Impossible Knots

Heroes didn’t leap tall buildings or stop bullets with an outstretched hand; they didn’t wear boots and capes. They bled, and they bruised and their superpowers were as simple as listening, or loving. Heroes were ordinary people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted they could untangle someone else’s. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back. (~from Jodi Picoult’s Second Glance)


She is a hero in my life.

She and her family are working on yet another impossible knot.

You have prayed before for Danica and her chiari malformation. It’s troubling her again just 4 short months after surgery, and Wednesday they face an MRI again with more decisions about her health. They face more questions and frustrations and exorbitant bills they cannot pay. They face heartache and pain. But they are facing it with faith in a God Who can untangle the impossible knots.

I asked Monica to send an update that I could share with you. I was going to edit it some and make it a short update, but every time I read it and re-read it, I sit and cry and think, “Y’all need to see this. There is nothing I could take out, nothing I could deprive you of.” Her words are amazing. Her heart is the heart of suffering but suffering with hope.

Will you please pray for my friend and her family?

I’m sitting here in this old nursery glider where I have held Danica hundreds of times since the day we brought her home from the NICU. It’s quiet… and I feel a strange kind of tension in my mind and my body—one that comes from always having something to think and do and then suddenly being completely still. I spent the last half an hour in prayer and meditation. As I sit at the foot of the cross on this “Good Friday” I trust my God completely. I look into my Savior’s face, the one who gave His life so I could live forever, and I know His plan is good.

It was almost exactly a year ago Danica woke up with a crooked neck. It feels so much longer. Maybe because since March 2007 we have been in a storm of one kind or another. (I know you understand this feeling of being trapped in a tidal wave of trial which seems to have no escape.) Despite all I had researched about Chiari I truly felt after her surgery last November we would be allowed to walk away from this for awhile. She was so remarkably improved. I wanted to shout the word “miracle” and give God all the glory. When her symptoms began returning these last months—tilted head, headaches, flapping her hands and fevers–I kept trying to explain them away. I couldn’t imagine walking back down the same path. I couldn’t understand why God wouldn’t heal her completely.

What we know is she will have Chiari the rest of her life. This is not something that can be cured. Part of her brain will always be outside her skull and vulnerable. The decompression in November was successful at removing the bone in her spinal column. This bone growth was restricting her CSF flow and also pinching her brain causing her to tilt her head to the right to protect it. Dr. Cohen, Danica’s neurosurgeon, explained the chances of the bone growing back in a child as young as Danica were pretty great although he would not have predicted it to grow back this soon. This is our first guess as to what we will see Wednesday when she has another MRI under sedation. Other possibilities are pockets of fluid around the base of the brain or in her spinal cord or scar tissue from the first surgery causing the same kind of scenario the bone did.

My gut reaction is to scream at the heavens, “It’s not fair!!! You don’t know what it’s like to see your innocent child suffer.” And then I remember the cross. He knows. He can be trusted.

So, my prayer would be that I will stay here at the foot of the cross this next week. I’m so prone to wander into self pity or anger and always to fear. I go back to Danica’s life verses from Psalm 139,

“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.”

God did not make a mistake when He formed her little skull and brain. These are the days ordained for us.

As I journeyed through Lent God kept bringing me back to the word, “SURRENDER.” I felt Him calling me to take those things I was holding back from Him and count them all loss. Danica and her health is perhaps the one thing I have held tightest too. I have wanted to fight and win against this Chiari adversary. I have wanted to be her hero. I have wanted to orchestrate the miracle. Today, looking full in His wounded face I give it ALL to Him..

Yes, Monica is my hero. She writes about wanting to be Danica’s hero.

But we both know, no matter what happens in this life, the real hero is God.

He is the answer to it all.

6 responses to “Impossible Knots”

  1. Many many prayers for Monica and Danica (and the rest of their family).


  2. I continue to pray for you, Angie, and your family. But tonight I will add Monica to that prayer…You are both very brave. But I also know that God hold you both in the palm of His hand these rough days, and we will see Him win in these painful battles…


  3. I love this quote . . . perfect for our friendship of “rescuing” one another over and over again. I love you.


  4. How moving and inspiring! I will pray for Monica and Danica. Thank you for sharing their journey and encouraging us all as we face challenges in life.


  5. Beth Zarlenga Avatar
    Beth Zarlenga

    So burdened for precious little Dancia and her dear family. We will continue to pray as the Lord brings her to mind. Love you and miss you.


  6. They will be in my prayers.


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