Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart



There are moments in the day when I sit back and look at my sweet Ashley and I feel as though she has been robbed. The strength that she had gained this year...stolen. The skills she worked so hard to acquire...stolen. The trust she had just begun to place in strangers...stolen. Those things aren't here anymore. They are no longer hers. She can't stand anymore. She's still to weak. She barely eats. Just not able to tolerate it. She hardly moves. No longer has the energy to scoot across our floors. The desire to play. Its gone. Her toys sit in front of her and she has no interest. She still feels too yucky.

And then...

I remember what the Bible tells me. It says that the thief has come to steal, kill, and destroy.

And then...

I remember what that thief thought he was going to do in the life of our child. I remember her beginning and how from the very moment she was formed in the womb he began his assault. I imagine how pleased he was as he dealt blow after blow against the tiniest of God's creation.

And then...

I remember who was victorious. I smile inside and it seeps to my outside. I feel it spread across my face. That stinking thief did not steal her joy. Her life. Her spirit. That stinking thief did not kill our baby. That stinking thief did not destroy the purpose her Creator had in mind for her.

That stinking thief still attacks and still tries to destroy her. Still tries to destroy us. Still tries. Still tries to steal from her all she has been given. Her life. Still tries to bring us down. Still tries to kill our joy, our peace, our happiness, our child.

Well, guess what? That thief will not take from us what God has given. Only God Himself has the power to remove her from us. There is no power that the thief holds that God does not trump. There is no plan of destruction that God almighty can not turn around and use for His good.

There are moments in our days where the sadness of all she has lost seems to choke me. There are times when I still announce to no one in particular that I don't get it. I don't understand. There are still tears that form in the corners of my eyes as I watch her struggle to do what came so easily to her just a mere 2 months ago. Then I look into those amazing eyes and I see her. The real her. The one that shines from deep within and I know without a doubt that she will come back. She will gain all that has been lost this past month and even more. In time, as she gains more and more strength and more and more energy she will stand up again. She will scoot again. She will eat again. She will play again. Then I imagine what will come next. Her scooting will someday lead to crawling. Her standing will someday lead to walking. Someday she will not only swallow food, but begin to bite it and chew it. Her signing will lead to speaking. I just know that it will. Someday.

Ash is weak. There is no pretending that she is not. It takes her half the day to gain enough strength to sit up and flip the pages of her books. She has just begun to swallow food again, but her 500 calorie a day diet has dwindled to only 30 calories by mouth. She is signing more and more which is very exciting. Her communication skills are expanding. Not with her voice, but with her hands. Dave and I are doing our best to keep up with all she knows. Still she stumps us more times than not and we are left scrambling as we try to figure out what she is telling us. Her stool outputs remain too high to plan any type of increase in her feedings. Tonight we find ourselves praying for very little poop over the next 8 hours, again. There is no way to deny that she was sick. It took its toll on her little body and the healing is proving to be much slower than we had hoped. I wish she had bounced back in record time, but she has not. We are just thankful that we are working on bouncing back from her crib here in Texas and not the crib in Nebraska.

Many things have been "stolen" from our Ashley. I believe that they have, but more important than the things that were taken from her are the things that she has been given. God did not allow those things to be taken without replacing them. Beautiful blessings have resulted from her losses. Life lessons and growth that a price can never be placed on have come through the losses in her life. That stinking thief may continue to try to steal from our baby, to kill our child and destroy this family, but our salvation rests in His power. He will not allow one thing to be taken that He does not have a plan of restoration already in place.


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