Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Our Prayer for Our Baby

Amy at 13 weeks
We got pregnant in January. It took us both by surprise, not because we hadn’t intended to get pregnant, but because it all happened so quickly. I suspected the truth before I took the test, since I had felt very unusual, but Jeff remained skeptical. On February first I took the pregnancy test. When I brought the plus sign to Jeff to prove to him my suspicions were correct, we were both pretty stunned. There was definitely an "oh my gosh, what are we doing? moment" as we realized the magnitude of the news. We were so excited, but we decided to keep it our secret until it was confirmed by my OB. We knew that statistically we were on shaky ground, and we didn’t want to tell everyone about a pregnancy if it wasn’t going to work out. So we waited. During this time we prayed for our baby, that God would use his or her life to bring Him glory, first and foremost, no matter what that meant. We asked God to allow our child to know Him. We told God we were willing to accept whatever cost that entailed as parents. Then we prayed for various other things…the baby’s health, its future, I prayed for a girl, and Jeff for a boy (now we know who prays better).

Now, when I prayed these prayers, I envisioned the possibility of having to accept future sorrows. Maybe we would have to endure a period of teenage rebellion before our child sought the Lord. Or perhaps their life would be risked in another country while they worked to serve the poor and spread the gospel, and we would worry consistently for their safety. Maybe our child would have a condition like autism, something I worried about because Jeff is in the sciences. In all these things I viewed the pain as something to come, maybe long-term, but I never considered it out of the ordinary from what many families endure regularly. I never expected to be spared the regular pain of raising a child, dealing with their imperfections, and coping with their struggle for independence. Losing our child never crossed my mind.

After we received Leah’s diagnosis, our prayers changed. We prayed for a miracle, we prayed for comfort and peace, for wisdom in our decision making process, and that our baby would survive labor and have some time to spend with us. But our number one prayer remained the same, that God would use our baby’s life to bring glory to His name.

As I grieved prior to labor, I found so much comfort in knowing that God could still use our baby’s life to glorify Him. I remember telling a friend that even though it felt like we had lost everything, I knew that hadn’t been taken from me. It was the one sliver of hope I had to cling to. Although Leah would never be able to share the gospel, serve her community, raise a family, or really do anything, we knew her existence and our response could point to God’s goodness. We believe that her short life absolutely brought God glory, and it is our ongoing prayer that it continues to do so.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for doing this blog! I know that I love to tell people about how amazing it was to be part of Leah's story, and I think that this will help people understand that God has a plan and purpose for EVERY life.

Cuppa Jo said...

From a fellow blogger to another: this is brilliant. I looked forward to checking in today to see if you had written anything. Glad you did. Thank you for this, Amy.

Leah glorified God with the precious 45 minutes that God gave her. Her life mattered and was important.

You help sharpen on MY faith!

Lori said...

Amy and Jeff, words are hard to come by as I read your story. Thank you so much for sharing such personal thoughts and feelings with us - that alone gives glory to God as we see His strength mirrored in you. I am so proud of both of you as I've been so privileged to watch you grow in your faith all these years. I am so certain that God will be faithful to continue answering your prayer for Him to be glorified by Leah's life! I can't wait to see what He does!
I love you both!

Ms. R 2 said...

I just found your website randomly while doing an unrelated Google search. Thank you so much for being so open to life. I was very touched by the story of your Leah. God bless you both!
--Rachel, Baltimore, MD

Anonymous said...

Amy, I know how you feel. My husband & I went through the same thing. We learned on March 3, 2009 that we were facing Potter's Syndrome with our pregnancy. I carried her until May 15, 2009 when I delivered her stillborn. We wanted to see God get the glory no matter what in our situation too and we saw about 15 salvations at her funeral. She was a soul winner in her death.

carolrmiller said...

Amy, God bless you and your sweet growing family. I came across your blog while seeking information for Threads of Love as we minister to premature infants and their families with blankets, clothing and burial gowns. A family friend of our Curch was touched by Potters' and we wanted to help them. I will refer them to your blog and supply the information we give families with our gifts. We supply Permission to Grieve from Focus on the Family and Fathers Grieve Too from the Centering Corp along with our own prayer. May God continue to bless you and your family. Carol Miller Romans 15:13

Joel and Kirsten said...

I was just able to forward your blog to a friend of a friend who was just told at her 20 week ultrasound that her baby boy will not survive outside of the womb. Thank you for sharing your story so others may not feel so alone. Kirsten (friend of your sister Katie and of Heather Nickell)