I am feeling led to write several posts sharing our church planting story over the next few weeks. I haven't talked a whole lot about it on the blog, but it is definitely a pivotal part of who I am and our lives as a family.
Today our sweet Canaan (whom my hubby has affectionately nicknamed the Caboose!) is 6 weeks and 6 days old. This may not seem like a huge monument, but it marks the exact age of our older son Landon when he had his 9 hour surgery, which divinely began our journey to church planting. Looking at Canaan, how tiny he is, I know the only way we survived that time in our lives was the grace of God and the love of family and friends.
Canaan today. That smile warms my heart!
Landon had already been subjected to a spinal tap, numerous lab draws, several ultrasounds, two HYDA scans, and a liver biopsy all by this time. Much more medical intervention and procedures than Ben and I combined had had in our whole lives.
The remembrance of handing him over to the nurse, then leaving him, not knowing the outcome of the surgery, was unequivocally one of the hardest moments in my life.
I carried this picture of Landon with me the whole day of his surgery.
I walked out with Ben into a waiting room full of family and friends and began the longest day of my life to date. Periodically, a nurse would call a phone in the waiting area to give us updates.
After 3 hours, the surgeon came out to tell us that what we feared most was true: Landon had a pediatric liver disease called Biliary Atresia. No known cause, no sustainable cure. Although the surgery would be a temporary fix, liver transplant will almost definitely be in his future. Knowing that your tiny baby will need yet another, much more complicated surgery, depending on the loss of someone else's loved one, is not something any parent wants to hear.
We cried and held one another. We went to the hospital chapel and prayed.
Landon the day after his surgery. It was so sad to see him with all the wires, tubes and IVs going in his little body.
Finally, 9 hours after we first handed Landon over, the surgeon (whom we adore!) came out again to let us know that the surgery went well and we'd be able to see Landon soon.
Holding Landon a few days before we went home.
Little did we know that that arduous day would be the first few steps in God opening our hearts to a unique mission field, one in which he would ultimately call us to plant a church.