I have never been so aware of my fingers and toes and the blessing it is to hold my baby, run my fingers through my son's hair, and hold my husband's hand.
Please join me in prayer today for a friend, Hannah Johnson Reinhart, and her husband Mark. Hannah has been in the ICU for the past three weeks fighting an infection which gave her spesis and though she is slowly recovering, the infection has warranted amputation of both hands and both feet. Surgery is taking place this afternoon at 3pm. She is a young, beautiful nurse and an amazingly strong Christian.
Though we ask God to work a miracle today before her surgery, we thank Him and praise Him for watching over her; for allowing her to survive when others would not have made it this far; for twice allowing her to beat cancer; for allowing a cloud of support and prayer from all sides; and for His promise that He works all for Good.
Here is a letter from her father posted to her Facebook page:
Our hearts are broken. Our wonderful daughter, the joy of our lives...is facing an incredible challenge tomorrow. We learned this afternoon that our worst fears had come true concerning the condition of her hands and feet. In spite of the best medical care that has in fact saved her life, she is scheduled to have both of her hands and both of her feet removed in surgery tomorrow afternoon at 3PM.
The body's natural defence against the infection and sepsis that ravaged her body three weeks ago shut down the blood flow to her hands and feet while she was in the worst of the battle. The good news is that she survived (many do not). The bad news is that her beautiful hands and graceful feet will be lost to the struggle.
As I try to make sense of all this, I keep remembering a verse I learned long ago. In Psalms 42:11. It reads:
"Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God."
As a dad it was always my job to fix things for my little girl when they were bad. The frustration of not being able to kiss away a hurt or put the broken parts back together is enormous. Even though she is now grown and in the care of a wonderful husband, my heart still wants to make things right. I suppose that never changes.
However, I can tell you that as I sit writing this, I feel a comfort that I cannot explain in human terms. I do feel a "Hope in God". And I believe "I shall yet praise Him". The grace of God has wrapped itself around my family and given us hope that even in the lowest moments of our lives we can know in our hearts that this will indeed work out for good.
I cannot imagine trying to face something like this alone. I am grateful knowing that God loves Hannah more than I and that He has her in the palm of His hand. She will survive and she will thrive to live a wonderful life.
When I became a Christian as a youth I thought knowing Christ would make my life smooth and free of storms. The truth that I have learned after 34 years is that we all have storms. God gives us the strength and comfort to face life's storms. We have a hope because of His love.
If anyone is reading this post does not have this hope, please feel free to contact me. I don't have all the answers, but I know who does.
Please also remember Hannah tomorrow in your prayers. To have one limb removed is major surgery. To have four removed while she is still breathing on a ventilator and having to be watched constantly for blood pressure drops and signs of any infection is at the very least a challenge.
As a family we have been overwhelmed by the prayers being lifted up, the words of encouragement and the love we have felt over the last three weeks.
Thanks you, Hannah's Dad
Please feel free to check out more on detail information on Hannah's situation on her FB page: Hannah Johnson Rinehart
Linking to: Thankful Thursday with First Day of My Life, a punk a pumpkin and a peanut, and Fontenot Four