An incredible true story

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My mom sent me this story. The timing of it was perfect for I was needing a refresher on my faith.

A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. She was still groggy from surgery. Her husband, David, held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news.
That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency C-section to deliver the couple's new daughter, Dana Lu Blessing. At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature. Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs. "I don't think she's going to make it," he said, as kindly as he could. "There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one."

Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Dana would likely face if she survived. She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on.

"No! No!" was all Diana could say. She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four. Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away.

Through the dark hour of morning Dana held onto life by the thinnest thread. Diana slipped in and out of drugged sleep, growing more and more determined that their tiny daughter would live - and live to be a healthy, happy young girl. But David, fully awake and listening to additional dire details of their daughter's chances of ever leaving the hospital alive, much less healthy, knew he must confront his wife with the inevitable.

David walked in and said that we needed to talk about making funeral arrangements. Diana remembers "I felt so bad for him because he was doing everything, trying to include me in what was going on, but I just wouldn't listen, I couldn't listen. I said "No, that is not going to happen, no way! I don't care what the doctors say, Dana is not going to die! One day she will be just fine and she will be coming home with us!"

As if willed to live by Diana's determination, Dana clung to life hour after hour, with the help of every medical machine and marvel her miniature body could endure. But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana. Because Dana's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially 'raw,' the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chest to offer the strength of their love. All they could do, as Dana struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl.

There was never a moment when Dana suddenly grew stronger. But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there.

At last, when Dana turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time. And two months later, though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero, Dana went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.

Five years later, when Dana was a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She showed no signs whatsoever of any mental or physical impairment. Simply, she was everything a little girl can be and more. But that happy ending is far from the end of her story.

One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Dana was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ballpark where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing. As always, Dana was chattering nonstop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms across her chest, little Dana asked, "Do you smell that?" Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes, it smells like rain." Dana closed her eyes and again asked, "Do you smell that?" Once again, her mother replied, "Yes, I think we're about to get wet. It smells like rain." Still caught in the moment, Dana shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, "No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest."

Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Dana happily hopped down to play with the other children. Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along. During those long days and nights of her first two months of life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Dana on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.
When you are down to nothing ... God is up to something!

This story is amazing to me. I couldn't read it to Mike without crying. It's incredible how that little girl seemed to remember and identify God, but that was not the part that was the most striking to me. It's this:

There was never a moment when Dana suddenly grew stronger.

A miracle is not always something that happens all at once, but sometimes ounce by ounce. Yeah I have faith God could have made Dana strong suddenly and not little by little. I have faith he could fix Cayman and she wouldn't need a single surgery or therapy to help her development. But that's not how He always works. I believe He could have created all of the earth in an instant moment, but instead He chose to do it over a week. Faith is trusting that every outcome is always to your advantage. You just might not know it until later.

2 Showin' Comment Love:

Amy W said...

Breathtaking.............. tears instantly welled up in my eyes & I felt closer to you guys than I've ever been able to be through this whole thing... and I felt a rush of hope that God is providing relief to you in messages of hope like this that come at just the right moments... I'm so thankful for the provision of our God--that He can comfort across the universe while cradling us in His arms & meeting our every need, even before we know what that need is. Praise God & may He give you hugs & kisses for us. xoxoxox!

Katie said...

I LOVE this story!!

Each time I read it. I pray that our babies will know the Lord more than we do. I am learning more and growing closer in my walk because of Lilah.
Do you feel like that about Cayman?