Our family was living in Iceland as missionaries when my biggest fear collided with reality: something was wrong with our baby. The twenty-week ultrasound revealed that only half of her heart was developing.
In the months following this, questions began to emerge in my heart. Was God just? Was God good? I had always believed He was, but for the first time I really questioned it.
I prayed for a miraculous healing and tried to have faith that He would actually do it (in case that was the missing ingredient). But when she was born with only half of a heart, we had to accept that God wanted to reveal himself in a different way than just performing a miracle. He wanted us to walk the path of having a child with a serious medical condition.
I desired to steward the suffering well. I just didn’t know how I would.
Eight days after Gracie Garman was born, she was scheduled to have her first open- heart surgery. I woke up early that morning and as I got ready, I had a thought that was so loud it stopped me in my tracks. The thought was “You should write all of this down.”
I immediately thought about all the parents in the hospital that I’d been with the past week. I thought about how desperately they needed the good news of Jesus to inform their thinking about their current situation. I wanted at that moment to record all that we were about to go through in an effort to point people to Christ.
Little did I know how hard that would be.
Gracie survived her first open-heart surgery, but the other baby down the hall with a similar heart defect didn’t. Gracie made it through her next surgery, but her roommate did not.
I flailed and I flailed hard. Never in my sheltered life had I ever been exposed to such suffering. I questioned God’s goodness and the cracks in my faith were utterly exposed. But now, I was trapped because I felt strongly called to document it for all to see.
In the past six years of Gracie’s life, God has been faithful to me as I’ve written our story into a book. Despite all my questions and doubt, He has brought me to a new place of trust in Him. I don’t have all the answers, but I am convinced more than ever that God is good. And, because He is good, He can be trusted.
For the month of February (American Heart Month), all of the proceeds of my book will go to both Samaritan’s Purse Children’s Heart Project™ which arranges life-saving surgeries for children in medically disadvantaged countries and Make-A-Wish™Mid-Atlantic