Amelia is performing acrobatics in my womb, moving the computer as I attempt to type. She is so active that she was deemed a “crazy baby” by my OB, as were my other two children when they were in utero. She responds to music more than my other two did, and she likes to kick and punch so much that it’s hard to believe that there’s something wrong with her body.
Some days I forget that there’s an issue, at least on a conscious level. I’m busy with my two older babies, and I imagine that Amelia will be just like her siblings, running and playing with them before I know it.
Other days, I feel like a dark cloud has settled over me, dampening my mood and making me ethereally sad. I’m not sure what is causing this slight depression: is it the possibility of Down’s Syndrome (or possibly DiGeorge Syndrome*)? Is it the fact that Amelia has a heart defect and that I will have to somehow emotionally survive my baby’s open-heart surgery while still effectively parenting my older children? Or is it just that the uncertainty of life is looking me squarely in the face, reminding me that I have been given no guarantee of delightful circumstances? Life is uncertain, and Amelia’s issues remind me of the fragility of the lives of all my children, of my husband, of myself.
There are no warranties for life circumstances. I don’t get my money back if things don’t turn out the way I want. I don’t get to do this over again. I can’t retrieve the things that have been and will be lost.
I know that God is good, and I know He is sovereign, yet I often struggle to reconcile the two. I’m sure you’ve felt the same way at times. So what are we guaranteed in this life?
We are guaranteed a Mediator who has suffered our tortuous life with His soul gloriously intact, with strength to command the waters and the tenderness of a seeking shepherd. We are guaranteed a Comforter to intercede for us when our frail spirits fail us. We are guaranteed glorious eternal life in the presence of our extended family, and endless time to bask in the light of the risen Lamb, and peace that passes understanding until that time.
We are guaranteed that in this life our temptations will not exceed what we can bear. Satan can scar us, but he cannot have us. Death ceases to be an ending but is a doorway to new life. We are guaranteed no condemnation no matter how we fail to weather our time on Earth. We are guaranteed an inheritance, a spirit of adoption. We are guaranteed rescue. We are guaranteed and end to the pain. No more loss or separation or heartache.
We are guaranteed an everlasting, glorious, satisfying relationship with the Creator and lover of our souls.
These guarantees far outweigh the surety of a healthy baby. They are more lasting and satisfying than pleasant circumstances. So as I cry over the realization that my perfect life plan is not coming to fruition, I remind myself of these promises. My hope is not in life going as I desire, but in my loving God and Savior.
*Here’s an update on Amelia:
- Amelia’s growth is right on-track; she’s even slightly above average for weight. She has no physical indications of a chromosomal disorder other than the heart defect.
- We took a blood test that is fairly new to the market (Verifi). The results indicated a low possibility of Down’s Syndrome, but the results don’t include our chances of Mosaic Down’s, so there’s still a possibility of that. The chances of Trisomy 13 or 18 at this point are very slim based on the fact that Amelia has no other indicators of these. She could possibly have DiGeorge Syndrome, but that also seems unlikely given a lack of indicators other than a heart issue.
- When Amelia is born, it is unlikely that we will know right away if she has a chromosomal disorder, because they can already tell that she doesn’t look like she has an issue. So when she’s born, they will do genetic testing and we will get the results after a week or so.
- Our cardiologist is hopeful that Amelia will be asymptomatic at birth. Best case scenario is that she won’t need surgery until she’s 3 or 4 years old. Worst case is that she will have trouble breathing (as her lungs could fill with blood from a malfunctioning heart) and a difficult time eating and will need to go on medication soon after birth, which would move her surgery up to when she’s only 3 or 4 months old.
- We are so grateful for the prayers of friends, family, and friends-by-proxy. We even got a card signed by every member of a church in Ohio, letting us know that they are praying for our daughter. We are so humbled by the prayers (and the time represented by such prayers) and by the offers to help after Amelia’s birth. We feel immensely and richly blessed to be part of the family of God!