Friday, April 8, 2011

Yesterday he turned ten....

and here is the rest of his story.

The medical plan was to go to the high risk OB at 16 weeks and do an ultrasound to confirm gender. If this baby was a girl, we would high five it and go home to do all pink. If this baby was a boy, we would do an immediate amniocentesis and send the results to the NIH where a researcher who had mapped our family's DNA could tell us in 2 weeks conclusively whether or not he was affected.

Husband went with me and both of us were mantra speaking those girl names. The ultrasound tech began her work. She asked us why we were in there and when I told her that we were hoping the baby was a girl, she turned back to the screen and said, "Oh, this baby is definitely a boy." Husband who is partially deaf in one ear heard those words like a gunshot. I heard them like the dropping of another shoe.

Silence reigned in that room as the tech left us to our thoughts, and tears. Husband took my hand tenderly and said, "But that's our boy. That is still our boy, and he needs a name, so what do you think?" We began to call out names and think together that whatever God had given needed to be received with trust. No matter how small that trust was.

We wanted a Biblical name and a family name. The Lord gave one to me almost immediately, "Samuel." With all of our boys' names, it has been the meaning behind them that has been part of the testimony of God. I know now that each name was yet another way that the Lord continued to draw me back towards Himself in restoration. Our oldest three all have a name that means some version of "gift of God." But I was pretty sure that "Samuel" did not mean that. All I could think of, lying on that cold table, was that perhaps the name had something to do with being a prophet of God.

The amnio occurred. We completed the paperwork and watched our future get mailed off as the two week waiting game began. Those may have been the hardest two weeks of my life apart from the last two weeks of James' life.

That year I was in a Bible study on Matthew where the significant point that kept coming through the lessons was that there is a cost in following Christ. Um, duh, was my first response. I was already resigned to the idea that God intended suffering for us. I figured that having a second son with SCIDs was the next step in that plan.

However, it was a hymn that began to challenge my small trust: Be Thou My Vision. We sang it often that year. And the verse that kept tugging at my heart was, "High King of heaven, after victory won, May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's Sun! Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all."

See the year before I had studied Romans where I had begun for the first time ever to understand the doctrine of God's sovereignty. I had been absolutely confronted with God's right to choose a purpose for His creation. Learning that He chose with eternity in view, with the work of Christ in view and with His glory and the good of His people in view, were all new truths in my life. I wanted a God that existed for my benefit alone--to give me whatever I wanted. Like the Great Big Candyman in the Sky. Seeing that everything God did was of glorious sovereignty borne out of amazing love in the Person of Christ had been the beginning of a deep seated healing in my heart.

So here I was for two weeks hearing nothing but this hymn verse in my mind and knowing with a new surrendered spirit that my victory, won by Christ, was enough, truly enough. No matter what else happened in this life, God sweetly removed the resignation from my heart and gave me His peace. I was for the first time ever, able to say thank you for James' life AND for his death. With the next whisper being, thank you for this baby's life, no matter what. The temporal finally eclipsed by the eternal.  

I still desperately wanted for this baby, this son, to be well. But I was finally assured that whatever the Lord had chosen would be His great and mighty gift. A real gift, not an almost gift. I was giddy with this realization while at the same time tuned up and puckered while waiting for the results.

The call came from the NIH: "Your son is perfectly healthy. He does not have the genetic defect for x-linked SCIDs."

Husband was home that day and I started screaming and crying for him to come, to hear the news. The tears flowed as we barely could choke out the words to family and friends all waiting to hear. Our hearts rejoiced, our gratefulness was uncontained. And then I remembered that I had not looked up the name, "Samuel."

Samuel means, "God heard," "requested of God," or "God's heart." All three meanings spoke deep into my own heart as the hymn verse echoed, "Heart of my own heart, whatever befall;" the prayer of my new understanding for His sovereignty in my life to fully reign, "Still be my Vision, Ruler of all."

God showed Himself bigger than anything I'd been willing to ask. And deep humility thumped inside my life as I realized that I had prayed no differently for this baby than for James. The answer came from the same loving, almighty, precious Lord. He who had not been capricious in His choices for James was not being capricious in His choice for this child. He was absolutely trustworthy because He is absolutely intentional towards His people, because He is Lord.

So that's the story of the Chairman. What I had been afraid to ask of God, He was never miserly to give. He didn't have to give me another pregnancy. He didn't have to give me a healthy son. He chose to do both.

That baby is now ten. And every year I am given to remember that God has heard me. God has given me all I couldn't and wouldn't request (the Savior being the greatest of such gifts!). God has shown me His heart.

Be Thou my vision, Lord. The Ruler of all.


  1. My favorite hymn. What a beautiful story! What a blessed moment to have your precious Samuel!

    I think I'm going to cry!

  2. I love that hymn. What a powerful story; it brought tears to my eyes.

  3. Beautiful. I don't really know why I don't know that hymn. Thank you for sharing this story.

  4. Happy belated birthday to the Chairman. Praising God with tears.

  5. Thanking God with you for all your sons, and for His sovereign acts in and through each of them. Happy Birthday to the Chairman!

  6. Completely trustworthy, absolutely intentional, sovereign in His goodness and His grace: praise the Lord! Thank you for sharing your story, and Chairman's, and James' as well, with humility and joy. What god is so great as our God?

  7. “Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told." Habakkuk 1:5

    I don't understand Him, I can never predict Him, but I'm so blessed to trust Him.