23: Not Mine, But Yours

23: Not Mine, But Yours

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles Happen

Not Mine, But Yours

When we put our cares in His hands, He puts His peace in our hearts.

~Author Unknown

I listened to my sweet daughters giggling and squealing in the back yard as they played with our gentle Border Collie, Daisy. It was a beautiful Saturday evening. The next day was Mother’s Day. As I stood at the kitchen sink washing the dishes, watching the girls through the window, I marveled at how blessed I was with our family.

Our daughters, four and two years old, were truly miracles. We had tried to conceive for four years before I got pregnant with our older daughter. Our younger daughter came two years later after a miscarriage and months of infertility treatments. This Mother’s Day, like every Mother’s Day for the past four years, found me full of gratitude.

I was loading the dishwasher when the squeals in the back yard turned to screams. My neighbor burst through our front door.

“She’s been bit! She’s bleeding!” my neighbor, Rachel, yelled, running straight to the back door, opening it just in time for us to see my older daughter and her bloody face.

“The dogs were playing with each other through the fence, and she stuck her face in the opening and our dog bit her!” my neighbor explained.

We had played with Scout—the neighbor’s dog—countless times, so I knew this was not a malicious act. But my child looked as though she’d been mauled.

I scooped her up and grabbed the keys to the minivan, my husband racing from the back to the house to join us. Rachel scooped up my visibly shaken and obviously frightened younger daughter; she would keep her until my mom could arrive.

As we sped to the emergency room, I kept a dishtowel pressed to my child’s beautiful face. I saw a scratch mark at her hairline just over her right eye and a scratch mark on the left side of her round little chin. I feared for her eyes and her nose and her infectious little smile. I prayed that the damage under the bloody towel would be minimal.

The emergency room staff cleaned her up quickly and gently. Her eyes, thankfully, escaped any damage other than scratches on her eyelid. Her nose had deep tracks through it, but they would heal easily with antibiotic cream. Her lip, however, had a half-inch gap that formed an upside down V just under her nose. Her smile would be marred if they couldn’t line up her vermillion border, or lip line, exactly.

The emergency room doctor opted to give her a medicine that would put her out completely for about fifteen minutes. That would be just enough time to stitch the vermillion border perfectly.

But there was a catch: One in every 1,000 patients administered this drug never woke up, staying in a permanent coma. The doctor assured us that he’d administered it probably a thousand times and each time, the patient woke up fifteen minutes later without fail.

We trusted the doctor, signed the consent and the nurse administered the shot. Amidst a cry of protest, our baby’s body went slack, and the team swiftly positioned her lip line and gave her five stitches.

The doctor left the room and said he’d return in fifteen minutes to dismiss us.

We watched the clock.

Fifteen minutes later, our child still slept.

Thirty minutes later, a nurse came to sit with us, and our child still slept.

An hour later, the team was back in the room. They drew blood for tests, hooked my slumbering child to oxygen and a heart monitor. And still she slept.

Two hours passed. Three hours passed. Four hours passed. Without saying a word, my husband and I comforted each other. Not wanting to utter the truth we were facing: Our child might be that one in 1,000.

Six hours passed, and I mourned the fact that it was now officially Mother’s Day and I was sitting at the hospital bed of my child who wouldn’t wake up. My beautiful daughter who would have perfectly repaired lips but might never smile again. I wept, but silently; I had convinced myself she was just sleeping.

The night slowly ticked on and the nurse kept vigil with us as we all stroked my daughter’s wavy auburn hair and her soft hands, and rubbed her tiny chubby feet.

Exhausted and mentally spent, the words of “I Surrender All” began quietly singing through my mind.

“All to Him, I freely give.”

If my child, my baby, my life, were to be in a coma for the rest of her life, I’d rather give her up to a fuller life with Him.

“I will ever love and trust Him. I surrender all.”

And then I uttered the only words I had spoken since my first-born had fallen asleep: “She’s Yours.”

As if still in the moment eight hours ago when the nurse, now well into her second shift, had given her the shot, my daughter sat straight up in bed and announced in a rather angry tone, “I don’t want that shot!”

The doctor and other personnel came into the room. After an observation period and some more testing, during which my child ask for waffles and wanted to go home and play with her dog, she was dismissed twelve hours after first being admitted.

My body was physically exhausted, but my heart was very much awake as I celebrated that Mother’s Day with both of my beautifully smiling daughters. I surrendered and was given a miracle.

~Heather Davis

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