About a year ago I was asked to teach a workshop at our Women's retreat. My message included the story of Abraham and Isaac when Abraham is asked by God to place his child, Isaac, on the alter for a sacrifice to God. If you aren't familiar with the story, as Abraham is dutifully following God's will and placing Isaac on the alter, a ram is presented in the bushes as a replacement for Isaac, saving Isaac's life. If you haven't read the story I urge you too, you can find it in Genesis 22:1-19. In the middle of giving my workshop I was deeply convicted and overwhelmed by this story. As a parent I am to put my children on the alter, not literally, it means I am to give my children fully over to God's will. My children do not belong to me, they don't belong to Chris, they belong to the Lord and He has been gracious enough to allow Chris and I to raise them here on this earth and our job is to surrender them to His will.
When I found out I was pregnant this time I felt that I should tell people from the beginning, and not wait the standard, socially appropriate 12 weeks (as I had in previous pregnancies). I believe in life at conception, so I choose to celebrate life from the beginning and if that life is never lived outside the womb on this earth, it is still a life that can have an impact on this world and has a purpose.
The morning after the sonogram we met with our new doctor. She was more optimistic than the night before and honestly I had a peace that can only come from God. Chris and I went home the night before and we talked, we prayed, we asked others to pray, we told our kids they have twin brothers, we rejoiced. Sure it was emotional, but we celebrated Jonah's life, we celebrated the TWINS, because no matter what the outcome is we have twins. We rejoiced in the lives God chose to bless us with.
Our doctor had talked with 1 of 3 specialist in the U.S. who had experience with Jonah's types of "issues" the night before and sent all the sonogram specs to him. The best guess is that it was a blocked bladder, all other measurements were fine so it was reasonable to the medical team to hope that it would clear on it's own. If it didn't there was hope that we could have in utero surgery that would clear it up or it could be something more serious all together. There was lots of things that we were presented that we could have put our hope in, instead we choose to put our hope in God. He is the giver and the taker of life. The Bible tells us that our days are numbered, we could put all our hope and do everything in our human power to make Jonah ok, but it would be in vain if it wasn't in God's will. The only logical thing for us to do was to put our hope in God and surrender our children to Him, to place them on the alter if you will and that is what we did. It is God who writes their stories not me, not Chris, not the world, but God.
On December 3rd, we had a second developmental ultrasound and an appointment to meet with genetics. We never made it to the genetics appointment. During the ultrasound Isaac was looking wonderfully active, so active the tech couldn't get some measurements. When we looked at Jonah there was no life in him, there was no blood flow to any part of his body and his heart had stopped. Jonah was the only one who I had felt move (up to that point), I had felt him just two days before, but because it was still so early me feeling movement was sparse. Jonah had 15 weeks in utero on this earth, he had a story, he had an impact even if it was just on us and those close to us. God had a purpose for Jonah's short life and while I don't know what it is, I rest in the fact that I am not supposed to know. Sure I could ask why, but God's answer to why wouldn't satisfy my mommy heart so instead I ask what next? What is the next step in this pregnancy? Only time and God will tell.
I am still pregnant, the twins were fraternal so Isaac is still alive and kicking and expected to be here sometime in May. I have held onto the verse "They who sow in tears shall reap in joy and singing" (Psalm 126:5 AMP). The amazing blessing for me is that I am still pregnant, I will get to hold my baby boy, sure I would love to have held both of them but that wasn't in God's will and although it hurts, I am ok with that, because I know He knows best. We told our children that Jonah was sick, and that God must have known that the doctors here couldn't take care of him and so he took Jonah to heaven where Jonah now has a perfect body. (My son loves that, he talks about it and thinks that everyone is the "perfect age" in heaven. In his opinion the perfect is the same age as his auntie 25.)
Although I do not yet know what all the blessing will be from this situation I know they will come. I know when Isaac is born I will have moments of sadness that Jonah isn't there; that when Isaac reaches certain developmental milestones I will be reminded of Jonah and miss him, but it will also bring me joy to be able to hold Isaac and watch him grown and to raise the 3 children, we have here, up in the ways of the Lord. I pray that in sharing the journey it can bring healing for others as well. I may never even see all the blessings, they maybe for other people who hear his story, I don't know, again only God knows and I can rest and find perfect peace in that.