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Saturday, November 3, 2012

A thankful post

I look into his bright blue eyes and see them sparkle and I remember. 

I remember a day when I wasn't sure that God would give us any more days with him.  A day when my whole body trembled as I watched my husband do CPR.  I fell to my knees - so many thoughts running through my head - images of him with tubes and unable to respond, all the "what ifs" came to my mind.

So many thoughts came to mind, in fact, that I knew right then.  I knew that there was no way I could know what to pray in this situation.  And so as I prayed on my knees, with dear women surrounding me, I opened my hands to the Lord and fearfully, with trembling hands asked Him to do what He would with my baby. 

My baby was 17 months old.  He'd fallen into a pond, lost in the shuffle of baths and getting ready for company.  Three adults were caring for him, but no one was watching as he toddled off down the path to a place he'd never been before - the fish pond.

As he toddled along, I can only imagine his surprise when his next step was air, as he tumbled down the steep bank of the pond.  My husband said his eyes were wide open in surprise as he lay face up, not breathing.  I distinctly, to this day, remember the pale body of my baby as my husband carried him to the top of the bank, sobbing.  It's a sound that you can never forget.

He had to do what he could and so he started CPR while I ran for help.  I had to run across the river twice as it snaked along through the village, to the house of our dear friends - the people he called Grandpa and Grandma and Aunt - the only ones he'd ever known.  He hadn't met his "real" grandparents and aunts and uncles yet.  In just one month, my husband's parents were due to arrive along with his sister.

After we arrived back at the pond, I waited and while I waited I prayed.  On my knees, as I said before, surrounded by women who loved my baby and who loved me, women that we had come to serve, but who served us. 

And they saw my open hands, some in wonder, some in bewilderment and some even in anger.  No one said anything, but thoughts were running through their minds as well.   "How can you tell God to take your baby?"  "Tell God to make him well, not take him." But they said nothing, they just held me as we watched the people work on my little boy.

A second or two was taken to try to find a pulse on his tiny arm - none was found.  Everyone at times during this process decided he was dead - gave up.  But someone - someone who had been the one to give up seconds before - someone always stepped up to give him CPR.  Time stood still.  We have no idea how long we waited, but twenty minutes is our guess.  And then someone (the woman he called Aunt) said, "I think I saw his lip move."  But no one was sure until they saw him shudder taking his first breath.  In a coma, but breathing. 

Nothing was sweeter than holding my baby, warming him with blankets that they'd warmed in the oven.  But still waiting, trusting, knowing.  God gives good gifts.  We had our hands open to Him to do as He pleased with our baby.  And now, He was giving him back to us.  To what kind of a life, we did not know.  Would he have brain damage?  Would he walk again?  Would we need to return to U.S. soil to get the help we needed?

Another version and more of the rest of the story is here

A little over a month ago, I prayed the same prayer as I prayed while this baby boy was struggling to live.  I prayed it in just the same way, "Lord, we want her to stay here on this earth.  She has a little girl, Lord.  She has family who need her.  But Lord, work out your will."  He answered me differently that day.  And I still don't like the answer.  I can't even see how it's good, but it doesn't matter.  He sees it, sees that His decision was good, because He does all things well.  I'm still working through this answer.  It'll take awhile.  She was with me on that day, living with us, caring for the kids as if they were her own, loving us completely, giving sacrificially in so many ways that I couldn't see. 

And so I think back to my boy and say, "Thank you for giving us two miracles with this one. The first when You knit him in my womb, and then when You gave him life the second time on that day in May 2001.

Humbled by His grace,


  1. I cried reading through your post, Steph. Just reliving that day again. I will NEVER forget it. I'm still thanking the Lord for sparing him on that day. I believe God has great things in store for his life. Such a precious child. And...I have many questions here as well. Why did L's life have to end so soon? In the middle of an important (actually several important) ministry projects...a little girl depending on her. I don't weep for her. She is surrounded by her five (birth) children that she never got to hold in life on earth, she never got to know what sex they were or look on their faces. Now she is so happy surrounded by them and their grandfather. We will never understand all of the whys and we will always miss her. And though I cry I don't grieve for her. Faith keeps reminding me that God's way is perfect.

  2. I agree completely, Darcy. Thanks for your note. My tears are only for those she left behind. Never for her. She is in the best place ever. Rejoicing forevermore with her Savior. Thank you, thank you for your words.