Remembering back...

My mind can't help but wander back six months ago, and recall the first time we were asked to trust the Lord with the health of our little daughter. 

I was immensely enjoying those first few weeks of motherhood, and life couldn't have seemed more perfect. That perfection felt shattered one afternoon when the phone rang, and the caller announced herself as a Genetic Counselor from the Health Science Center in Winnipeg. She was calling to inform us of some abnormal blood results they had received from Leana's newborn screening, and proceeded to apologize for having to be the bearer of such serious news. The results seemed to indicate a possibility of PKU, which I had only vaguely heard of in the past. 

We were scheduled for extensive blood work and a urinalysis with her just days later, and in the meantime, I was left to find out and study up on what this strange sounding disease was. What I discovered was both comforting and distraughting at the same time. While PKU was not curable, it was treatable, but required an over-the-top lifetime strict diet of virtually no forms of protein, and a formula supplement as the blood defect prevented naturally occurring protein to digest as food. That's a very short, uncomplicated explanation. Look it up yourself if you want more details. :-)

Days later, I was in the lab at our local hospital with my two-week old, while three nurses tried unsuccessfully for an hour-and-a-half to get a needle into her tiny veins to draw the massive amount of blood necessary for all her tests. This all had to be done on a fasting stomach, and I won't even try to explain what a wreck we both were after all those pokes that were accomplishing nothing.

Finally, they called in a specialist that had training in pediatrics, and within half-an-hour, all the required blood was drawn. Leana, utterly exhausted at this point with all her crying, fell into a deep sleep for nearly the rest of the day. 

It wasn't very reassuring for me to hear that the nurses at the hospital rarely had to do this type of blood-work, and that Leana's doctor had never had a patient with this particular blood test come back with abnormalities. We waited on pins and needles the next few weeks to hear what the results would be. 

In the meantime, I can't express how supportive our church was, and how much peace the Lord granted after the prayer service they held there for her. I felt as if I had never before been filled with so much faith for her healing, and God's care over her. Circumstances would try that assurance over the next month, but I can honestly testify that God kept my heart at such rest after that service. 

A few weeks later we received a phone call on her results, saying that the original protein they were testing came back just fine, but a different one was now elevated. They wanted her put on high dosages of Vitamin C, and then get the blood work redone. Thankfully, that second round was just a heel-poke, and not nearly as traumatic on me and Leana.

Again, it was a waiting game, but the peace and assurance that filled both Joel and my heart's did not waver. It was an experience I had never had before, and I just give it as a testimony that God's grace is there right when we need it most. That's something I need to keep reminding myself of when I think of Leana's upcoming surgery.

Despite the scare with the second call for blood-work, we did not feel surprised when, a few weeks later, the results of that second set of tests came back perfectly clear. Some will tell us that false positives are quite common with these types of tests, and I acknowledge that may have been the case. In my heart, though, I believe God heard the prayers of the saints, and touched our daughter with His healing hand. However He chose to do it is not for me to determine, but I pray I will never forget the lessons on trust and faith He taught me during that time. 

This incident is a good one for me to remember now. Many prayers have gone up on behalf of Leana's heart, and whether God chooses to heal her in the same way is His business. Regardless of the outcome, we have no doubts whatsoever that He is doing a work in our hearts through it. I don't think we'll ever be able to look back on this season as being easy, but I trust we will be able to call it good. 

Journal pages have been filled to the brim lately with my questions, tears, prayers, and struggles. I can praise the Lord, though, that they have also been filled with a measure of faith, as God keeps reminding me that He is on the throne, He is love, and He is always, always good


  1. this time in the return email the link was blue and so active! and, as you can see, worked. My 2nd son Jeff also had an initial pku problem, but on the second test everything was fine.


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