The other day, this doctor, again through ties to my parents and Taylor University, left a message on this blog to encourage me and remind of the strength we had to get through Mackenzie's birth and struggle to live. I just cried when I read his message. It meant a lot to me that he would take the time to write on my blog. It also reminded me of the miracle of Mackenzie. God was there by our side every step of the way. He was there through the many surgeries she had. God loved her and cared for her. He placed very special people in her life to care for her. In fact, when I look at her life up until now, I can see God's hand in selecting the many people (doctors, nurses, therapists, teachers, schools) that have helped her overcome many obstacles in her life. Sometimes on Sunday mornings at church I will sit and see many of these special people sitting in the congregation joining with me in worshipping God.
Not only did we get to be very close with the staff in the NICU, but we became close friends with many of the parents that had babies in the NICU as well. Unfortunately, many of these families did not have the outcome that Mackenzie did and we found ourselves attending many funerals of the babies that did not live. Today, after walking out of the hospital we bumped into one of these very special friends that we have not seen since the NICU days. We spent a lot of time with this couple supporting one another through the ups and downs. Unfortunately, their precious little girl did not survive. It was so sad and a very difficult time for these friends of ours and for us to watch them mourn the death of their baby girl. But the bond we formed with these friends was so strong. So seeing our friend today was very special for me. He was aware of my battle with cancer and little did he know how much his words of encouragement meant to me. This friend had been by our side through one of the worst times of our lives and here he was again supporting us during another difficult time in our life. Getting encouragement from someone who has journeyed with us before was special. I just wanted to cry and say "Can you believe this? Haven't we gone through enough?" But, words did not need to be said because we knew that he cared. It was just understood.
So these two encounters were a much needed reminder...God took care of Mackenzie and he took care of us during our time in the NICU. God had placed very special people in our lives to be a support to us during what was the most difficult time in our lives. In fact, a lot of these people that were a blessing to Mackenzie are now a blessing to me through my battle with cancer. And God has given us so many more people that have been a blessing and a tremendous support to us. Little did we know moving into our neighborhood 5 years ago would we receive the outpouring of love and support from the friends and families that live among us. They have made sure there is food on the table for my family. They have taken the girls for playdates. Many of you that followed Mackenzie's journey through her website are once again showing us support through this journey. I have a Junior High Social Studies teacher that has faithfully been praying for my healing since day one. Dear college friends that I have not spoken to for years have gone out of their way to show me that they care. Childhood family friends that still call me "Susie" have sent endless cards with words of encouragement. A group of anonymous women sent me a box of hats to wear. Our parents have taken turns each week staying with us to care for the girls and to drive me to the hospital. I could go on and on. God cared for us back in the NICU and he is showing he cares for us now. With God's grace we survived and we WILL survive this.
The verse that was given to me at the very beginning of my journey has popped back into my mind. "Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion? Then I thought, To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider your might deeds." Psalms 77:7-12