Monday, October 26, 2015


My heart is so heavy right now for a little girl I've never even met.  I'm praying day and night, glued to my email for any piece of news or update.

22-month-old Zoe is the daughter of another RUF campus minister, and when one of us hurts in the RUF family, all of us hurt together.

Zoe is fighting for her life in the ICU a few days after she accidentally bumped over a carafe of boiling water onto her arm, and then contracted a staff infection in the burn as well as some type of terrible virus on top of that.  Over the past few days, her little precious body has mysteriously shut down in order to fight to save her vital organs.  Today, however, things changed and the doctors are claiming Zoe is now "out of the woods."  Numbers are turning around and it looks like she will live!  (the name Zoe literally means LIFE!)

Praise God!  It's amazing how many people across the country have formed an army to storm the throne of God for Zoe!  He hears our prayers.

updates on Zoe will be on facebook under "#prayforZoeSmith"
However, Zoe's got a loooong way to go.  And it's now likely she will lose some of her fingers and toes which have turned black from the loss of blood to her extremities.

My mama heart aches and groans for this little girl and that possibility.  Obviously, if you had to pick between life-without-fingers-and-toes or death, you choose life-without-fingers-and-toes every time.

But still.

No one longs for suffering in their story.  No parent dreams for the Lord to afflict their child.

We've involved our kids in praying for Zoe over the past several days.  Every meal, every bedtime, every time we receive a new update, we are lifting up our requests before the Lord, begging and pleading with Him on Zoe's behalf.

And tonight over dinner, we discussed Zoe's possible future without fingers and toes to Caroline.

Caroline at 22 months
"Let me tell you a story," Marc began telling Caroline.  (I had no idea what he was about to say.) "Back when you were about 22 months old, the same age as Zoe, something happened and you got sick.  Your hair started falling out, you were having lots of stomach problems, and we didn't know what was going on.  We were very scared, and we didn't know if you were going to live.

"But it turned out that God said,
'your daughter is going to live.
She's going to be okay.
But there's just one thing... she's going to have to lose her hair.'

"And that's kinda like Zoe.  It looks like God is saying, 'Zoe's going to live.  She'll be okay.  But there's just one thing... she's going to have to live without something.  In her case, some fingers and toes."

"Yeah," Caroline's wheels were churning.  "But at least she's going to live!"

"When you first lost your hair, I used to pray and ask God to give you your hair back.  But then I realized God had plans for you without hair.  And maybe God has plans for Zoe's life without that part of her body."

Marc thought he was teaching Caroline in that moment.  But really, he was speaking to me.

Because with years of perspective, I can now accept the loss God brought into our life and see it as gracious.  And I PRAY that yeeeeeeears down the road, that will be the case for Zoe's mommy and daddy, too.

But right now there is simultaneous rejoicing and loss.  I'm sure they are feeling the gamut of emotions.  I grieved the loss of my daughter's hair.  I can't imagine what it would've been like to grieve the loss of fingers and toes.

Maybe that's partly why Zoe and her parents are so heavy upon my heart.

My friends, please join me in praying for this precious little girl.  Pray for the doctors who are taking such good care of her around the clock.  Pray for her platelet counts to increase and ask God for a miracle to keep her digits.

But if God wills that this girl lose some of her extremities, let us pray that such a great loss might later reap bountiful blessings as God uses her "zoe," her life, to bring Himself glory.

"The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord."  Job 1:21

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