A few weeks ago I got blindsided when we were getting ready to leave church. It had been such a great service, and about 20 people got baptized. My heart was full.
But as we were chatting to a couple people before heading out the door I learned about a woman who had been abandoned by her mother after birth. She weighed only 1 pound, and was in the ICU. The hospital staff didn’t have much hope for this little baby, telling the mother they doubted the baby would ever make it – and if she did, she would basically be a vegetable. So her mother abandoned her, never to see her again.
This little baby ended up spending the first 6 months of her life in the ICU, and was eventually adopted by a great couple who raised her as their own. And now? She was thriving – you would never know she had such a rocky start in her life.
I couldn’t help it. As we were listening to the story my mind started warping back to June of 1992 when I had to go in for an emergency C-section with our little twin boys. I was at 31 weeks.
Both boys were transferred to the ICU after delivery, and Gary and I traveled every day to visit them, holding them close and telling them we loved them. Three months later Jeffrey got to come home (still on oxygen), but little Bryan still wasn’t responding to basically anything. The day came when the specialists gave up hope. Bryan’s brainstem wasn’t connecting as it should.
They told us that even if our little baby were to somehow pull through, he would never be able to eat, walk, talk or even move his body. All he would be able to do was sit and “think.” This was almost exactly what I’d just heard at church about the woman who had gone onto lead a normal life – God had totally healed her.
The doctors stated we should give little baby Bryan over to God, keeping him out of pain. After spending sometime praying, we decided to do so. We were heartbroken.
Little Bryan stayed alive for about a week after that, and then went peacefully into his Heavenly Daddy’s arms.
That Sunday leaving church, I tried not to think about the “what ifs.” Specifically, what if we had tried to take our baby home instead or fought for different types of treatment? Maybe God would’ve healed him too?
But friends, what’s done has been done. We can’t erase the past – instead we just must continue taking step after step, trusting God knew our hearts when we had to make that horrible decision.
My mind also started shifting to Bryan’s twin Jeffrey, whose now 26 years-old and is still fulltime in a wheelchair with quadriplegic cerebral palsy. How hard it’s been for him every day of his life to do even the simplest things – like picking up a piece of food.
Yet God is always so faithful, and later in the week as my mind continued doing all the flip-flops, Father God reminded me of His love and mercy, showing me Isaiah 35:5-6 (NIV):
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.
This reminds me that even if Jeffrey’s healing doesn’t come on this earth, when he gets to heaven he’ll be healthy and whole, forever and ever. And little Bryan will be up there waiting for him – healthy and whole, as well.
Thank You, Lord…