I am so sorry that it has taken me this long to conclude my story, but school has been insane and afternoons with Emma....well.....life happens!!! Plus I am reading an amazing series of books that I just can not seem to put down and if you know me you know I do not read so they must be good right!!! O.K. anyway, but to Emma's story. I left off with the blog telling her story and asking for prayer.
The Sunday after her surgery mom came into our room where Justin Emma and I were sleeping and said they were going to church and that they were going to have a prayer service for Emma. She asked if we wanted to go. Of course I jumped up immediately and got ready and Justin followed right behind me. We drove the hour and a half to Ider and when we walked into the church the singing had already started. All eyes immediately turned to us and you could tell most everyone had already heard the story. Bro. Luke stood in front of the church and explained to everyone what had conspired over the last few days and asked us to come to the front and pray...he then asked everyone to follow. Nearly everyone in the church got out of their seats and went to the alter. It was an outpouring of love and tears and prayers to God like I have NEVER felt before. We then went to our seats and I continued to hold my baby girl like she was the only thing in the world while Bro. Luke spoke of healing and God's love and how important prayer was. I was truly blessed throughout the entire service.
We then returned home and I started to check my e-mails. I can not tell you the number of comments and e-mails I had received. They were from all over the world. Ireland, England, California, Canada, Florida, Texas.....More and more continued to poor in. Bro. Luke's wife had posted my blog on her blog ( www.thepreachers-wife.blogspot.com ) and she had so many comments on her blog that truly touched my heart and I still don't think I thanked everyone for the sweet comments although I tried my best to do that and if I didn't thank you then, I am thanking you know!!! THANK YOU!!! Anyway...the love and prayers were not just in that country church that day, but they were posted all over the place in hundreds of different churches and Emma's story started it's journey. Emma's name was lifted in prayer morning noon and night and through that I started to feel a comfort in my chest. Like things...though they looked sad and grim, will be o.k. with God there!
I knew I had to return to work simply because I was the only one who had insurance at the time and I knew we were about to need it more than ever with treatment in our future so Monday morning, although I did not want to leave my child, I left for work and my mother stayed with Emma. That was also the first day that our amazing babysitter, Candi, started. She was gracious enough to come to our house because my mom wasn't really comfortable with Emma being to far away from her. (I couldn't blame her ) Everyone at work was wonderful and exactly what I needed....hugs when I needed, tears when I needed and laughs when I needed them too. The day was long, but it was good. I got home and loved on my baby and shed a few tears with several prayers as well.
The next day, mom went back to Ider and I took Emma to Candi's house. It was September 11th and everyone was still walking on pins and needles with me, but still very supportive. My principal was extremely kind and said he would work out what ever needed to be done in order to get Emma to her appointments and everything else and for that to not be a worry for me that I needed to be there for Emma. I had been concerned about that because I had used all of my sick and personal days while on maternity leave and I only had 1 or 2 days left...if that! Somehow Tuesday seemed to fly by and I rushed up the hill to get my baby girl and go home. I got home and I was on the couch with Emma talking on the phone to a friend that I had not told the story too when I received a "beep" which is call waiting. I looked at the number and it was a 1-800 number and I was in no mood to talk to a telemarketer. So I ignored the call and continued talking. Then my cell phone started ringing and I looked at the number...the same 1-800 number so obviously someone was trying to get in touch with me, so I told my friend to hold on just a second and I answered my cell phone....here is the conversation.....
Other: Hello, is this Kelli Hayes?
Me: Yes it is.
Other: This is Dr. Saito at Children's Hospital
Me: OH HI
Dr. Saito: How are you doing?
Me: As well as can be expected....
Dr. Saito: Well your going to be doing a lot better...It's not cancer!
Me: Excuse me??? What???
Dr. Saito: It's not cancer. ( I'm screaming and crying at this point) The tests results came back and it is showing that it is a hemangioma.
Me: Thank you Jesus...Thank you Jesus.....Thank you Jesus!!!!!
Dr. Saito: Mrs. Hayes...I want to tell you that Friday when I looked at it in the operating room, it was cancer and today...well....today it's not! Someone had their hand on that baby! Mrs. Hayes... is your husband home...I would like to tell him myself if it's o.k. since I am the one who told him I thought it was cancer.
Me: No, actually he is still at work..here is his number, you can tell him.... I need to call a lot of people any way.
Dr. Saito: Yea, you call your parents and when you get through make sure you call and set up an appointment for me to look at it again. Again, I am sorry for all the worry and you take care of that sweet baby girl.
Me: Thank you so much, I will. Thank you...thank you....thank you!!!
I then called my dad with tears still streaming down my face and he didn't answer, I couldn't believe it. So I called mom...NO ANSWER...so I called dad back and he finally answered. I told him through my tears and all I heard was shouting and praising Jesus!! It was such a sweet moment and I will never forget the feeling I felt when I heard his tears of joy and his screams of praise, then I heard mom in the background doing the same. Then the chain started and it was one call after another...Justin called me and we just laughed and cried...no words....just sweet praise. It was amazing. I immediately got on the computer and started typing and thanking everyone. It was so powerful and so wonderful. The entire time I held on to Emma and kissed and loved her. I called mom and dad back and they were already heading down to Jacksonville to see the miracle baby. It was such a sweet night. You could feel God's presence. It was powerful. Just powerful. The next day was back to work, but it was a different day. I walked with smiles and tears, but happy tears. I received hugs and smiles, but they were different. They were thankful.
The next Sunday we were back in that country church in Ider and this time it was a praise service like you have never seen. We stood in front of the church and we told ALL of Emma's story. We sang, we shouted, we prayed, we praised, we cried and we smiled. It was God's amazing Grace...powerful and pure.
The days that followed were wonderful as well. I received e-mails saying that they didn't know me but Emma story had changed their life and others said that they knew us and that they were on the wrong path until Emma's story and they had turned back to God. It was amazing. Others said that they had prayer services at their church for Emma and that they had all joined together to celebrate God's miracle. It was amazing how quickly God worked in so many lives. Absolutely amazing!!!
We have had the amazing opportunity to personally thank a few of the churches that had prayers services and WOW what a blessing it brought to our lives. We have also been blessed with an amazing church that we joined and where Justin accepted the Lord and was baptized here in Jacksonville and it has been a blessing every service ever since.
I feel as though God put a lot of us through this trial, some to remind that we need to be working for him, others that we need to turn to or back to him. God said in 1 Samuel 1:27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. He also said in Psalms 71:8 My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.
I now know that I need to spread his word and I need to praise him daily.
I have a daily reminder of God's blessing and God's love. He is so great and wonderful. He has blessed me abundantly and He is worthy to be praised!!!
I hope you have received a blessing from Emma's story as much as I have. My sweet baby girl has a story to tell, but until she can tell it... I AM GOING TO!!!!!
God bless all of you!!!
With his love,