Our plans are not our own
This is a post of my email sent to my band of brothers on January 20, 2014
I find it had to believe that my hands are typing this message. I love each one of you and need your prayers, so that's really what this is about. Amy and I found out a few days ago that our second child, with whom Amy is 20 weeks pregnant, likely would not live. Today, we received news that our baby has a very rare chromosomal disorder called Trisomy 13. Trisomy 13 has a 100% fatality rate for children. This does not pose any additional threat to mothers carrying their babies.
We have no idea what the next days or weeks have in store for us. Amy may be able to carry this baby to full term, or the child might not make it to the normal 40 weeks. The baby may never breath a breath on this earth, or it may survive for some time. The only thing we are sure of is that loss and more pain are in our future.
We have an overwhelming sense of peace about this situation. We do still hurt, and we aren't bottling-up our sorrows or anger. This calm during the storm is something that could have only come from God hearing our prayers requesting he ease this burden that we can't possibly shoulder alone. Loved ones have already been amazingly graceful in bearing this burden with us as well.
People say, "God doesn't give you more than you can handle." But I don't believe that to be true. If God only gave us what we could handle, then we wouldn't need him. I'm not having a "there are no atheists in foxholes" moment. This is much deeper. This is a milestone on a journey I began many years ago by deciding to follow Christ. Everything I have read and everything I studied about Christ are only becoming more real to me now. I know someone could out-intellect me or out-science me on subjects like creationism or resurrection, because I am not perfect - I can't tell a perfect story of why I believe the story of Jesus to be true. All I can tell you is to seek out truth on your own, and it will be revealed to you.
I hope my vulnerability doesn't make you feel awkward. That's the opposite of my hope. I hope that it can generate discussion or encourage you to seek out this peace. It really isn't a result of "religion," but instead comes from surrender of your own will...everyone has access to this peace. I believe in radical acceptance of one another, so I hope you'll do the same of me.
The days ahead are scary. I have to be a rock for my wife. You all have, and, will continue to help me be that rock. Amy has already shown such incredible courage and resolve during the last few days. I know this will continue as we grow closer to the time when we will have to say "hello and goodbye" to our newest family member. Thankfully, we know this goodbye is really just an "until we meet again."
Some of you may ask to let me know what you can do. Pray for us. Feel free to reach out. We choose to continue to laugh and have joy, so if you want to share some of that with us or others, then have at it. Right now we need to take this one step at a time, but we have some ideas of how we can help spread life and light through this tragedy. So for now, I'll simply say more to follow on that... Also, this is not a secret and it is possible I left people off of this email, so feel free to share our story.
With great gratitude and love...AMDG,