Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart

10/27/2006

Things I know...

How beautiful to see my Ashley begin to open her eyes. This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I have missed her terribly the last few days. It is so hard to explain the way it feels to look over at her and not really see her. She is now beginning to reach up for me to pick her up and oh how I wish I could. Her little arms are still in restraints and when she hears my voice in the room she reaches out for me to hold her. She doesn't even open her eyes to look to see if it is me she just knows that it is. So instead of picking her up I just bend down and kiss her fingers over and over again. She begins to settle and for now that seems to be helping. How blessed I am to have those tiny fingers to kiss.

I have had so many hours to sit and think as I have waited for her to come back and my mind is repeatedly going back to the day we were told that without a transplant Ashley had only 6 months to live. This was the hardest day of my life. It was my 32nd birthday and we had driven to Childrens Hospital in Houston for a second opinion. As the doctor talked to me my mind was racing and my heart was screaming. How could this be? We had fought for so long and struggled through so much. Never in the 9 months of Ashley's life did I think she might not live. I knew in my heart that if she could just come home to our house that she would get better. I am not sure if there is a word that decscribes the feeling you have when you are told that one of your children is going to die. Desperation? The pain is so great! A few days later I came into the kitchen to find my precious husband huddled over a sink full of dishes. His hands were covered with soap and his eyes were pouring tears. His shoulders were shaking and he was weeping from the deepest part of his soul. There was a song playing and it was talking about" how you would have thought by now that He would have reached down and wiped our tears away." As he listened to the words of this song by Casting Crowns he realized that we both honestly thought that our God would have fixed this for our baby by now, but the truth was that He had not. Ashley was not getting better and better, the truth as painful as it was to admit is that she was dying, and as her parents we could not help her. As we stood in the kitchen huddled together in a puddle of tears we continued to listen to the words of this song. That night we decided that even though we were in the middle of the ugliest storm of our lives we too just like the song said "Would praise Him in this storm because He is who He is no matter where I am". When you reach the place in your life when you truly see that no matter what happens to you good or bad He is still God and He is still to be praised you will never again be the same. When you see and understand that your children really belong to Him and that He is the one who controls their every breath you will never look at Him or them the same way.

I have often wondered why it took the illness in our precious Ashley's life to teach us this. Why didn't we get it before now? I don't know the answer to that question, but I do know that He is still God. I do know that He has given us a beautiful baby who He uses to teach me new things about Himself every day. I do know that without all that Ashley has endured I would not be the person I am today. I do know that He gave my Ashley a second chance at life just in time. I do know that she had lived 5 of those 6 months and she was running out of time. I do know that I will never again fail to see who He really is. I do know that I seek Him more and I rely on Him more than I ever would have without my Ashley's sufferings. I do know that He is using my daughter to bring us closer to Him. There are still so many things that I don't know and may never know, but I do know that He loves me and He loves Ashley and He loves all of you too.

9 Comments:

At 10:17 PM , Blogger erin said...

This was beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I will keep your sweet girl in my prayers.

 
At 10:32 PM , Blogger Troy and Melanie said...

Just want you to know we have been praying for your little gherkin today....I am so thankful that she is giving you little pieces of her old self back to you. I know how it must comfort you each time she comes back to you....I praise God that she has made it through another day. We just know that He has such wondrous plans for Ashley and the story He is creating in her life. The triumphs, the setbacks, the heart aches, and victories....they are all a part of His master plan. I can't wait to see all the ways He plans to use her as she grows, she has touched so many lives already, and we know there are many who don't even know of her yet. Your faith has been such an inspiration....Even through the struggles you remain constant in your faith and testimony. We pray that you continue to have complete trust in Him. I know how hard it must be at times, but you can do it! All of us here in TX as well as other parts of the world will continue praying you through! Much love and prayers.

 
At 10:53 PM , Blogger Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

Thank you for ministering to others in the midst of such a trial! My husband and I "claimed" this song, too, when our newborn daughter was diagnosed with a genetic syndrome, a heart defect, and a kidney defect. We call it Addison's Song:) I wonder if Casting Crowns knows how many people that song has touched?

Praying for you tonight . . .

 
At 11:54 PM , Blogger Erin said...

Ashley...I was reading Sarah's "In the Midst" blog and read your story. I live in Papillion, NE, not too far from where you are. Please feel free to contact me for anything. My email is: stampinwitherin@cox.net I can't even begin to imagine what you have gone through and what you are going through, and knowing you are also separated from the rest of your family while you are here must be especially hard. I'm praying for you and I'm available to be a shoulder to lean on...Erin B. (different from the "Erin" that posted earlier)

 
At 8:00 AM , Blogger KT said...

What a blessing you are to others in the midst of your storm. Praying for you and Ashley today. You will be blessed.

 
At 8:09 AM , Anonymous Suzanne said...

As I read your post today....tears rolled down my cheeks. The first part was tears of joy...knowing that you are seeing signs of "Ashley" return to you. How thankful I am for those gifts from the FATHER. Secondly, (I know our situations are so very different...) but...I remember when Josh was four days old...he wasn't moving anything but his fingertips (he wasn't on any medications) we had a horrible birth. But, they suggested that he might have a horrible disease & would & they were pretty sure that he had this. They said he would die in 6 months to a year ...typically ...if he indeed had this disease. As we waited for the jet to arrive with a team that would take us to Dallas Childrens..... I felt so HELPLESS .....but tried to absorb the reality....the possiblity.....it was a desperate feeling....I was numb....would have traded places with him if I could. Still would...so he could walk & run. Oh....God really worked on me during that time & continues to do so...through Josh...through your story. He has spoken to me about FAITH...TRUST...trying to give it all to HIM & not worry. It is a struggle ....but He grants peace when I do. (Rambling) .....anyway...your post touched me. I am so happy for you to see a glimpse of your angel. I will be praying for you & your family. HUGS.

 
At 9:40 AM , Anonymous Grandma said...

I remember so well hearing those same words from the Doctor in Houston and remember how much I wanted to break down completely and at the same time wanted so desperately to "lift you up". I felt like I failed at both, just not knowing what to do and say. I, like you knew that the reality of it was that our little angel might not make it and I did not want to accept that at all! I also knew a God full of mercy and grace and all I knew to do was to call on Him and cry out to Him day after day believing that He was hearing and answering my prayers. As I sit here today I feel even closer to that God and cry out to Him even more KNOWING that he hears every cry and He has shown over and over again that awesome love that He has for our Ashley! I know He hears every cry from our mouths and every cry from our hearts and will never, ever leave us. I'm so looking forward to the day when Ash is old enough to know and feel that same love from the God of the universe! My prayers will not stop and He will not stop answering. How great it must feel to Him that so many people have come back to Him, grown closer to Him and even accepted Him through His marvelous plan for Ashley's life! You and David and Blake and Allie are such an important part of that great plan! I love you and thank you all for allowing me to be a part of it all, too. It's such an honor to be "Grandma".

 
At 10:41 AM , Blogger Midlife Moments said...

I wanted to let you know that I have added your daughter to our prayer page at Faithlifts.net

My daughter is a heart transplant patient, so I understand your heart right now- Please know that you, Ashley and your entire family are covered in prayer.

You can view the listing at:
http://www.5minutesformom.com/faithlifts/prayers/

Please feel free to upload her button onto your website and use it.

Be Blessed,
Heather

 
At 1:20 PM , Blogger Troy and Melanie said...

We are hoping and praying that you had a restful night last night, or that you are being able to rest right now. We will be praying for you!! Much love and prayers.

 

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