I’m having a hard time finding the words to describe how I feel this year on Ryder’s 2nd “heartiversary”. I’ve been weepy all week because I see so many around me going through unbearable things. It has been a reminder of when Ryder was so sick and how unbearable it seemed to me.
Honestly, I am just so overwhelmed with thankfulness. I have been either on the verge of tears or all out crying all week remembering how sick Ryder was. I look at pictures before surgery and I can hardly stand it. She was pitiful. Our outcome with Ryder was so close to being drastically different. We were so close to losing her. So, so close. And the thought of that is too much to bear. I can’t possibly imagine my life without our Ryder.
(Below is a picture of Ryder the day we rushed to Dallas because she was barely eating, barely waking up, and completely blue.)
I remember when Ryder smiled for the first time. She was literally two weeks old. She looked right into my eyes and smiled the hugest smile you’ve ever seen.
And she hasn’t stopped since.
I’m going to tell you something about that smile – there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that her smile was a gift from God. She smiled through EVERYTHING. That girl is the smiliest thing you’ve ever seen in your life.
Ryder’s precious smile was such a special gift to me. Even on our hardest days, her smile got me through. I knew, and still know, that God put that smile on that sweet baby’s face as a promise and reminder that God is in control. I can’t tell you how many times that smile stopped me in my negative tracks and made me praise Jesus.
So, this year, I want to NOT dwell on the negative of that wretched time in our lives and just focus on the positive.
Ryder is thriving. She is eating and feeling great. Sure, we have some hurdles to jump, but she is doing so well. I never thought we’d get to where we are now.
I’m just so thankful God saved her. I’m so thankful He gave her such a beautiful smile.
Most of all, I’m so thankful He gave Ryder a broken heart. My heart is completely overwhelmed with gratitude for that trial in our lives. Where would I be without it? WHO would I be without it? Certainly not who I am today.
Ryder’s heart changed my life. And it is such a symbol of how God healed my heart too. He saved me. He healed my brokenness. I am forever changed and eternally grateful for it.
My biggest prayer for Ryder is that she gives her heart to Jesus. Oh, how I cannot wait for that day to see my babies saved.
And I pray that Ryder will look down at her beautiful scar and see proof of God’s miracles. I want it to remind her that God loves her and saved her.
Two years later. God is still SO good, ALL the time. I’m still blown away by the miracles he performed for us. I hope and pray I will always feel that way- that the passion and light behind that never goes away.
“I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.” Psalms 13:5
“He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.” Deuteronomy 10:21