This is an "old" writing but I am reposting today in honor of my Myrah's 17th birthday (on the 9th!) It was my first published article, enjoy!
The heart, what an incredible and complex part of our body! It doesn’t take a doctor or scientist to realize that this muscle is phenomenal. It pumps every ounce of blood that our body needs throughout our entire system. Somehow just the right amounts go to all the right places. What an awesome creator we have! But, sometimes we have heart troubles. Now, I am speaking of the physical heart right now. We hear almost daily of someone having a heart attack or a bypass. Today I would like to share the story of a little four month old baby girl.
The baby girl I am referring to is my own. Her name is Myrah and her life has changed mine forever. She was born seemingly perfect. 7 lbs. 11 oz. 19 inches long, dark skin and tons of jet black hair. A beautiful baby girl! Now she is my second child and so my husband and I were some what versed at this parenting thing. Her older brother was born only 15 months prior and we had struggled through that pregnancy. Jeremiah was a twin but because of my sickness and inability to keep anything down, I lost one of the babies. I tell you this so you can understand how relieved we were that Myrah was born so healthy. My pregnancy with her was still filled with much sickness and we, as probably all parents, were anxious for her arrival to be assured that she was healthy.
There were subtle signs as we began our lives together that things were not okay. Myrah slept a lot and it was difficult to wake her for feedings. When she was awake she would nurse only a few minutes and would fall back asleep. She didn’t roll over or hold her head up as quickly as her brother seemed to. But, we are taught not to compare our children and so my husband and I attributed it to a difference in personality. When she was three months old I took her to the emergency room because she seemed to have a bluish tint to her. The doctor shrugged it off and diagnosed it as a cold. He prescribed some cold medicine and sent us home. It wasn’t until a month later when our pediatrician was examining her at a well baby check up that we knew for sure something was wrong. He told my husband that Myrah had a heart murmur. Now, although we did not know it until then, heart murmurs are fairly common among children. He tried to
reassure my husband of this and sent us to the hospital for an EKG. To make a long story short, we ended up in a cardiologist’s office and we were scared to death. After a few tests we were told that our baby had a hole in her heart. I think that is the scariest statement I have ever heard in my whole life. Myrah had what they call patent ductus arteriosus (P.D.A.) and required surgery as soon as possible. Now the way God designed the heart is that before a baby is born there are two openings in the heart. One is between the right and left sides and one is at the top between the pulmonary artery and the aorta. These are designed to close at birth. The reason for these holes prior to birth is that they allow blood to flow to the lungs and sort of “exercise” them since there is no air to prepare them for the “big day.” Myrah’s hole was the one located between the pulmonary valve and the aorta. Instead of needing open heart surgery, the surgeon was going to be able to go in through her back between her ribs and fix the problem.
At the time though, it made no difference, our baby was going to be cut open and they were going to be working on her heart. Even as I write this the butterflies start up in my stomach. It was and is an incredibly scary thought.
Our God is so powerful though and he had reminded of this all the way through.
Remember the emergency room trip when Myrah was three months old? Well the doctor had prescribed too high of a dosage of cold medicine for a 3 month old. He had measured out the first dose at one teaspoon. Fortunately, having an 18 month old already who only took a half teaspoon, I knew this dose was wrong. I refused to give it to Myrah and in my stubbornness gave her none of the medication at all. Two months later as we met with the cardiologist one of the first things he warned us about was cold medicine. He told us that Myrah’s heart was already working so hard to get the blood throughout her body, (because most of it was falling back into the lungs) that ANY cold medicine would cause her heart to slow down and could kill her. Isn’t it incredible how God can protect us?
Myrah is almost three years old as I sit writing this. She has been completely healed by the surgery and the grace of God. Her heart is still bigger on one side than the other but eventually that will even out. We just tell everyone she has a big heart! Now she does have the energy she lacked in her first few months, in fact we joke that because her heart is bigger that she has twice as much energy as most toddlers! Although, to some degree I am sure that this is true!! She is a beautiful and very healthy little girl.
So why do I tell you all of this? Well at the beginning of all of this I mentioned that we hear of heart trouble often and I was speaking of the physical type. I would like to just turn that a bit and focus on the heart of God. In the years since Myrah’s surgery I have really come to think about the heart of God. Remembering how scary it was to sit in that doctor’s office and hear that my baby had a hole in her heart still brings chills to my spine. However, when I think about the hole that must be in God’s heart because of my sins, the ache he must feel to know that he paid the cost of his one and only son for us and yet we still turn away from him. It is fairly obvious if you read the papers or listen to the news at all to see that the world is falling apart around us. Satan is running rampant in our schools and in our towns. Oh, how God’s heart must ache as he sees guns
and drugs in the hands of innocent children. As he sees his children turning from what they know is right, He must cry a river of tears. As those we set up in leadership turn their hearts toward the things of this world instead of the eternal things of heaven, there must be a gaping hole in the heart of our creator. There is an old WhiteHeart song that says, “We are His hands, We are His feet...” I think to, we are His heart and I wonder what we can do to make a difference in the world, in our world today??
Published December 2003 in Hearts at Home Devotional