Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


Praying God's Will

Ashley is back on the vent this morning to help her rest while they send blood work out for cultures. She has some type of infection that is making her little body have to work to hard. Ash has to be immunosupressed in order to keep her from rejecting her new organs and unfortunately this makes her susceptible to every bug that comes along. I am amazed at how my prayer was for Ash to be off the vent for Christmas and that is exactly what God gave us. She is back on the vent today but yesterday was a wonderful day where each one of us got to see Ash and play with her and she got to see and play with each one who came her to visit her. I found the following comment posted at Ashley's Story today and I want to address it.

Anonymous said...

As I have read this site now for many weeks I often wonder if you, the parents of Ashley pray 'the Lord's will'....Ashley has so many struggles and seems to continue slipping away only to be brought very painful this must be for her as well as her family...allie and your son no doubt need some normalcy to return in their lives...I am not saying you should give up or walk away from Ashley only to rethink your prayer life and be sure this is the Lord's will.

8:58 AM 12/26/2006

God has used Ashley and her struggles to teach us more about Him then we have would have ever imagined. Ashley's life has brought Trish and I, Blake and Allie, and countless others closer to Him and has improved countless family relationships. The hardest thing I have ever done in my life was to pray to God that His will be done in Ashley's life. I prayed that if it was His will for us to be the only people who ever loved her before she died that we could do that for her. I prayed this prayer not with just words but with an absolute complete humbleness of who God is and who I am. I was at a place where I wanted God's will to be done in spite of what I wanted as a father. I don't know if Anonymous has ever had to face the loss of a child, I certainly hope not. It is not something I would never wish on anyone. We don't take care of Ash because we have to, we do it because she is our daughter and we love her. How difficult it is for us to read the words we should "rethink your prayer life" when we and hundreds of others on our behalf are constantly asking for God's will to be done in our and Ashley's life. A brief search of Ashley's blog has returned at least 15 pages of posts where we are seeking "God's will." It hurt us beyond measure that someone would take the time to criticize our walk with God. We know without any doubt that God called us to be Ashley's parents. We have sought God's will for 13 years before He called us to adopt Ashley. We could not walk away from her because she didn't have a body like yours and mine. Should we just quit because it is hard? Does she not deserve to live or have parents that will take care of her because she wasn't born healthy? If Ashley, Blake or Allie or even a complete stranger fell in water and was drowning should I walk by and say it was God's will for them to fall in so I should not intervene or should I jump in and try to save them from drowning? I would jump in. Does that mean I didn't seek God's will? I know that if it was God's will for them to drown I could not save them despite my best effort. The God I serve did not give up on us. He knows that we are drowning in sin and yet He loved us enough to make a way for us to be with Him. He knows the pain of losing a child. He chose it. He did not walk on by and give up on us and allow us the drown in our sin.
Most of you who know Ashley know her through a website. You know her through pictures and through the writings of her family. You have not seen her day by day. You have not seen her laugh. You have not seen her play. You have not seen the spirit God has given her. You don't know her history or where she came from. You don't know she is a fighter with a will to survive. You have not heard the words of the doctors telling us how strong she is. You have not seen the funny faces she makes. You have not seen her wave to us. You have not seen her clap her hands. You have not seen her play with her toys. You have not seen her funny quirks. You have not seen her progress and learn new things. You were not there when God brought her through her birth against the odds. You were not there when God kept her alive through Necrotising Entercolitis. You were not there when God brought her through the surgery when her bowel was removed. You were not there when the doctor told us in astonishment that he had never seen a baby in such a poor condition survive. God did that. You were not there when God carried her through the reanastomosis surgery. You were not there when God led us to a decision on which transplant center to list her for organs. The very transplant center where He knew He would provide the organs she needed to live. You were not there when God brought her through her transplant surgery. You are not here now living the daily ups and downs that is our and Ashley's life. For those of you who are praying for Ashley and our family we are forever grateful. You have not been there to see God spare Ashley's life on at least 8 different occasions. I have been there. Ashley is not a vegtable being kept alive by man and the machines he has invented. She is a little girl with a less than perfect body. A little girl with less than perfect parents. A little girl who takes all that she goes through with such a wonderful spirit. She rarely even cries. She loves life. She is so strong. I have witnessed God's miracles in my daughters life.
I have zero power to spare Ashley's life. Trish has zero power to spare Ashley her life. The doctors and nurses have zero power to spare Ashley's life. None of us do. We are very aware of this. Over the course of the past year and half we have watched at least 10 children die in these hospitals. None of us had any power to spare the lives of those children. We grieved the loss of each. Their parents and the doctors where completely powerless to stop it. God is the only one. If it is God's will then Ashley will not survive. We know that.
My intention was not to upset or offend anyone who reads Ashley's Story. I apologize if I have. I am Ashley's father and I am Trish's husband. I don't want to see either one of them hurt. I will be praying for anonymous today.
I will continue to pray God's perfect will in Ashley's life and for our family. I continue to pray for each of you who are part of Ashley's Story.


At 1:29 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your heart once again and for sharing your testimony and family with us. I know I haven't met your family, but we are all brothers and sisters in Christ and it's His Spirit that allows us to really be family with those we haven't even met yet. How incredibly awesome what God has done for you and will continue to do!!!!!!!!

At 1:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such tender words for such an upsetting handled this 'anonymous' so well and so Christian-like.
We who have followed Ashley's journey through so many issues know the love you and your family have for her...she is a gift from God...sent to bless not only all of you but so many others who also love her.
A grandma in Illinois.

At 1:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave, You handled that so much better than I ever could. I hate that Trish and your family have been hurt from the comments. WE are praying for your little Ashley, we dont know her personally but thanks to you and your family we know her in our hearts and are so thankful because of this website. I want to be able to meet this little Angel one day right here in Longview. My three year old would be so excited to just see her in person. That is how much we love your little one. God could not have picked a better family for Ashley and he is helping her to fight these battles. WEll Said Dave, we are all here for you and we are praying for Ashley to heal.
Krista Ratley

At 1:42 PM , Blogger Bttrfly1976 said...

Dave, I am so grateful you addressed that comment, and with far more grace than I could have mustered. My heart swelled with indignation on your behalf as I read those insensitive words. I don't doubt that whomever that person was, they had good intentions, but I so wish they had for one moment tried to place themselves in your position before typing that entry.

I have been reading Ashley's story for several months now and am continually amazed by the depth of you and your wife's character and faith. Ashley is a fighter. I ache to meet her simply because my life has been so touched by her without ever having layed eyes on her outside of blogland.

We, as your brothers and sisters, do not grow weary of lifting you up. We are called to bear one another's burdens, and honestly, I do so with gladness. I can't go more than a couple of hours without checking in for any updates. I won't lie, I typically hold my breath as the page loads, as I never know what each new post will bring. But then I am once again forced to my knees in gratitude toward an Almighty God who cares so very deeply for such a tiny little angel.

Your faith, your courage, your humility, and often times, your sadness touch my heart in a way I could never express by typing. Knowing that God is in complete control, I will continue to go boldly to the throne of grace beseeching Him on your behalf.

From one who struggles often in her faith, I offer my sincerest and deepest Thank You. Your family is truly an inspiration and a light in my life.

At 1:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This must be a hard time for you and your family with all of the ups and downs that you are facing on almost a daily basis. That being said, I don't think that "anonymous" meant to be critical of you, though I can see how it would come across as such. Though I don't know for sure, I would guess that he or she was just wondering if you were prepared in case God's will was to take her home. I guess I'm just trying to see everyone's point.

At 1:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave and Trish, I hope we could meet one day. You all are doing the best you can for your baby. How painful it was for me to read that comment. I cannot imagine how you all felt! That person has not been reading your blog or they would have known how often you tell us all you are praying for God's will - not that you even have to tell us that. God's will IS being done in her life as in all of our lives. I am just sorry you had to take the time to even respond to such a negative comment by someone. Just focus on getting your little princess out of the ICU soon! PRAYING!!!!

At 2:01 PM , Anonymous Judy Walker said...

This is my first time to comment and I am not sure what to say.

All I know is that not only does God work in peoples lives everyday, but so does the devil. And I know from my life he will try everything to tear you down and steal your faith away. So stay strong in your beliefs and don't take to heart what some people say but pray for them that its not the devil working in their lives and that God will prevail.

We love your family and are inspired by your faith in God.
@ Carmela Davis, CPA office

At 2:04 PM , Blogger Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

Dave, you handled that with such grace! You and your wife continue to amaze me with both your passion and your tender spirits.

At 2:16 PM , Blogger Troy and Melanie said...

Just want you to know that we are still praying for your handled your response to that comment with such grace. We know that you are praying for God's will, and will continue praying that He brings you through every valley and mountain. God certainly is using your story of Ashley as well as your testimony and strength in your faith to help others find their way back to Him. Much love and prayers.

At 2:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope the negative post will not stop you both from opening up your hearts to all of us with your beautiful posts. Remember, there are many parents out here with health problems with our children and we read your blogs to know how best to deal with our own problems. Please keep posting and please keep telling us about Ashley! We will never stop praying!

At 2:36 PM , Blogger Renee said...

Dave that was very well put. I am so sorry that you and your precious family had to endure such cruelty!!
Always praying for ya'll. When I first started reading Ashley's Blog I came here with all intentions of praying for a little baby that my cousin told me was a friend of her's. That is how it stayed for a while. I continued to pray and pray for little Ashley and your family, as I still am. Then one day I realized that I was being ministered to!! That just as much as I was praying harder and harder for Ashley to recover I was recieving a gift in return. Things that you or Trish said I could apply to my own life. Not because I have a daughter in the PICU but for other reasons I won't go into. My point here is that you all are giving a gift not only to Ashley but to many other people that are taking the time to read and keep up with Ashley's blog.
May you all be blessed....may Ashley recover! Lord, may Your will be done..with all of the love and peace that only You can deliver.

At 3:02 PM , Anonymous Anita Elliott said...

Dave...that was an awsome post! I know I couldn't have said it that well. I have a 4yr. little boy that has had 13 surgeries this yr. alone..he was also a I know all too well how hard it is to pray God's will. I love hearing and reading about Ashley...I can tell by ya'lls words what an awsome family she has and can hear the love in your words. I pray daily for your family. The hospital is a very lonely place for a parent to watch their child struggle and knowing they have a family back home also. I know this is hard on my husband when he is torn between work and paying bills while Kynzer(our little one)may be in the hospital. But like your family..God has definately brought us through it..there is no way we could do it without him. Please let Trish know as a mom I am praying for her!
Love Anita

At 3:09 PM , Anonymous Amy Borden said...

Dave and Trish ~

God knows your hearts. He hears your prayers. Ashley's life has purpose with every breath she takes, and it is an absolute privilage to pray for her, be it a bad day or a good one. I am glad you addressed the comment. We have fielded some pretty off the wall chatter since Morgan's birth. And I have found that it usually comes from not having walked in our shoes. You shared your heart, and it was a more than appropriate response. Praying for Ashley today.

Love, Amy

At 3:10 PM , Anonymous Nikki said...

I had a headful I would ponder to say, but prayed to decide what should and shouldn't be put out there for the masses. So God gave me this: God does not give us more than we can handle and THAT INCLUDES ASHLEY! She is just astounding in her (God-given) ability to keep taking it as long as God is using her to accomplish so much in the countless testimonies listed here. David is my brother and Trish my sister-in-law and they have ALWAYS been extremely devoted parents. Blake and Allison have always been kids with integrity and understanding. I have lost a child and know it is nothing you can ever "prepare" for. You only learn it when you're in it. My prayer will always continue to be that God will spare Ashley's life - both as a reward for her longsuffering and selfishly, because she helps me remember many of God's best lessons. God will answer yes or He will answer no but He will answer whichever way is best for Ashley. I love you David, Trish, Ashley, Blake and Allie!

At 4:27 PM , Blogger KT said...

Dave, you and Trish are people of grace. Thank you for addressing the post. You did it with grace but yet sternness. I pray that person continues to read this site and rethinks their comments. God will do his will no matter what. We can ask and ask and ask. Sometimes his answer is Yes, No or Wait. He has the last say no matter what our heart wants. Praying for you all tonight. Praying for peace and joy with your sweet Ashley and Allie and Blake.

At 12:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading Ashley's story for some time now and have grown in my heart with all of your family. Although I am Jewish, I find your Christian family, thoughts, and prayers to be beautiful and very moving. I know that you pray God's will, and perhaps more important, you know that too.
Thank you for bringing me closer to God through your beautiful posts.


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