Are you still as full of turkey as I am? Even to the point of being stuffed? (Very bad pun intended). Are you as full of thanks as you are of food? That’s the real question.

In honor of Thanksgiving and two special events in our family, I’m continuing my theme of being thankful. On Wednesday, I shared the story of my 6-year-old son’s birth and how thankful I am that we both survived.

Today, I’m going back in time to a different Thanksgiving Day 13 years ago. Our church always held a service on Wednesday night as a time to gather and focus on the meaning of the celebration long before parade floats, food and football games captured our attention.

As part of the service, family groups came forward to take communion. I gathered in a corner of the sanctuary with my parents, my husband, my brothers and their wives, and my almost-one-year-old nephew. As we reflected on the year and God’s blessings, I rubbed my pregnant belly.

And prayed.

I thanked God for my husband of eleven months. I thanked God for my family and my faith. I thanked God for His provision. And I thanked God for the precious baby girl I was carrying.

Then my prayers changed to anxious pleadings.

Because several weeks earlier my OB had discovered that the baby had stopped growing. That my placenta was aging prematurely and not providing sufficient support. I was encouraged to count the number of movements per hour and appear several times a week for fetal monitoring. We weighed the risks of premature delivery against the deteriorating condition of the womb environment and hoped we could hold on until the following week.

So, I prayed for God to protect her little life and help bring her safely into the world. Because I knew that He had a plan for her life.

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving, I reported to the hospital for an amniocentesis test to see if the baby’s lungs had fully matured. The nurse hooked me up to a monitor while we waited for my OB to arrive. A few minutes later, I had a weak contraction. No big deal.

Noticed only because the line on the monitor went up and came back down. Followed by another nurse rushing into the room, fiddling with the knobs and pushing on my belly until the baby’s heartrate came back up from 50. Big deal.

The heartrate number on the monitor became the focus of the room. As I had a scary-long needle jammed into my belly. As I stayed at the hospital while the test results were evaluated – stat. As I was hooked up to an IV and labor-inducing drugs administered. As contractions began to cycle and build. As it plummeted during a contraction and then recovered after a round of labor-stopping drugs. As we waited for the operating room to become available for a C-section.

Until I heard her first weak cries and touched her tiny fist. God had answered our prayers and brought her safely into the world.

And God had a plan for the life of that 4 pound 5 ounce baby girl. To touch my perfectionistic heart and teach me more about love and joy than I had dreamed possible. Because almost two years later, our little girl was diagnosed with the rare genetic syndrome – Cornelia de Lange syndrome – that explained her prenatal growth issues. (The picture at the beginning is of Anna when she was two weeks old and this picture is at age ten.)

So, as our family celebrates Anna’s and Joel’s birthdays tomorrow at Chuck E. Cheese, I’m reminded of how thankful I am. To be given the privilege of raising a very special little girl up to be a teenager. And thankful for God who will sustain us through the journey to come.

Thankful – Part 2
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One thought on “Thankful – Part 2

  • November 27, 2009 at 9:49 am

    >What a wonderful testimony of God's power! My mind never stops reeling from His goodness.

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