Monday, October 30, 2017
Unexpected Monday Mornings
Oct. 30, 2017
Sunday began a regular week, normal in all ways. The family was at worship services where they had always been on Sundays, worshiping Almighty God and their Savor, Jesus Christ. Yet Monday morning for one couple brought on early labor for one sweet and young couple in our church. It would prove to be the hardest week they had ever faced so far in their lives.
Little Graceleigh Jane was only 22 weeks and 4 days in development. So mamma was taken to a local hospital, but they could not do anything for them. Finally, mamma and baby were flown by helicopter to another hospital 200 miles away, over the mountains. Family members jumped in cars and flew down there to be at their first grandbaby's birth, first on both sides. Brothers drove the expectant and worried Father. And so began the long, hard journey of the testing of their faith that would last all week long. (Keep in mind, mamma remained in labor for 5 full days before Saturday arrived.)
Little did these three families know what lie ahead for them in the days to come. The first doctor was blunt, saying their baby girl would probably die (only 1% survived); they would not resuscitate her if she were born before 23 weeks. (It is considered a miscarriage before 23 weeks.) However, the father and grandfather informed that doctor that they served a higher power than he was, Almighty God. So the family had a "go to Jesus meeting," praying for baby Graceleigh right then and there, in front of the cold doctor. They would accept whatever God's will was, but please sustain her until she was 23 weeks along.
Folks, those prayers were not "Lay me down to sleep" prayers. They were desperate, gut-wrenching, sincere pleas that went straight to the throne of God through Jesus. (Both grandfathers are deacons of our church and spiritual leaders.) Now, as the word spread, hearts prayed, too. We prayed without ceasing, throughout the days and nights ahead.
Well, day 5 came and no baby born. Then day 6 came and no baby born. Mind you, the large delivery room became home for 9 watching people. Then day 7 came and went with nothing happening except mamma grew weaker while enduring labor. We believe God kept this baby in the womb, blocking her exit, until she was 23 weeks and 1 day in development.
Then it was time. Saturday was Graceleigh's birthday. My husband and I were able to be there by that time. Everyone was excited, and relieved at the same time. Baby was whisped away to another room, put into an incubator, with life sustaining tubes connected to her 1 pound, 1 ounce body. All were hopeful that she would live. We rejoiced in our God that creates and sustains life. He helped them climb over the mountains.
Later, as the tiny baby was wheeled into the natal care unit, we all formed two lines of faith, through which she passed. The grandparents and the rest got to see her for a minute. Now, let me tell you, Graceleigh was a fighter. She was kicking, crying, and waving her tiny arms as she met this world. Hopes were high.
We left the folks of faith to return home. My husband prepared a message using this family's experience with faith as our example for the next day. They say that no news is good news and none was heard until 6:15 am Sunday morning. Graceleigh's body did not accept blood given her. They tried to resuscitate her after the heart stopped, to no avail. Life left her body as she left us to join Jesus in heaven.
Oh, my, what a heart breaking story. It doesn't end there, for the faith of those families' faith continues on. They are thanking God for the time they had with this sweet little baby. And we don't know how many hearts will be touched by this tiny life.
Here it is, another Monday morning. Mama had to have surgery yesterday to mend her body, but it will take a long time to mend her broken heart. So please pray for Nacona and Tyler as they continue this journey of life, without their first baby of love. (Prior to this, Tyler had surrendered to the call to preach.)
All are hopeful that they will be returning home today, to climb the mountain of faith once again and find rest for their weary bodies and souls. Dear ones, we do not know where the path the Lord has us on will lead. We must always be ready for those unexpected Monday mornings.
Our God creates and sustains life. He does whatever He pleases, as Job realized and we realize.
Let us lay down our burdens at the feet of Jesus. He will take care of them. Just be held in His loving arms of compassion. Keep your focus on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. He is on the throne.
That is what is on my heart today. Tomorrow we will return to Esther.