"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats

Friday, January 17, 2014

I am Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God,How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them,they would outnumber the grains of sand — when I awake, I am still with you."

- Psalm 139:13-18 

You are, indeed!  You're perfect in every way!

As I read this verse and was studying this morning for my Sunday School class this weekend, I was awestruck again by the awesomeness of God's incomparable attributes.  His omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence doesn't allow one small detail of our lives to escape from his grasp.

Former Surgeon General, Everett Koop said, "When I graduated medical school the idea was, "How can I save this life?   Today, medical school graduates instead say, "Should I save this life?"   That saddens me, to the core of my being.  If it breaks my heart, can you imagine what it does to God's heart?

Every life he creates, every single one that he knits together in the womb of that mother, he creates with a purpose.  God makes no mistakes.  Ever.

Most of you know, but for new readers, I have six precious gifts that God has allowed to call me, "Mama". We intentionally adopted two special needs sweeties, and a third one of our adoptions that wasn't to be a special need, was born with a heart defect, which by the Grace of God, healed itself.

Several times, especially with our biggest 'need' boy, who is looking at yet another surgery in the very near future, we hear, "But, why me?" or  "Why was I born with this?"   As a Mama, it is heartbreaking and I wish I could take that cup away from them, but I know, with every fiber of my being , and I'll repeat it again, God makes NO mistakes!  Ever!  (Yes, you just read that in the previous paragraph.)  

Although it didn't appear like he was in much distress in this picture, here's our little trooper being Life Flighted to Miami, after doctors realized that his needs were beyond their expertise, in the city where we lived.  He received there his 7th surgery.

My response to them when these questions arise, always goes back to Ephesians 2:10.

I've looked into sadden, or pain filled eyes and many times said something like this:

"You know, God created every single, little part of you.  He knows every hair on your head and every cell in your body, because he made you!  When you were born, he held you up, looked closely at you and said, "AJ/Kai/Anna Grace, YOU are my masterpiece!!   There is no one in the entire world, out of all of those billions of people I created, that is like you.  YOU ARE PERFECT!"  Always remember that, because he does not make mistakes.  He can't!  He's God!  And, do you know why I know this?  Because he says so in his Word.  Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God's masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago."  He has big plans for you, just like he promised in Jeremiah 29:11, and maybe those plans have something to do with that very special gift you were born with."

Our baby girl going through her 2nd hand surgery to repair a part of her birth defect.

Whenever they question their imperfections, I remind them of who they are in Christ, and they believe it....with all of their little hearts, because it's true.  Oh, if we as adults could have the faith of a child.  If we could see ourselves the way that Christ sees us, what a different world we would live in.  Not because we'd all go around thinking we're perfect, but because we'd all go around knowing a perfect God created us and is in every detail, of every second of our lives.  What a mighty God we serve!

Kai sleeping during one of the many, many, MANY sleep studies he has had due 
to his apnea, caused by his severe cleft palate.

This year we will be celebrating acknowledging the 41st anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.  In 2013, there were approximately 1.21 million abortions performed in the U.S. alone.  


That figure would be like wiping out the entire state of Rhode Island AND one third of the state of Delaware!   121,000,000 BABIES....dead.  121,000,000 lives that could have changed the world we live in.  

Did you know that most women in a crisis pregnancies who are given a glimpse of the life within them, choose life?  Yes, up to 70% of women who see their baby in an ultrasound, will not have an abortion.  Yet, our current administration, with the most radical pro-abortion president in the history of our nation, continues to use taxpayer monies to fund Planned Parenthood, the number one baby killing machine in the world.

As I continued reading about the newest statistics, I read that the Down Syndrome rate had greatly dropped in the US.  Yaay!  I was excited!  Wonderful news!  Umm...until I read why.  Then, once again, my heart broke into pieces.  According to research reviews done by Dr. Brian Skotko, a pediatric geneticist at Children's Hospital in Boston, he states that "An estimated 92% of all women who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome, choose to terminate their pregnancies."  Most insurance companies now cover genetic testing for chromosomal abnormalities, including Down Syndrome, in utero, because it is much less expensive for them to kill a baby, than it is to have one born with a genetic birth defect.

Meet precious Colin.  This scrumptious little man belongs to a long-distance, sweet friend of mine, who allowed me to share his overwhelming cuteness with you.   I have the honor of  not only keeping up with his adorable antics and giggles, but sharing in the joy that he brings his family.  Colin is a treasured, blessing from God.

There are waiting lists filled with families wanting to adopt these special angels.  I read somewhere once, that "having a child with Down Syndrome, is like taking the scenic route.  It may take you a little longer to get there, but it is so worth the trip."

Colin eating his first Oreo cookie.  Think this is a happy baby?   Hmmm.  Just a tad, eh?  

There, I gave y'all a triple dose of pure cuteness, cause I'm nice like that.  :)

Having so many friends with special needs children, not to mention with our own sweet babies, I am blessed to witness daily what a difference love and a family make in the life of a child.. Special needs does not necessarily mean being 'disabled'. Special needs can range from a child that is wheelchair bound, to Attachment Disorders, to a congenital or birth defect to what may seem as simple as a child with ADHD.

I have yet to meet a parent of a child with any special need, who has regretted having that child in their life. Don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying it's easy, for the child or the parent.  There have been times when I've cried out in complete frustration, "Why God?", or "I don't think I could handle this, Lord", or "It's not fair!"   But, for those few and far between moments of insanity , there are thousands of blessed moments when you look at that child and gasp at their inner or outer beauty (or both!), when the kindness and compassion they share, even though they are struggling, make you learn a lesson you will never forget, or when you tuck them in safely at night, and they softly whisper, "Goodnight, Mama. I love you." as they wrap their arms around you for one more kiss.  Those are the moments that are worth every second of every tough situation you will ever face.

Every Mama and Daddy I know, grow to fiercely love and protect their children, especially those with a special needs. The fear of the unknown melted away when they held that child for the first time, whether at birth or an adopted older child.  They've withstood stranger's looks and rude remarks in grocery stores and in parks.  They've cried and hugged their child when others have made fun of them, and they've spent many sleepless nights wondering what tomorrow will bring, what the doctor will say, or will their child ever be healed.  But, most importantly, they've made their child feel like they are exactly what God created them to be, "a masterpiece", regardless of what the world thinks or says.

Friends, each and every person God creates is fearfully and wonderfully made. After David praised God for his magnificent works in creating him, he made sure to note the days ahead of him were filled with God's plans.  The days God gives us are in keeping with his perfect plan for our lives.  Even before you lived your first day as a baby, the Lord had a plan for you.  And, it wasn't just any 'ol plan, it was a plan to prosper you and give you hope and a future. A good future, filled with abundant joy.

No matter what our days bring, and it won't always be rainbows and butterflies, we have the blessed assurance that God has a plan for each and every one of us.  He considers our life precious and perfect and sacred, as is everything he does.  We may not always understand the whys of what happens, but nothing's a surprise to him.  If we could pick up the phone and call him, I'm pretty sure he'd be saying, "I know.  I know.  You don't fully understand, and that's okay.  I made it that way intentionally.  You don't need to.  I've got this!"    He reminds us of this in his Word.  Proverbs 3:5, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding." He repeats Himself in Isaiah 55:9, "For as the Heavens are the higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."

I will end this post with a poem written by Erma Bombeck that I read many years ago.  I am honored, privileged and blessed that God thought enough of me, a whiny, selfish, lacking-patience, ordinary woman, to be called Mama by such amazing children.  I take no credit, but if there's anything special about me, it's the fact that I was chosen by HIM for the job!   Thank you, Jesus!

The Special Mother
by Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures and a couple by habit.

This year nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder how mothers of handicapped children are chosen?

Somehow I visualize God hovering over earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger.

"Armstrong, Beth; son. Patron saint...give her Gerard. He's used to profanity."

"Forrest, Marjorie; daughter. Patron saint, Cecelia."

"Rutledge, Carrie; twins. Patron saint, Matthew."

Finally He passes a name to an angel and smiles, "Give her a handicapped child."

The angel is curious. "Why this one God? She's so happy."

"Exactly," smiles God, "Could I give a handicapped child to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel."

"But has she patience?" asks the angel.

"I don't want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she'll handle it."
"I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has her own world. She has to make her live in her world and that's not going to be easy."

"But, Lord, I don't think she even believes in you." God smiles, "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect - she has just enough selfishness." 

The angel gasps - "selfishness? is that a virtue?"

God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a 'spoken word'". She will never consider a "step" ordinary. When her child says 'Mama' for the first time, she will be present at a miracle, and will know it!"

"I will permit her to see clearly the things I see...ignorance, cruelty, prejudice....and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life, because she is doing My work as surely as if she is here by My side".

"And what about her Patron saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in mid-air.

God smiles, "A mirror will suffice."


Dear friends, be blessed and continue to be a voice for those who cannot speak up for themselves.

*Special thanks to Melissa M. for letting me share her piece of heaven, Colin, with the blog world.



RamblingMother said...

wonderful post! glad you are back blogging.

Cheri said...

Welcome back! I love the beautiful family picture. I didn't know Kai had any other issues but his cleft? Wow.

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