Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


You Are Amazing, God

Just a day or two ago I shared with you my desire to show Blake and Allison the power of our God through the raising of our sweet Ashley. I also shared with you the mistakes we make in doing so when we allow fatigue, or worry, or stress to take over, but just as I have heard my whole life "our God is a God of second chances". Last night we were given that chance to share the power of the God of our universe with all 3 of our children and it left me humbled, in awe, speechless, and grateful.

To stop and think a moment or two about how big this world is, how many people are in it, all the issues, the problems, the souls that our God is intimately involved in might leave you thinking or wondering if He in fact hears your prayers, has time to answer them, or even cares about what is happening to you in that moment. Let me assure you my dear friends that Yes, our God does care, He does love you, He does know what you are going through, and even when no understanding can be found He has a plan. I just know that He does. Even though I have that knowledge, convincing Blake and Allie of that is sometimes difficult when there are no words during the rough days of Ash's life. Last night, our God came to meet us where we all sat, surrounding our tiny girl, who had NO interest in listening to our pleas on her behalf. Instead, as I was praying for her she fussed at me to get me to open my eyes and when I did not she planted one right in the center of my forehead causing me to crack up while I was talking to the Father. When I looked up at her she smiled, signed the word "book" then "apple" then pointed across the room to show me exactly which of her books had the apple tree in it and that she would like for me to get it for her. Oh, my how this child make me smile, and I have a good suspicion that she had her Creator grinning from ear to ear as well.

As I went to change Ash's TPN late yesterday afternoon I realized that there was NO blood return coming out of her NEW central line. Yes, the line that was placed in her two last available sites, the one that was placed Monday morning of THIS week. Yes, that line. Instantly my heart broke. I did everything I could think of. Literally everything. Finally I just pushed Heparin into the line and decided to let it set. Disappointed, I walked away. For hours. I couldn't bare to think of it or talk about. I didn't even call Dave about it. I tried to imagine that it somehow wasn't happening. About 9pm last night I withdrew the Heparin and began to work on that line once again. Nothing I did could make it budge. I shared with Dave what was going on and we began to discuss our options. The hospital. The ER. Shreveport. Find someone working in the local ER's that we knew who might help. None of it sounded appealing after seeing her have such a great day. I just couldn't bare the thought of taking her into the hospital. Dave tried the line and failed also. We used all of the"tricks" we have learned over the years and tried all of the things I knew our doctors would try. Nothing was happening. At the same moment we looked at each other and said, "We could pray over her."

Honestly, I said mine in a half hearted way not really and truly believing our God would show up in our home at 9pm on a Wednesday night, but Dave's faith surely must have been stronger than mine. Then we called the kids in to our room and we surrounded our sweet Ashley and began to talk to our Father about this central line. As Dave and the children prayed for Ash I could feel my faith getting stronger. Dave's strong voice, his heart for his child, his belief in His God and the power that he knew HE had. Blake's faith, the words that fell from my son's lips, the bold requests he made to the GOD of the whole universe. My son knew our God intimately and I could hear it in the strength of his words to HIM. Then that sweet, almost melodic voice of Allison Brooke. Tears stinging my eyes as she asked her GOD to "please help Ashley and to make the blood come out." I was strengthened by their words and then I prayed. In the midst of the my prayer the "punch" was thrown and received by my head and as I sat cracking up at this miracle child of ours that had taught us all how to truly pray I believed that our God could indeed open this line and change things for us.

The children retreated to their rooms, Ashely lay on her back with before mentioned book held up over her head and Dave began to attempt the line once again. I stood back and watched as the tiniest trickle of blood pulled back into the saline and the smile broke out across his face. "Get the kids and get the tubes you need for lab work. I want to keep the flow going." I called the children in to witness the power of our God and ran for the syringes and lab tubes. We were able to marvel together at how much our God cares for our sweet Ashley and we were able to draw the blood needed for this weeks lab work. Smiles crossed the faces of the children and I gave Al a high five and said to her, "Our God ROCKS!" She grinned so large and nodded her head yes before she left skipping from our room.

Can I say a loud, "PRAISE GOD!"

It may seem small to some of you reading these words, but to a family who has been to the brink of death with this child, who has grieved more times than I care to admit over the losses in her life, who has watched struggle after struggle, and who wants nothing more than to take the pain out of her life, this was HUGE. SO HUGE.

Every once in a while I think God shows up just to remind us that He is in control. He heard my desire to show the children His power this week and He came to meet us amidst our boxes, on top of our unmade bed, in the middle of our circle, and laid His hand on a little piece of plastic that had been inserted into my daughter's leg and exited out of her side. That is the kind of God that He is.

You ARE amazing, God. Thank you.

I have no idea if the line will continue working. I really and truly don't. I hope that it does, but even if it does not last night God was here among us and its something I don't think any of us will soon forget.

I hope you are encouraged today. No matter what your circumstance. He cares. He loves you, and He's patiently waiting to be invited so that He might show up "amidst your boxes, on top of your unmade bed, in the middle of your circle". Take care my friends. You are loved. Trish


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