Beginnings

>> Monday, April 27, 2009

In the mid 1970s, a Bible missionary's daughter raised in Africa met a street-wise lapsed Catholic from Chicago at a graduation party. I can only imagine how the innocence she gained through her faith and a third-world country upbringing clashed with his long hair, cigarette smoking, beer drinking, dirt-bike-racing way of life. He asked her out; after determining he wasn't a Christian, she said no. The first outing they had together was to a Bible Study, where he asked hard questions and heard the Lord speak. He responded clearly and surely, independently of his interest in the missionary's daughter. A few years later they married.

It was a Wednesday in early January when she went into labor with her first child, having no idea how their lives were about to change. Things weren't too bad at that point, so she carried on doing laundry and making dinner, completing the chores for the day, and again on Thursday. On Friday she went to the hospital to began the hard and complicated labor.

Her daughter came into the world around 8:40 Saturday morning, throwing everything into a panic. Something was wrong, her proportions were all off, her head too big and her limbs too small... there was no way to have foreseen this. There were tests and scans and then she went into the incubator. Organs were missing; or maybe there were extra ones; there had to be brain damage. Really, no one had seen this before, no one knew what to do. The doctors broke the news: "She won't last the night." The baby's father, new in faith, went home and sobbed.

She lasted the night. But the damage was obviously too severe, they could tell just by looking. "She won't last the week." When they brought her out of incubation and she breathed just fine, they sent her home. There was nothing they could do, it was more kind to let her live out her short life at home. So they took her home, in tears and mourning and fear and questioning God and relying on faith and prayer.

She made it through that month, and then through the year. Her parents taught her about God's love and His hand in her life, and how He brought them peace even when there was very little understanding. And then they realized that she wasn't slowing down; there was no sign of an end, only a beginning. Slowly they put their life back together.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It wasn't until I was 7 years old that my father met a woman at work who looked as I could have looked at her age. She directed our family to Little People of America, where we finally received a diagnosis of Spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia, a form of Dwarfism. Missing parts: Zero. Brain damage: None. Predicted lifespan: Normal.

3 comments:

Flssgrl April 27, 2009 at 10:34 PM  

hey jess....thanks so much or sharing this amazing story of your birth and your parents faith. It really touched me on a deep level. Looking forward to future posts...

hanzo78 May 6, 2009 at 4:21 AM  

Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. Put a smile on my face and warmed my heart.

Holly June 9, 2009 at 12:02 PM  

Hi Jess! You are a testament of faith- thank you so much for sharing your story! I'm so glad to be able to catch up with you- even if through your writing, which is excellent, by the way!

About This Blog

Life is about changes; transitions from one place to another, from one purpose to another, from one being to another. They say that the person you are today is a completely different person from who you were ten years ago and who you'll be ten years from now. So far, at the age of 33, I've had four major transitions in my life which redefined who I am. Two years into the results of the most recent transition I am again - still - exploring how God is shaping me. Over the next few months I hope to review my past and set goals for the future, and embrace the next adventure of rediscovering me.
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