Isn't she precious?
Looking at this picture, I feel I should whisper.
Today is her birthday. She is 10 years old today.
My how time flies.
Ten years ago right now I was in labor - led to totally believe I would deliver a baby I would never hear laugh, see cry, or see smile.
But God had other plans.
I am copying an pasting my blog post from last year on her birthday. Grab a tissue and be prepared to get a small picture of how BIG our God is!!!
I don't know how to say what is on my heart without sharing this personal story, so please bear with me. Most of you know the story of Taylor's birth, but for the sake of those who do not know, please allow me to briefly summarize.
I was 29 weeks into my pregnancy. Because Mackenzie had been premature and because I was over 35, I was in the weekly office visit stage. I weighed in and had gained 14 pounds in 6 days! They immediately scheduled an ultra sound to investigate. Literally 5 seconds into the ultra sound, they sent me to the hospital because of the mass amount of fluid in my womb and in Taylor's abdomen.
To make a long story short, Taylor was not expected to live. We had to make the decision to allow them to treat her in the womb or to induce labor and let them try to treat her out of the womb. After prayer we felt God wanted to her out of my womb so they could work on her. The doctor's words echoed in our head, "Your baby will die whether we treat her in the womb or induce labor. The was no chance of a live birth."
My unborn child was going to die??? I would never see her smile. Never hear her laugh. I would never know what her voice would sound like. I would never take her to her first day of school? Never buy her a pretty dress for a special day?
The room begin to spin and I reached for Rusty's hand. It was trembling. I looked in his eyes and saw the heartbreaking pain. The doctor left the room for us to have a few minutes. We clung to each other as if we were about to fall off of a cliff, both trying hard to be brave for the other one. We prayed a simple prayer and felt God's peace in allowing them to induce labor the next day.
The night before she was born, I had to make another decision. I had to decide where I stood with God regardless of the outcome. My heart was broken. I was scared. Rusty was scared. We were leaning with our whole hearts on our Mighty God. But before I sound like a "super spiritual saint", please know I battled that night.
I struggled with all of the normal questions. "Why?" "What have I done wrong?" "Why are you doing this to me?" "How could this be happening?" "I thought You would always take care of us?"
As tears streamed down my face and my heart breaking in two, feeling as if a giant elephant was sitting on my back, I heard God's gentle whisper, "Will you still love me passionately and worship me if Taylor dies?" "Will you trust me no matter what?" "Will you still serve me with your whole heart?"
I couldn't answer right away. I lay on the side of the bed. My heart was beating so hard I thought it would wake up Rusty next to me. My pillow and my hair were wet with the tears that had fallen continuously for over an hour.
I heard the question and I didn't know if I could take another breath. This was it! This was a climatic moment in my walk with God. I had served Him almost my whole life. I had "surrendered all" so many times in altar calls I couldn't even count them. I had promised to follow Him all of my days. BUT - what if the all powerful God I served chose not to intervene and not to heal my unborn child? Could I still passionately pursue that God? Would I?
The clock beside ticked seconds that seemed like eternity. I knew this was not a question that I could just raise my hand in the emotion of the moment and say, "Yes, Jesus!" This question my Creator posed before me was one that placed my faith at the ultimate crossroad.
I was afraid to breathe. My hand traced my swollen abdomen. This little heartbeat had been inside of me for seven months. How would I handle not bringing home a baby from the hospital? - not seeing her take her first steps. - not having to change the diapers I had already bought. - taking the infant car seat out of my car not having a need for it?
Would I still serve God passionately? I knew I would still serve Him, but would I always have a resentment in my heart?
I wish I could say I knew immediately that I would love God no matter what. But it didn't happen that way. I had to choose. I had to make a choice to love Him and worship and adore Him regardless of the outcome the next day. I had to choose to let go of what I thought was a happy, normal life in order to let God be in ultimate control.
With a coarse, breaking voice, I whispered, "Help me, Jesus!" At that moment the floodgates of heaven released a torrent of peace that swept through my very soul. In that moment I knew I would passionately adore my Jesus no matter what the outcome. I knew He would strengthen me and help me. I literally lay my wishes, hopes, desires, and my very soul in His arms. When I "died" to what I wanted to happen, I felt more alive than I ever had before.
You may be at a crossroad in your life. You may have financial struggles that are weighing so heavy you feel as if you can't move. You may have teenagers that are wringing the very joy from every part of your life.
The frustration and bitterness is beginning to build. "Why isn't God showing up?" "Why can't He just do one small miracle for me this time?" "Why is He not answering my prayers?"
Can you let go completely, and say truthfully in your heart -
"Even if I have to declare bankruptcy, I will gladly worship and adore my Savior!"
"Even if my child continues the path he has chosen, I will gladly worship and adore my Savior!"
"If I never get another answer to prayer again, I will passionately pursue and love my Jesus!"
And that my friends is when you really begin to live. John 10:10 says "....but I have come that they might have life and have if more abundantly."
So, the next day Taylor Danielle was born at 10:55pm. Here are the bare facts and details:
She somehow had developed chylous ascites in the uterus. The massive amount of fluid was damaging her organs. In a 2 hour long ultrasound the day before she was born,they found a sizeable tumor. After she was born they confirmed it was cancerous. Because of the acites with chyle in it, they believed she had hodgkins lymphoma.
Immediately after birth, they whisked her to the NICU unit to put her on breathing machines because her lungs could not function on their own. She was born at 29 weeks. Prematurity was not the issue - it was her internal organs being so cramped due to fluid during their important formative stages.
They did not think our baby would survive -let alone after birth. Day after day, the doctors would tell us something was wrong, then come back and say the problem disappeared. I remember one doctor finding us in the NICU waiting room, setting down and saying, "We have done all we can do. All I can say is 'keep praying', because that is what is saving your baby. I have never seen miracle after miracle as I have seen in your baby."
Wow! That is her story in a nut shell- We walked out of that hospital in 4 1/2 weeks with our sweet angel. The doctors and a couple of nurses walked us to the elevator because they were still in shock she lived and was going home. And this is such a short version. I could go on and on telling you of all the miracles God did.
The condition she had was so rare that the neo natal doctors were calling other children's hospitals all over the United States trying to find a course of action. The other hospitals all figuartively scratched their heads. Babies with chylous ascites such as Taylor had died in the uterus. So a live birth in and of itself was amazing.... Then the tumor disappeared, and the ascites was gone, and the organs all started functioning properly..... Do you get the picture???
Please know the He is Mighty and Powerful and Wonderful! He is still a miracle working God and He is Sovereign. May you trust wholly in Him and seek His face.
Have a wonderful day and thanks for those of you who prayed with us for our little girl 10 years ago! Thanks for rejoicing with us today for our little 10 year old miracle!
Happy Birthday Taylor!
I love you more than you will ever know!