Life after witnessing a miracle, is challenging. There other words I am looking for, but ‘challenging‘ is the truest of them all. With it I rank faithful, blissful, hopeful, trusting, invigorating, and inspiring as next in line, on a list of many words.
My six-month old son underwent open heart surgery to close a hole too big to close on its own. This happened just four weeks ago. The surgery appeared to be a success after his surgeon (who has been operating on tiny hearts for over 24 years) closed the hole, and his cardiology team assessed echogram images along with my baby’s improvement in the following post-op days. So it didn’t come as a surprise when on Day 3 after the operation, he was cleared to leave the hospital the next day.
Well, not until a final echogram to make sure everything was okay.
Two hours or so after this last echogram, our main cardiologist tells me that she doesn’t know how to say this (which already sounds bad), but the patch used to cover my son’s hole has broken up. Meaning? Meaning that blood is flowing wrong again, his heart isn’t pumping properly, and he has to go through the same surgery again. In the morning. Only this time, it’s a revision and its cause is something the surgeon has only seen maybe twice in his 24-year career.
I have written a very detailed post on my own blog about this, so I will not re-write it here. What I will share is that this whole ordeal sent my husband and I to the hospital’s chapel after we re-released our son into the hands of the operating room’s staff.
When we got to the chapel it was empty (and thankfully stayed that way for the entirety of our time in it). I saw a stained-glass window with the back of a couch in front of it. I asked my husband to move the couch so it would actually face the window, and it seemed like it matched my need for peace and for having a pleading conversation with…God.
We sat and prayed. Prayed with an intent and intensity that I hadn’t felt in a while. Pleaded in low whispers. Pleaded with Manifested words and with our own impromptu words. I felt a connectivity with all of God’s creation, as if our words and feelings were being heard and felt through the multiverse. We cried, we prayed, we listened.
After speaking with an O.R. nurse who asked us to meet the surgeon and cardiology team upstairs, we made our way to this meeting and sat awaiting to hear why they called us only an hour after taking our son.
See, they sedated our son totally. Then, they cleaned the area of incision, and instead of performing a transesophageal echocardiogram after the surgery (as they usually do), they performed one before making a new incision. This they did just to see what the surgeon would have to fix, exactly. This is when they saw that the patch which was broken just the night before…was now perfectly closing the hole in my son’s heart.
They asked us where we were. We said in the chapel. They said: “Well, whatever you did in the chapel must have worked, because there is no hole and there is no tear nor a patch breakdown”.
All I could do was look, incredulously, at the cardiologist and surgeon, and let tears roll down. I didn’t dare look at my husband, who was standing behind my chair.
No one had ever seen this happen and they had no explanation for it. They agreed there was an intervention of the natural order of things. This wasn’t like having prayed for the rain to pour down. We (and family and friends who prayed in different time zones since we heard the horrifying news the night before) prayed for God to mend our son’s heart, and He did. This was, by all means, a miracle. Scientific images prove it.
Now that we are no longer sitting on that couch in the chapel, we have to keep telling the story…to others and to ourselves. Life keeps going, and it seems like we keep getting challenged to keep faithful. Situations can challenge us to believe that everything will work out…but miracles do, in fact, happen. Miracles may not solve all of life’s issues, but everything has a purpose and the time to be happy and hopeful is now.
Has a miracle happened in your life? Has it been easy to remember or easy to forget? How do you remember? If you’ve shared it, has it felt intimidating to say it was a miracle, or could you say it confidently?
Photo credit to the author.