Heart Defects & Lessons from the Sovereign
“Crazy. Busy. Stressed. Grateful.”
These are the words that have fluttered from my lips over these past several weeks as caring and curious folks have peppered me with questions about how I am handling the impending arrival of my little girl. That she has a significant, genetic heart defect has been no mystery, but I haven’t spoken of it much recently which has brought on more inquiries from those both inside and outside of BLDG 28.
If the personal saga of my wife and I is not riveting reading material then I completely understand. However, I am using this little window of time I have and the space on this site to update all those who are praying and asking about the Currin fam.
While we have been delivered bits and pieces of good news over the past few months (our baby girl seems healthy in every other way), the condition of her heart remains unchanged. Our little girl has what is called Complete AVSD (Atrioventricular Septal Disorder) which means there is a large hole in the center of her heart which allows blood to flow between all four chambers of the heart. This hole occurs where the septa (walls) separating the two top chambers (atria) and two bottom chambers (ventricles) normally meet. The hole can cause the blood to have a lower than normal amount of oxygen, and send extra blood into her lungs. This extra blood being pumped into the lungs forces her heart and lungs to work strenuously which leads to congestive heart failure. There is also one common atrioventricular valve in the center of her heart instead of two separate valves – the tricuspid valve on the right side of the heart and the mitral valve on the left side of the heart.
Owing to this defect our little girl will be placed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for at least a week following her entrance into the world. We will then, God willing, be able to bring her home to hang with her brother and meet her furry siblings. Around 8 weeks old she will slowly begin to experience cardiac arrest which will lead to medication for two to three months and then open heart surgery. The surgery will allow the docs to build a wall in the heart to separate the chambers, create two valves out of the one atrioventricular valve, and patch a leak in the bottom of the heart. If all goes well, our little girl will be ready to come home within a few days following the surgery and embrace the pursuit of her division 1 basketball dream.
In all seriousness, I don’t want to sound too cavalier or overly spiritual in this post. Danielle and I have and will continue to wrestle through the ways of providence. There have been moments where unbelief has crept in. However, God has been teaching me through this trial and I am extremely grateful for that. What has He taught? you might ask. Well, here are just a few of the lessons I’m learning…
(1) To empathize more with others. I’m a visionary which means that I can overlook the needs and pain of others. I am learning to stop, observe, and sympathize with the broken and needy.
(2) To value the moments I have with my wife, my kids, my family, and my friends. Time is fleeting. As I declared last Sunday, “We will never come to the end of our lives and wistfully murmur, ‘I wish I had spent more time working.’” I want my kids, to know their father; I want them to feel and experience my love for them. I want to soak up the moments that God has given me with them.
(3) To admit continually my total dependence on the Sovereign. I want to control everything. I want to be strong and independent. I want to be sovereign. Yet, this has reminded me that I am not nearly strong enough; I am not sovereign – but I can fall on the One who is. And I have…repeatedly.
(4) To wait on the Lord. I want things fixed now. But I am learning, albeit painfully to wait. It’s not easy; but it is best because it is His will.
(5) To worship in the storm. All these realizations from God direct me back to God. My view of Him has been enhanced over these past few months and it would not as it has had it not been for this defect. Therefore, though it is tough, I am choosing in the midst of the storm to adore.
Please be praying for us. Baby C will be arriving soon. We love you guys.