A Gift of Hope
It is hard to believe that today, 8 years ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. And, on that same day, only 7 1/2 hours later I had to say goodbye. If you know me or have followed my blog, then you may have seen a post or two about Jessica. I don’t talk about it much. Not enough. And that is the burden that led me to this post. Jessica Elise changed me forever and I believe I am meant to share my story. Some people will say that your circumstances don’t define you. Well, I believe they don’t……and they do.
In some situations, we learn from our past experiences so that we can move forward. Differently. Changed. Better. Maybe we learn from mistakes that we made. But sometimes things happen and there really is no explanation. No rhyme or reason. No one to blame. Thank goodness, I rely on God’s providence and don’t have to always know why. Actually, I think that (not having to know why) is a gift. I think God gave it to me the moment we found out Jessica had trisomy 18. (You can read more about her diagnosis here and a blog post about where it led me here.) There is no other explanation for my ability to cope with the journey that began that day. While I don’t believe God caused her condition, He certainly had the power to heal her. But, He didn’t. We Christians call these things our ‘testimony.’ It is surviving the unthinkable. And not just surviving, but praising God in spite of it. Let’s face it, that is weird! Well, it is if you don’t know what I know. I know that God still loves me and has a plan of redemption for my sorrow. I know that her life was not a mistake and, while short, had purpose. I know that none of it was a surprise for Him. I know that He keeps His promises and that she is perfect and healed and in the arms of Jesus.
Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” HIS purpose. Not ours!
My biggest revelation through all of this was that it isn’t about me. Who am I? Why am I here? What do I deserve? Certainly not His grace, forgiveness and mercy. But, He sacrificed His son to pay my debt anyway. That doesn’t mean life is easy, or there isn’t pain or trials. It just means we have hope through it all. Hope for something beyond what this world has to offer. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen in eternal.” 2 Corinthians 5:1 But boy oh boy, that can be really hard to hold on to in the midst of pain and suffering.
Each of has a testimony, small and large. And I promise you, it will resonate with someone, maybe just one, or maybe many. I don’t think God intended for us to walk through it alone. Giving your testimony a voice can give hope to someone else. It is our biggest witness. It isn’t just how we live, but how we live in spite of our circumstances.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2Ccorinthians 1:3-4
Happy Birthday Jessica. You are loved dearly!!