“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
Psalms 27:14 NIV
Wednesday morning, as a reminder popped up on my calendar to send out a weekly devotional for a group that I am apart of at work, I was with my goddaughter (who stays with us part time and whom we consider one of our own) at the hospital. She matched with a heart donor on Tuesday night and we were waiting for the transplant to be scheduled. The doctors and nurses kept saying that it would happen “soon” (maybe that afternoon but more likely the next morning). We’d been waiting for this day since the doctors told us she needed a new heart back in March and had been even more expectant in the last week because she was moved to status 1A (the UNOS designation for the highest priority patients because of medical urgency.) We were excited that the day had finally arrived.
We reached out to family, friends, our church and Mya’s school letting everyone know what would be happening in the next few hours. People began praying for Mya all over the world.
The room was full of anxious energy, so we filled it with music, arts and crafts and laughter. We prayed for the donor family, for the doctors and team supporting Mya, for ourselves and for Mya.
Thankfully COVID-related visitor restrictions have been lifted so Mya’s room was a busy revolving door, filled with people who love her. It was almost a party. Hope permeated the air.
On one of my many runs to the family snack room, the transplant team caught me in the hallway and asked if I could grab Mya’s mom so that the two of us could pow wow with them about the transplant. The four of them had been in and out throughout the day, so we didn’t think much about it.
While the six of us were standing in the hallway, the lead physician shared that the heart was no good. The donor had received a blood transfusion at some point in their life that compromised the heart enough to make the transplant team want to turn down the heart.
Mya’s mom and I stood in the hallway stunned. It felt like hope had popped like a balloon. They had prepped us for all kinds of things – and I’m sure they had mentioned this technicality in the many meetings we had with them – but we weren’t quite ready for this news.
We called Mya out of the party room and shared the news with her. She was quiet as she took in what they were saying. And then just as soon as she had heard the news, she was ready to go back into the room. She’s 11, so her primary focus was spending time with her friends who were visiting.
Her mom and I walked back into the hospital room and shared with everyone there what the transplant team had just shared with us. There was tangible disappointment.
And yet, in the disappointment, we were immediately reminded that we must wait for the timing of the Lord. And that God provides – in His ways.
Wednesday was not God’s timing for Mya’s new heart. Only He knows when that will be (although the transplant team thinks it’s just a matter of days).
He provided by surrounding Mya, her mom and me with the people who could provide the exact encouragement in that moment that He knew we needed.
After the transplant team left the hallway, the ten of us who were there huddled into a circle to talk through what we just learned and find out what Mya was thinking and how she was feeling. Mya’s cousin shared a gripping story about how she had to wait for God’s timing for a surgery on her knee and leg. She pulled up her pant leg and showed everyone her scar as she shared the details of the surgery. Kia was born with a problem in her leg and wasn’t able to walk properly during her childhood and teenage years. Her mom didn’t accept any of the options for surgery because they were not the right ones for her. Eventually, Kia had surgery at age 17, which included cartilage and bone implants from donors. She told our huddle of ten how grateful she was that they waited for the right time, despite recovery being hard because she couldn’t walk for a year.
God is in all of the details. He put Kia in the room to share her story with us. And, He’s in the details of the timing. I hope and pray that everyone in that huddle and who now knows this story is able to lean on that lesson when they need it in the future.
Wednesday was an emotional roller coaster and I’m currently healing from that whiplash. I’ve cried multiple times. Always by myself in my car (I’m an enneagram 8 if you know that lingo… so, it’s big deal for me that I can even share that I have emotions – much less ones that bring me to tears.)
God is in the details. He reigns above it all.
I’ll rest in that while I wait for my phone to ring with news of the next heart.