I've pondered these 5 words during my whole pregnancy- a rote response given by a pregnant woman to the question: "do you want a boy or a girl?" The mother always smiles and says she doesn't care, "as long as it's healthy." This is an innocent enough and admittedly convenient response, but each time I hear it said I feel a stab which leads me to silently follow up with the question "well, what if it's not?" It doesn't mean much to the mom who says it, perhaps she hasn't pondered in her heart the reality of the child she carries not being healthy, perhaps it's just a response to politely end the conversation. The fact remains we were given the ability to speak to convey truth and our words are not meaningless, they in fact hold the weight of the world.
We all want healthy children who grow and thrive and eventually leave our home to do great things. But sometimes Divine Providence steps in and gives us not what we, or the world for that matter want, but what we need- a child that is not so healthy. Then we are forced to choose- allow our hearts to be expanded through the trials and tortures, joys and beauty of having a child who is disabled, or close in upon ourselves in anger and retaliation towards God. If we embrace this most generous gift from God we will know love in a way we never imagined.
I am writing this post at 4 in the morning after waking from my nightmare: I can't bring Dominic back. In my dream I am on the floor with a limp child, doing everything I was taught to get him breathing again, all to no avail. At the end I am holding him, screaming to God that it's not time yet. By the time I wake up in tearful panic I am pleading with God that He give me the grace to accept His will gracefully when He deems it time to bring Dominic home. THIS is what you embrace when you say yes to a child- healthy or not- the lack of knowing what might happen, but having hope. Not the shallow hope the world holds out that everything is going to be okay- because eventually everything will not be okay and if we cling to this pseudo-hope our life will be shattered when the unthinkable happens. But to true Hope- hope in the Christ, in the resurrection, in the infinite and unshakable goodness of our God, in the truth that this world is not our final destination, in the reality that our Father loves us more than we can ever fathom.
Today is the day I deliver our sweet fifth child- Kolbe Francis. I so very much want a healthy child. I want him to be born and be pink and to cry and to nurse. I want him to keep me awake at night not with the beeping of machines but with the healthy cry for food. I want him to learn to sit and crawl and walk and pull ornaments off of the Christmas tree next year. But I realize that it is not what I want that glorifies God, but what I say yes to. My Father knows what I want and in his goodness He often grants me my hearts desire. But I must be willing to also accept the gifts he gives that I do not want, but need. All indicators point to the fact that this child will be healthy like his three oldest siblings. Still, I struggle to say not "as long as he's healthy," but rather "God's will be done."
Please pray for a safe delivery for Kolbe and myself. May God be glorified in all things!