Friday, May 23, 2008

4 Month Birthday & Arrival to Heaven

Isaiah 43:1- “And now thus says the Lord, your Creator, and he who formed you, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.”

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Prayer for Baby Faith

Please pray for a sweet little girl that will be born tomorrow, May 22nd. Her name is Faith Ann Webb and she has also been diagnosed with Trisomy 18. Please lift this precious family to the Lord as they continue to trust His plan for her little life and theirs. I would also ask that you especially pray for Faith's two older sisters Brooke and Hannah as they are so excited to meet their little sister. We know this road well, and yet, each outcome, each life is strictly in the hands of God. Pray that their time with her is filled with peace and joy!

John 14:27- “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I Will Carry You

I Will Carry You
There were photographs I wanted to take
Things I wanted to show you
Sing sweet lullabies, wipe your teary eyes
Who could love you like this?

People say that I am brave but I'm not
Truth is I'm barely hanging on
But there's a greater story
Written long before me
Because He loves you like this

So I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All my life
And I will praise the One Who's chosen me
To carry you

Such a short time
Such a long road
All this madness
But I know
That the silence
Has brought me to His voice
And He says...

I've shown her photographs of time beginning
Walked her through the parted seas
Angel lullabies, no more teary eyes
Who could love her like this?

I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All your life
And I will praise the One Who's chosen Me
To carry you

These lyrics were written by Angie Smith (in collaboration with her husband Todd from Selah and Christa Wells) to her daughter Audrey Caroline. They just walked through a situation very similar to ours and I wanted to share these beautiful words that absolutely spoke to my heart.

These words bring me to tears as I remember Maddox and all that his little life taught us. I will carry him always... through the coming years. I will carry his life, his story of God's faithfulness, everywhere I go. No matter where our lives take us, no matter what God has in store for us up ahead, sweet Maddox will always be along... he will always be part of our family.

Last night as we were getting ready to put Deacon down, Dusty said, "Mama and Daddy love you so much..." We were waiting for him to finish our little saying because each night we say "Mama and Daddy love you so much, and SO DOES JESUS!" Instead he looked at us and said, "And so does Maddox." We smiled and said yes, that Maddox does love him so much and he thinks he is such a great big brother. Then we said, "But you know Jesus loves you most of all." He said, "Nope, baby Maddox does." It was just one of those things... those reminders that I really needed. Nope, Deacon hasn't forgotten either. ...I hope Maddox enjoyed the balloon we sent to him last night. We watched it disappear into the dark sky behind the trees as Deacon yelled "Hope you like your red balloon baby Maddox!"

Mother's Day was wonderful, and oh so tough... It was a day filled with hope and with loss, joy and tears, but I am so thankful for this life and the ability that God has given me to be a mother. I truly feel that there is no higher calling for my life than to be a mother to my children and share the truth of the Lord with them. Whether they are here in my arms, or in the arms of Jesus, I am so thankful!

"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe," Hebrews 12:28

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Looking Back

As I was preparing last night for my plans today, I spent some time looking back over my journal that I kept after we found out about Maddox. I had seveal entries before I decided to try blogging, and last night as I read, I felt so thankful that I have those thoughts recorded. I want to share the first one in the journal, just 2 weeks after Maddox's diagnosis. I continue to see God's faithfulness through this story as He has been absolutely present, from the beginning to the end.

October 11th, 2007

So here we are… exactly 20 weeks pregnant with our precious Maddox, and 2 weeks after finding out that he has several “problems”- spina bifida was the first thing identified on the ultrasound. It was just an unreal feeling when they look at you and tell you something is wrong with your baby. This perfect little person that is growing inside of you… well, you’re now told that they aren’t perfect after all. To us he’s perfect, and to God he is perfect… that is why he was created as he is- with a chromosome disorder called Trisomy 18.

After the amnio results are officially back in, they tell us that this is a “fluke.” Even in all my emotion I know better than that. If God ordains my marriage and surrounds me with loving friends and family- what about this is a “fluke?” The Lord knew long before I was even born that this was a road we were to walk- this situation is especially for us. A test? Sure, why not? And I’m NOT going to fail. That is why we chose life for our Maddox Donald Stanfield- however long that life may be.

That thought is definitely hard- part of me, the selfish part, in some way just wants to meet my baby soon… more because I look to the grief and pain on the other side and I can also see healing, far past those things that are immediately in front of me. But as I rejoice with two of my friends who have just had perfect little babies in the last week and a half, I long to feel that normalcy, if only for a minute, of being able to hold my perfect child in my arms too. I want to see his sweet face… to have Dusty stand with me as we praise the Lord for our two little boys! I want Deacon to be able to see and hold his little brother, and to one day be able to look at a picture and see us as that happy family of four. My heart is so thankful, and yet it breaks every time Deacon asks “my baby?” His other little friends now have a new addition to their family and he wants one too. I do tell him “your baby’s name is Maddox” and we pray for him often. We pray for Maddox at night with Deacon, and yet, it seems like when I’m alone, I lack the words. I guess I feel like the Lord, who allowed for this to take place, is somehow big enough to know my heart and my prayers. And still there is something to be said about speaking them aloud.

I am tired of the waiting and the unknown already, and it has only been two short weeks. We could have 20 more to go! I pray in this time that the Lord will calm my heart and teach me to wait patiently on His perfect timing. Still, it seems a little ironic that I talk about “timing” when I am already looking ahead with this stark reality that I am going to have to let this child go… that I am going to have to bury my baby. Something about that seems so wrong… so unnatural.

But I know that one word, one whisper from the heavens can change all of this and make my Maddox whole and well. I definitely don’t doubt how big, how powerful and mighty our God is… but I also have to face reality and know that for some reason He might not, probably won’t, decide to change anything. My biggest fears reside in the time when he is born and Dusty and I have to make decisions for his care. Knowing his spine is already exposed and him having brain cysts, a probable heart condition, and the Trisomy itself… it all just sounds so terrible.

My prayer is simply that Maddox might know only love and protection from his family. I am trying so desperately to enjoy each moment of this pregnancy, just as I did with Deacon. I am trying to get to know little things about my second baby boy that I won’t know on earth. I love feeling him kick, knowing that he is moving around and reacting to those little factors that affect his body- what food I eat, how I talk to him and his big brother, if I push on him and he pushes back. He IS my baby and that will always be true. I love him unconditionally and need to be patient, taking each day as its own. That is how Dusty is doing it, and although I’m a planner and someone who often looks forward, I am going to love each day independently of the one before it. I will honor the Lord in my actions, words and thoughts. I will rejoice in my family and count each blessing in my life as beautiful.

"I will sing of the LORD's great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations." - Psalm 89:1
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