Monday, January 9, 2012

Letter from Dad

This isn't the first surgery for my heart, but I was too tiny to remember the first one. A month ago my Dad sent me an email telling the tale of my first open heart surgery nearly 27 years ago from his perspective. This was indeed a sweet gift. I am so thankful for my Mom and Dad who, filled with courage and caffeine braved I-75, hospital rooms, and sleepless nights for their daughter. And they'd do it again.

Email from Dad
November 28, 2011
Get out the tissues.

Hey Lauren,

As your Dad, I remember a lot of things about my life that happened before you were born.
I want to tell you about when you were a baby and how God delivered you, and how he will again.

I was with your Mom during labor at Munroe, and I was in tears when you finally entered my world.
The day after you were born, Dr. Casey told us about your heart.

I took you and Mom every couple of weeks to Dr. Gessner at UF Shands to monitor your heart.
I made the decision with Mom to proceed with your heart surgery when you were 11 moths old.

We were there every minute you were at Shands. We traded shifts.
Mom in Gainesville, then Dad in Gainesville - back and forth.

I think it was 10 days before we could bring you home.
But we did bring you home, and we loved you intensely, and cared for you every minute.

Time erased what happened then. We did a lot of living together. You grew into a beautiful woman.
But as you grew physically, you grew spiritually - in a way that I could not have expected.

It started with Alathea at the Springs Theater. Then it was Navigators at FSU. Then it was Eagle Lake during the summer.
Now you live in Colorado, not because of material pursuits - but because you chased people who knew Jesus.

And through the time from Alathea to today, you have changed hundreds or thousands of peoples lives because you were blessed with faith, and the passion and courage to reach out to people who were lost or broken, or hurting. You stepped into people's lives and told them about Jesus Christ, the ressurection, and personal salvation.

This was God's plan that I did not see when you were born.
God sent you with a purpose - not my purpose - his purpose.

He aimed you to Colorado. He directed you to Andy and his family.
He connected you with hundreds of Christ-following friends.

He is now challenging you again.
The first heart chapter is over. The second heart chapter is beginning.

I saw God's plan come to action over the course of Lauren Chapter 1 - starring Lauren.
I am ready for an even greater experience with Lauren Chapter 2 - starring Lauren and Andy.

I cannot change the pathway to Lauren Chapter 2 which involves getting a new valve for your heart.
I will do everthing I know how to help you get past the beginning of Chapter 2 and into the next great adventure.

I believe that God has a plan for you for Chapter 2 - but I don't know what it is.
With Lauren Chapter 1, God demonstrated that you are a messenger and a teacher of his word.

There are no words left to tell you how much we love you.
I just know that God will bring you through with a life of joy and happiness.

He showed me once already.


Dad and Baby Lauren


  1. Beautiful! What a gift from a very important man in your life. Derrik and I are praying for you (and Andy) as the day draws near. We love you and your heart. Every word about the lives you have changed rings true in my heart about you! Feeling blessed to know such a special woman today!

  2. Hi Lauren!

    I was one of the people that was blessed through meeting you and becoming your friend at Aletheia. You have been such an encouragement to me, and tucked away in a old stationary box, I still have some of the sweet notes that you wrote me. What a sweet picture of you and your Dad!

    Your friend,


  3. well now I'm crying.
    So cool to get that letter from your dad!
    I'm praying for you dear friend and love you so much! It will be need to see how God adds this to your story of his love and heart for you.
    Love you!

  4. L-Jo... that is beautiful, and now I need a roll of toilet paper (cause a box of Kleenex won't suffice). I love what he said because it's so heartfelt and because it's TRUE. I love you.


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