April 13, 2011

What a Difference a Week Makes


Dear Clara,

Happy Birthday!  You’re three weeks old today.  I am so proud of all you’ve done the past three weeks.  One week ago today we had several doctors tell us that they were out of medical options and that we should begin to prepare ourselves to let go of you.  But you said no!  And we said no!  And most importantly, God said no!  The past seven days you have fought hard for your life.  And today we’re having conversations about how much stronger your heart is, how much bigger your lungs are, and how we’re getting close to being able to wean you off of your ECMO machine.  A week ago, no one here at the hospital would have believed it.  What a difference a week makes.

Your health improvement is not the only thing remarkable that’s happened this past week.  Your sweet precious life has helped God change the lives of so many other people.  I can’t explain it, I can’t describe it and I would never – ever – have anticipated it.  Every day your grandparents and dad and I get dozens of messages from people describing how your story has caused them to rethink things in their own lives.  Many, many of these people are total strangers to us.  They are folks that have found this blog from a friend of a friend of a friend, but they now know and love you like their own.  People are praying again for the first time in many years.  People who had turned their backs on God completely are finding themselves wanting a relationship with Him again.  People are loving their children more deeply, listening better to their husbands and wives, reconciling relationships, re-thinking their priorities, and rediscovering their faith.  People who had stopped believing in miracles or the power of hope and love are falling in love with you and as they fall in love with you, they’re also falling in love with Your Maker.  I tear up every time I think about it.  I would never have asked for this burden or this sickness for you or for me and if I could take it away tomorrow I would.  But I am absolutely awed at how God has used a terrible, sad and difficult time to allow for such light, love and beauty.  He is good.  Your short and precious life has already allowed for God to be glorified and His kingdom to be grown.  If He has done all this with you in just three weeks, I can only imagine what He has in store for the rest of your life.  There are two miracles taking place right now and they are running parallel to one another.  Not only is God filling you with His breath of life and healing, but He is renewing the hearts and spirits of lots of His children through your story.  I can’t say enough how proud I am of you. It is truly a privilege to be your mother.      

Keep fighting the good fight.  I am eager and excited to celebrate your four week birthday, your six month birthday, your one-year birthday, your sixteenth birthday.  God has made a huge difference in just one week.  I can only imagine what’s in store for the weeks, months and years ahead. 

All my love,
Mama

32 comments:

  1. Happy 3 week birthday, Clara!! Still praying for you!

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  2. As I read this, I thought about Clara being old enough to understand this ~ reading it herself. It is so powerful! Thank you for sharing your Clara's journey and your faith with us...your impact on us is immeasurable. We will keep our prayers rising to our Lord and Savior ~ Mary Ann & Chuck

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  3. Happy Birthday, Clara! It is so beautiful that your birthday is in the Spring, considering the rebirth that is occurring because of your story. May He continue to nurture the lives of those who have been touched as He continues to heal you. To God be the Glory!

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  4. Chrissy, you are as amazing as your daughter! God has a plan for the Hardys .... greater than any of us know. Hold on for the ride of your life and believe that you WILL have a happy ending!!!!

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  5. Chrissy,
    I am your neighbor, Ann McCombs. My husband,Wayne, and I have been following the progress of precious Clara. We have asked some true prayer warriors in our Sunday School class to lift her up in prayer. GOD IS SO GOOD!!

    We have been blessed daily as we have read and sometimes reread your posts. In a difficult time, you two have turned to God........our only hope.

    We look forward to the day when you will be strolling sweet Clara up and down the street.

    GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!

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  6. God Bless you Hardy Family! You are loved!
    Love and Blessings, The Welsh Family

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  7. Today I told my car mechanic about you. He is the father of 3 young girls. He started crying and promised to pray for you....another friend of a friend of a friend.

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  8. May The Lord bless you and keep you.

    May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you.

    May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

    ...what a blessing that I, along with countless others, have had the opportunity to witness the Lord looking down upon Clara. May he continue to bring peace to you all!
    Twyla Lovinggood

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  9. We are so proud of you. Go Clara Go!!!

    Love, The Bomars

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  10. "Our God is an awesome God, He reigns!" We have a child graduating from college next month and one in college. Clara has caused me to spend these past three weeks reflecting on the joy they have brought to our lives. Thank you, God! Thank you!

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  11. Chrissy,

    This is an absolutely beautiful letter. Now, where are my tissues?

    love and prayers,
    Erica

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  12. Happy Birthday, Clara!! Like you said in the letter, I am one of the "friends of a friend" who stumbled upon this blog about two weeks ago, and I have grown to love this little girl who I have never met along with you two. She is an amazing baby and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for her. All praise and glory goes to God, and I feel honored to witness this big miracle. She is such a lucky little girl to have a wonderful Mama. Love and prayers to you all!
    Mary Catharine

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  13. Clara's progress is truly a Miracle and God is still in the Miracle making business. I am awed, inspired each evening when I read your Blogs. I know it is making a difference in my life, has strengthened my faith and belief in God's love, mercy and grace. For that I am eternally grateful. Continuing to pray for Clara as she steadily improves.

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  14. You are such an amazing mother! I read this with tears in my eyes as I listen to your happiness even through the pain you may sometimes feel. Soon you will be holding that sweet baby girl of yours. Stay strong! You have so much to look forward to. That first embrace is the most wonderful feeling.
    The first thing I do is check Clara's blog when I get home from work. I am anxious every day to see the progress she has made or how God has pushed her to fight. She is such a blessing! Happy birthday Clara! God Bless all of you!

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  15. Dear Chrissy and Robert --

    Hurray for Clara!
    Hurray for her family!
    Hurray for us!
    Hurray for GOD!!

    Still praying and more aware than ever that God made us, knows us, loves us, and wills only good for our lives!

    May God bless you and all those for whom you pray,

    Frank and Laura

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  16. Amen, amen, and amen!
    Yesterday I heard a song on the radio called "I will praise you in this storm" and couldn't help thinking of you all. Keep up the good fight and the inspiration . . . you are all amazing, and God is so good.

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  17. Absolutely beautifully said. God is awesome and He is faithful. I hope that one day when life settles down you will be able to make this journal into a scrapbook for Clara. And we are still praying!

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  18. I heard of your blog through a friend. May your family continue to be held in the gentle, loving hands of God. I rejoice in Clara's progress and will join the masses in prayer. God bless!

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  19. Last night, while reading this blog, I thought of how cool it will be when Clara reads it for herself for the first time. Praying like crazy that the great Healer will continue His miracle in Clara and everyone else. Cannot wait to meet her!!! Karla Frazier

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  20. Happy three week Birthday Clara! What a journey this is. Soooo happy for the good news. Prayers are powerful and miracles do happen. We have living proof, Ramsey LCDH survivor three mo.old.
    Gram Mary

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  21. This is a wonderful letter, it is so very true in every sense! I can't wait until I see a picture of you holding your girl!!!!

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  22. we love you, we love you, we love you!! we are soo praying for all of you! Dan and Margaret

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  23. Chrissy,
    Cameron and I love reading about sweet Clara and looking through your pictures to see what cute new bows she is wearing. Clara is amazing - just like her mother. I know God will continue to shine through her each day. Thank you for sharing your story with so many. We will continue to pray for you all.
    Tina Simmons

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  24. Praise God for Clara's amazing progress! Your letter reminds me of a story the chaplain shared with us during our son's CDH battle called the Brave Little Soul by John Alessi. See my blog posting at: http://rootingforramsey.blogspot.com/2011/01/brave-little-soul.html or google it.

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  25. We are also praying for you and Clara. Thanks for sharing your journey! Scott and Melissa Fortson

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  26. Chrissy and Robert,
    I am another "friend of a friend" who has been truly inspired by your story and amazing faith. I pray for your family and sweet Clara throughout the day. I anxiously await your updates to hear how Clara is doing. Your letter is 100% correct...in Clara's first three weeks of life, she has changed the lives of so many people (many that you do not even know)...thank you for that! I can not wait to see what else God has in store for this sweet baby!!!
    Sincerely,
    Kristin

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  27. I have been following Clara's story for the past week and a half from a link on a friend's FB page. Everyday I come home and love checking Clara's progress. I tear up everytime from the strength that she has and all the obstacles she continues to overcome. You have made me appreciate my daughter and family so much more. Life is so precious and I am praying for her to continue to get stronger everyday. Thank you for making me see life in a different way, and I will continue to keep your family in my thoughts and prayers. Nicole Schulte Riverside Ca

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  28. Hoorah for Clara! Way to go little girl!!!!! Will continue to pray for God to continue breathing into her lungs, expanding her lungs and easing her off ECMO! What a joyous day that will be! A day of celebration and praising the Lord and giving Him ALL the glory, honor and praise!!!!! Keep fighting!

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  29. Perfectly said! Amen!

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  30. Jessica FleischerApril 14, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    That is such a beautiful letter to your little angel. You and Robert have such strength that is being passed on to your darling daughter. I too read this letter, envisioning Clara reading it one day. I believe God has so much more in store for her... she is a miracle of life!

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  31. Precious one,
    So small,
    So sweet

    What a miracle
    you are!

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