One of my favourite hymns is ‘Great is thy faithfulness’. It is written on the inside of my diary; the words helped me get through those difficult early days following Jessica’s diagnosis, her heart surgeries and the long days on PICU and the ward as she recovered. It continues to give me strength. There is one line in particular which speaks to me:
“Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside”
Strength for today…
Yes, there have been many times when my faith has given me that strength to take another step. Particularly on the day we were told that Jessica wouldn’t be suitable for surgery and would not survive long after birth. As we sobbed together in the chapel following that appointment, the only thing I could hold on to was my faith that somehow God would get us through this; that somehow we would endure.
…and bright hope for tomorrow
As I have blogged recently, that appointment was a very traumatic one for us, not least because of how that news was given to us, but I also have reason to be thankful for it too. It was that appointment that planted the seed of hope in our minds and led to Jessica having fetal surgery which gave her the chance to have surgery after she was born.
We considered travelling to Boston to have that surgery but were very lucky to be offered it here on the NHS (especially as we were led to believe that this particular surgery had not been performed in the UK before). And whilst the NHS has many flaws, I am immensely grateful that we have access to healthcare in this country that is free at the point of use. I shudder to think how different our story could have been had we had to find the money for each of Jessica’s surgeries or rely on whether an insurance company was willing to cover them. The surgeons who have treated Jessica have been amazing and we have had superb care from all the doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff who have looked after Jessica throughout this journey. I am hugely thankful to them all.
Blessings all mine…
We have been hugely blessed with the love and support of so many people since Jessica was first diagnosed. Friends and family have walked alongside us, prayed for and with us, brought food parcels to the hospital, hugged us when we cried, celebrated the milestones with us, provided a place to stay when only one parent could be accommodated at the hospital and many have shared their own stories which provided empathy, encouragement and inspiration many, many times. We have also had some wonderful support from strangers – people who just reached out and let us know they were thinking of us and praying for us. A huge, huge thank you to everyone who has been there for us.
…with ten thousand beside
And of course, I am hugely thankful for my husband and my two beautiful daughters. My hubby has walked alongside this journey, step by step, his hand in mine. He has been my strength and my support – he has seen me at my very worst moments (especially in this last year when I have struggled with postnatal depression) and still sees a person that he loves underneath – even when I think I have been very hard to love and have directed my anger and frustration at him. I don’t think I could have done any of this without him. He is an amazing daddy to our girls and a loving supportive and wonderful hubby to me. I am truly blessed to be his wife.
And my daughters are the biggest blessing of all. I thank God every day for them. My miracle girl – what a wonderful gift it has been to be able to see her grow and develop. Jessica has been described as a ‘joy carrier’ by one of her godmothers and this is the most apt description I can think of for her. She is truly a child who radiates joy – she has so much zest for life, is such a wonderfully sociable and friendly little girl with a smile that melts hearts. She has so much strength, has been so brave and I am so very, very lucky to be her mummy.
Sophie too – another little bundle of joy. The cheekiest smile in the world – she too is full of joy and happiness. It is wonderful too to watch her grow from a baby to a toddler (albeit bittersweet at times) and really begin to explore the world around her. She is so very loving and cuddly and it is a huge blessing to be her mummy too.
Linking in with mumturnedmom for this week’s The Prompt – ‘thankful’