Sunday, March 1, 2009
HOPE IS HERE!
Welcome to our world, Hope Elizabeth Maus!! My niece Hope was born in the wee hours of the morning today. She weighed in at a hearty 6lbs 11oz. And so far is tiny heart is holding up! There is a little extra sunshine, laughter and happiness in our world today. Today we celebrate her birth and will continue to celebrate this day on her BIRTHday for many years to come.
Hope was born in Ann Arbor Michigan because on February 3, Hope was diagnosed with a serious congenital heart defect after an ultrasound presented with abnormalities. A normal heart has four chambers, two on the right and two on the left. In performing its basic job — pumping blood throughout the body — the heart uses its left and right sides for different tasks. The right side moves blood to the lungs. In the lungs, oxygen enriches the blood, which then circulates to the heart's left side. The left side of the heart pumps blood into a large vessel called the aorta, which circulates the oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. Hope's specific defect is known as "complex single ventricle" -- a term describe a group of rare heart defects, which have in common, a large single pumping chamber or ventricle instead of the usual two.
Although this defect is not correctable, some babies can be treated with a series of operations, or a heart transplantation. Until an operation is performed, the ductus is kept open by intravenous medication. Hope will most likely undergo her first open heart surgery sometime later this week (in the next 4 to 8 days).
But I am completely amazed, humbled, and brought to tears at how faithful God has been already throughout this whole journey. I have not made it through one phone call with Aaron or Sara since February 3 without crying but usually they are “happy tears”. On their first Sunday in Michigan, after attending a new church, Aaron and Sara met a wonderful family who generously offered to take Sara into their home, lives, and heart. She has been staying with them over the last several weeks. They also have graciously offered Aaron and Sara the use of an empty house on their property for them to stay in as they wait out this long and difficult journey to healing that Hope is on. Sara’s best friend, Natalie, made the journey up to Michigan with Aaron and Jonah this week, and she will be staying with them to help care for Jonah while Sara and Hope are recovering in the hospital.
Over and over, God has showed up at every step along this journey to prove that He will provide from the most mundane or trivial needs to the most huge and basic needs. Throughout the bible, God’s great providence is an underlying theme. The word providence is defined as “the foreseeing care and guidance of God over the creatures of the earth, a manifestation of divine care and direction, prudent management of resources, and provident care.” Over the years, I have seen that God loves to use His precious people as instruments of His providence. Aaron and Sara’s testimony the last month is evidence of that!
In Matthew 18:19, 20 Jesus says, “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." I think Jesus was trying to show us that He chooses to make Himself present to us through each other. We are the body of Christ and when are going through difficult times that require God’s providence and an extra dose of God’s presence, He often makes Himself known through other family members in the church. God had a divine plan and purpose when He devised the body of Christ, the global family of God. Our biological family may not be close enough to physically care of us during difficult days. It’s been killing me to know that, other than praying, there hasn’t been a lot I can do right now to help my little brother and his precious wife. But God has surrounded them with brothers and sisters to love on them and care for them in ways that I can not. And that has been amazing to see!
Please continue to pray for Aaron, Sara, Jonah, and Hope this week. You can get updates on how Hope is doing, see pictures, and sign their guestbook http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/hopemaus