Sophia is 37 weeks and 5 days. She’s considered full term. Sarah and I have our bags packed, our lists made, and her room set up with all the cute trimmings to welcome her into this world. But with our countdown nearing its end, more of the feelings that I’ve put aside have resurfaced. I can still remember coming home to Rachel and Alan’s house after our first major ultrasound, trying to wrap our minds around the news we had received from the doctor about Sophia. All the numbers and statistics about her chance to survive, and another set of numbers if she lived past her 1st birthday, seemed to float around our heads as we started this journey. I remember us both thinking, “It’s just not fair.”
Over the years, God has been gracious in continually revealing more and more about Himself to us. His limitless strength, his infinite wisdom, and his unending love have more than made their appearance in our lives these last few months. Whenever we’ve been hurting and lacking in our faith, He would comfort us and strengthen our faith. Whenever we have been in despair after hearing less than encouraging news about our baby girl, He has given us more hope than what the world could ever offer. But it seems as though perspective has a lot to do with what we’re focused on and what has the power to bring us down. I can only speak for myself, but whenever I have felt sad and discouraged, I’ve been only looking at myself. I can’t see beyond my little circle because I’m blinded by my own pain and heart ache.
In those times, I wrestle with thoughts of how God can let this happen to us, His children. At times, it feels like a tug of war match in my head.
One side says, “Dave, you know it’s for His glory. You can’t begin to understand how this may affect other people and how this can ultimately bring others to know the love of Jesus Christ. So stop being so selfish and get over it.”
The other side says, “But God is love. (1 John 4: 7, 8, 16) So how can you say that God doesn’t care about your pain? He knows your heart ache and mourns with us.”
So you see, in my head, I’m wrestling with how God will allow these things to happen to his children that he loves so dearly, while giving Himself glory. This is something everyone who has experienced loss has probably thought of once or twice. It’s a complexly intertwined plan that only Our Father can fully understand. All the while, leaving me thinking, “It’s just not fair.”
Sarah told me a story tonight about a doctor in the states that was recently turned into the police for doing late term abortions. The ones she gave examples of were of babies around 26 weeks. So forget babies the size of your pinky nail, or something you can only see with a magnifying glass. A 26 week fetus is roughly 14 inches long and weighs in at 2 pounds. These babies would sometimes still move after the abortion, only to have their spinal cord cut by the doctor. These babies and so many others were not given the chance at life. Whether it be a child out of wedlock, a terminal diagnosis, or someone just not ready for parenthood, the decision at the end of the day was that the baby had no say at whether or not it wanted to give life a try.
After the story, Sarah shared a beautiful thought. Remember, that up until this point, my circle was only big enough to fit me and my pain. She said that so many babies don’t get to choose life if the doctor says they have a problem. They never get a fighting chance because the choice is made for them. What if this really isn’t about our choice as parents to have a perfectly healthy child? What if this is about God giving this baby a chance, to parents He KNEW would keep her no matter what the diagnosis, no matter what the statistic, and no matter what the long term outcome would be? Well… that changes everything then. Then instead of a small circle of pain, my circle grows a bit bigger to include Sophia, and changes from pain to privilege. God has privileged Sarah and I to take care of this wonderful, special little girl. And as He always faithfully provides, He will give us his strength, wisdom and love in these difficult times, but it’s not just for us anymore. It’s also for Sophia.