Friday, July 31, 2009

Why We Are Here

After writing the below post last night, Gray commented that it was going to "scare a lot of people", and it probably did. I know it's not the first post to do so. I thought a lot last night about why we have this journal and why we don't just sugarcoat what's going on. I know I put in a little too much medical jargon than some people are used to, and I know I put a little too much detail down than is sometimes necessary for most of our friends and family. For that reason, I felt compelled to write a post about, well, why I write these posts. Eloquent, huh? I feel there are four main reasons that we update this journal the way we do.

1. For Y'all! - We started out journaling Keegan's story on what's now his photo site when Keegan was born to keep family updated while he was in the CVICU (cardiovascular intensive care unit). We were not allowed to have cell phones in the CVICU, and we didn't have the energy or time to update everyone by phone individually or by email. The Multiply site served as an easy way for everyone to follow Keegan's status, and after he was transplanted, we switched the journal to this site to help raise money for Keegan's medical expenses and those of other children waiting on organs through this COTA account. It's still the best way to let our friends and family stay up to speed on Keegan's health.

2. For Keegan - He is too young now to know what is going on. We hope that one day, when he is ready, he can read back through this journal to fully understand his medical history. We also hope it will give him insight as to how we felt at times and how many people were out there supporting him and praying for him. He will want to know the truth, and he deserves it.

3. For medical history - In this post from Keegan's first transplant anniversary, I wrote, "The heart has a way of making some of the roughest parts become a little fuzzy, if only to spare you from having to relive them." (It was a pretty thorough telling of Keegan's transplant story, so please read it if you're new to our site.) After this past fall/winter/spring inpatient, I learned that what I wrote then is even more true now. I relied heavily on this journal to help me piece together a thorough (8-pages of 10-point font) medical history for Keegan's transfer to Boston. I was amazed at what I had forgotten from the ICU days and stats I didn't really want to know (34 anesthetized procedures/surgeries, 15 units of blood since last August, etc). The detail we put in our journal entries helps us remember Keegan's extensive (all 22 months) medical history accurately. You never know what will be important!

4. FOR GOD'S GLORY - Best for last, right? I absolutely believe with all that I am that the Lord is working miracles in others through Keegan. "And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him." Romans 8:28 I do not believe that God made Keegan sick, that He intended Keegan or any of the dear children we've met in this process to be sick or feel pain. I believe we live in a fallen world, and disease and death are part of that world. I believe that our Lord has the power to heal Keegan if that is what He thought was best, but I also believe that He is working through Keegan to reach many. I believe that God has a plan to redeem the world through the suffering of His son, Jesus Christ, and that Keegan's life is part of that plan. I've said before that Christ didn't suffer to end our pain but rather to lift us through it in the promise that we will live forever in HIM.

Please do not let me fool you into thinking that we have not grieved, lamented, and doubted our fair share during this process. Even writing the above paragraph - how difficult is it to admit that an all-powerful and loving God would not reach out to heal my innocent son? We are human, and while it is our nature to doubt, our faith tells us the truth. Believing is not easy. It is an hourly struggle. "What then shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? HE WHO DID NOT SPARE HIS OWN SON, BUT GAVE HIM UP FOR US ALL - How will He not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" Romans 8: 31-32. This sums up everything so well. God's grace is our sustenance and our hope. I know for a fact that Keegan has brought many people to their knees before the Lord. Many people who have grown distant from Him, who have given up on Him, who lived a life outside of His love....especially me. What a testimony this child has!! What more could parents ask for?

Thank you for letting me go off subject a bit today. Your prayers, love, and support give us the energy to be the best parents we can be for Keegan. We are blessed to have such amazing family and friends. Thank you, thank you.