Going Through the 'Fire' With My Daughter's Open-Heart Surgery


My youngest daughter will face open-heart surgery in the next couple of months. If I allow my repressed feelings and emotions out, I admit I don’t want my baby to hurt or be scared as she is in a room full of strangers and can’t see me. I want to tell the surgical team the “ABC song” comforts her. I want to tell them to please think of their own children as they prepare our Savannah Lanier for surgery. I want to tell them to please try to comfort her with love and compassion when she’s crying as they place the IV in her arm. What I fear most, is not being with her after strangers take my baby behind closed doors — out of my secure arms and out of my sight.

My prayer is not only for Savannah to be covered with comfort, peace and minimal discomfort, but for guidance, knowledge and sensitivity to cover the surgical team. I pray the “Great Physician” will guide every movement as the surgical team will literally have my daughter’s heart in their hands.

I am only as happy as my saddest child. I am only as well as my sickest child. I know in my spirit, Savannah will be fine, and actually better and stronger for it. Like many things in my life, while going through the “fire,” I become more aware of God being at work around me. Because of my faith, I feel His comfort and sense His presence. My prayer is while we are in the hospital and thereafter, we can become like moldable clay in “the Potter’s” hands. I think of the Bible verse:

“O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.” – Isaiah 64:8 (NIV)

Sometimes I feel like the undefined lump of clay that the potter drops on the wheel. But the potter knows there is beauty in that lump of clay just waiting to be developed. Two things need to happen to make the pottery strong and usable: the clay must go through the fire of the kiln to be strengthened and it must be glazed.

Going through the “fire” and trials of this life that do not feel good, can and has made me stronger. It has placed me on paths I otherwise wouldn’t be on, strategically placing me before individuals who may need a smile, a word of encouragement or to hear my story of faith and how good our Lord is as I journey through life.

This upcoming surgery will forever change me, just like the clay after it’s molded and fired it’s no longer the same.

My prayers since our prenatal diagnosis have been that God will heal Savannah’s heart. Her heart will be healed through surgery. My prayers will be answered. Savannah will be stronger and healthier. I will continue to trust my “Potter,” my “Great Physician.”

Savannah Lanier is already strong, but she will be even stronger. She is lovely. I think of her as a precious clay that is not only being molded, but is being used to mold me, too. All of my children inspire me to be better. They inspire me to leave a legacy they can be proud of. I will always fight for them and protect them with my life. They will always know they never have to go through the “fire” alone and together we will come out stronger than before.

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