My husband's cousin is pregnant with a boy named Sawyer. She and her husband (along with the rest of the clan) expect to meet little Sawyer in November.
This week my cousin (whom my children call "Aunt" Shanna) and her husband received would-be devastating news about Sawyer. I say "would-be" because, although it is heartbreaking, they have hope and they have faith in their Creator, in the Author and Perfecter of our lives.
God has called them to be a family set apart.
Jeremy (the other Jeremy, my cousin's husband) wrote a letter to his son, and I asked permission to share it.
(get your Kleenex out now. for real.)
Letter to my boy
Found out some news today that brought out anger I didn't know I had. Instantly, my body was separate from my mind and what I was hearing wasn't real. It was as if I were watching some TV show about another family. This certainly wasn't happening to my family, with all that we've already been through. Surely the merciful God that we serve wouldn't allow THIS too for our already fragile hearts. Today I found out that our worst fears weren't even close. We thought you might have hydrocephalus...and you do..but you also have spina bifida. You most likely won't be able to walk. My heart hurts so much, not for me or for your mom, but for you. I already love you so much and I want to do everything in my power to protect you, but how can I change cell division? If I can think of it, I can build it. If it's broken, I can fix it. Here I am, with God given talent in my hands that even I don't understand...and I am helpless. Thoughts of all the things you'll miss out on rush around like a whirlwind. You won't be able to do this, you won't be able to do that....we'll have to make changes to the house for your wheelchair...the financial strain we're already feeling with intensify immensely. How are your brother and sister going to react? They've already had to deal with the devastation of a miscarriage, now this?
Selfishly, I think "How can this be? With so many terrible moms having healthy babies...so many kids spitting them out and throwing them away...women killing perfect babies. How can we be a good, loving family and pray so earnestly for healing, only to not have our prayers answered, but for your condition to be worse?" How can this be? How can a loving God, blatantly ignore our pleas for healing? It was then, after the crying, the anger, this confusion..it was then that I heard God more clearly than I ever had. He might as well have been sitting next to me. I heard him say, "I love you. I love your family. I love Sawyer. Who better to love and take care of him than your family? I know your wife...Sawyer's mom, better than she knows herself and I promise...she's the one. I gave her patience and a deep love for children for a reason. You're the one. I gave you a servant's heart because he'll need you so much. Sawyer will live to do amazing things for me, but to do so, I need your help. I need Shanna to be his mom. I gave Ethan a loving heart.....to be his brother. I gave Mackenzie a sure foot and strong will to be his big sister. You to be his dad...Shanna to be his mom. I have brought your family through pain and heartache. Through troubles, trials, misfortune, death and life to bring you to this point. Now, and only now..will you be ready to be his family. Why you? Why not you?"
Sawyer, your mom has incredible patience. She loves children in ways only God can understand. Your mom was created to love you. She was given her gifts for you, your brother and sister...me.
Buddy, we have a long road ahead. I'll be with you every step of the way. There will be times when I'll be ahead of you, clearing the path...but you'll see me. Every stumble our family has been across was to prepare us for this moment. Now, you'll prepare us for His work. If God chooses to heal you, I'll be the first in the streets dancing...but if He chooses not to, we'll all be there and dance when you can't.
I got to spend some time rubbing my cousin's belly this weekend, and talking to my baby cousin/nephew. He kicked at me, he rolled under my hand. I told him how much I love him and how excited we are to meet him. I whispered gratitude from my heart to his, telling him how thankful I am to get to be his cousin/aunt. With my palms over her ever-increasing tummy, I promised Shanna I would not stop praying for her, for her family, for Sawyer.
We will certainly dance for him.