I'm laying in bed in our hotel room in Cincinnati at the Marriott Springhill Suites where we have stayed over and over again the past two years. We have tried others on the Kentucky side of the river to save a few dollars, but they are a little yucky and scary, and so we made a pact last time we would just stay at our "home" hotel from now on. The evening sun is falling in a perfect slant across my bed. I feel nostalgic in a very strange way.
Today we saw Dr. Crone, Danica's neurosurgeon, for the last time. He is retiring. I know he treats all his patients with care, but, like everyone who has been a part of Danica's story, he expressed how truly remarkable her case is and how miraculous her healing has been. The brain and cervical junction MRI was as clear as he has ever seen a year and a half post decompression. Yes, there is fusion and a little sling holding her cerebellar tonsils from slumping, but her CSF flow is amazing, and her brain stem is safe. The best news is he does not believe her spinal cord is in any way tethered. The remaining bladder and bowel issues may be from the "damage" during her early development when her Chiari was causing so many neurological symptoms. He recommended we follow up with a pediatric urologist but also reminded us time may be the answer. Then we heard him say the most amazing words, "If she remains without other symptoms you do not need to have another MRI for three and a half years."
As I booted up my computer to write this post I was reminded in an email about what the other side of prayer should look like. Ann Voskamp wrote this in her book One Thousand Gifts:Finding Joy in What Really Matters:
My chest begins to constrict, and I forget to breathe until I hear Danica humming a minuet in the bathtub. It's a grace moment. I check my email and see a dear family has made a donation for my upcoming surgery, a gift reminding me He will make a way. He has always made a way. Gratitude begins to calm me. How am I so easily distracted from our celebration of amazing news for our girl? Have I learned nothing? Am I really back to doubt this soon? I return to read Ann's words. Focus on Him. Praise Him. Look at His heart. I feebly begin to thank Him for the great things He has done in us and for us and through us. How can I not live on this other side of prayer having witnessed powerful healing in Danica's body these past years? How can I not believe this too is still possible for my own fragile health? Peace and joy can only be found when glorifying Him and enjoying Him. This is why we are here. This is what He made us for.
Tonight I ask that in the same fervant spirit you have made requests for us you will as generously offer praise. We have reached an important marker on this journey, and we add another stone to our altar of remembrance. Our hearts swell in thankfulness to our good God who does all things well. We pack our bags tomorrow and set out again. We cannot guess what is next. It may be a valley of shadows. It may be a steep mountain to climb, but we go where He leads. We will glorify him. We will enjoy Him. Our destination is sure. Our hope will not disappoint. Won't you continue on with us?