. Who visited. My emotional state. My physical state. My surgery. My recovery. The pain. The frustration. The brokenness.
These memories bring up a lot of emotions…within a lot of people. But to revisit it all…to go back and remember it each year…it’s therapeutic. For me at least. It’s refreshing almost. Because each year, it gets a little easier (emotionally) to remember it. Each year, I am MORE thankful to be alive. Each year, God has unveiled more of His beautifully designed puzzle pieces that allow me to gain more closure and feel more peace by seeing how they fit together. And each year, I grasp more of the magnitude of the life-shift that occurred in those 11 days…that would later evolve into a heart-shift. I see how GOOD God really is…I see how much I can trust Him…I see how faithful and merciful He is…I realize how much He loves me.
I know for some of you…that may seem so backwards. You may think that when I reflect on this time, I would remember how distant God was…how unloving He was…how unfair He was. How could reflecting on this horrific time in my life make me see how good and faithful God is?
I know the statistics. I’ve done the research. In 2012, there were roughly 3.9 million births in the U.S…of those 3.9 million births, there were roughly 220 post-partum cases of Group A Strep & Sepsis. That is a chance of .00005%. My hysterectomy was performed because necrotizing fasciitis had set in…mortality rates from necrotizing fasciitis have been reported as high as 73%.
With those statistics…such a LOW chance of contracting it in the first place and such a HIGH chance of dying…I know that this was no “medical mistake” or “medical miracle.” Our God is not confined by medical statistics.
When I reflect on that time, I know how good God is…I know how merciful and faithful He is…how deeply He loves me because God spared MY life (a sinner worthy of death), yet gave His one and only Son to die on the cross and pour out his blood for my sins so that I could be saved.
And He didn’t stop there. Not only did He spare my life, but He has used my illness to draw me closer to Him. He has taken my life-switch and turned it into heart-switch…a heart that now longs to be close to Jesus. A heart that is grateful for ALL that He has brought to my life. A heart that desires to be more and more like Jesus…to live like Jesus, to love like Jesus…
And because of that, this year’s reminiscing looks different than it has before. This is the first year that we have two children under our roof while I reflect on and remember those days. Those days that broke me to the core…those days that I sobbed over the fact that my body would never again grow another baby…that I wondered how in the world life would ever be okay after this…today, I hold Z and I look at him…and a puzzle piece is dropped into place. If all of that…all of the pain and suffering and heartache and confusion was for this time…was to change, open, and prepare our hearts for the broken world of foster care…to be what Z needs in. this. exact. time…then that time was worth it.
Because Jesus suffered immensely more than I can ever dream or begin to compare…for me.
His will, His way…