Friday, November 19, 2010

Today (Actually Yesterday)

Wow, that was a rough day.  But then again, if your day includes getting asked by a group of doctors how far you want them to go to bring your precious little baby back to life if things get really bad, it probably won't be a great one.  Especially when those doctors don't really see anything to suggest that it will be possible for your new little treasure to survive for the long haul.  Ella's heart is about as sick as it can get, we've been told.  And we can't do anything unless it gets significantly better on its own, which they believe is pretty much not possible given her prematurity & other complications.   

That's the 3rd time we've felt like all our hopes were being crushed.  To sit there & hear about the likelihood that at some point there may be nothing any doctor or nurse can do to keep my baby alive is the hardest thing I've ever had to endure as a father.  Its a harsh reality that we aren't faced with yet, but we might be if Ella's condition quickly goes downhill (which they fear it could).  

After weeping a bit in hopelessness, an amazing thing happened.  I felt so utterly helpless, desperate & insignificant as I laid on the ground.  But somehow I had a moment of clarity - realizing how awesome, amazing & loving our Creator is.  I had a deep drink of "the peace that transcends all understanding".  I know that was something a number of people have prayed specifically for us, but its not like I was asking God for it in that moment.  It was just there.  And it really was beyond all understanding, that's all I can say.  I thanked Him for Ella.  For how beautiful & perfectly imperfect she is.  For the wonderful little beauty mark on her forehead & my newest ritual of kissing it every time we leave her.  I remembered that God is Love and everything He does is out of love.  If He saves Ella''s body, it will be out of love.  If he decides to bring her to His house - to a room prepared for her since the beginning of time - it will be out of love.  That conversation with the doctors & the anguish of going through it is also out of love.  And it leaves me in awe because I don't understand it.  But I do feel it.

So what originally saddened, angered & offended me, turned out to be a real touch of grace.  As we sat after the meeting, it was apparent that we do need to be prepared that God's will might be to take Ella from this world.  Because ultimately, there's really nothing we can do in our own power to make her well.  Now if you think that sounds like throwing in the towel, think again.  I will pray & plead with God to repair her heart more than ever.  Christa & I would give anything to actually hold her in our arms, hear her cry, lay her down to sleep - so we will continue to pray for that day.  And I think I'm more hopeful now because the anxiety & worry is gone, at least for now.  Even with peace, I know that this is a hard road - no matter the outcome.  My heart is heavily burdened & emotions can't be contained (cried while typing this).  But we know that the unbelievable support of our family, friends & complete strangers, which has held us up during this time, will continue to do so.  Not because it's an obligation, or because it makes other Christians feel good to hear me say that.  But because Christ's love compels us to love. 

Maybe it wasn't such a bad day


P.S. Here are a few of the great photos taken by Ellie Irvin the other day (  Thank you again, Ellie.


Chelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Liezen Family said...

Ella is a gift from God and she has touched so many lives in the short time she has been here. Your family has been a true example of trusting in our Lord, no matter the circumstances. And though I can't even begin to imagine going through what you are going through, I am thankful for your faithfulness.

Lord, continue to fill the Dordal family with your abundant love, peace and understanding and heal Ella's heart. Amen.

Chelle said...

Courtney, Becca, Chantel, Amy and I (the new bible study girls) were praying for your family in tears last night, for a peace that passes all understanding...that Jesus would wrap you up in His arms of love and that you will feel His presence more than ever before in your life, and we prayed for grace in case He chooses in His perfect love to answer prayers differently from what we are all asking Him and hoping for. And we prayed again that God would completely heal your exquisite little daughter.

Oh you guys. Broken for you.

Cottage Mommy said...

Crying here, that in the midst of a terrible, terrible situation that our God is so good and that He hears and answers our prayers. Thank you for sharing this - for sharing transparently what you are going through and how God is meeting you and holding you up. Ella and your family are having tremendous impact for God - touching so many lives with your love and sweet faith.

Praying still,
Courtney Henson

Wes Stanton said...

Amen, Erik. I'm so thankful for the gift you tell of, coming to discover God's love through it all. Stuff we can know in our heads we still need to discover with our whole being in times like this.

Love, Wes

Becca said...

This made me cry- I'm feeling for you guys. So thankful that God is getting you through. Your faith is beautiful. We're still praying.

patty said...

You don't know me but I've been praying non stop for you precious baby girl. Ella has touched more lives in the past few days than you could ever imagine. Your strength in our Lord has renewed my faith stronger than ever! In your time of trouble you are an inspiration too many! I can't say I know what you are going through but I have an idea of how painful this must be. You see 3 years ago my grandson was born at 26 weeks and weighed 2 lbs. it was a rough 3 months in the NICU, not knowing from day to day whether we'd ever hold him, let alone ever see him come home. One day would be great news and the next we'd hear "there's nothing we can do for him" he developed an infection that most premies don't live through and all they could do was put him on morphine to make him comfortable. He had to be fed through a tube which had to be stopped during the infection and nothing tore my heart out more than to watch him trying to suck out of hunger....I couldn't eat until I knew he could be fed again. He was being nurished through an IV but still felt the hunger pains. It was so hard watching my son and his wife endure this, lots of emotions for them watching others taking care of their baby while they couldn't even hold him. It was only after I accepted the fact that Jesus may have other plans for him and I truly in my heart gave him to our Lord because whatever happened I knew God was still in control then I began to have the peace that passes all understanding!
I will continue to pray for your sweet baby and that Gods will be done.
In Gods love,

langfamily said...

Dordals, especially Ella... you are so very loved. And as you lay in your bed and feel your mommy's fingers and daddy's too, just know they would hold you for eternity if only they could. You are held by Jesus in the meantime. When you feel warmth on your skin, and wrapped though there is no sign of a blanket, you know that you are held in His arms... the very living, breathing God. Your heart is in His hands too, and now back to mommy and daddy... your hearts are too. We love you all so much and are so thankful for her one-week birthday!!! As happy a day as her 100th year will be. God bless her and you!! Langs

Lindsay said...

You insight about our creator is inspiring. We continue to pray in the Beal household for complete healing!

Blomgrens said...

We are praying for you and for Ella. Thank you for your vulnerability and for challenging me to let God's peace and love overflow from my life.

rhonda cyr said...

erik, ... i read your words and was both overwhelmed with joy at Gods' amazing grace that meets us exactly where we are, ... and completely broken to tears over the news that you are having to process. i sat at my computer, .. praying for you, .. pleading for ella, .. undone.

and then a tune, ... i began to hum, ...

"When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul."

i remembered the story of the man who wrote these words, .. and the line in the second verse, ..
"Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul."

may God himself "whisper His peace to your souls" today.
i have not thrown in the towel, either!! :) i stand fast, ..crying out to our Father, . thanking Him for this amazing life, ..and asking for His perfect time and purpose to be fulfilled in ella!

rhonda cyr said...

p.s. thank you for sharing the photos, ... they are beautiful, .. moving, .. perfect. the shot with you both and the boys just fills my heart and makes me smile.

Jen said...

We continue to pray that you will be filled with peace and strength. Ella has touched our lives so deeply and we are forever grateful that you've been willing to share your story with us.

The Snider Family

Hazen said...

Beautifully overwhelming words written about your Ella, our Creator, and life as you and Christa know it. Thank you for sharing.

With God's help and will, stay strong. We are all here, standing beside your entire family.

With Blessings,

ChantelMonet said...

This was our exact prayer for you last night. I'm so thrilled that you have experienced God's grace and love in the midst of your turmoil. I pray for you all throughout my day, The bible study girls and I have had many prayers together on your behalf, and how special to know that people all over the country and perhaps world have been so touched by Ella's life already. She is such a miracle even now. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. No matter what, Christ will carry you through this! We love you!

jacquelyn said...

I stumbled upon this blog by accident. My husband and I experienced something similar last year with out little boy. Our son went to be with Jesus last year and it was very hard. His lungs were not developed and there was nothing to do. It was hard to let him go, but at the same time knowing he was in our father's arms was so comforting. I will be praying for you and your family during this time for strength and hope and healing. God bless.

ann1333 said...

Your family is being lifted in prayer from VA. Praying for continued strength, courage and peace. In our weaknesses God is able to show His ultimate power - even in this heartache, He is there wrapping your family and sweet Ella in His arms. May God bless and keep you.

Happy Family said...

Erik and Christa,
Please know I am doing all I can or know how - praying and asking everyone I know to pray that God's will be done. Please let us know if we can do anything to help you guys out - meals, house cleaning, laundry, whatever, we are here.

Chad and Cami Anderson

yoon yi said...

It's awesome to see God and His Goodness even in the hardest of situations. Thank you for sharing....

His will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.


Coby said...

Your sweet Ella hasn't been very far from my heart or prayers. Continuing to pray for her - and you.

Linda said...

My eyes were filled with tears as I read this, Erik. I too am inspired by your transparency and vulnerablilty you shared. You little bundle, as well as you and Crista, are continually in my thoughts and prayers. Your faithfulness during a time of desparation is truly grace being poured out by the Holy Spirit.
Today on my way to work I was praying....I had "felt" God a week ago and felt so "filled", and today I didn't, yet as I prayed the words, " it's not about feeling, it is not about is about is about trusting." I cried, and began praying that you and Crista would not waiver in your trust no matter what God chooses for Ella's life. "God's plans are for good and not for evil..." Jeremiah 29:11
Since reading this these words from a worship song will not leave me:
"God of wonders beyond our galaxy,
your are holy, holy, holy..."

In His love, Linda (Andi's mom)

My heart aches for you.

bella_luna06 said...

I cried my eyeballs out reading this... the pictures are beautiful.
Love you guys.

Misha Leigh. said...

crying and praying, crying and praying and asking, too...

The Cummings Family said...

So very thankful the Lord is turning your ashes to beauty!
I will continue to pray for Ella's perfect healing and God's grace and strength to be healing in the times when your heart breaks!

LAURA said...

Couldn't stop thinking about you guys last night, praying that God would be best glorified in precious Ella's LIFE. We have an Ella, so everytime I speak her name my heart is turned toward you, and we are in constant prayer for God's peace and comfort to wash over you, and most of all, healing for sweet Ella.
~ The Ruff family

Meegan said...

I just found out about your situation through David Stockham. I am adding your family and especially baby Ella to my prayer list. May God continue to surprise you with sweet comfort and peace.

Joni said...

What a beautiful testament of God's love, penned in your words for your beloved Ella. Count mine among the prayers lifted for your family.

Joni Johnson
(Amy Hendricks' mom)

Chris and Steph said...

You guys don't know me but we have friends in common. My husband & I have been where you are and can relate to so much of what you are experiencing. We are praying for you and your sweet baby Ella and believing for LIFE! God is in the business of miracles! This is what our pastor's wife wrote in a card to us before events unfolded with our Evelyn and I hope it can encourage you too.

"What a marvelous gift this baby is - wrapped in her beauty is a wonderful message from the Kind Shepherd."

Ella has already taught you so much and no matter what God's plan for her is, the things He speaks to your heart in this season are precious treasures that you will remember & always cherish. I pray that Ella's message speaks loud & clear to all who will listen. Her life is so precious & the Lord's plans for your family are so good. Thank you for sharing her with us.

Stephanie Nelson

Mark Marston said...

When Job was in deep anguish, he had no idea that his words and his trial would touch and move so many hearts. You guys and baby Ella are touching more hearts than many do in a lifetime. My heart aches for you guys. I'm praying for you and for Ella. --Mark

Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants, You have perfected praise ~Mt 21:16