One year ago yesterday, Justin and I received a phone call that would change our lives. Our friends, Buddy and Mallory, called to tell us James (their 1 year old son, who had been on the transplant list for awhile) had received a heart! I remember jumping out of bed, throwing some things in a bag, and Justin saying, “What are you doing?” As if it were yesterday, I remember almost squealing, “We are going to Atlanta, right now! We’ve got to hurry. James is getting a new heart!” I remember feeling so overwhelmed with excitement and fear, but joy – so much joy!

In the fastest time I’ve ever gotten ready, we were on the road to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to meet our friends. Little did I know, but we were on our way to witness one of the most miraculous moments.

These photos aren’t the greatest quality, but I will cherish each of them forever.

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In this past year, I’ve been reminded daily of what a little miracle Jamesy Man is and how much the Lord has already used his young life for His good! For me personally, the Lord has taught me a new level of peace, faith, and love through this child. He’s demonstrated His faithfulness time and time again. I was privileged to witness the Lord heal this baby’s broken heart and make it new. He provided when we were desperate! He is so, so good!

The most recent picture of James I could find was on Mallory’s Instagram,

He’s a walking, talking, pouting (which is too precious!), silly, hungry, active, growing little miracle! And we are so, so glad to be a part of his life. I’m convinced our little girl is going to fall for this little stud whenever she arrives. They’ll be little sweethearts!

Over this past year, after we discovered baby girl’s clubfoot diagnosis – Mallory told me about her journey with James. No, our situations are not the same – they are not even comparable! However, her story inspired me. She told me how the Lord has used her as James’ mom to learn, grow, and rely so much on Him. She told me how special I am to be baby Heape’s mom and how the Lord chose US to be their moms. He chose to use us and to teach us and that is a gift like none other. She told me of how the Lord gave her a new understanding of peace – as she sat in the waiting room at Children’s and laughed with her best friend, while her son was undergoing a heart transplant. She said, “THAT is a peace that only the Lord could provide. That is a comfort that only the Lord could give me.” She reminded me of how the Lord used a difficult situation for His glory! And that James’ story, her story, was ultimately His story – and it influenced and inspired so many people for His glory!

As I reflected later that day on her testimony, I realized that the Lord had been at work for years. Back in 9th grade, whenever I first met Mallory – the Lord knew that I would need her friendship. The Lord knew whenever Justin and Buddy first became friends, that it would be lifelong and that there would be times that they needed each other. He knew in 2009 when they were married and 2012 when we said I do, that we would need each other. All along, He had big plans for our friendship – He knew the support and encouragement we would provide each other. He knew that one day, Mallory and Buddy would need us up at Children’s with them and that one day, we’d need their words of encouragement when facing a scary diagnosis with our baby.

Now if that doesn’t demonstrate His power, love, thoughtfulness, comfort, peace, goodness, and faithfulness – I just don’t know what does.

Happy Heartiversary, James!! Justin and Me love you.


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