I'm sitting in a wheelchair outside a hospital room... typing this blog! Can't say I ever imagined such a thing... but here I am! And incredibly grateful for the last minute opportunity to do so! My home phone rang at 4PM this afternoon, and as has become my habit these past few weeks... I sprung to my feet to answer! It might be the University of Florida/ Shands calling to reschedule Rachel's surgery for an earlier date. Finally, today,... the phone call was actually them! A last minute opening in Dr Bleiweis' schedule means open heart surgery TOMORROW morning! I'd have loved to have been a fly on the wall this afternoon as I tried to pack for a "journey" that could last one week.... or drag into a month! How in the world do you prepare for that??? Oh well... I did the best I could and a few hours later, Doug, Rachel, and I were on our way to Gainesville!
Our incredible translators from the Chinese Church here in Gainesville were here to explain tomorrow's events to Rachel and to walk her through getting her IV line in place. They were wonderful! Rachel ~ even more wonderful! Handled the whole thing like a champ! I think she's ready to face the giants of tomorrow! I feel certain that Jesus will take this journey with her, don't you? Just before saying goodbye to our translators/ brother and sister in Christ, we asked if they would pray with Rachel. They, of course, agreed and invited Rachel to begin... These were the sweet words that formed our precious Rachel's first prayer...(at least the words that I could understand!)... "Daddy, Mommy, Rachel's heart, Russ' Happy Birthday, Kate and Ellie, .... Jesus, Amen! The tenderness of a child's prayer~ spoken in some pseudo-language, somewhere between Chinese and English. I praise God that He knows her heart and heard every word of it perfectly! I'm pretty certain that nothing can warm your heart quite like the prayer of a sweet child... so I've attempted to attach her prayer in the car as we pulled into the hospital tonight....(key word would be tonight... meaning it is DARK!- But it's the prayer spoken that will melt your heart!)
If that's not enough to make your heart happy, I'm not sure much would! Here's a few sweet pictures of the beginning of our journey to Rachel's new heart... (well~ sadly it is 2:40 and I can't seem to find the photos I wanted to share with you! I guess you'll have to hold your breath for tomorrow when I can think a little clearer!) ~ It appears that moment might be now--- 7 hours later! Here's a few photos of our brave girl...
We covet your prayers for Rachel tomorrow morning (Oct 18) beginning at 7 AM and then for most of the remainder of the day! Her heart and lungs still need a miracle and we are trusting God for just THAT! :-) He is able!... And in His goodness and immeasurable grace we find rest!
I'll post soon with wonderful updates as they become available throughout the day! The marathon begins! On your mark... Get set... GO!!!!