I have to tell you, living in a constant state of uncertainty is not exactly fun.
Every day, every hour really, I find my thoughts wandering from daily tasks and normal life stuff to, “Is she still with us?”. It’s kind of a dramatic shift. One second I’m flipping pancakes and the next I feel a twinge in my belly that causes me to stop and fret for a moment.
Then there’s the physical stuff that doesn’t exactly help with the fretting. I won’t go into detail about those because I know there are guys who read this too and if they’re like my hubby, details about physical stuff makes them want to run away plugging their ears and yelling “Lalalalalala! I can’t hear you! LALALALALALA!!!” It’s rather humorous.
But humor aside, this journey isn’t “comfortable”. Everyone likes to have an idea of what’s coming next, and when you’ve been told that what’s next isn’t going to be pleasant or feel good, well, there’s a bit of anxiety and trepidation that is present in each new day.
Some people have asked (and no, I don’t take offense, as I know they’re asking in love, not trying to make a political statement), “Have you considered termination?” They’re not asking necessarily because they think life isn’t valuable, but rather because it really stinks to watch someone you love go through this stuff. We really have no idea if Phoebe will make it and “why prolong your suffering if the chances are she won’t?”
I’d like to address that in a way that I hope answers those questions. Please know in advance that these answers are from my heart, not from a soapbox, however they may come out.
First, I appreciate that those who suggest we put an end to our discomfort are expressing that out of love, or at least concern for our well-being. But this temporary discomfort is nothing compared to the immense despair we would feel knowing that we chose to give up on our daughter and eliminate ANY chance she has at life to ease our own “pain”. As I mentioned in my last post, we believe that God is the author of all of our days and mankind is not to try and take His place.
Secondly, when we were first given the news that her prognosis was practically terminal, I heard the voice of the enemy saying, “It won’t be a big deal if you do it. You’ll probably miscarry anyway. Besides, she’s super-tiny.” That TERRIFIED me. Knowing that the sworn enemy of God was trying to get me to eliminate my daughter’s life, violating the 6th commandment, “Thou shall not commit murder”, made me realize that this pregnancy IS NOT JUST ABOUT ME, or my husband or our daughter. No pregnancy is ever just about the individual, but about the giver and GIFTER of life, and entrusting every second of our existence on earth to Him. Also, if Satan is trying to get a person to go against God’s will, that means that there is a great opportunity in that situation for glory to be given to God through that person’s obedience, which the enemy loathes. We’re choosing obedience.
It is very possible that if you’re reading this you don’t agree with me. I might just sound like a religious nut to some, and that is okay. But it is vital that all of my readers know that I do not say these things because of religion, or to make sure I’m earning points with Jesus to secure my spot in heaven. That’s not how God works. He does not ask us to work or earn points to win a place in His heart. Ephesians 2:8-9 says,
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith.
This is not of yourselves–
It is a GIFT OF GOD, NOT AS A RESULT OF WORKS,
so that no one may boast.”
We cannot ever earn God’s favor. It is given freely and undeservedly out of His love for us (that includes every person ever made, not just Christians). Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. When I confessed with my mouth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God and that He died on the cross for my sins and was raised again on the third day, conquering death, I was adopted as a child of God. (See Romans 10:9) End of story. Everything I do that follows is out of gratitude for what He did for me, not because I think it’ll earn me favor.
Our family trusts that the God who made the ultimate sacrifice of allowing His one and only Son to die on the cross, bearing the sins of the world (past, present and future), knows even better than we do what it is like to endure pain. God’s heart BROKE when Jesus hung on that cross. Think about that for a minute… the Creator of the universe, who is perfect in all aspects, allowed Himself to feel the gross suffering of a parent who can do nothing so that His Son could lay down His life for mankind because of a love SO EXTREME that He could do nothing else. Don’t think for a second that God didn’t ache when Jesus was on that cross. And He is THE Father. He “gets” parental love better than any parent on earth ever could. And we have the often uncomfortable privilege of experiencing what it is like to endure personal, parental sacrifice so that our child(ren) might have a chance at life both on earth AND in heaven.
And here’s the thing: after Jesus was flogged and beaten and tortured in ways that I can’t even begin to fathom, He was hung on the cross, the ultimate torture device used by the Romans to ensure a slow, painful, agony-filled death. And die He did. His compatibility with life after His death was ZERO. No heartbeat. No breath in His lungs. No function of His brain.
God does not work within the confines of statistics. In just three days time, Jesus went from 100% dead to 100% ALIVE. Those are some pretty phenomenal, life-altering statistical changes. And with His death, every man, woman and child also gained a chance at life, if they choose to follow Him. Incredible.
At the onset of this whole drama with our pregnancy we were given a >1% chance that Phoebe would make it to term, let alone through the first trimester. But here we are in the second trimester and our girl has what appears to be a perfectly functioning heart (highly unusual for girls with her diagnosis), her omphalocele (major intestinal hernia) is on the mend and the outlook has gone from >1% compatibility with life to 2-3%. It might not seem like much, but it’s more than 100% greater than it was earlier on.
Our little girl is fighting. We are fighting for and with her because we love her. That is a parent’s job, however difficult the fight may be.
Whatever the outcome of this pregnancy, we are confident and comforted by this:
GOD IS GOOD.
We ask that, if you feel it’s something you want to or can do, you join us in praying for Phoebe. Pray that her body would be healed and we’d get to watch our daughter grow here on earth, but ultimately that God’s will be done, for our good and His glory.
Thank you for being willing to walk this journey with us <3
Real quick, I need you to hear me loud and clear that I will never look at a person who has chosen abortion with judgment or hate. While I do not agree with the choice, I completely understand the reasoning behind it. Fear is a powerful, powerful enemy to our hearts and prompts us to do things that we might not otherwise consider. And it is NOT of God.
“For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of POWER, and LOVE and of SELF-CONTROL”
–2 Timothy 1:7
If fear, or anything else, has driven you to make this choice, whether you think it’s needed or not, know that God forgives anyone who sincerely asks for it, whatever the circumstance. Healing is possible. I would be honored to put you in touch with people and resources help you in that journey and will keep your story confidential.