31 Days: Love Letters from Mommy Day 11

We've almost caught up - maybe by this weekend, I'll be back on track! I know this thrills you as much as it does me.
Dear Ryan and Quinn,

I had a different letter in mind today, but given yesterday's news about Quinn's impending catheter, I'm switching directions. Right now my post about thank you notes doesn't seem all that important. (Oh, but trust we will go back to it!)

Actually, I don't even know what to write to you about this topic or how to convey what I am feeling.

Hmmm... great start to a letter.

Here's the thing:

My heart hurts. My heart hurts for you, Quinn, because you never asked for any of this "heart stuff". It just is. I can't explain it and I can't make it disappear. My hands as a mommy are tied.

My heart hurts for you, Ryan, because even at the tender age of 16 months that you were last year during Q's surgery, you missed your sister and cared about her. And that will only continue to grow. I don't know how I am going to explain later on why Quinn has to go through these particular trials and you don't.

Hopefully something that will always be evident to you is that your daddy and I have faith --- we have faith in a God who loves us with all of our heart. We have faith in a God who is just. We have faith in a God who knows all things, sees all things, and hears our pleas and prayers.

Which makes it hard to explain the "whys". I don't know why this happened for Quinn or our family. I don't know why any baby should have to undergo such a thing. But I do know that if I continue to go down that road and question all of the bad lots in life, then all I will become is bitter and broken.

This much I know. We live in a fallen and broken world where bad things do happen. Bad things happen to great people or sweet little babies. Family members are taken from us too early, children get sick with unfathomable illnesses, and loved ones deal with intense pain and suffering.

BUT I know that in the midst of that suffering, often comes good things. Lives are changed for the better, people are made new, great transformations occur. It stinks (that's my biblical term) that it's often at the cost of something terrible happening but sometimes that's just the way it is. I can't explain it. I'm not a scholar of the Bible nor a pastor, although I'm not sure it would matter if I were. I am sure they question the same things.

And I also know this much - there was a period in my life where bad things did happen and I didn't know God anymore or have a relationship with Him. And the suffering was worse. I DID grow bitter. I made even more mistakes. I became someone I didn't recognize or our family didn't know anymore.

Now that God is back firmly in place living in my heart, the suffering is that much more bearable. The sweet things in life are that much sweeter. The days are brighter.

And on the darkest days? God pulls back just enough of the curtain so I can see the promise of the light.

Oh, Ryan and Quinn, when you commit your life to God, He doesn't promise any easy road. Not everything will be butterflies and rainbows. But He does promise He will always be there, walking beside us, and carrying us when we need it. He hears our prayers, and although silence may follow for a period, they are being answered. His answers may be a little bit different than what you and I had in mind, but they are always for the best.

I know that doesn't really answer the question of why things happen. Quinn, I wish more than anything I could give you an answer for that. Please, please never ever question God's love you for you  because He gave you this particular heart challenge. I don't even want to venture out there and speculate why.

But I will say this - sweet girl, your heart story has touched so many lives already and I fully believe that it will continue to do so. People who have never prayed before, prayed because of you. That is HUGE. It has shaped this family and given us an "outward perspective" when we may have tended to drift towards the "inward". Instead, we've learned how improtant it is to serve others as we've been served, to bless others as we've been blessed, and to pray for others as we've been prayed for. Mommy and Daddy may not have gotten involved in blood drives, heart awareness groups, fundraisers for hospitals, or other means of serving if it hadn't been for you. People have been blessed because of you! 

So while it doesn't seem fair that you should have this, we had a decision to make:

1. We could live with the resentment of the diagnosis and then the repercussions of the fear, bitterness, and loneliness of a life without God OR

2. We could take life as it comes, thank God for the miracles of technology and amazing medical staff, and be forever thankful for the grace and mercy of so many loved ones and friends who continue to lift us up.

And this is most important... while yes, this is an immense challenge in our lives - it is NOT our entire book, it's simply just a chapter. Heck, it may turn into 2 or 3.

But it does NOT define us, it does NOT define you, Quinn. Our lives have been blessed beyond measure. God has shown us so much grace in our life together. Your daddy and I both have wonderful jobs, we've been able to move you guys to a great neighborhood of loving people, we are surrounded by the most amazing friends, and we have YOU.

The two of you, my sweet Ryan and Quinn. The two babies that I never thought we'd be able to have. That my little friends, is the definition of grace and blessing.

"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace,expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" Ephesians 2:4-8

With all my love,



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