A Bad Report
She had been pregnant before. Her daughter, Tay, was now a beautiful
strong two year old. She had long curly brown hair which flowed softly
to the middle of her back and her eyes were bright and full of life. My
sister said to me one day that she should be glad that she and Bill had
one child. All of the specialists said that they should not attempt to
have any more babies.
Leigh's life would be in
danger, as well as any child that they would try to have, the doctors
would tell her after the birth of Tay. Leigh so much wanted a house full
of children. She had started classes at a local Christian college to
earn her degree as to be able to teach children. This had been her
childhood dream. The Doctors had cautioned her earlier about the fact
that she had endometriosis and told her that if she and Bill wanted
children, they would have to start immediately. So, with the coming of
her first child and having trouble toward the end of that pregnancy, she
quickly dropped out of school as to concentrate on building a family.
Tay had been born four weeks early, but had no medical
complications. With Leigh, however, she had developed gestational
diabetes, which was dangerous enough and would happen again with
another pregnancy. An ultrasound revealed that the placenta had
detached from her uterus and this was the reason that Tay was born
so early. Leigh spent the last 4 months of her pregnancy on total
bed rest. Because of Leigh’s continuing problem with the
endometriosis, it would be practically impossible for her to
conceive another child; so the doctors would tell her.
She and Bill, against doctors'
recommendations, decided that they would still try to have another
child. They would take no precautions against conceiving. There were
babies conceived and babies lost. Both Leigh and Bill believed that
there was a higher power. They would even go as far as to call Him
God, but He was out there somewhere and appeared to be unconcerned
about the daily lives of the everyday family. He probably had bigger
things to worry about.
Hope Against Hope
Several months later, Leigh called me elated. She and Bill were
pregnant!! As we talked about the possibilities and decided that we
didn't care if she had a boy or a girl, as long as the baby was healthy,
it became apparent to me that we were not giving God the glory in this.
I believe I said at that point, "Praise the Lord, sis!"to which she
replied "Yeah"in what seemed to be an unsure voice. Up till then, she
and I had come to a mutual understanding that she didn't believe the
same things I had come to believe when it came to faith. She saw the
Lord as being distant; as unapproachable; as too big and high to be
concerned about whether someone wanted a baby or not. This was all left
up to the forces of nature, in her mind. Whatever happened, happened. In
her heart, her deepest desire was to know that there was something more;
something stronger than she; something that actually could control what
happens and did have a bigger say in what that was … someone stronger
In my walk, I had just begun to
understand who God was and how very weak I was. I had given birth to a
child who had several birth defects. Along with dealing with his
problems and surgeries and constant hospitalizations, there was this
relentless voice that kept telling me that I had done something wrong in
my pregnancy that caused his problems. This child had to have several
operations and there were more threats to his health presenting
themselves every day. I cried non-stop, he cried nonstop. Though I knew
God existed and did care about what was going on, I didn’t know where He
was in it. I told myself that although I knew HE could heal my son, He
was choosing not to. I became angrier and angrier every time this little
boy was hospitalized. Through every surgery, every tear, my heart
screamed out to a God that I believed wasn’t listening.
At one point, through pure emotion, pain and frustration I said to
Him, “If this is the kind of God you are, I want nothing to do with
You”. I wonder how many people have done that. I was a baby in Jesus
and thank God, He knew my heart. As a side note here; if you have
ever done the same or said something similar to Him, let me tell
you … if you think that God has abandoned you because of your
thoughts at that time … if He had, you wouldn’t be reading this. Your
mind would have been turned to reprobate and you would have no
interest in reading anything that had to do with hope. You would not
have been called to Christianity Oasis. And believe me, you aren’t
here by accident. He is calling you and you are still His child. He
judges the heart.
At my breaking point, we'd had
a guest speaker at our Church. This man told of how as a teenager
that he had become involved in drugs and alcohol. His mother begged
him to go to Church with her every week and would pray unceasingly
for him. One day, the Lord told her to stop asking him to go to
Church. When the next Sunday came, he was relieved to not have her
breathing down his neck to go with her. Within weeks however, this
young man was convinced that the only person who ever cared for him
and his salvation had stopped … yet secretly, she had never stopped
praying for him. She simply gave him back to his Father and trusted
that He would reach him. He was delivered from drugs and alcohol and
was now a pastor of a Church along with traveling to evangelize to
others. This opened my heart to the fact that I had to do the same
with my son. He was, after all, God's child first and He knew him
better and loved him more than I ever could. He wanted me to know
that I could do nothing but care for and love the son He had given
to me and leave the rest to Him. Let go and let God. Put my faith in
Him and know that He would work His own plan in my son’s life, for
Shortly after coming to this
understanding and the realization that life was much easier,
circumstances weren’t so huge when I gave things to Him and totally
surrendered everything to His will, I could breathe again. My son
did get better. The threats he had faced before, and there were
many, were removed. They were removed only by the mighty, healing
hand of God. There was nothing I could take any credit for. All the
glory was His.
So, Leigh and I continued to
talk daily. She was overfilled with joy and I was praying for her
and Bill. Then, it hit. Leigh, at 16 weeks into the pregnancy began
to go into full-blown labor. Much too early … much too soon … no
bed-rest would keep this child, not this time.
Darkness, Fear and Surrender
Leigh was admitted into the
hospital. The doctor told her that they could not do much. They would
take it one day at a time and do what they could each day. They began,
when they could, medication that would stimulate the growth of the
baby's lungs and would give her medication to try to slow the labor
down, but they held little hope. My sister's body was placed in a
position that would cause gravity to help slow the labor and keep the
baby in her womb; head down, legs higher than the rest of her body.
A few weeks later, the baby's
leg and part of the sack were out. They were out of time. The doctor
finally came in and said they had done all they could do. They would
allow my sister and Bill to hold the child for a few minutes to say
goodbye, once the baby was born. Leigh was twenty-one and a half weeks
into the pregnancy … only one week past halfway there.
The room was filled with
unbearable grief. This placenta too, had detached and was no longer
feeding the baby. All hope was lost … or was it?
It's important to understand
that the medical field at that time did not recognize a baby as being a
baby until twenty-three weeks into the pregnancy. Up until then, the
baby was a fetus. I don't know how they see it now, but to us, this was
a child. This was a life … full of hope … full of chances … slowly
being taken from us, one day at a time.
On April 29, 1994, I got a call
from the hospital. It wouldn't be long now. The baby was not holding.
The meds had failed. I'd heard all the doctors' reports but my spirit
was torn. None of this made sense to me. As I sat in my home praying,
the Lord told me in His still voice to go to the hospital. Fear shot
through me like an arrow. God, I didn’t want to go. I didn't know what
to say to my sister. I couldn't stand seeing her in so much pain, her
heart broken into a million shattered pieces. God, please don't ask me
to go. I don't know what to say.
For what seemed like hours, I
argued with the Lord. Over and over He told me to go. Over and over He
told me that He would give me the words to say when I got there … to
have no fear. Over and over, I said, I don’t want to go. Halfway to the
hospital, in tears and filled with fear, I was still praying. Lord,
God … I don't know what to say to her. See, my spirit had been communing
with the Spirit of the Lord and though there was a peace there, it was
so remote … but still, it was there. As I got to the hospital, still
putting off what I knew was inevitable, I went into the chapel to pray
some more. I wrote Leigh's name in the prayer book … Leigh and the baby
Finally, remembering Gideon's
fleece, in surrender I prayed again. "Lord, I don't want to say anything
that isn't from You. I don't want to give her any false hope. If this is
truly from You, cause her (Leigh) to accept my prayers for her. If this
is from You, she will allow me to anoint her with oil and pray for her.
You will give me the words to say to her and she will know they are from
You." That was it … no still small voice even to say … "ok". See, I've
heard and read that we should not test the Lord. And this is true. There
is a difference, however, in testing the Lord to see if He can do
something and asking Him to show His will. Wanting to be sure that this
is His will is quite different from testing Him to see how omnipotent He
"I AM the Lord, Your God"
When I got to her door, I
stopped in the doorway. There she was, head down, feet up. The sadness
in the room was like a dark thick cloud. The grief on her face and in
her eyes was the deepest sorrow I had ever seen. She had fought so hard
to have this baby. This deep down spark of hope she had once had (that
she didn't even know was faith to begin with) was all but quenched. As I
stood there trembling, I asked her in this little tiny meek voice,
"Leigh, can I pray with you?"She looked up at me and answered with the
same meek but tired voice, "Yes". I then asked her if I could anoint her
with oil. This is where she normally would have looked at me like I was
involved in some cult and laughed at me. But she, through hopeless
tears, said, "Sis, anything".
As I anointed her and began to
pray the Holy Spirit became so much stronger in me than He had ever
been. He did give me every word to say and these were His word to her."
I Am God Almighty and I am still on the throne. As long as I am on the
throne, there is hope. Now is not the time to be grieved, for now is the
time of hope. By the time I am finished in this, everyone involved and
anyone who hears will know that it was My hand that moved. Be still, my
child, be still and know that I Am the Lord, Your God."I can't tell you
the joy that I felt. I can't describe the utter peace that I felt. And
the gift of faith that He had given in that instant was not to be
matched with any other thing that I had ever seen Him do.
No matter what the reports were
after that, they were foreign to the promises that I felt and knew to be
true in my heart. The whole room lightened, my sister's face lit up. We
talked for hours after that about how she was going to get the kids into
Church and search out Who God truly was!
Sixteen and One Half Ounces of Joy
May 2nd came around. The doctors came in and told Leigh that they would
let her have as long as she wanted with the baby until she stopped
breathing. Little Joy, as they named her, was born weighing one pound
and one half of an ounce. She was so tiny. Her skin was not yet formed.
It was like jell-o all over her body. Her little eyes were still fused
shut and her fingers and toes, all ten of them, were smaller than the
writing part of a ballpoint pen. Then, Joy issued this tiny little
squeak that totally melted the doctor's heart. At that moment he decided
that they would do all they could do to save this little girl and not
just wait for her to pass on. He even had to tell other hospital staff
that she was twenty-three weeks gestation to put her into the Neo-natal
Intensive Critical Care Unit in the Children's hospital. Over the next
few weeks, preemie diapers were cut in quarters to fit her. My mom made
clothes cut from doll clothes patterns to pass the time with the thought
that she could wear them home when she was released.
The doctors placed Joy on an oscillator, not a ventilator, because
her lungs were so tiny. The oscillator barely moved air into her
lungs because any amount of normal oxygen would have blown and
destroyed them. Leigh, through the urging of the Holy Spirit, became
acutely aware that there was no place to stay in the hospital other
than in the waiting room … for her or for the other parents who’s
babies were hanging on to life in the Intensive Care Unit. The idea
for rooms for these parents to stay in while they waited and watched
these little sick precious ones took root and sprang forth. Leigh
started meeting with administrators of the hospital and the idea
took on life.
It was touch and go at first,
but nothing they said penetrated that faith that had been instilled
by the Holy Spirit in our hearts, including my sister's and her
husband's. God did see. He did care and He was concerned about the
desires of our hearts, down to the minute detail. Joy was the
earliest born baby to be released from that hospital 2 months later.
A few short years later
Leigh became an advocate for life. She, Bill and the kids were in
constant attendance at Church. Leigh went from state to state telling
how the Lord had moved in their lives. She showed pictures to doctors in
seminars, spoke out about late-term abortions and showed just how viable
life is … upon onset. She spoke to more hospital administrators about
developing programs and fundraisers to help with the costs of opening
rooms for waiting parents who didn’t want to leave their babies. It was
true. God had moved in such a miraculous way. Not only our lives, but in
the lives of countless others who had been reached as well. Her baby
doctor could only say that he had witnessed a true miracle in that birth
and life. No science could explain it, nor could chance, where there was
Women decided not to have late
term abortions. Doctors decided to stop performing them. I don't know
how many, but God does. He could have used this situation to just bring
my sister to Him but His plan was so much bigger. He could have used
anyone to speak His hope into her life but He knew that I had to be
reached too. He knew that the gift of faith being given to us through
this whole situation would be the beginning of letting go and letting
God have His will in our lives and that gift would grow and be firmly
planted, no matter what life would bring. One seed has grown and has
affected so many lives and who knows how many more He will touch through
this. The promise is endless. Today, Joy is a bright, strong and lively
14 year old. She loves the Lord with all of her heart. She knows her
beginning, and she knows her God. Her life is so full of promise … and
Since then, Leigh and Bill have
had a set of twin boys as well. Leigh couldn't carry them herself, but
had a surrogate mom who’s sister could not have kids. She had the heart
of a servant and after carrying a child for her sister, found she loved
being a vessel the Lord used to bless others. One of these boys looks
like Bill and has his quick bright personality. The other looks like
Leigh but his eyes … they have that same spark. The one that gleams. The
one that shines.
When we think that God is
distant, He does not hear us or is not concerned about what happens in
the lives of His children, know this. Each one of us has a calling. For
each and every one of us, He has a plan. When you feel that He isn’t
concerned, remember the following verses … write them on your hearts.
Let them speak His truth to you.
Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version)
For I know the plans I have for you,"declares the LORD, "plans to
prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Romans 8:28 (King James Version)
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love
God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Psalm 20:5-7 (King James Version)
We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will
set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions. Now know I that
the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with
the saving strength of his right hand. Some trust in chariots, and some
in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
This is a true account of
what the Lord has done in my family. Only the names have been changed.
All glory be to God for He is so worthy and so very, very good.