Dec 15, 2011

Miracle Babies

As Christmas approaches, I have been thinking a lot on God's miracles and blessings to us. Here is my miracle baby. Tessa will always be a symbol of a miracle in my mind. I am still connected with the online worldwide group of people who have children born with the same type of tumor Tessa had. For every child who does well, there seem to be just as many or more who don't. Just this last week, I had news that two of the children I had been following passed away right after birth from complications of their tumor.

When we first heard of Tessa's tumor following a 19 week ultrasound, I was told the goal was to get her to 32 weeks without her heart failing. The tumor usually grows at a rate that is similar to the baby's growth. But God stepped in. Tessa's tumor basically didn't grow from the day they found it until the day she was born. It just stopped growing. It must have been growing at an incredible rate before that since it wasn't picked up on the 12 week ultrasound (I have a clear picture with no sign of it), but 6 weeks later, the tumor was large and obvious. But when the prayers for her started, with floods of people praying for us, the tumor didn't grow anymore. I know what happened, God did it.

Two years before Tessa was born, I suffered a miscarriage that I grieved for a while. I wanted a third child but didn't believe that was in the cards for us. I know in God's way, He was caring for that child too. That was another child that God loved just as much. I wrote this poem for her.

Little one,
I ache that it won't be my finger you will grasp,
As you take those tottering first steps.
But awed that you will be grasping the gentle finger of God.
You were here in secret mystery,
And left taking with you a mother's hope.
But not her love which is connected by an unbreakable cord.
Instead of being born in innocence and into pain,
You are carried gently to a place,
Where the dirt of the world will never marr your soul.
But rather your soul and self,
Will become all that it's meant to be without contamination.
God takes joy over you,
And all the intricasies of who you are.
You are His delight.
He spent as much time creating you,
As someone who spends years going gray here.
With an eternal purpose.
And you will bloom and grow in a place of perfect love,
Becoming all you were designed to be.
And one day, I will meet you, my wonderful child.
God's perfection in you.
I will run to my child,
And hold you as I have been waiting to do.
I am always your Mommy.
And I so love you.

I believe God cares for our children infinitely more than I ever could. His blessings are wrapped up in giving and taking. I can't understand, but I do believe and know this.

I have been reflecting on what God's blessing must have looked like for Mary, the mother of His miracle baby. Besides the obvious that she clearly was pregnant and not married in an extremely conservative community, God certainly didn't make the delivery very easy on her either.
It took about a week to get from Nazareth to Bethlehem. A week! On a donkey.
Okay, I've spent some road trips largely pregnant and it was only four hours in a cushy car and I was miserable. I've also ridden a horse for only an hour and my legs were sore and jelly for quite a while afterwards. I can't imagine the misery of being very pregnant hunched over the back of a donkey for a week. In all the Nativity books you see the two of them on a lonely road together. However, I bet they had to travel with all of Joseph's family since they were all from Bethlehem and the line of David. Did they help her? Did the ostracize her as getting what she deserved for getting pregnant out of wed-lock? And when they arrived in Bethlehem, did they ditch them for rooms for themselves? Were there a whole bunch of people who couldn't get a room? If so, did they graciously give the pregnant girl the only place left with a roof, or was it just mass chaos with every man shoved into corners with every man for himself? At any rate, however, it panned out, Mary must have been uncomfortable, longing for a place to rest and a place for animals was hardly ideal.
Lets just say I grew up with farm animals. Shoved in the corner of one of my animal's dirty stalls with the huge stench would hardly be the place I would want to go through the agony of labor. I had 12 hours of hard labor and no drugs with Hunter. I was at the end of my rope and miserable. Compound that with an aweful place to give birth with crowds probably around everywhere and stinky animals and I can't think of a worse situation. Did someone in Joseph's family assist? Was there women around to help? Or was the "sinfulness" of an unwed mother giving birth enough for others to leave her alone to birth Jesus on her own? When he was finally born, there was still no better place for Him than a feed box close by. God certainly has a strange way of doing miracles. Then God chose to only announce it to a bunch of poor shepherds just outside the city. That was good enough and the Savior of the world has now come, been celebrated, and now is still lying in a feed box. We could say God wasn't choosy when He chose to announce His Son's birth, but I would say that He WAS. We just place too much importance on status to understand the choice.

However, we all agree that Jesus's birth is a miracle. There was a star, some kings and expensive presents, a divine intervention so that he wasn't killed by Herod, and a mom who was a virgin.

It makes me reflect that often when God gives a blessing, it's often not in the way we have planned on our "happiness meter". Anyone who preaches the "health and wealth" gospel surely needs to read the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The way up, is down.


God had in her complete dependence and humility and Mary submitted. And out of that came the biggest blessing the world had ever known.
In giving me my four miracle babies, God is taking me on the biggest journey of humility I have ever been on. I am finding that in following God, submitting can be painful. But it is also hopeful. It is joyful. It is wonderful. Because God is there. He is rooting me on. He is celebrating with me. Sometimes I have to pay attention that He is throwing a celebration because who would have known it was a party when only a few "shepherds" show up? Sometimes I don't tell people about my Tessa's miracle. But who will know about God's blessing if I don't? The shepherds told everyone they saw, and I am saying it too. Tessa's name means, "harvester". It reminds me of the verse that says the harvest is plentiful but the harvesters are few. I am just a humble Mommy who has seen God's miracles first hand. Apparently; small, insignificant and humble Mommies can change the world. God thinks so.

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing. It is so encouraging to find other believers and to hear what God has done in their lives.

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  2. This made me cry. I love your honesty and Tessa really is a miracle :) I appreciate you sharing her story again today and making me REALLY think about what Mary had to endure.

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  3. It always blesses me to hear your heart for God.

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