These last four weeks have been hard for a dear friend of mine and her family. We grew up together and the Mama (Marj) of this family babysat for my sister and I while our Mom worked....we are all like siblings. About four weeks ago Stacy, pregnant with her first baby after trying for so long had her 20 week ultrasound. That ultrasound did not provide them with exciting news as it should have. They learned their baby was a girl, but...her growth was at least two weeks behind where it should have been. When you get news like this it hits you like a huge punch in the gut....one that takes the breath right out of you. Trust me. I certainly know what it feels like. Marj works with me and had been sharing baby girl's progress with me. I knew that our Jesus wanted me to encourage Stacy. But, I got busy and time got away from me until she had another Dr's appointment and I felt Him speaking to me even stronger than before. I gathered my thoughts and sent her a text. Our Jesus knew. She was having a bad day and it was exactly what she needed. Through those four weeks she had many ups and downs....good days and bad. I continued to send her scripture, encouragement or whatever Jesus laid on my heart. Eventually, she was admitted to the hospital to await delivery of her baby until she was viable. Those of us who have lost babies hate that word. It makes you cringe. Unfortunately, little girl had decels in her heart rate and Stacy was wheeled in for an emergency c-section last Friday. Little girl was actually a little boy. Gabriel Raymond weighed just 13 oz and was the very same length as our Elliott, 9 1/2". He was prefect in every.single.way. And such a miracle. He entered this world crying which no baby that little ever does. He was a fighter and his name is such a testimony of that. Little Gabriel only lived for 24 hours. Those hours were filled with hugs and kisses from his Mommy, Daddy, Oma, Opa & Grandparents. He was so loved.
On Tuesday, Gabriel's Oma, Marj, came back to work. She stood in front of all of her co-workers and shared Gabriel's story. One of courage. Gabriel means "God is my strength". That is so true. Marj shared all of this with us. What a testimony. She went on to explain her Bible reading that morning and how the Angel Gabriel was center-stage in that reading. There were lots of tears that day. But, so many, many seeds that were planted. Over the past nine months that office has experienced not one, but now two very similar instances. They know Jesus is a big part of my life and Marj's. And they are learning how our Jesus is faithful to carry us through these times. And in the words of Dr. Suess "A person's a person, no matter how small". We'll share our thoughts and pictures of both Elliott and Gabriel because they are a part of our story. One that shapes us and makes us who we are today.
Please pray for Mike & Stacy and their extended family. Their hearts are breaking right now. I'm reminded of this verse and what it meant to us during this time. What a reminder.
If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us. As it is, there's not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we're not much to look at. We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken. What they did to Jesus they do to us-trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us-he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus' sake, which makes Jesus' life all the more evident in us. While we're going through the worst, you're getting in on the best! 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 (Message)