One of the things that I was overwhelmed by during Lauren's time in the hospital, and even after, is how many people have done things to help us. What better time to do a thank you post than Thanksgiving? I've wanted to do this post for such a long time but I have been unsure how to go about it since there are so so so many people who surrounded us when we needed them.

We were filled with thankfulness through the whole experience because there were blessings and miracles throughout. God's grace was always enough for us to make it through each day. He gave us the peace, faith and strength that we needed to hand our baby over to Him. I am thankful that our faith was tested in this way. Matt has a quote that he says that he came to understand through this journey. It is, "I've come to love the wave that pressed me against the Rock" (D.A. Carson). This situation is a tidal wave that has forced us to hold tight to God.

God has placed many people in our lives that we are thankful for.

We are thankful for...
...the speed and efficiency of the ER staff, ICU staff and CT staff after each of Lauren's cardiac episodes
...the dedication of the hospital staff to their patients
...the positive attitudes of the staff that helped us get through each day
...the nurses who took Lauren into their hearts
...the nurse who bought us muffins on our toughest day
...the doctors who spent so much time ensuring that they did the best for Lauren
...the surgeon for fixing her heart but also for his dedication to his job and being there every morning at rounds. We knew that we could trust him.
...the perfusionists who watched so carefully to keep Lauren safe while she was on bypass
...the friends and family who gave up so much of their own time to hold Lauren's hand while she was in the ICU
...our family who took time off of work to be with us
...all of the people who supported us by bringing us food in the hospital and who continue to bring us food even now (it is so much better than cereal for dinner!)
...those who gave us a place to stay
...the other families in the ICU who walked through this time with us
...strangers who didn't know us but who helped us out because they heard our story and had empathy
...the many individuals and churches who prayed for Lauren and who keep praying - there is nothing more helpful than this
...those who spent many nights sitting with Lauren so that we could get some rest and feel comfortable being away from Lauren
...the hospital staff who prayed with us
...our employers for their special consideration
...for the constant emails and text offers of support and help that we keep getting
...words of encouragement that often show up right when we need them most
...for everyone's understanding while we recover from this as a family
...for every person who reads the blog and is walking through this with us

Most of all we are helpful for every single person who has stood with us emotionally, spiritually, physically, and intellectually through this time. People always say that when you go through a hard time you can really tell who your friends are - well we have more friends than I thought that we did. Thank you to all of our old friends and the new ones that we have made through this experience. You are all so special to us and we thank God for every single one of you.

We firmly believe that Lauren has not been saved from this only to go on to a life of mediocrity. God has saved her to do great things. We also believe that she has done great things already, not just with healing but with how she has affected the lives of the people who have walked through this with her, in person or here on the blog. If you're comfortable, please share with us how Lauren's story has affected you - even if it just means that you said a prayer or gave your own kids an extra hug. We have set up an email for this at [email protected]. We hope to use these messages to encourage ourselves on those days when we feel like it is too much and to encourage Lauren as she grows into a beautiful young woman. I don't ever want her to feel like something happened to her, but that things happened because of her.

On this special Thanksgiving, we praise the Lord for the wonderful things that He has done!

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