Forty five years or so ago a young couple anxiously awaited the birth of their fourth child. Not the kind of anxious that is excited and happy, the kind of anxious that wakes you up in a cold sweat with ‘what ifs’ swirling in your brain.
Earlier that year they had been anxious as they rushed that mom of three into a hospital to have surgery on an already burst appendix. Was there any way she could be pregnant? Of course not, her uterus was a mass of fibroids. It had miraculously sustained life three years earlier but surely wouldn’t be doing so now, besides, she was on the pill to help regulate her monthlies. No, they were definitely NOT pregnant. So they treated her like they would anyone else whose abdomen was a mess of toxic waste and sent her home to recuperate.
It became apparent not long afterward that something was amiss. Back to the doctor they went and found out that she was indeed pregnant and had been when that rotten appendix let go of its putrid mess. The doctor told them that the ramifications of that event and the heavy antibiotics did not leave much hope for the baby she carried, they might as well abort.
Dumbfounded and reeling they went home to pray. They were still kind of new to praying even though they’d both grown up going to church. A real commitment to living for Jesus had only come a few years earlier. They went to their small group and they prayed. And prayed. And the answer was clear to them. If God chose to give them a baby with special needs, that is, if the baby survived her inhospitable womb, then He would certainly give them the grace necessary to care for that child. They stood firm in their resolve.
Their doctor was concerned enough about mama and baby to postpone his trip to England to visit his dying mother until after the baby was born.
On August 24th, 1968 my mother and father received me into the world. I’m guessing there weren’t many dry eyes when I was pronounced healthy and normal with all the parts that were supposed to be there. There was a collective sigh of relief and grace reigned.
This is the beginning of my story of grace.
This is what I was born into. The warmth and safety of parents who faithfully prayed me into this world.
I have always had a deep, underlying knowing that God purposed for me to be here because of the beginning of my story.
And yet I would continue to be in need of God’s grace as fear began to wrap it’s tentacles around my fragile heart from a very young age…