Month: October 2013

Ultrasound & my heart

Week 24

It’s been one month since our lives were rocked. I still don’t know how to spell anencephaly (hooray for copy & paste) or pronounce it most of the time. Lots of ups and downs, sobs and laughter, prayers and pleas. Honestly since the Lord touched my heart at church on October 6th I haven’t been the same. It’s still a lighter load, not a tiresome overwhelming weight. His grace has been so evident, He is so good. Never in my life have I been so confident in His promises, or sure of His goodness. I am able to praise Him with my whole heart (even to cheesy Klove songs!) and the joy he’s put deep down in my heart is indescribable. Not that there aren’t moments of fear or pain, it’s just not my M.O. I am so thankful for Him and for the prayers of so many of you!! Please pray with confidence that He hears and acts, they are accomplishing much!

In preparation of our next ultrasound I called Bethel Church in Redding to pray with a pastor. I prayed with Pastor Rick. I told him all about Leilah and how she had a 0% chance of survival if God didn’t move and he laughed..then told me his story. Several years ago he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and was told there was no hope, 0% chance of surviving it, say goodbye to loved ones. His son and wife convinced him to go to the Healing Rooms at Bethel Church and he reluctantly went, not believing much in the power of God or healing. At the Healing Rooms a 10 year old boy prayed for him and come to find out months later he is 100% cancer free!! Also, the day He was prayed for and God moved – Leilah’s due date. Hmm… coincidence? No. Faith burned in my heart as we prayed, declaring life, His kingdom manifest, calling on ‘the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not’. He said to call back with the testimony her healing later.

So today was our follow up ultrasound. I was nervous, would we see a perfectly shaped little head? Would it happen while we watched? What would our calm and cool perinatologist say or do? What if we were disappointed? I asked people to pray for a miracle on facebook, what would I say if nothing happened?

I ate a piece of chocolate (ok like a lot of chocolate, I’m a bit of an emotional eater) before the ultrasound so she was moving and kicking quite a bit. The Dr showed us her feet, toes, legs, stomach, arms, all perfect. He said her heart is actually quite amazing, very healthy. Then he switched the views to the 3D. We saw her hands, neck, up towards the face, big lips- just like her Daddy, little nose. Then it got a little disturbing. Her case of anencephaly is actually more severe than we originally thought. Her eyes are bulgy and her head completely ends slightly above the eyebrow. I know that I’m not suppose to say things like this, I know that in my heart she’s beautiful but it was hard to look at her. How will she look in real life? In researching anencephaly I’ve seen some pretty disturbing images, the kind that keep me awake at night. I know when she’s in my arms I’ll feel different but maybe we’ll skip the 3D imaging next time…

I asked the Dr a few questions, due to the images I’ve seen online I stopped googling this condition. He said because there’s no skull it’s hard to get the birth started so around 40 weeks they’ll induce, she may be alive, she may need hospice care. Her brain stem works great – she’s breathing, swallowing, she may live a little bit. I also asked why I’ve never heard of this condition when it’s 1 in 1000, that’s not terribly uncommon. He said 90% of parents choose to end the pregnancy, it’s labeled ‘late miscarriage’ or something similar. He then left and I cried for like 10 seconds. 

So where does this leave my heart.. praying and believing whole heartedly for a miracle and seeing with my own eyes that it’s actually worse than we expected. Well honestly it hasn’t changed much. After the Dr left I told Nick ‘looks like we’re headed to Redding.’ Healing Rooms, Pastors, praying chains. Why not? What have I got to lose? The scripture that God spoke to my heart as we were leaving the hospital was 2 Corinthians 4:16 -18

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

I like the first part of The Message translation – 

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. 

I still believe that God is a God of the impossible. I will believe what the Bible says over what I see on an ultrasound any day. I fix my eyes on what is unseen, I will not lose heart. I’m not sure if it goes against faith or if it’s just understanding the greater picture here is not her healing -it’s God’s glory. I understand that His ways are far above my ways, thoughts far above my thoughts. I trust His heart and know that we may not see healing manifest on earth. So we are discussing funeral plans, burial vs cremation, etc.. I don’t think that’s wrong, I don’t feel it goes against faith. We will do anything and everything we can to keep her but ultimately she’s in His hands and He knows best.

My heart’s cry is God let Your glory be seen, let Your heart be known, open eyes and ears to see and hear who You are, who you really are! Whether it’s in her radical healing or sweet passing – magnify Yourself! Change lives, change me! You’re not going to waste this, not one moment, not one tear. Let us be a vessel. Let your Kingdom come, your will be done!

amen.

Image

The power of thankfulness

“But giving thanks in the midst of an adverse situation, a difficulty intended to undermine your faith and destroy you, enables you to take hold of that situation and set it apart to God and His purposes. When you give thanks, the weapon the enemy meant to use to dislodge you from your divine purpose is put into your hands and becomes the very thing that brings you more fully into that purpose. Thanksgiving accomplishes the divine justice of the Kingdom, where the enemy is destroy by the very thing he intended to use for our destruction.”

Disarming Hell Through Thanksgiving, Bill Johnson

A lighter load

I feel like I should introduce myself as if I were at an A.A. or an N.A meeting… ‘Hello my name is Aubrey and I’ve been pain free for 5 days.’

It all started on Sunday. I attend a different church on Sunday, our local House of Prayer to hear a guest speaker. He’s a well renown Revival preacher I guess I would call him. At the end of his sermon he told a story about a meeting he held in Mexico City. There were 70,000+ people. He made the alter call and a man came to the front carrying his toddler daughter. He could see the desperation in the mans eyes but wasn’t sure why he had come, his daughter was beautiful and healthy looking. But as she turned her face he saw she was actually missing the other half of her face. There was a gaping hole in her cheek and her tongue was exposed, saliva falling out. He asked The Lord what he should do and The Lord replied ‘put your thumb in the hole.’ As he did the skin grew and her face was healed. He was astonished! He asked The Lord why, why did you heal her. God replied because I’m a good.  Wham- tears and sobs from deep within well up in the otherwise quiet auditorium.

I went up front for prayer and continued to wail. Fear, pain, hopelessness all boiling over. I was surrounded by great warriors of the faith laying hands on me, declaring life, canceling death. The guest preacher came and laid hands on my belly. I put my hands on top of his and pressed them into my tummy as if I could some how transfer all his healing gifts into Leilah.

After all that I felt lighter, the load of heaviness was gone. I felt joy and hope where there had been pain. Courage where there was fear. When the preacher said that God said He was good it sealed my heart. I didn’t want to write this earlier in the week because I thought maybe it was an emotional high but I still feel it, a deep peace, a profound joy and a courage to believe that He will heal her. There has never been one ounce of doubt that He can, the question is WILL He. Either way He is good and I will put my hope in Him.

So I will trust in the unseen and in the One ‘who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did’. The One who defeated death. I will fight from a place of victory and throw my all into the hands of a King who paid the ultimate price for her healing.

God loves Leilah more than I can imagine. She is in His capable hands. If I get to borrow her for the next 70 years, He is good. Or if I meet her in Heaven and hold her for the first time, He is good. THIS is my anchor. This is my anthem.

Psalms 119: You are good, and what you do is good

Psalms 145

1I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
2Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
3Great is the Lordand most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
4One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
5They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
6They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
7They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
8The Lordis gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
9The Lordis good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.

Rise Up by Beyonce

This weekend we watched Epic. Yes, a cheesy kids movie! The end was a Beyonce song which I’m normally not a fan but these lyrics stirred my heart. I started singing it to her when I feel her kick and summersault around.

“Fight for you and me
Look into my eyes and believe
Little woman we will fight, we will fight
Little woman we will fight, we will rise
I see you and me
Take my hand and we
We will stand, we will fight, we will fight
We will stand and together we will rise

Rise up, rise up little man
Don’t be scared I’m holding your hand
Know that life holds more than
What we see and what we get

Rise up, rise up little woman
Don’t be afraid to risk it all
Know that life holds more than
What we see and what we get, I will

Fight for you and me
Look into my eyes and believe
Little woman we will fight, we will fight
Little woman we will fight, we will rise
I see you and me
Take my hand and we
We will stand, we will fight, we will fight
We will stand and together we will rise”

Ugly new feelings

Today has been the hardest of all. I woke up great but slowly the heaviness took over. I tried to deal with this on my own today. Not allot of prayer or worship music. I tried to clean and cook to get my mind off of it but eventually everything was in slow motion. I laid down and lost it. Benaiah rolled his toy car over my back while I cried. The annoying thing about tears lately is that they really don’t help. There’s no relief or end no matter the quantity. 

Today was also unique because I started to feel anger and fear. I fight the urge to stand out my front door and scream f*** you at the world.
Fear. Fear of hope. Fear of hoping for a miracle and it not happening. Or fear of not having enough faith and holding a miracle back. Fear of the minutes or hours we may have. Fear of this effecting my son, my marriage, my trust in The Lord. Fear of my heart shattering when this is over. Fear of feeling an unfathomable pain. Fear of never recovering. Fear that this may be more than I can handle….
And then I just have so many questions. Like how do I walk through this with my eyes wide open? With my heart in operating mode? Without shutting down or shutting people out? How do I remain in an attitude of praise and gratitude in the midst of this? How will we make it through Thanksgiving? Christmas? Leilah is expected on  Valentines Day, a day to celebrate love, will this love break me?
I have to pause and remember the truth. I know that the God I love is good. He’s redeemed devasting events in my life, turned ashes into beauty and I am actually thankful for those hurts- I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without them. And He wouldn’t be the same God to me without them. He is my Redeemer, my Healer, my Knight in Shining Armor, the Restorer. He has given me back what the devil store and has done exceedingly more than I ask for or imagine. It’s weird but I can honestly say that I’m excited for how I get to see Him work in this, to see His hand, to feel His heart, I know that I will
 
So I can’t do this without Him. And if everyday (or minute) I have to re-give my heart and my life to Him- I will. And guess what – He’s a big boy, He can deal with my questions and cuss words, tears and fears. 
 
Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.
 
 

Reason to Sing

When the pieces seem to shatter
To gather off the floor
And all that seems to matter
Is that I don’t feel you anymore
No I don’t feel you anymore
I need a reason to sing
I need a reason to sing
I need to know that You’re still holding
The whole world in Your hands
I need a reason to sing
When I’m overcome by fear
And I hate everything I know
If this waiting lasts forever
I’m afraid I might let go
I’m afraid I might let go
Oh Oh Oh
I need a reason to sing
I need a reason to sing
I need to know that You’re still holding
The whole world in Your hands
I need a reason to sing
Yeah
Will there be a victory
Will You sing it over me now
Oh
Your peace is the melody
You sing it over me now
Oh Lord
Will there be a victory
Will You sing it over me now
Oh Lord
Your peace is the melody
You sing it over me now
I need a reason to sing
I need a reason to sing
I need to know that You’re still holding
The whole world in Your hands
That is a reason to sing

I will sing sing sing to my God my King for all else fades away.

I will love love love with this heart you made for You’ve been good always.