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Paradigm Shift: Episode I–Pray for Elliot

Update: Elliot came through surgery better than expected today!  Praise God!  Thank you so much for all your prayers!


Elliot is a 22-month-old boy at our church with a complicated heart condition.  I will never forget his parents–heavy with pregnancy and responsibility–coming before the church seeking prayer after Elliot was diagnosed in-utero with a seemingly-hopeless heart condition.

Doctors felt Elliot would not survive the birth process, and told his family that even if he did, he would most likely die during the first few days of life.

Elliot lived.  Elliot fought.  Elliot defied all the odds because, as we all know, there are no odds with God.

God has brought Elliot through three dicey surgeries in his short life.

I first met Elliot and his mother in the church nursery.  For me, an 8:30 nursery gig is a tough deal.  I struggle mightily with mornings in general and oftentimes find myself growing bitter about having to be at the nursery when others are either in church or bed.

Such was this morning.  Elliot’s mother brought this smiling, glasses-bedecked toddler into the room; the unusually tiny boy was tethered to an oxygen tank; tubes and wire wound about him endlessly.

My first thought was panic.  Did she expect me to take care of him and handle all these tubes and wires?  How could I do that and take care of all the other babies?

So soon I felt an inward embarrassment and paradigm shift in my own view of the situation, the day, and even my own life.  This sweet mother plopped down in the floor of the nursery and proceeded not only to take care of Elliot but also to help with the other babies.

Elliot cruised about, amazingly careful with all his wires and tubes; he was able to crawl and play, occasionally stopping to emit a troubling cough, but then moving on to another toy.  And slowly, calmly Eliot’s mother began to weave her tale of his life story, God’s faithfulness and her own relentless love as a mother.

I left the nursery with a shift in my own understanding about tirelessly loving a child with special medical needs, graciously outpouring your life for someone else and cherishing each day regardless of tomorrow’s challenges or fears.

The miracles God has wrought through this child and his family have touched our church and our town.  Eliot is now 22 months old and speaks fluently and eloquently in both English and Afrikaans.

Today as I submit this post, Elliot will undergo the Fontan procedure in Philadelphia to heal his tiny heart.  His family’s prayer is that he will sail through surgery with no complications and emerge stronger than ever and able to leave the oxygen tank behind.

If you are so led, please join me in praying for Elliot.

“For as many as are the promises of God, they are all YES! in Christ Jesus.”

II Corinthians 1:20.

Posted on 8 June '09 by , under Faith is the Evidence.

7 Comments to “Paradigm Shift: Episode I–Pray for Elliot”

#1 Posted by Patty (08.06.09 at 14:38 )


I just said a prayer for Eliot and I will continue to do so. Please keep us updated.

Your post really made me think about priorities and acknowledging God’s blessings in our lives. Thank you.

Pattys last blog post..Monday Mumbers–I promise there’s no poop in this one!

#2 Posted by rhemashope (08.06.09 at 22:02 )

Thank you for sharing Eliot’s story and his mother’s brave and perfect love. I am praying.

rhemashopes last blog post..Mommy Mode

#3 Posted by Stonefox (09.06.09 at 22:01 )

praying for this sweet family! You are on the right track, E.

Stonefoxs last blog post..Naysayers

#4 Posted by mrsbear (09.06.09 at 23:26 )

They will be in my thoughts and prayers.

mrsbears last blog post..Just Talking About Random (Tuesday Thoughts)

#5 Posted by Tonggu Momma (09.06.09 at 23:27 )

I’ll pray for this family. And for all of those whom Eliot has touched, including you.

Tonggu Mommas last blog post..Blech Morning

#6 Posted by Danette (11.06.09 at 23:47 )

What an amazing story – praying here too!

Danettes last blog post..SEW & WW: Miracles

#7 Posted by Angelita (02.09.09 at 04:39 )

Praise God! I’ll pray for Eliot too.