Last November, while I was still early on in my own pregnancy, a teacher friend of mine posted on FB that she was in need of prayer during her pregnancy. In a nutshell this was her story:
She had just gone in for her 20 week ultra sound and learned that her baby had no kidneys. There was also no vain going from the heart to where the kidneys should be that would carry essential fluids. Without these fluids there will be no lung development. Her doctor said there is a very high probability that she could go full term, and when the baby is born he will be unable to breathe. Death was immanent.
After sharing this news with my husband, we both agreed; we would have no idea what we would do in this situation. In addition to praying for God to perform a miracle for Rachel and her family, we selfishly prayed that God would not allow us to have to make such a decision with our own pregnancy. We both questioned if our faith was strong enough to continue to carry a baby that was destined to die at birth. I am ashamed for feeling that way, but it is true.
I have since learned, when you are walking closely with God, he will equip you for any earthly situation. (Hebrews 13:21) And better yet, He will remind you of the Eternal gain that far outweighs your tremendous, but temporary loss (2 Corinthians 4:17). Read on for further evidence…
Two weeks later, Rachel posted an update that the baby’s condition has only further been confirmed by specialists and despite recommendations to take the baby now (abort), they will not. Here are her words, “Whether our baby stays alive for minutes or hours, we will treat it like a gift from the Lord for the opportunity to hold and love our little one, even if for a moment. If born not breathing, we will still thank our Lord for welcoming another of our children into His presence and for rescuing him from this world.”
Not only was Rachel living out her faith, but she continued to live it out everyday for the next 4 months as she carried this baby to full term. On March 8th, 2012 her Facebook post read: Micah Aaron was born to this world at 3:37am weighing in at 3lbs, 12oz. He entered into eternal glory at 4:59 am. TO GOD BE THE GLORY.
As I read her post, I re-visited my own loss that, at this point, had happened just 7 weeks ago. Our journeys were very different, but sadly, our outcomes were the same. I thought about how God had taken our baby so quickly, yet equipped me immediately in that moment for all that He was about to do. I thought about how God allowed Rachel to continue to carry her baby long after his fatal diagnosis. During which time her family, friends, and even strangers were praying for a miracle that God knew He would not be granting.
But in that same moment He helped me realize, despite our heart-breaking disappointments, the MIRACLE had already happened thousands of years ago. I wasted no time in posting to Rachel’s wall what God had just posted on my heart: From your arms into Jesus’…Praise God for making a way that we will all hold our babies again.
These words weren’t just meant to offer my friend some comfort. These words were to remind her of a truth that she had already been living out everyday for the last 20 weeks. A truth that she knew with such certainty, that it didn’t matter what doctors or spectators thought of her decision to carry. Rachel knew that God’s timing would prove to be better than anyone elses. (Ecclesiastes 3:1,2) And by trusting in His timing, He would give her a refuge that no other person could provide her with. (Psalm 62:8)
As I close, I reflect back on the first time I got to know Rachel. It was over 6 years ago. It was her turn to lead a devotion during our Morning Teacher’s Meeting. She shared that her husband and her were impacted greatly by their Pastor’s Sermon: Praying for God to give us Trials. As I re-read this passage(below)that she shared with us that day, I get chills. I am once again in awe of our God, who knows what lies ahead for each of His children. There is no situation in your life that God has not already planned for. He will always remind you in the darkness, what He has shown you in the light…
James 1:2-4 (MSG) Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.