Today we met with the doctor that performed both of Peanut's procedures as well as her initial angiogram. It was just a routine follow-up appointment but we were able to get a little more information about our next step. Peanut will be admitted to the hospital for a special kind of MRI. She has to be admitted because she is allergic to the dye they use. So, they give her steroids beforehand to prevent an allergic reaction. The steroids cause her blood sugar to spike which requires constant careful monitoring. She is certainly a special case! We were sad to learn that we most likely will not see this doctor again. He was always wonderful with us - going the extra mile to help in any way he could. The procedures were amazingly successful - in part thanks to his expertise and steady hand and in part to the gracious workings of our Lord.
After the MRI is completed and they have a very clear image of the AVM, Peanut will undergo radiation to treat and hopefully completely shrivel up the last of the AVM. After approximately 2 months, there is a high probability that Peanut will begin to show deficits that the doctors assure us will be temporary. Because of the location of the AVM I'm guessing she will have more memory problems and possible vision difficulties. I'm a bit nervous about this. I know I should trust God - He's done so much for us and protected Peanut through all the steps of this process. However, I begin to wonder, at what point have we used up all our miracles? I truly believe that at least 3 specific miracles took place - she survived the initial brain bleed and she had 2 successful procedures to treat the area. There are so many other things involved in those 3 - things like she still has equal strength on both sides of her body, she is able to appropriately express herself and communicate with others, she suffered very few long lasting effects of a BRAIN BLEED! This is major, I know that. Man, do I know it! But we are so unworthy of all that we have received. At what point does God stop? I know as a Christian I am supposed to believe that God's mercy, love and grace will never run out. That we can never out give God. However, I cannot fathom a being with so much love that He would continually give these blessings and miracles to someone as undeserving as me and my family. We are not special. We have little that sets us apart from others. We are not major players in spiritual warfare. We are not missionaries, dedicated volunteers, pastors, teachers or any other "high" position in the Christian world. We are just like everyone else. We feel the same things, we do the same things, we struggle the same way as everyone else. Why were we given the amazing gift of a miraculously healed daughter? And we didn't do a thing to deserve it (not that we ever could). Peanut is a typical, strong-willed, fit-throwing, life-loving, brother-fighting, doll-playing, fairy-imagining, rainbow-loving little 5 year old girl! There are some who expect her to become an amazing doctor, a missionary, a pastor or some other "major" thing - working like Mother Theresa to advance faith in our Savior. What if they are wrong? What if she is just going to be just like her parents - ordinary, normal, regular? What if there is no "grand scheme" to create a massive force for the kingdom out of this little girl? She, like every other child, is a miracle. She is a beautiful creation. She is just like every other child. I don't expect her to work miracles for others or to have such an incredible story that she impacts thousands by sharing it. So, what is the reason for all of this? Why did we go through this? Why are we still going through all of this? What is this accomplishing? For me, I believe there is no greater purpose right now. Sure, God can use this at any time to reach someone and lead them to faith in Jesus Christ. But I still cannot see that as the whole reason this happened. The only purpose I can see for this is that life happens. And through it all, our God loves us! He loves us ridiculously, sacrificially and in ways we cannot even begin to understand. He loves us!! That is amazing! Who are we that He would love us? We do not deserve it. He just loves us because He is God and we are His creation. What would our world look like if I loved like that? If I just did good things to others because I loved them. Because I saw the intrinsic value of every life. What if I could love like that?