Two days ago our family recieved news that has turned our little world upside-down. At our 17 week ultrasound (and our first ultrasound with this baby), we saw that her long bones in all her limbs are very bowed. This could mean many things for us and our little one. This is a waiting process right now, but we can cling to Jer. 29:11---God DOES have good plans for us. Plans that include HOPE! Below is a letter I sent out to family. It sums up my heart pretty well right now.
Well, it has certainly been a walk of faith the past 24 plus hours, hasn't it? And, the fact is, it will continue to be one. It occurred to me as I have been fighting for faith that you may be struggling with some (and some of you, all) the same struggles I am. So, I thought I would share with you how I have been fighting. First, I have been reminding myself of what actually happened...not all the "what ifs." Our little girl actually looks GREAT in so many ways. The ultrasound technician actually said, "she has a beautiful heart." I thought that was so sweet and maybe profound as I have been praying that God will make her heart so beautiful as she learns to trust in Him. Her brain, lungs, stomach and other organs all looked great and right where they should be in the growing process. Her head was the size that it should be. Her feet are not clubbed. Her bones looked healthy and dense...not brittle. Just, bless her little heart, did she ever look like she has some curved limbs! But, she is kicking those little limbs all around...I feel her more and more everyday---which was a sweet blessing yesterday. I actually asked the doctor and the Genetic Specialist if this looked life threatening to her at this point and they both said no. The one concern that the doctor expressed to me is if her rib cage stopped growing as it should. That would mean that her lungs couldn't develop and that she wouldn't be able to live outside the womb. But, seeing that her ribs looked perfect yesterday as did her lungs I am just praying with confidence that they will continue to grow as they should!
Yes, they sent us to a Genetic Specialist who wanted to test for every possible known disease that this little one may have. And, you know, yes, she could have the very worst of them. But, it doesn't look like she has that right now, so I have firmly decided that it does my heart absolutely NO GOOD to sit and dwell on all these awful possibilities. However, this also doesn't mean that I am going to live in a dream world and pretend that everything is perfectly fine with her. There are SO MANY possibilities. We could go back for an ultrasound and everything look great, or the same, or worse. I won't know until that day. So, where are my thoughts as I go throughout my day. When I think of this little one...what am I thinking?
Well, here is how it has looked so far. Yes, I did look on line at the worse disease she could have, and no, it was not helpful to me in any way what so ever. So, how do I fight when all those awful thoughts come into my head. I can feel afraid to plan her nursery or go through clothes for her and so many other things when I think of the very worst. So, again, how do I fight? Well, these have been some very helpful truths I have been dwelling on.
1. I don't know the number of her days, but God does (Psalm 139). You know, we could have seen an absolutely perfect baby yesterday I then I could have miscarried her in a week. I have no guarantee of a tomorrow with her. But, GOD KNOWS! That is good news! Why?
2. Because HE LOVES HER!!!! He loves her passionately, fervently, sweetly, tenderly, wisely. I imagine Him holding her with his great big God Hands---forming her so perfectly as HE SEES FIT. Perhaps he sees fit for her to have a life long disability. Perhaps his sees fit for her to be completely normal. Perhaps he sees fit for her to only be with us for a short time. I can trust that because HE LOVES HER. He sent Jesus, His own Son, to die a horrible death in HER place (Rom. 8:32). HE is caring for her. She is LOVED by my God. And her life WILL accomplish the purposes that my loving God has set for her.
3. That same God also loves me with the same passion, the same tenderness, the same wisdom. I LOVED what is says in the Gospel Primer book---"For the gospel is the one great permanent circumstance in which I live and move; and every hardship in my life is allowed by God only because it serves His gospel purposes for me.......The good news about my trials is that God is forcing them to bow to His gospel purposes and do good unto me...." Romans 8: 28 says that all things work for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purposes. Romans 8:34-39 says that Christ is praying for me and that NOTHING can separate me from his love! Is. 41:10 tells me to not be afraid or dismayed because my God will strengthen me and help me and uphold me with His hand. His promises are here for me in His Word and He will help me by His Holy Spirit to cling to them no matter what the future holds.
4. So what does this all look like practically? Well, I do cry...a lot. I think that is a very normal, woman, emotion thing. But God has been SO gracious to me! Even when I am crying my heart feels peaceful because God is giving me the grace to pray with confidence and to cling to his Word through all the tears. Sometimes my heart feels very heavy when I think yet again of my little girl not having a "normal" life. But, that heaviness does not drag me into the pit of despair because I have an anchor of the soul to hold fast to. I CHOOSE not to think on things or dwell on things that are really just not helpful. She may actually be perfectly "normal" with just crazy ultrasound. She may not be normal but God may choose to heal her. Or, God may determine for her to have an illness/disability that could affect her life in so many ways. I DON'T KNOW. So, I am not dwelling on what I don't know. I am meditating on what I DO KNOW----all the things in 1, 2, and 3 above.
It is amazing how much I LOVE her. All my mothering feelings and instincts have come out in full force. I tell her all the time that I love her, that she is treasured, that I am thankful for her. I tell her that there is no one who loves her more or better than Jesus (I tell Cara this everyday too). And, really, I am thankful for whatever time God gives me with her. This has definitely made me not take one moment of her little life for granted. And already she has this AMAZING story! If she lives to the ripe old age of 100, she can tell everyone of God's incredible faithfulness to her. And, if she only lives a moment outside the womb or even if God takes her tomorrow---I will spend the rest of my life telling her story to all who will listen for the GLORY of my Savior (yes, tears did just stream down my face as I wrote that. :)
So, I love you all dearly. And, please keep praying for our girl....that God will straighten her bones, that all her bones, organs, and bodily functions will be forming properly and "normally." Pray for her heart---that even from the womb God would be drawing her heart to himself, whispering His tender love to her, calling her forth to be a woman who proclaims His Gospel. Pray against these diseases, pray against the enemy and his lies, pray that God will use all this for His glory---as I know He is already doing. And, thank you for everyone else who you have praying for us too!