Wednesday, March 28, 2012


The past few months have flown by. God has given us so much! He knows I'm not very patient, so He has given me things to focus on to help keep me busy and not just sitting around over thinking things. As May creeps up and Samuel's birth-day nears, time has begun to slow a bit. Maybe it's because I have everything ready for him. Maybe it's because I am running out of projects, or maybe it's because I'm growing impatient to meet him (what will he look like?!?), but it's starting to feel a bit like time just ticks by so slowly.  So I got to thinking about waiting patiently. We live in "gotta-have-it-this-very-second" culture. There are commercials where a person gets news on their phone 2 seconds behind another person and they are then scorned and ridiculed for being "behind the times". We may have lost the ability to wait patiently.

I began thinking about what we are willing to wait for. How many of us are willing to wait in outrageously long lines for the things we want? There can be day (or even week) long waits for things like movies releases, concert tickets, or events (people actually camp out in lines!). Hour upon hour long waits for amusement rides, autographs, or holiday sales. Somehow, we measure our "need" for these things to be more valuable than our time or comfort. And those are just things: here-today-gone-tomorrow things! We are willing to wake up at 2am, stand outside in odd weather, and almost get trampled to get our hands on the "gotta-have-it" toys/gifts. Why is it then that so few of us are willing to wait for God? We walk up to His "ticket-window", say "one miracle, please",  and expect to walk away with it right then and there. If we don't get it immediately, we quickly resort to begging, negotiating, or worse. We can get angry, hurt and disgruntled so quickly and then it's "there must not be a God", or "He doesn't hear me" or "His answer must be 'no'".  Then, we give up, walk away and resent God. But God doesn't work on our time. Over and over in the Bible, God required patience from those He was going to bless. Not always, but many times. Who among us is willing to "pitch a tent" in God's "line" to get what we want? Who would wake up at 2am and stand outside in the cold to get in on His powerful acts? My guess: not many. The Bible says time and time again to be patient and wait for the Lord (my favorite, Psalm 27:14, "Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord".) There are also many references to persistently seeking out God if you want a response. (The parable of the Persistent Widow, Luke 18:1-8). (see also As far as I can tell through reading the Bible, it seems God asks the following of us when we are making requests of Him. 1. To confess our sins and turn from them. 2. To ask Him persistently and diligently ("Pray without ceasing” 1 Thes. 5:17) 3. To wait patiently for God to show up and answer our request. We can't expect that sending up a 30 second prayer while sitting in a bar, telling dirty jokes and gossiping about the waitress will get any results. God is faithful and He does know where you are at in your faith so I don't believe He requires perfection, but I do believe he looks to see how you handle what He has already given you to determine what more He should give. (Luke 12:48). When we don't make any changes in our lives, when we expect God to work like a ticket-counter, or follow "black-Friday" rules, is it any wonder we don't get what we ask for? And who knows how often our rush to get an answer actually limits what God is going to do because we make rushed decisions?

To quote Casting Crowns: "What if His people prayed?"

All this is to say that I'm doing my very best to wait patiently for God while continuously asking Him for Samuel's health. I won't stop asking until I'm holding my precious and perfectly healthy son in my arms. Then my praising and asking can turn solely into praise! Only a few more weeks to go :)  *OK, 8-10 weeks, but still...

There are examples in the Bible of times where people have actually convinced God to change His mind about things. The outcomes changes because people were willing to wait for God and fight for their cause. Here is an example (see:

Hezekiah’s Illness:

 1 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” 

Hezekah’s prayer:    

    2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, 3 “Remember, LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 

God’s Answer:

    4 Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: 5 “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. 6 And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city.” Isaiah 38:1-6
 and there is the story of Jonah:
1 Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”  (…)
4 …”Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.”  Jonah 3:1-2, 4

How did the Ninevites respond?

5 The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
 6 When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7 Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh:
      ”By the decree of the king and his nobles:
       Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”

How did God Respond?

 10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.  Jonah 3:5-10

Monday, March 26, 2012

Our little secret

Me and Samuel have a little secret. We both know he's going to be just fine because God is taking care of him. So when we go in for appointments, he and I both giggle inside and smirk when the doctor says things like "his heart rate is great and he is continuing to practicing breathing" because it's no news to us! It's fun to imagine the look on their faces when the surprise is revealed and he is a perfectly healthy little guy! (Can you say "best day ever"?!) We just got back from our Mankato appointment and all is well (still no amniotic fluid). His heart rate is 143, he was making breathing movements and his feet are now tucked down by his little bum (as they should be). He is moving into the correct position! Thank you, God! We got to see his tiny, perfect little foot on the screen. It was probably one of the cutest things I have ever seen. Five tiny yittle-bitty toes, just waiting to be tickled :)

Earlier today I was talking to him and he was kicking up a storm. I can't wait to hold him! He is the joy of my life!

I'm in my 32nd week. So we could be holding him in 8-10 weeks...oh my goodness! Our Bradley classes are going well and we are learning all we can to have a healthy and natural delivery.

Sometimes I can't believe how quickly the time has passed. I know God is holding us up and protecting us on a daily basis. I love that when the devil planned to be the worst, most horrible time of our lives, God has turned into some of the most joyful days. Every once in a while, I think about what life could be like during this time. Fear, depression, anger, hurt, anxiety... so much pain and sadness. Our marriage could be falling apart. Our finances could be wrecked. Instead we turned to Jesus. We have joy and excitement, a deep love for each other and our little Samuel, fun date nights, and (due to very generous people* and God's constant guidance) our finances are intact. I've really learned a huge lesson about the choices we make. When trouble comes (and it will) what will I choose? I can give in to the emotions and let the devil speak destruction into my life (he will die, he's in pain, he won't look normal, you're going to go through all this just to lose him, people are making fun of you for having hope, etc.) or I can say "NO" to him and turn to Jesus. I can listen to His words of love and comfort and joy. I can feel His presence as people pray for us. I can know that He is in control so I don't have to do anything but ask for His help and have faith in His promises. Why wouldn't you choose Him?

Psalm 40: 1-3 says:
1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
   he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
   out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
   and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
   a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the LORD
   and put their trust in him.

Thank you, Lord! I don't have to wallow in self-pity and anxiety. He has picked me up and given me a firm foundation to stand on.

The other day, someone said to me "I just know he is going to be a miracle baby". I just knew it too! There are two kinds of "he's going to be ok" I get from people. One is just a nicety someone is saying because they care about us. The other is like this was; the words of faith coming from a person who knows God and His awesome power. I welcome those kinds of pronouncements!

Thank you Lord God for your mighty love. You are so faithful! We asked you to be with Samuel and You are. We asked for him to be strong and you made him so. We asked that he move into the correct position for birth and you're already helping him move! We asked for your patience and courage as we wait for his birth and you have given it abundantly. You are an awesome God!

Psalm 103
Praise the LORD, my soul;
   all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, my soul,
   and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
   and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
   and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
   so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

 6 The LORD works righteousness
   and justice for all the oppressed.
 7 He made known his ways to Moses,
   his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
   slow to anger, abounding in love.

9 He will not always accuse,
   nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
   or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
   so great is his love for those who fear him;

12 as far as the east is from the west,
   so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
 13 As a father has compassion on his children,
   so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him
14 for he knows how we are formed,
   he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
   they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
   and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
   the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
   and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
   and remember to obey his precepts.
 19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
   and his kingdom rules over all.
 20 Praise the LORD, you his angels,
   you mighty ones who do his bidding,
   who obey his word.
21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
   you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the LORD, all his works
   everywhere in his dominion.
   Praise the LORD, my soul.

*On a side note: we were given an amazingly generous gift by a new friend of ours: free maternity photos! What an awesome blessing! I know it will be a gift we treasure for the rest of our lives. We should get them in about two weeks, so keep posted to see them! Also, check out her site - - she does great work!

Friday, March 16, 2012

The battle

"For we battle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" Ephesians 6:12.

Today was another appointment in Rochester at the Mayo Clinic. I didn't sleep much last night. Not because of anxiety over the appointment, but because Samuel is a big boy now (thus my need to use the bathroom every 2 hours or so...). When my alarm went off at 5:30am, my only thought was "maybe Bryan can just go without me". But I got up, we got ready and we set out for our appointment. Samuel had been kicking earlier but must have decided to get more sleep while we drove. When we got in with our doctor, all was as expected. Yep, he's still got a strong heartbeat. Yep, he's moving. Nope, no amniotic fluid. (He weighs 3lbs, 4oz. He's still growing!!) The doctor was surprised to see that Samuel had moved to a breech position. For the past few months, he has been transverse (sideways) and due to the lacking fluid, it seemed he would be unable to move. Now all he has to do is switch to head down.

After the ultrasound, we all sat down and the doctor proceeded to talk to us about what he believes will happen and what his/our plans are. He told us we should rule out the idea that Samuel might not make it to full term. Then he said, but he might. (So doctor, what you're telling us is that he may or may not live until birth? Oh, thanks for your keen insight.) We discussed a c-section (since he is breech) and he told us we wouldn't need one because it wouldn't change the outcome. (typically, a breech baby is delivered c-section because it can be traumatic for them to be born naturally.) After every intervention we discussed, he quickly reminded us "nothing will change the outcome, unfortunately".  So, basically, what we got out of talking with him was this: Samuel is going to die. Maybe before I deliver, maybe during delivery, maybe shortly after.

I think it was the combination of being tired, mixed with the fact that I don't ever even consider that Samuel will die, but I wasn't able to stand firm like I now wish I would have. I just sort of nodded along. The only tidbit I managed this time was "God is in control of his life. We won't decide when he comes." This was in response to a question about being induced. Other than that, I let it all get to me and spent the majority of the appointment sobbing in front of everyone we encountered.

When that portion of the appointment was finished, we were going to meet with the neonatology group to discuss their role in his birth. I had gone to the bathroom to try to regain my composure, but lost it again as soon as they came in. (UGH! I hate it when I can't get myself back under control! What kinds of faith does that show!). This began the most nightmarish portion of the morning. Normally, when I think about Samuel, I picture him all perfect and precious as I hold him close and love him. The picture they painted looked something like this; he'll be blue, he'll be damaged, he'll be in a strange position, he may be dead or he may be struggling to live, he'll have a flat face and on and on. What on earth am I supposed to do with that information?? In my head, I kept saying "no, it won't be like that" but since I was sobbing I couldn't actually say much. The options for their involvement are things like using a breathing tube if it appears he may have good enough lung function to stay alive for a while longer. Hooking him up to life support so a kidney specialist  could run tests to see if he could be a candidate for a kidney transplant in a few years (yes, years). Giving him morphine to make him comfortable while he dies in our arms. The short version of what they said is that there is no real hope, but they would do whatever we want. We told them, though sobs, that we don't want him to go through any undue suffering. If he is fighting, then we will fight, but if not then we just want to spend as much time as possible with him. (I'm sick just thinking about that). One of the doctors said, "It's possible he will be trying to breathe but be unable to. He may be gasping and struggling to breathe. I just need you to prepare yourself." I said to myself "How would anyone prepare themselves for that?!? Are you kidding me?! What I should have said to him was "you need to prepare yourself for when he breathes just fine and is completely healed!" But, instead, like a wimp, I just sobbed and nodded. What kind of horrible nightmare would that day be if it weren't for God? How can anyone get through something like that?

Finally, they left and Bryan did his best to help me calm down.(through all of this, Bryan was very calm and collected. "He's going to be fine" he kept telling me.) Next on the appointment schedule was a tour of the birthing center. (Our day was ill-conceived. "First, lets tell them all about how the baby will die, then let's show them where it will happen". GROSS!) The nurse came to show us around and was so nice. (I'm sure I looked wonderful, standing there all red and puffy from crying, trying to smile and act normal). She showed us the rooms and where we sign in and all that. Her happiness was helpful for me to refocus and put the past hour behind me. The rooms are beautiful and well appointed with everything we will need. I realized in the room, "this is where my life will change forever". Then, we finally left for home.

When I think about what that day (his birth-day) is "suppose" to be like, I want to lie down and die. How can anyone do that and keep functioning? So, instead, I try to focus on what that day WILL be like. God will walk with us. He will protect us from the temptation to be anxious, He will shield us from the negative talk of the medical staff. He will give me strength and courage. He will put Samuel in a correct position for being delivered and he will heal his wounds. I will be handed a perfectly healthy baby boy! God will give me the words to say to the doctors to let them know HE was the healer. Then, we will take our precious miracle baby home with us and never, ever, ever go back to the Mayo Clinic.

I really let myself down this morning. I didn't stand up to the enemy when he came to steal and cheat and lie to me. I just sat down and cried. I'm disappointed in myself and I hope God can give me another chance to show my faith.Now that I'm home and have rested, I'm very sad about how I handled the appointment. How did my sobbing show those doctors I believe in a mighty God who can do anything? It didn't. My only comfort is that God knows I'm a mess and can't do anything without Him. Hopefully, He will once again show me mercy and help me to regain whatever ground I lost this morning. (and now I realize I need to refocus my efforts on being better prepared to "battle" with the devil during these appointments.)

Dear God, forgive me for my weakness this morning. Forgive me for allowing the death and destruction of the devil to overwhelm my thinking. NOTHING that was said this morning is from you. You said you came to give life (abundant life) and I will hold tight to that promise. You also said that what is impossible for men is possible for you. Thank you, God, for that!! Help me to be strong and fight harder in the future. Give me another chance to show those doctors you are in control. Prepare us for Samuel's birth-day. Prepare the hearts of those who will be there for the miracle they are going to see. God, help me to be a stronger witness of Your power and peace. Thank you for never leaving us and thank you for our precious little Samuel. We want him so much and we can't thank you enough for allowing us to have him! Continue to grown our faith and give us the strength to stand up and fight for our baby. Thank you Lord.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


In a few days, I will be 30 weeks along. That's 15 weeks since his original diagnosis. God has gotten us this far; I know He will be faithful until the end. (Philippians 1:6 "... he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion"). I do ask for extra prayers for strength and courage. As the date of his birth get's closer, there are more opportunities for me to feel nervous about the outcome. Please cover this in prayer! I DO believe God will heal Samuel, but I am human (and hormonal) and sometimes feel drained. I know that those doubts are not from God and I do my best to seek Him instead of giving in to them. When I turn to God for help, I always find the strength I need to keep going. I also have a little image that helps me. One of my darling nieces, Thea, says the cutest thing when she is tired and wants to be held. She will come up to you, raise her arms toward you and say in a little voice, "uppa". When you hear that word, you know she wants some snuggle time! So you pick her up and hold her close. I decided a little while ago to use this with God. When I'm feeling overwhelmed, I just turn to Him and say "uppa". Then I imagine Him holding me close and taking over. What a great feeling to know He is there to take our burdens!(1 Peter 5:7, Cast all your cares upon him, for he cares for you".)

I also recently have been feeling the urge to share our story. So, for the sake of spreading the word in hopes of extra prayer support, I decided to re-cap everything that has taken place thus far. Please share with anyone/everyone you know who truly knows God and will pray for our baby.
In September of 2011, my husband, Bryan, and I found out we were expecting our first child. We we overjoyed! We immediately began preparing for the precious new life. It was the best time of our lives! Then, in November 2011, when I was 15 weeks along, our son was diagnosed with a condition called Posterior urethral valves (PUV) and we were told to expect the worst. This condition, most often fatal, is non-genetic and is found is 1/8000 pregnancies. It was explained to us that the cause is unknown and it is just a "fluke". The condition causes a back up in the bladder and kidneys and most often results in kidney failure and death. There is only one treatment option in utero and, after a series of tests, we were told our son (whom we named Samuel Evan) was not a candidate as his kidneys were already failing. The doctors told us it was over; we would lose our son. Since we do not believe in abortion, we were told that at some point we would simply no longer find a heartbeat and I would have to deliver a stillborn baby. There are absolutely no words that fully describe the depths of our pain and anguish during that time. Our despair was so great and the pain felt overwhelming and endless. Suddenly, our lives had no meaning anymore. Our days were filled with tears and cries of desperation and begging God to save us. We felt no hope.

Then, over the course of a few weeks, and only by the grace of God, we began to find hope. God is the maker of all things and the great healer. Nothing is impossible for Him (Luke 1:37). So, instead of mourning and despair, we began choosing hope and optimism. Over and over again, God has shown us in the Bible how He is our healer and we need only to ask for His intervention. (1 John 5:14-15,  1 John 3:22, James 1:5-7, Ephesians 3:20, John 15:16, John 14:13-14, Luke 18:2, Luke 11:5-13, Matthew 21:22, Matthew 18:19, Matthew 7:7-11 - to name a few). At this time, despite all medical odds (the specialists have told us time and again it is impossible for Samuel to live), we have joy in hearts for our son is still alive and growing and his future is in God's hands. Sometimes, even with my ever-growing faith, I do get weary as we wait for Samuel's healing. But God is faithful! In my weakness, God is strong and so I am regularly renewed with hope and the courage to keep standing in faith. I firmly believe that He is listening to our prayers and the prayers of others. Every day at set times (7pm for one group and 8:30pm for another) people stop what they are doing and pray for our little Samuel along with us. We know we would not be were we are without God's intervention so we praise Him for it! We are asking for what seems impossible; we ask God to heal our son completely and allow him to live a full and long life. We know God can do it (Luke 18:27, Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God.") Please join us in praying for this miracle!

Please feel free to share the above with everyone you know! We want God to be honored through this story and we also know we need all the prayer support we can get. 
Thank you, 
RaeAnne, Bryan and Samuel :)