I feel very reflective tonight. You probably don't find that too strange if you know our story. Five years ago to this very moment I was in a hospital room, filled with joy that my family had arrived, and filled with anticipation about what the impending hours would bring. My heart leaped knowing that Maddox was alive as I felt him kicking and moving inside of me. I knew there was little that separated me from finally holding my precious boy.

I remember not getting much sleep that night. I clung to my Bible, poured over Scripture and just kept praying for our Father God to fill me with peace. Strangely, I don't remember feeling too much fear... and hindsight I know that was the beginning of a sacred encounter with the Prince of Peace, my Rescuer, my Redeemer.

So many details have faded from my memory so the ones that are here and intact, those memories aren't going anywhere. I remember my friends gathered- waiting. I remember the nurses. I remember our pastoral staff. I remember my family. It felt like a lot of "hurry up and wait" and then suddenly, the time had arrived for Maddox to make his arrival. The room quickly cleared and I prepared myself to meet my second-born. Dusty stood with me, never leaving my side.

At 4:25PM, Maddox entered our world briefly, to remind us how big our God is and how faithful He is to answer all of our prayers. As he was born I remember looking down and his eyes were closed. That is my first memory of any sort of fear. I remember quickly asking our doctor if he was alive... Dusty followed our 3lb. boy to the NICU warmer in the room with the staff prepared to work. That wait felt like an eternity...

Is he alive?

After some dialogue between the staff and our doctor, our amazing, God-send doctor looked at me and said no. It was then that I began to cry. In a moment it felt like everything was snatched up. Like all the air in the room was sucked out and I couldn't breathe. It was only a few hours ago that I felt him moving! How was this possible?

And then my husband.

And then my husband came to my bed. He grabbed my hand and said, "Kenz, he was alive!" I looked at him like he had just missed the last few minutes and said, "No. They said no." He responded with every ounce of confidence and joy and faith, "Yes, he was alive. There was a heartbeat but it was too faint to do anything. But he.was.born.alive! He opened his eyes, looked at me, and then closed them again."

Reading that it almost sounds ludicrous that I wouldn't cry out, yell, question why they didn't try anything. But instead, somehow peace filled my heart. We had prayed very specifically that certain decisions regarding Maddox's care would be removed from our control. And they were. Only moments earlier had it felt like my heart was being torn out of my chest and I felt like I was bleeding out... and then suddenly, there were bandages. Bandages that were drenched in my blood, but bandages of joy, peace, and thankfulness; they were the only things holding me together.

The day was sacred and supernatural. A day that this world would suggest would claim me forever, became the most sacred love-note of my life. He reached out of Heaven and filled me in ways only He could ordain... and I could never put into words.  

Fives years later, as I retell a small portion of the story that has gone undocumented, I still bear the scar of that heart-wrenching, painful time. I still cry from time to time. I occasionally think what it would be like with another boy added to the mix. But I never go very long without smiling. Somehow this is all part of His plan. "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'" Isaiah 55:8-9

While I don't have a physical scar to run my hands over, I do have an emotional one. My bleeding heart left an open wound that has taken a significant amount of time to heal. For a while I thought I would never get over the sadness, and crying would be an everyday occurrence. But slowly and surely, He has restored me. And not only that, but He has redeemed my pain. Do I look the same as I did before my heartbreak? Definitely not. And for that I am eternally thankful. I now bear a scar that allows me to grieve with other mothers who have or are walking this road. It's a scar that only those of a shared experience can truly grasp, and while I would have never chosen my journey... I would never trade it.

Thank you Jesus for my beautiful scar. For my beautiful boy. For your Perfect Son. "Oh death, where is your sting? Oh hell, where is your victory? Oh church, come stand in the light, our God is not dead, He's alive, He's alive!"

"I have told you all of these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33


Christa said…
so beautiful, kenz. as my eyes are full of tears, my heart is even fuller for you on this day. love you from a million miles away...
Lizzie West said…
You are such an amazing mother and an inspiration to all of us. As tears rolled down my face reading this, you captured everything so beautifully. Although, I did not know you years ago, I'm honored to know you and your loving family now. God bless Maddox and the entire family.
The Nichols Fam said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Nichols Fam said…
Praying for you, Dusty, Deacon, Faith Clare and Scout today and praising God for Maddox's birthday and his mighty little testimony of God's bigness. Thanking God for your heart. Love you!
Holly said…
Thanks so much for sharing your journey and your faith, Kenz. I feel so honored that God chose to bring us together as college roommates so many years ago. As I read this with tears rolling down my cheeks it's as much for the wonderful works God has done and the witness you have been to His love and faithfulness throughout this journey as it is missing your little boy. Much love to you, Dusty and your beautiful kiddos! Happy Birthday Maddox!
Anonymous said…
You are an amazing inspiration!

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