recently i was saddened to learn that another family listed on the "living with trisomy 13" website's prenatal page had lost their precious baby girl a few days ago. just a couple of months earlier, we were one of five families listed on the page. now, we are the only family on there. it is a lonely place to be. the picture there of the three of us smiling happily belies the sorrowful journey we are now walking a few months after that picture was taken. being the only family on there really puts things into perspective for us. it is now our turn.
i finally called the birth center's social worker last week to make arrangements to meet with her in the next few days. i wasn't sure what to expect, probably because i don't really know what a social worker does, but i am glad i talked with her because i felt more comfortable with how it will all go down on d-day (delivery day.) she asked me a lot of questions about myself and our situation, probably to establish a bit of a relationship before we meet. during our conversation, i felt the need to let her know that greg and i had very strong faith in the Lord and that in spite of the sad situation we were in the midst of, "we do have perspective..." my voice trailed off at that point. i knew what i was trying to say, but i just didn't have the right words to complete the sentence. thankfully, she knew exactly what i meant.
my mother and i have been talking about perspective over the past few days. it started when we were having the conversation about the unknown that lay ahead of us when jonathan is born. we have been blessed with over three months now to do everything we can to prepare ourselves as best we can emotionally and spiritually. but we won't know what is going to happen until we are actually walking through it. what we do know, however, is that the condition of jonathan's heart and kidneys means that we should expect the worst but hope and pray for the best. i don't think there is anyway greg and i can truly prepare ourselves for this experience. but i can absolutely say for sure that God has carried us thus far...why would He not carry us through the days that follow jonathan's death?
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." ~Deuteronomy 31:6
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you pass through the rivers, they will not flow over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned. The fire will not destroy you." ~Isaiah 43:2
my mother found this fitting quote and scripture in a daily devotional and read it to me:
"It seems there are two kinds of people in this world: those who have an eternal perspective and those who are preoccupied with the present. One is absorbed with the permanent; the other with the passing. One stores up treasure in heaven; the other accumulates it here on earth. It is all a matter of perspective."
"I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." ~Romans 8:18
i would like to think of both greg and myself as having this eternal perspective about our journey with jonathan. even if we only have hours or minutes to spend with jonathan here in this present time, we both know that we will see him again one day in heaven. our time spent here on earth without him is only but a dot on the timeline of eternity in which we will get to spend with him. this thought brings us much comfort.
however, there is a big difference between optimism and steadfast belief. i pray that i am not speaking just out of optimism. i realize that what we may experience when jonathan passes away has the potential to shake us to our very core. i'm sure i will think about perspective when this happens. there is that moment i dread when i know i will be personally handing my baby boy over to the funeral home representative and then realize that it will be the last time i ever see him, hold him, smell him, kiss him...and i'm sure i will weigh the eternal perspective against the present moment before God reassures me i am able to let him go. this moment may be our weakest throughout this whole journey. please pray for our strength.
may it be said of us:
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." ~2 Timothy 4:7
"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 1:6
"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." ~Acts 20:24