So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.
“Do not fear. Do not fear! DO NOT FEAR!!!”
I desperately clung to these words. I screamed them in my head – frantically willing my heart to listen.
I had spent hours praying for my son, and after waiting days in agony I was about to find out the truth.
See, the Wednesday before, I had received a call from my doctor along with this email:
“One single intrauterine pregnancy measuring 21 weeks 2 days. The age by ultrasound approximately corresponds to the age by dates. Abnormal appearance of the face with possible cleft palate defect. On some images, a normal nose and lips view is suggested; however, on the orbital/ face view a normal-appearing upper lip and cleft is not shown. Suggest perinatology consult.”
How can I even begin to express the immediate panic and devastation that consumed me? I quickly jumped on Google, and the fear rooted itself deeper in my heart as I read articles suggesting reconstructive surgeries, speech therapy, and eating difficulties.
This can’t be happening. God I am not strong enough.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 flooded my mind:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I pushed it out of my mind even quicker than it had entered. No! Oh please, God. Not my child.
Huge, uncontrollable tears spilled down my face. My throat burned. Anger raged in my soul.
I grabbed the phone and called my mom.
“Why do I keep doing this? I keep bringing these precious children into this scary, dangerous, fallen world, and I can’t perfectly protect them. How am I going to survive living the rest of my life fearing for their safety and well-being while knowing that I have absolutely no real control in protecting them? I feel so desperate. So out of control. HELP! I would do anything to prevent this from happening.”
I spent days battling through a state of stress that left me exhausted and numb. I felt moments of serenity when blasting worship music and refocusing my eyes on the goodness of God. But the panic would find a way of creeping back in. There was one moment in particular though, as I was putting the kids’ shoes away in the closet, that I was struck with the most overwhelming sense of peace, and I knew, without a doubt, that someone had just prayed for me. In my anger, my sorrow, my blaming, my fear, my questioning, God never left my side.
I am so very, very thankful to say that the results of the ultrasound showed that Jace has a perfectly formed nose, lips, and palate. I can’t stop staring at the pictures of his perfect face and rejoicing in an answered prayer.
But I know this isn’t every family’s story.
I wish so badly that I could close this post with words that would immediately heal the hearts of all the broken-hearted moms and dads. I wish I could pray away the pain and heal every precious sick and hurting child. I wish I could protect my own children from every bad decision, from living in a broken world where the consequences of sin, mine and others, are devastating and uncontrollable. My heart still, and always will, ache for all of those parents receiving devastating news.
But as Christians, we do have hope; we are not alone. We have peace offered to us through the truth of the Gospel and the knowledge that God is present and working in our lives in ways we may not see this side of eternity.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
So please, never stop praying for miracles. The Lord is near. He cares for you and your children with an infinite love. We know through countless examples given to us in the Bible that God hears our prayers and He so loves to heal and protect. There is comfort in resting on the strength of our Lord.
But we must trust Him, and I believe this begins with a daily dedication of our children to the Lord’s divine influence and care. Why daily? Because if you’re anything like me, it’s going to be struggle. A constant battle that refines and stretches us as God whispers, “Do you really trust me?” But it’s through these trials that I am made ever more aware of my need for Him. And I am so thankful that I can come boldly to the throne of a gracious God where I can find mercy and grace to help me when I most need it. And ultimately, I am drawn to understand that even though I am blessed with these precious gifts and am called to love and provide for them, their lives, their destinies, their well-being is within God’s hands.
So when your heart is battling fear and grasping for control, turn to prayer and to the Bible. God tells us in Hebrews 4:12a, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword.” Let’s use it to help win the battle for our children’s health, hearts, and souls. We must have a foundation and a basis for our faith – and it begins in God’s Word. Standing on the promises of God really does change things. And it is because of this that we can confidently say, “Lord, our children are yours, and we trust you with them.”
And as for me: Come what may. Teagan, Weston, Jace, you are worth it. You are so very, very worth it. Through the days of joy and the days of pain, I will not take for granted even a moment that I have been blessed to share with you. God, I trust in Your sovereignty. I wait in expectation for your providence.