The First 24

July 18, 2020

We knew the first 24 hours post-surgery would be hard, we mentally prepared ourselves for how crushing it would be, in the deepest parts of our souls, to see Claire in so much pain and confusion and rendered unable to rescue her from it. So, as I spent time this afternoon bringing my frustrations and feelings of grief and helplessness to God, I realized that as hard as I try to be her savior in all of this, and as much as I want to take away the pain in her eyes and the tears running down her cheeks, I simply cannot. Justin and I can rock her all day and night in our arms (she screams every time we try the crib), play her favorite rain sound from her nursery sound machine and whisper in her ear her favorite lullaby to bring her comfort, but we cannot save her from the pain she must endure and the battle her body must fight.

Claire does have a Savior, however, and his name is Jesus. And even though she is only 9 months old and it is unclear how much of this she understands or will even remember, I feel strongly that God is drawing near to her in this difficult time, that He is holding her in His loving arms and that deep inside she is experiencing His protection, His grace, and His blessing of a life for her full of purpose and prosperity. Elevation Worship released a song, “The Blessing,” a few months ago that has gone global during this pandemic and I have played on repeat the last couple of weeks. Lyrics from the song come straight from the Bible, where in Numbers 6: 22-26 it says

22 Then the Lord said to Moses, 23 “Tell Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel with this special blessing:

24 ‘May the Lord bless you and protect you.
25 May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
26 May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.’

I can find peace in today, worshiping to this song and recounting (sometimes several times throughout the day today) the many blessings God has shown through Claire’s medical journey, in the past 24 hours and the blessings he will shine upon her for years to come. I am also witnessing the breadth of my daughter’s strength and courage as she is rocking recovery right now, with comments from the surgeon, nurses and pain team that come in to check on her, saying “Wow! she is so strong!,” “Her belly and incision look great!,” and “I am so happy to see she can already move around like that!”

But we already knew she was strong. She’s been that way since birth. She is to us, “A princess, with the strength of a warrior.”

Update since I began writing this: It is 6:58pm and the nurse just came in to remove Claire’s NG tube which was causing her the most irritability. We spent all night and day holding her arms down because every second she could, she was trying to pull it out of her nose! What a win worth celebrating! Prayers for this evening:

  1. That she doesn’t throw up, enabling her to keep the NG tube out of her nose and stomach
  2. That Justin and I get a longer stretch of sleep tonight
  3. That the morphine is effective in providing Claire the pain relief she needs to calm down enough to rest

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  • Antoinette Brokopp July 18, 2020 at 3:41 AM

    Dear Justin and Alisia,
    You are right. You can’t fix it and you can’t take it away, but her pain is part of her healing, and she knows she is not alone, and that is the best thing for someone going through trials. May the Lord bless you and keep you tonight and give you rest!

  • The Kanoza’s July 18, 2020 at 3:45 AM

    This is great news! Prayers are working! Keep fighting Claire!

  • Cheryl Lowery July 18, 2020 at 4:08 AM

    Continued prayers for your precious angel and continued strength for you and Justin.

  • Renee July 18, 2020 at 5:15 AM

    More prayers for peace for all three of you – all the rest you need – and no throw up. 🎁❤️

  • Ann Crowley July 18, 2020 at 5:15 AM

    Praying for all of you during this journey. So happy to hear her surgery was successful. Please know you are in our thoughts.

  • Patsy Hall July 18, 2020 at 7:04 AM

    This such a beautifully worded description of God’s Grace in the life of your family. We pray for healing and that God will continue to give you and Justin strength and peace as you care for your sweet Claire.

  • Leanne Lowery July 18, 2020 at 8:06 PM

    Claire is such a beautiful child living in a family of love. Your faith in God transcends through the whole family. It’s a privilege to pray for your family as you and Justin have developed a special relationship with the Almighty. Aunt Leanne