Scar Tissue

This week alone, I’ve learned that four of my friends are pregnant. Some second pregnancies, other first. I’ve also learned of a rare neurological diagnosis that another friend is trying to process and understand for her little 3-week-old.

In the last year, my thoughts and opinions about family-raising have shifted up and down and around again. Steven said to me after hearing the news of one of the pregnancies and beaming from ear-to-ear, “this time last year you would’ve been sad.” He’s right.  I used to think that welcoming a child into the world either meant saying goodbye to the new baby’s parents (I call them hermits.) or learning of another very sick mother or child struggling through each day. And each new baby would remind me of my other friends who are unable to have children for whatever reason, and my heart would continue to ache.

The day my sister had the gender ultrasound with my nephew, I couldn’t wait for the phone call to celebrate the life of a new boy or girl. I called her a million times that day, but she didn’t pick up. I knew something was off. Calling Dad, he said, “Well, it’s a little boy.” No real excitement in his voice. “But he has some issues.”

Finally my sister called me while I was at Bible study. She told me our nephew had spina bifida and was unable to bend his legs. He would likely have mobility and other difficulties. That week was one of the hardest to accept. I knew God had a plan, but it was a confusing one.

Months later, we went to Cincinatti to celebrate our niece’s birthday. When she opened the door, I immediately noticed her shirt, saying, “Big Sister!” We were thrilled to find out another niece was on the way. After a few weeks, our sister-in-law became very sick and found out both of her kidneys had failed. The baby was fine, but Kelly would need to be on dialysis immediately for several days a week until a transplant was available.

Thankfully, through prayers and God’s grace, both our nephew, Jeremiah, and niece, Anna, are healthy, beautiful children. Jeremiah is a charming, sweet kid who is not defined by his diagnosis. At 18 months, he’s learned to pull himself to a standing position without much feeling below his waist. Anna was born prematurely at 31 weeks and 3 lbs, but you would never know it now. We just celebrated her first birthday. And just this week, Kelly was given a new kidney by a gracious donor and friend!

I cannot say I don’t have scar tissue built up from watching my loved ones worry, pray frantically and wonder about the unknown future. Perhaps this is why I’ve been so hesitant to be fully happy for my friends becoming new parents. Of course, it’s wonderful for new life to be brought into this world, but I hate to see so much pain involved. I don’t understand much of the Lord’s will, but I do know this: Children are a positively wonderful gift – even when you watch them make temporary homes in specialized hospitals, your love for them soars.

This year is different. I won’t be half-praying for these ladies and their growing bellies. I’ll be thinking, celebrating and praying for each of them in sickness and in health.  And remembering that God is gracious, perfect and never gives us more than we can’t handle.

Posted: September 18th, 2011
Categories: Leah
Comments: 2 Comments.
Comment from Jo Anna King - September 19, 2011 at 7:43 am

This was a wonderful post. I, myself, deal with infertility, and it is hard to find joy in other people’s good news. I have also learned through my personal struggles that God works in mysterious ways. He has a plan for everything. I am very happy that everything worked out with your niece and nephew and also your sister-in-law. I will continue to pray for them .

Comment from Jamie Buchanan - September 21, 2011 at 7:48 am



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