Tuesday morning I spent in the Word looking up deformities. I saw that the Levites could not bring anything deformed into the Lord’s presence, nor could any Priests themselves be deformed; neither were acceptable. This brought me into deeper despair as I was struck with the thought that our baby girl would be unacceptable to the God who made her.
I proceeded to the New Testament where light began to shine. One of the main ministries of Jesus was to bring healing to the blind, deaf, crippled, and deformed. When we are to give a party, Christ bids us to invite the blind, crippled, and deformed; for they are unable to repay.
I went to work that morning and set my mind to the daily tasks and fixes of the day. Around 9:00 an email came across my phone from a dear friend of mine that teach as an Old Testament professor in a Seminary. I was unable to get myself to open up this email because I did not want to see, hear, or feel what God may wish to say to me through my friend. I called my wife at noon to see how she was doing. Darkness was looming over her. She told me that she did not want to slip back into the darkness she had just came out of with the loss of our son Justus one year ago. I told her I received an email from my friend. She asked me to read it to her, but I told her I was not ready to open it up.
12:30 came and my courage rose enough to open up the email. The letter was laced with verses that were meant to get my eyes off of me and my circumstances, and onto the God who comforts the afflicted. My friend reminded me that “at present, we do not see everything in subjection to Jesus” (Hebrews 2:8). That God will one day “swallow up death forever,” and we shall all sing “behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us” (Isaiah 25:8-9). He prayed for me, told me of his love for me and my family, and reminded me that Mercy needed her Mommy and Daddy right now. He also said that even if Mercy departed sooner than we would hope, His mercy would continue to be with me even till the end of the age.
My eyes glistened with tears. I choked back the urge to crumble. I wrote a thankful response back to him and told him that I thought my heart was becoming hard. You see, the current struggle I was having was a confusion as to the purpose and power of prayer. Throughout this pregnancy, I had been daily praying for our baby to be “healthy,” and “whole.” Mercy is the exact opposite of this and I couldn’t understand why the Lord would do such a thing. Fear was beginning to fill my heart as I wondered if I should utter anything specific in prayer at all, thinking the twisted truth that God would give me the opposite. If I ask for bread, the Lord said he surely wouldn’t give me a stone. Or if I asked for a fish, he wouldn’t give me a snake. Trisomy 13 feels an awful lot like a death blow from a snake, and I went back to work trying hard not to feel.
Right before I headed home, another family friend sent a link to a sermon from Alister Begg that she had heard while driving in her van. I headed home and clicked on the link to listen. Alister was preaching through the book of James. The sermon was on counting it all joy when we fall into trials of various kinds. The text tells us that trials, sufferings, and trisomy 13 is meant to produce “endurance” in the sufferers; and this was a testing of my faith. Alister said that an unbeliever during trials asks God “why.” But a believer utters up to heaven something along the lines of “d-a-d-d-y….” God speaks to us through his people, and his word spoken, preached, and prayed. God broke me under the weight of my hardness. I found it hard to remain driving as I cried out over and over to the Lord simply, “okay daddy, okay…”
I pulled off the road and wrote an email to our friend who sent the sermon, and the one who emailed me earlier, to thank them for their prayers and to tell them that I was “broken.” I entered our house a few minutes later with a new desire to love on my wife and children. Later that night Karie and I talked about hard things. We spoke about our future of the womb, where the burial would be, and where and if the spirit of child resides if they do not have any mind.
Karie received many many emails and phone calls that day. The body of Christ has been loving on us sweetly. Interestingly it has been mostly through the universal body of Christ.
I am teaching the youth group at Church the doctrine of the Word of God. I was able to show them on Wednesday how God speaks and comforts through His Word by my experience over the past couple of days.
Yesterday at work, Karie sent me a link to a video recording of Selah singing a song called I WILL CARRY YOU. This song was sent to Karie from a friend that just suffered in a similar way. It has meant a great deal to both me and my beloved wife. Along with the video link our text exchange of words went like this…
Karie: 💬”This has strengthened my resolve to carry Mercy well and loved!!! Weeping for thankfulness to the Lord with this added grace!!”
Scott: 💬”He has chosen you to carry Mercy until He carried her through. He has chosen to carry you as you carry her too. I love you so deeply my beloved. Thank you Karie for whom you carry.”