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Motherhood. Neighboring. Grief. Sarcasm. Jesus.

Writing what I’ve learned along the way.

Teach Them How to Deal

Teach Them How to Deal

You are such a special baby! The two weeks that Mommy went overdue were very long, so I was very excited when you finally arrived. I love to cuddle you. I know you are going to grow so fast, so I want to hold you while I still can. I wish you could stay little forever. I want to protect you from all the bad things in the world. I know this is impossible, so I only hope we can teach you how to deal with these things. You are an answer to many of my prayers! I love you, Kendra Sue!

I came across my baby book the other day. I couldn't help tearing up reading those tender words my mom wrote twenty-six years ago. They were so appropriate to discover at such a time as this.

I want to protect you from all the bad things in the world.

{Oh Mom, how I wish you could too. How I wish a few Magical Mommy Kisses could make it all feel better.}

I know this is impossible, so I only hope we can teach you how to deal with these things.

{But Mom, what are we supposed to do? How are we supposed to deal with this?!}

When the doctors crunch Aliza's ultrasound numbers – low growth, poor development,  small bones, issues with her heart and lungs, fluid on her brain, and an uncertainty of whether or not she has a stomach – they don’t think they add up to a sustainable life.

So we are supposed to be thinking ahead now.

At my doctor’s appointment last week he said we should start contemplating choices we might need to make when Aliza is born, as babies like her are often born early:

“If the baby goes into distress during labor, do you want to have a c-section, or do you want to continue with a normal delivery?” {The thought process being that if Aliza might not live anyways, a c-section would add unnecessary physical pain, recovery time, and future inconveniences to possible future deliveries.}

“And also, what kind of care do you want to give Aliza when she is born? Do you want to focus on comfort care, or do you want the doctors to intervene?” {The thought process being that if Aliza might not live anyways, we may want to spend the short time we have with her in our own arms, rather than in the arms of doctors working on her in vain.}

And I don’t think the issue here is whether the doctors are right or wrong.  But the issue here, or what we are waiting to find out, is if God will choose to perform a life-giving miracle on Aliza’s body in spite of what the doctors are able to see on the ultrasounds.

And that we don’t yet know. Oh, our child. Our precious Aliza.

I want to protect you from all the bad things in the world. I know this is impossible, so I only hope we can teach you how to deal with these things.

After sharing our story, the biggest blessing I received was hearing from other women who have been through similar or related experiences. One mom put it simply: “God was the only thing that got me through. I would have never made it through without Him. I was definitely in a dark pit when it happened, but God continually brought me back on solid ground.”

I agreed.

My brain can't emotionally handle deep thoughts or shallow cliches right now. But what it is able to grasp and hold onto is one simple Name. The Name that is above all other names:

Jesus.

We wouldn't be getting through these long months of waiting and unknown if it weren't for Jesus. Our emotions are feeble. They ebb and flow each day and at times overtake us. But our knowledge of Him. Our faith in Him. That's how we deal. 

I hope we can teach you how to deal with these things.

{Mom and Dad, you did. You taught me how to deal. You are the ones who introduced me to Him in the first place.}

Jesus. We cling to Him. He helps us deal. And when we just can’t deal because it’s all just too hard, He provides the people, the prayers, and the help we need for the journey.

After walking me through possible scenarios for Aliza’s birth, my doctor looked at me and said, “This is in God’s hands.”

More timely words I needed to hear.

The first few days after my latest doctor’s appointment, I was in complete turmoil thinking about the decisions we might have to make for Aliza’s birth and after. But I need to remember that whatever decisions we make will not give or take away Aliza’s life. We can pray for wisdom and try to make decisions that will give her the best chance at life, but the rest is in God's hands.

In spite of what the doctors see, Aliza's life is in God's hands. And that is the best way to deal.

I have heard everything from “You’re on my in-law’s prayer board,” to “My grandma’s Bible study group prayed for you today!” And that is so beautiful to hear. Overwhelmingly so. 

Thank you. Those prayers bring peace to chaos. And so we ask that you continue to pray with us. 

Pray for the wisdom that we {and the doctors} will need in order to make decisions in likely stressful situations. Pray that we will stand strong in our faith, despite our feeble emotions. Pray that we will wait patiently as we enter the third trimester next week, and as we await our next ultrasound {April 22} and Fetal Echo {May 1.}

And please, let's all continue to teach our children how to deal. Let's whisper into their tiny little ears how much we love them, and how much we wish we could protect them from all the bad things in this world. And most importantly, let's introduce them to the One who will carry them through when life is just too hard to handle.

Because they will face hardships that they just can't deal with because it's just too hard. But "greater is He." {1 John 4:4}

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. {John 16:33}

They need our loving comfort. But they also need knowledge and faith in the One whose provision and salvation trump even Magical Mommy Kisses. Introduce them.

As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you. {Isaiah 66:13}

Jesus. He is the answer. He is how we deal.

Grace and Peace,
Kendra

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