Reposted from October 2015.
* Disclaimer ~ I am not an expert on this subject. I haven’t had to walk this path…haven’t had to deal with infertility, miscarriage or loss. However, I know many people who have. As I share Luke’s story, I am sharing it from my perspective and hoping to bring awareness to the subject.
Chances are you know someone who has miscarried or lost a child some time in their life.
Maybe it was you.
Maybe it was a friend or relative….
Maybe you read about it on the internet.
I remember how naive I was when my husband and I decided to have a family. We had worked hard to prevent that from happening, and it seemed that as soon as we were ready to have a child, things would easily fall into place. As friends started the same process, it became clear that I was mistaken. Infertility, miscarriage and loss are more common than my young mind had ever believed.
Justin started working with my husband shortly before finding out that he and his wife would be expecting their first child. They had battled infertility for five years and a miscarriage and were thrilled at the news! Things were falling into place and going fine ….. until an ultrasound close to midway through the pregnancy. This ultrasound revealed that there may be a problem with the baby, but it was probably nothing to worry about. Of course our minds go straight to the worry – no matter how much we tell them not to.
Further testing showed that their sweet baby BOY was diagnosed with something called Potter’s Syndrome – a very rare condition. Luke did not have kidneys or a bladder and the prognosis was not good. Babies born with this condition may be born still or might live for a short period of time. Luke may be born very early or they would do a scheduled C-section if he made it far enough to protect his fragile body during the birth.
There were a lot of unknowns.
[One of the hardest aspects of life for all of us is realizing how little control we actually have. We can do all of the seemingly right things and at times, things still don’t go the way we would like. For me, that is why it is so key to know the One who is in complete control and to trust His character even when I don’t have the answers and I don’t understand.]
Justin and Katie, though devastated, tried to remain hopeful and clung to the Lord. One of the verses that was especially meaningful to them at this time was found in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10. Here Paul says, “Three times I pleased with the Lord about this, that is should leave me. But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
This picture is another one that gets me. Justin was texting his mom.
Katie and I recently met at the cemetery.
I hadn’t seen where Luke’s body had been buried. When I drove up, I saw a mom sitting on a picnic blanket in the most peaceful setting. It was so quiet, the colors of fall were beautiful….and a big protective tree was leaning over the area.
Katie reminded me that Luke wasn’t there. He was with his Heavenly Father…but it was a special place to come and to remember and to long for eternity when they would meet again. Our days in this world seem so long but are actually a blip in eternity. 2 Peter 3:8 says that “with the Lord, one day is like a thousand years…”
I asked Katie if she had any advice on how to help or encourage someone going through a tough trial like this. The one thing she told me is that it is hard when others say “Let me know how we can help.” Obviously with good intentions those words are said, but they place the action point on the person suffering. Now the responsibility is on him or her to figure out how people can help. What is and was most helpful for her was when people just did things….just stopped by or brought a meal….just came over and painted her fingernails or sent a sweet text or made that call to chat or listen….
As I sat in that cemetery I kept thinking how no parent should ever have to come see their child at a place like that. No matter how beautiful and serene – kids are supposed to be running in the yard and swinging on the swings.
But our hope is not in this world and in the suffering it brings. Our hope is in the One who has conquered death and promises in Revelation 21:4 to “wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore….”
Finally, here is something Justin made with an app….trusting, trusting, trusting in the character of the Lord.
To read more about Katie and Justin and Luke, please visit their blog at Beauty in Brokeness.