On Lauren's birthday, Matt told me that he wanted to write the next post on the blog. No problem! After spending all day at the hospital with Lauren and Elysha having Lauren's heart checked, being able to clock out on the couch sounds great. Trying to keep a one year old who go-go-goes from touching anything for more than 3 in a hospital waiting room hours is next to impossible, Tinkerbell or no Tinkerbell (though I think we now need to purchase Despicable Me. I taped it on the weekend and Lauren is IN LOVE!). 
On her birthday, I just had to take a picture of Lauren with her first onesies. She wore the yellow one when she was first born and 5 pounds small and then the pink one was my favorite onesie for her once she got out of preemie sizes.
And now she's a monster at 18lbs and 8 ounces!

Matt spent his weekend thinking about this past year in Lauren's life and here are his words:

This weekend as I was reading, the Lord placed it on my heart to share a verse that Amanda and I feel captures our experience through Lauren's health problems most clearly.

"We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.  Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death.  But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God, who raises the dead.  He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us.  On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers.  Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many." - 2Cor 1:7-8

This year tested Amanda and I in ways would couldn't imagine.  There were many times where we felt that there was no hope, and despaired both for Lauren's life, and at the thought of our lives without her. We lay so low, that we had no where to turn, and nothing we could do, but to cry out to God.  We feel it so important that we testify, just as the scripture promises, that God has delivered us.  We has witnessed His deliverance in Lauren and her health, and with Amanda and I in our struggle to support her during her surgeries and recovery.  Many times during her weeks in Children's, we were lifted by scripture, words of encouragement, prayers, visions (more on that to come in future blog posts).  So often did we hear from the Lord that  in stead of living in perpetual fear, we were confidently waiting for the next moment of miraculous healing.  

We feel it is important as we mark Lauren's 1st birthday, a day we didn't always know we would see, that we give  special thanks and praise to celebrate:

  • Thanks to the doctors and staff at Children's Hospital who skillfully operated on Lauren and nursed her back to health 
  • Thanks to the many friends and strangers who used their giftings to build us up in our times of need
  • Offer our praise to the Lord for His faithfulness in suffering and times of trouble
  • Offer our praise to the Lord for the power of His healing
  • Thank the body of Christ for their continual, faithful intercessory prayer, that many have given thanks "for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many."

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