What would you do if you weren’t afraid? If you could transform your fear into strength and get on with your dreams, what would be the outcome?
Being afraid, truly afraid, wasn’t a part of my life until I heard the words Severe Pulmonary Hypertension spoken the very first time. Up until then my thought was that as long as it could be fixed it would all be okay. We just wanted this amazing kid of ours to live and our family to make our way into happily ever after with all of us along for the ride.
I’ve been thinking a LOT about what I would do if I wasn’t afraid. The same things tend to continuously top my list:
I’d walk into our next cardiology/echo appointment with hope and the strength to look into our Cardiologist’s eye and explain that I want a second opinion on how we are dealing with Parker’s disease. Are we being aggressive enough? Is there anything else we could be addressing? I want to co-ordinate his care with one of the best Pulmonary Hypertension specialists in the country and I’d like his help in figuring out who.
I’d put together a game plan that would cover how we would get Parker to that specialist, how we would pay to get him there and all of the other faucets a trip like this would include. Like how many oxygen bottles would we need? Does Medicaid cross state borders. And how much Dr. Pepper will be required to make it through the battle of getting our private insurance to help out as well.
I’d gird up my loins, and firmly attach my blinders against the few who, behind my back, smirk at fundraising for my son’s life. I’d remember that if one of their kids were in the same situation they’d do the exact same thing that we’ve done to give their loved one a fighting chance at a good quality of life.
I’d allow myself to feel hope as I talk to so many other parents who’s children were once given the same prognosis that Parker has been given and yet, with pressures way higher than Parker’s, have left that prognosis in the dust, living lives of quality and finding happiness.
I’d trust my gut more. I’d give more credence to that Mommy Instinct that refuses to permit me to ignore something in regards to Parker’s care.
I’d allow myself to believe our Pulmonologist when she says that Parker’s pressures still have time to reverse and make it to a true low. I’d allow myself to trust her when she says the best thing we did, after the trach, was to end the aspiration assaults to his lungs allowing everything from his trachea down time to heal and for the inflammation to subside. And I’d take to heart her beautiful words when she tells me how well cared for Parker is.
I would, with great determination, imagine a future where Parker’s grows into a man and is surrounded by nieces and nephews yet to be born. Where he takes part in graduations, mission farewells, and at least a few more marriages.
I recently read the life history of a local woman. This history was done in the format of “A time to……” They went through her time to be born, her time to be educated, her time to marry, her time to be a mother. And then I read the words, “Her “time to die” was a quarter of a century ago, but as He did for King Hezekiah, the Lord graciously lengthened her years on earth until Saturday, February 8, 2014, when Rae was welcomed back to her first home following complications from surgery. And I found myself thinking that if I wasn’t so afraid I’d humbly petition the Lord for the same grace for Parker, to lengthen his years as He did for this woman and King Hezekiah.
Then it dawned on me. What is the worst thing that could happen if I wasn’t afraid to do each of the above? Being told no? Hearing something I don’t want to hear? Was I really going to let a few ‘what ifs’ stand between Parker and so much possibility?
If faith truly is a verb, then I’m putting my faith into action as I act on each and every one of the items above.
I know all about being afraid. Now it’s time to learn about the real power that is faith. Fear isn’t just the absence of faith, it’s the absence of courage. The courage to believe that failing is better than not trying at all.
I have come to know that faith is a real power, not just an expression of belief.
Boyd K. Packer
What would YOU do if you weren’t afraid?