Lisa Leonard
About the Author

Lisa Leonard is mom to two boys, David, 13 and Matthias, 12 and wife to Steve. In between school and work they spend their time playing outdoors on the central coast of California, eating chocolate chip pancakes, tapping tunes on the piano (David) and choreographing elaborate light saber duels (Matthias)....

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
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Reader Interactions


  1. I’ll be praying for David, Lisa. If you can, let us know when the surgery is so we can cover you all with prayers and peace.
    For me, most of my days are filled with unknown, but I think the more I face that and am surrounded by that, the more I trust He’s got it. Because there is no other way to get through the day than to trust He’ll get me through it. And I’ll be trusting Him for you and David in those moments you’re scared.

  2. “The world is not a random, chaotic place, but every moment of every day is overseen by a capable, loving God.”
    That is the ultimate. I’m praying for your David and your whole family, Lisa. May God bless and keep you!

  3. Oh Lisa, Our 2 year old Danica is facing her second brain surgery in a year ( We have to travel from Ohio to Iowa on Friday to meet the new surgeon. I am right there with you. I will be praying for your David and your family and your mommy heart to rest in our God. When we cannot trace His hand we can trust His heart! (Spurgeon) By GRACE alone!

  4. Hi, Lisa. (((Hugs))) I kind of know how you feel. My daughter was born with a syndrome. She had two surgeries, one of them being to put the contents of her tummy back in her tummy, by the time she was 5 months old. I, too, am quick to point out all the ways in which she is wonderful and perfect.
    I understand and hear what you are saying. You, your son, and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. When it comes to my children, something someone told me recently is my new mantra–God loves my children more than I do, and so if I trust God, that means I trust his is in and acting through the circumstances that effect their lives.
    I’ve been facing some personal difficulties in my life recently and the two verses that keep coming to me are “God is my refuge and strength, a present help in times of trouble” and pretty much all of Psalm 91.

  6. Definitely hard, when you don’t know. My husband was in Afghanistan in a very scary place recently and I just had to put it in God’s hands so I wasn’t enveloped with worry all the time. Praise God he came home safe to us! Praying that his surgery goes well and God guides the doctors’ hands and he heals quickly and completely!

  7. As a mom….I totally understand!
    There really isn’t a comfortable way to look at a situation such as this.
    All we can do….is TRUST GOD!
    I’ll gladly pray.

  8. We will forever look at the world around us as moms. This is no different. All of us moms can understand your fear and would feel the same thing too if it were our child. I’m guessing we all had that moment when we read your post that gave us a jolt for you and your family.
    I’m so glad you have the Lord to lean on. I can’t even fathom how anyone gets through something like this without the Rock!

  9. I had open heart surgery when I was 7 too. I am now a nurse in a Cardiac Stepdown Unit at a pediatric hospital. I know it is scary for you as the parent. As the kid I don’t remember being afraid. And I don’t remember any of the pain. I remember it was raining outside when I woke up. I remember eating 7 popsicles then throwing up because I had too many. I remember things like sneaking off to the playroom when it was supposed to be closed. I remember riding down the hall on my IV pole. Back then the rooms were not all private so I remember my roommate. It has been 20 years since my surgery now. I hope this can comfort you.
    As a nurse in that field now I know that ASD’s and VSD’s are the easiest things to fix in heart surgery. I also know that to the parent it is just as scary as the more complex surgeries. Pray for the surgeon and their team as well. Your surgeon may allow you to pray over him before the surgery. Don’t be afraid to ask.
    Also, look for the little encouragements from God. A story my mom told me about when I was in the ICU after surgery: The nurse that was taking care of me reached over me to do something and a cross necklace swung out from her neck. My mom said she felt so relieved that a fellow believer was taking care of me that day.
    I hope this offers some comfort and encouragement.
    Also here is a link to some information if you would like. I’m sure you have tons of info already but just in case you want some more. 🙂

  10. We have had some difficult moments like this one Lisa, and I can offer no better way than the one you have taken. I admit, that even when I surrender it all into His hands, I am apt to take it back up again. Then the fear sets in. But He is always there to lift it from me again and again.
    I will be praying for you and for your sweet boy. How the Father loves him.

  11. I think your brave heart beats in his chest, Lisa. And his in yours. It is the way of mother’s and their children, isn’t it? And the Savior’s blood runs in both your veins. We believe Him and trust Him for you both.
    Big, tight hugs from so many.

  12. You amaze, Lisa.
    And the Love that conceived David’s heart, is the Love that keeps his heart beating, the three of you, mother, father, son, all pulsing in His love, a Love that Never Fails.
    I can feel His heart in Your words: the kind that keep us (in) courage!
    I am praying for you and your family today, Lisa….
    All’s grace,
    Ann Voskamp

  13. I am so glad I fell upon this article… so that we can be praying for you, Steve, and David. Thank you for sharing so honestly from your journey. Much love to you all~ Steph Stewart

  14. I just kept praying every step of the way that God would protect my children with each of their heart surgeries. He would guide the surgeon, nurses, techs, and anyone else who took care of them. God was in control during 3 open heart surgeries with my oldest son and the 1 closed heart surgery with my second son. Yes, my faith is stronger than ever as well as my compassion and understanding for others.

  15. Lots of prayers for little David and for less worry. My brother had open heart surgery when he was 2 and I know that my mom’s faith was all that got her through it.

  16. God led me to this today. I will be praying for David. No, we are not in control and that is so hard for me sometimes to realize. Your faith and the courage to write this; I am thankful for. God Bless! Prayers lifted!!
    BTW: enjoy visiting your site.

  17. Lisa, we live in a marvelous age. They couldn’t have “fixed” anything like this when you were born. Be thankful that can do this now. Bless you and your family.

  18. You are amazing and strong, Lisa. Such an inspiration to moms all over the world. May you feel the embrace of the Lord as you journey this valley, and may David come forth ever stronger as a result of this surgery.

  19. Your post gives me so much courage.
    I am praying for you and your dear boy David.
    I know the mother- heart-ache all too well when your child’s very life is out of your control. How much we font realise that it is out of our hands all the time and we desperately need to be under the Father’s wings. He is big enough.
    Hold tight to “fear not for I AM WITH YOU says the Lord.
    Big ((hugs))

  20. i will be praying for your family and thank you for this post! i am going through a pregnancy that is very scary after losing my last baby. what you said about the world not being a random, chaotic place because it is overseen by a loving God was a great reminder for me. because it seems random, chaotic and scary but i do have a good God that i can trust.

  21. You and your beautiful family are so precious. I will pray for a miracle, to be done through Christ, in David. I admire your strength and your courage. Lean on Him alone.
    Love to you Lisa. xo Susan

  22. Navigating the unknown……one prayer at a time….for whatever’s put in front of me….leaving the rest go. God will inform me as to what I need to tend to.
    I truly CHERISH friends who will let me talk about IT or talk about other stuff, without making me feel it has to be one or the other. DO NOT LEAVE ME ISOLATED and alone. Neither rush to rescue, which you can’t. Touch base. Don’t be afraid to let me know what’s happening in your life, though it may seem trivial compared to my stuff. I need to hear your stuff to keep me tethered.

  23. Lisa, David and Family, I am praying for you. God Bless you and be with you. My best friend had open heart surgery as a baby and is now a beautiful, thriving twenty four year old woman.
    Sending love and blessings

  24. As you said, David lights up a room when he enters. I will always treasure the times you came into the office with the boys. Such fun to see them and hear them upstairs as they played with daddy. Then to see the four of you head out to lunch together was sweet. I think of you all often and will continue to pray for you and all that you are doing along with being mommy. David will be in our prayers. I will watch and pray as you post. love and hugs

  25. Oh Lisa, I’ve been there. Two of my four kids have congenital heart defects requiring surgery. Between the two of them, we’ve been through six open-heart surgeries and I’ve lost count of the heart caths. We learned about my youngest’s heart at the 20-week ultrasound, but just how sick he would be and just when he’d need surgery was a complete unknown until his birth. So I lived the rest of that pregnancy in full-battle against my worry and worst-case-scenario-ing.
    I’ve learned that God gives grace for the moment, not for the day-dream about the moment. Over and over, I’ve had to tell myself that this imagined sequence of events is not real and is not true, so I’m not to think on it (Phil 4:8), and God will carry me through whatever happens WHEN it happens.
    I will be praying for you and for your beautiful boy. I would love to pray on the day of surgery and through his recovery if you don’t mind sharing the date (use my email address if you’d like).

  26. I’ll be praying for you and him. Here is a blog where you might find some strength from. My friend JD has a son who was also born with a heart defect. His son Garrett has had not one, but two heart transplants. They’re coping, right now, with rejection of his 2nd heart. BUT, JD’s testimony and words will definitely bring you comfort…. I encourage you to visit.

  27. We will be praying for your family, Lisa. I too am a cardiac nurse, and it is really scary, but it’s also amazing what can be done! Our Father in Heaven loves you and knows you and will watch over you – that I know.