Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


Directing our Paths

We may not always see, or understand, or even agree with what is happening around us, but I've seen it time and time again...the Father is directing our path. 

I can remember so very well the hurt and confusion that surrounded us the night our sweet Ashley came into our lives.  We stood in the hall of that hospital and couldn't believe what was being done.  It made no sense to us at the time and the tears I shed with my heart broken didn't stop for days. 


It didn't take long to see that God was truly taking us down the path we were meant to go.  He gently picked us up and changed our direction in order to bring about the best for or life with Ashley Kate.  I can see that now.  I can see that so clearly. 

Monday morning we believed we would be taking Ash to the hospital in Shreveport, like we've done many, many, many times.  We had a path set.  We thought.  Then with each passing hour as we sat in the ER we learned that things were not going to go the way we planned.  It was so confusing.  We were stunned.  We were frustrated.  We were so confused.  We simply didn't understand and couldn't believe what was happening. 


Just like before, it didn't take us long to see that God had orchestrated a better plan for us.  The path He had in mind took us in the opposite direction.  Clearly, looking back we know His plan was so much better for us than the one we had.  We were sent by ambulance to Dallas instead of Shreveport, and I'm so grateful that we were. 

I know without a doubt had we gone with or plan that my sweet Ashley would open her eyes this morning in a hospital room in Omaha.  Instead, she will open her precious eyes in her room and she will be surrounded by all she knows and loves. 

His path was better.  It always is.  Even when the tears and the confusion cloud my eyes and it takes me some time to see what He's doing.  Its always better.

We brought Ashley Kate home in the early morning hours.  By 3am she was tucked in her own bed.  As we pulled onto our street you could hear the sweetest little  cheer come out of her.  She helped her little hand and she cheered.  Precious, precious girl.  She loves to be home. 

I didn't post much yesterday and I realize that, but the words failed to come to me.  My conference with the pallative care team was one of the most difficult things I've ever experienced.  I had resolved in my mind that I was going to stay calm.  I was not going to get emotional.  I was not going to cry.  It was simply a discussion, not a plan.  We were just getting information to help us make a plan. 

How are you supposed to talk about and plan for end of life care for your 7 year old?  It was not happening.  I thought I would be swallowed up by my grief.  It came tumbling out of me at one point and the raw pain that I have been trying so hard to suppress for years ripped through my heart.  It hurt so bad just to say the words, "I know she's going to die."  I've known that this is more than likely our truth, but sitting across from strangers and having to say it out loud stole the breath right out of my lungs.  I felt the room spin around me and there wasn't enough oxygen left for me to breathe.  Writing about it and hearing the words come out of my mouth are two totally different things.  They are not the same.  I've spent many nights writing and allowing the tears to flow down my face in the stillness, and the quietness, and the dark of my bedroom.  This was different.  The sun was shining in through the windows and my sweet Ashley was lying quietly just a few feet away from where I was sitting, and across from me were two of the kindest people I've ever met.  This was so different than my private grief.  This was out in the open, and it hurt so badly. 

Looking back at it this morning all I can say is this, I hope that God once again has a plan for us.  I hope that He will be able to direct us and place us on the path that is His very best for our family and for our sweet Ashley.  I can tell you now that when it comes down to the end I know I'm going to panic and I'm going to fight for every breath I can for my sweet girl, and I simply can not see or understand how His plan could be different than the one I want for her.  Its going to take time, and He is going to have to do a mighty work inside of me to get me to the place where I can look back and say...He was still directing our path.

But...for precious little girl is here...she is home...and she is not going anywhere.  I do not know the plan He has for.  I do not know the number of days or weeks or months or years He will give to her.  I just know that for today she's still mine and the path led her back home this time.  Praise God for that.  She came home again.


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