quarta-feira, 12 de dezembro de 2012

Watching For The Storm

Illustration for the Blog: Tiempo Para Grace

A Time For Grace
(Our baby girl has been diagnosed with Trisomy 18. This is the story of our journey with her.)

Watching For The Storm

Kind friends continue to touch base and ask, "How are you doing? How are you feeling?"

Well, most of this week, and especially last night, I have been going to bed super late! That often happens when Ruben works the night shift; but it also happens when I´m worried or preoccupied about something. I stay awake (often keeping busy with emails or following news on the internet) until I can´t keep my eyelids open any more...I think it´s a defense mechanism against thinking too much!

In addition to not sleeping much, I also haven´t been eating well this week either, another small way to try to control my circumstances. That symptom usually pops up when I´m under stress. While I´m not feeling particularly stressed, apart from any other normal pregnancy, these behaviors of mine reveal the concern that is mounting about the coming storm.

In these first days I have been pretty positive when I talk to people. It has been genuine, not contrived. Part of that is due to a real trust in God, part is due to the many prayers that others have offered for us, and part of that has been just a stubborn will and sheer determination to never drown in depression and grief again.

The last major crisis that we lived as a family was a life-threatening car accident in May of 2007. In that situation there was no warning. It was a head-on collision that broke both of Ruben´s legs and tore my intestine which resulted in emergency abdominal surgery and kept me in the hospital for 2 weeks. Several long months of slow healing and recovery followed. I was overwhelmed with the grief of physical suffering and loss we experienced due to the carelessness of someone else. Part of me just doesn´t want to deal with that again. Haven´t we lived enough suffering for a lifetime already?

Of course, I know that grief is healthy and important and not really something to avoid; but until the actual moment comes, I´m trying to focus on the positive (which also involves NOT thinking too much about the negative) and at the same time hunker down and prepare for the winds and waves on the horizon.

Sometimes I try to balance my experience by remembering that I am not the only one who has suffered or will suffer. There are moms and dads who must have suffered much more than I ever, for example, mothers and fathers in Rwanda and other war-torn countries who lost children and their own lives in the evil of genocide; or like the families in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya that are fighting right now for the lives of their children in the midst of last summer´s drought and famine in East Africa.

But you know what experience I´ve lived that was worse than any car accident? It has been living a period over the last few years of dryness and distance from God, which some refer to with a spiritual term called the dark night of the soul. You know what came out of my mouth last night with lips quivering as I fell into bed, exhausted and facing the reality of my concerns? "Jesus, please don´t leave me in the midst of this. Please don´t leave me." That would be far worse than other difficulty or problem I could ever face.

In fact, He has promised me that He hasn´t left me, that He never has and that He never will. As I was writing this entry I was reminded of an important encounter that He had with his disciples. Some of the things He imparted to the disciples as he was preparing for his own suffering and death included:

"I will ask the Father and He will give you another advocate who will help you and be with you forever....I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you." (John 14:16, 18)

"I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing...If you remain in me and I remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. This is to my Father´s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." (John 15: , 7, 8)

"I have told you these things so that in me you will have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

So, I watch and wait, claiming His presence, His goodness, His power, His love for us and focusing on that. When the time comes, I will fall apart. I will sink down deep. I´m almost sure of it....but He will be there with me. He will catch me. He will not leave me....and He will overcome it. He will redeem it. Therefore, for as long as I can, I WILL worship Him and I WILL celebrate this little life in me with everything I have!

By the way, I had my last ultrasound 12 days ago. The doctor told me that there was nothing flowing through the baby´s umbilical cord, it´s main life source for nutrition and oxygen. I supposed that she would not live more than a few more days. Of course, it´s still early....but as of today she´s still alive and she´s kicking and moving.

God is the giver and taker of life. He, not the doctors, have the final say. While they are knowledgeable and helpful, I look to Him to guide us and to mark out the days for this baby. As we walk through this journey with our baby Grace, I´ve found new meaning in the words of King David of Israel....

"For you created my inmost being: you knit me together in my mother´s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
-Psalm 139: 13-16

To learn more about the history of Grace visit:

Para conhecer mais sobre a Síndrome de Edwards acesse:

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