Quite a long time ago, but not too long, a precious baby girl was born on a most likely muggy January day in Florida. Her parents saw perfection as they cradled their first child and made those mommy daddy googly noises as they ran their fingers over her small baby toes.
But underneath the soft newborn skin, right beneath the delicate rib cage was a tiny beating heart marred with a slight imperfection. Inside that heart blood struggled to make it’s way through the stiff pulmonary valve and into the lungs. God, in his care and concern for this little baby and her parents had a nurse pick up on a faint murr-murr alerting her of the ticking danger inside the small chest.
A year later the baby laid still on an operating room table. Uncles and Aunts, friends, and other relatives had given blood for the surgery as well as countless hours in prayer and petition for little Lauren to be healed. Painstaking hours went by until finally the doctor made his appearance. Success; the surgery was a success. Lauren would make it to her second, third, and many other birthdays in her life.
Fast Forward 27 years of healthy unbridled (the good kind, of course) living.
Here I am newly married and facing my second open heart surgery. My entire life I grew up believing the infant so long ago was permanently healed. I stayed in touch with cardiologists every few years and got the “You’re healthy” report. Until this past June I lived unaware of the pulmonary insufficiency and growing struggle of my physical heart.
“Lauren, it looks like you need valve replacement surgery.” I hardly know you, I thought, as my new cardiologist told me the news. Having been in Denver a whole 6 months, I thought I should go get a check up, but expected the same old news, “you’re healthy.” I longed for those words to run through my head, but instead all I saw were images of me on a cold sterile operating room table with a beating heart exposed.
The doctor left the room and tears filled my eyes. Andy, my amazing husband of 3 months, grabbed my hand and comforted me with words of Truth and love. I walked out of the office that afternoon in shock. My whole life was about to be redefined.
This is my journey of the imperfect heart inside me. But why stop at the stories of just the physical heart? My heart-my being-who I am-is imperfect too, yet God performed a great surgery on it when he saved me from my short comings, failures, and flat out sin. Both heart surgeries are necessary for my life. Here I will tell the tales of both kinds of surgeries and how imperfections, or ruffles, if you will, are actually beautiful in the hands of the Savior.
God will take the imperfect and one day He will make it disappear.
“But when perfection comes, the imperfect will disappear.” 1 Corinthians 13:10