I remember the doctor looking straight into my eyes on that cold, January day and saying, “Jessica, there’s a good chance that you will deliver this baby tonight and if you do, there’s a good chance he won’t live.”
I had been anticipating the 20 week, gender ultrasound since the day we had first taken that pregnancy test and when it came, it was nothing like I had imagined.
I remember that Tuesday like it was yesterday. I remember the large window to my right. I remember the gray cupboards in front of me. I remember my black flats, my black yoga pants, and the coral-colored maternity top I was wearing. I remember hearing frantic voices outside our examination door and thinking, “It sounds like there’s an emergency.” I remember my husband insisting that we change our boy’s name form “Grant” to “Caden,” and I remember easily consenting to it (What?!? I am never that easily swayed! And over the name of our firstborn?) I remember wondering why we had to see the doctor again and why we needed to “discuss the ultrasound.” I remember being anxious. I remember being scared. I remember thinking it was taking “toooo long” for it to be any kind of “good news.”
I remember January 18th, 2011 like it was yesterday.
My body was supposed to carry this newly-formed soul for another 18-20 weeks, yet I was in the early stages of labor. How could this be?
As we rushed to the hospital, I remember willing my fingers to dial my mom. I remember seeing the cloudy skies through tear-filled eyes. I remember the dirt-stained floor mats of our Silver Subaru. I remember texting my friends and simultaneously announcing that not only were we having a BOY, but I was also in labor with that BOY. I remember my husband’s anxious breathing and his erratic driving. I remember my fast pulse and sweaty hands.
I remember that drive like it was yesterday.
And as we drove the drive we never intended to drive while only halfway through our pregnancy, I remember an ocean of peace rushing over me. And as that peace took over in a way I really can’t explain, I remember saying some of the strangest words I have ever uttered in a moment of deep fear. EVER.
“Babe, the God who was faithful to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is still the same God that remains faithful to us today.”
Seemingly out of nowhere, the words from a Precept study (one I had done a few months earlier when our nugget was only the size of a kumquat) came hurling from the recesses of my memory and into my mind at one of the only times I’ve ever really experienced a real “crisis.”
But let’s be honest, the words that tumbled from my tongue didn’t come from left field or “out of the blue.” This wasn’t a coincidental, cosmic accident that just happened to blurt out of my mouth. Nope… no way.
In that moment, a tender and gracious God saw, heard, and felt my pain. And because He is all kinds of good and all kinds of loving even in the middle of our hard, He wanted me to recall His track record. In that moment, He wanted me to remember that His faithfulness never expires. In that moment, as we were speeding our silver Subaru down the road and toward the hospital, He wanted me to know He was near. In that moment, He uttered His faithful Word right into the middle of my scary-scary.
And oh, how faithful He was!
He saw us through an emergency surgery.
He saw us through four months of bed rest.
He saw us through weekly steroid shots.
He saw us through weekly doctor visits.
He saw us through weekly ultrasounds.
He saw us through until our little boy took his very first breath on May 27th, 2011.
He saw us through.
After our son was born, I never wanted to forget those moments of fear; I never wanted to forget those moments of dependent clinging; and I never, ever wanted to forget those moments where God’s faithfulness reigned and His word spoke.
So shortly after we brought our little bundle of joy home, I claimed this verse and had it printed on his very first photo book:
“Then let us arise and go up to Bethel [the place where Jacob had fled in fear from his brother Esau], so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.” Genesis 35:3
And as I look out the window at my ever-growing, healthy 6 year-old son, I am reminded that there was a doctor who was doubtful I’d be watching a little boy play football in our backyard.
And as I ponder this humbling thought and thank Him (again) for the miracle behind the window, the Lord is gracious to remind me…
Jessica, the very same God that was faithful to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the very same God that was faithful to you on January 18th, 2011 is STILL the very same God that remains faithful to you in 2017…
for ALL of your trials;
for ALL of your weaknesses;
for ALL of your worries;
for ALL of your doubts;
for ALL of your moments.
I have seen you through and will continue to see you through.
Because I am a covenant-keeping God who loves you with a steadfast love that faithfully extends from generation unto generation.
“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.” Deuteronomy 7:9