“Faith to Face Uncertainty,” Liahona, Apr. 2023.
Portraits of Faith
Faith to Face Uncertainty
Because of the complications our newborn daughter faced, the day preceding the Savior’s glorious Resurrection on Sunday holds special significance for me.
Our daughter, Alexis, was born premature at 26 weeks. Because she was born with underdeveloped lungs, she needed respiratory support to help her breathe.
Alexis was scheduled to come home after three months in the neonatal intensive care unit. But she suddenly took a turn for the worse when she developed increased blood pressure in the blood vessels that supply her lungs, a condition known as pulmonary hypertension.
The day she turned blue while struggling to breathe remains etched in my mind. It was one of many frightening moments we experienced during the 12 months she spent in the hospital. That year was a heart-wrenching roller-coaster ride for my husband and me.
Our isolation added to our worry. Because of the COVID-19 epidemic, I was separated from members of my extended family. Also, it was tough for my husband and me to find support outside the hospital. It seemed that few people comprehended what we were going through. I felt helpless and desperate, breaking down several times at the hospital.
I am thankful for Relief Society sisters who helped my family in our hour of need. I was new to the ward, having just moved from Hong Kong to Singapore. Many sisters I did not know delivered food and checked on me. I was touched by their love and prayers for my family.
During dark moments, I turned to God. He did not immediately answer my prayers, but I continued to pray. My husband, though not a member of the Church, supported me by joining in my prayers. We got through each day with faith in our hearts that God would provide. We did all we could for our precious child and left the rest to Him.
With God’s guidance, we reached a decision we had struggled with for months. We felt guided to have Alexis undergo a tracheostomy. Surgeons planned to make an incision in the front of her neck at her trachea and then insert a tracheal tube that would allow direct ventilation to her lungs. Alexis would then be able to breathe without using her nose or mouth.
A Never-Ending Saturday
As I reflect on our experience with Alexis, I think about the atoning sacrifice of our Savior. We are all familiar with His Crucifixion and His glorious Resurrection. The time between these two important events is hardly mentioned in the scriptures. But that time holds special significance for me, making Easter especially meaningful.
For example, Saturday was a day of uncertainty. The Savior’s disciples couldn’t quite see the glory that was yet to come on Sunday. Saturday, like Friday, was a difficult day for them to endure.
During our daughter’s lengthy hospitalization, we lived through what felt like a never-ending Saturday. We faced so much uncertainty that we couldn’t see past each day. During frightening moments when Alexis looked like she might die, we had difficulty seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, much less feeling hope.
But through our experience, I learned that Heavenly Father and His Son are fully aware of us and our trials. I am grateful for the Savior and in awe of His Atonement. Through His Atonement, we can receive unwavering help to get through the Saturdays of our lives as we hold on to hope for future blessings.
Alexis’s operation was successful. She recently celebrated her third birthday. Despite what she went through, she is a cheerful toddler who loves to smile and meet new people at our neighborhood park. Her tracheal tube prevents her from speaking, but she loves to sign colors and read books. We feel blessed to spend every waking moment with her.