We're in our late 30's and just now getting around to starting a family...well, a family in addition to our two dogs, one cat and three desert tortoises. As Jeff is fond of saying "Harrisons buy in twos!" Well I guess we're no different with children as we're starting off with twins!
Last week we dedicated our boys to the Lord at church. It wasn't a big deal, just a few friends and family members came to witness the pastor praying over the boys at the beginning of service. But as we were preparing for that day, I was reminded of the day I first dedicated Samuel and Wesley to the Lord.
It happened a little over a year ago. It was a Monday night. Jeff was at a church council meeting and I had asked my parents to stay at home with me just in case anything went wrong. I had been on bedrest for almost 2 weeks by then due to signs of preterm labor. I was only 24 weeks pregnant. Around 7 or 8 that night my contractions started coming more frequently and after a call to the doctor, we were on our way to the hospital.
I'll never forget that short drive. I figured at that point my contractions were about 5 minutes apart and stronger than they had ever been before. The stark realization that these babies might be born that night hit me hard and as panic began to set in, I understood that there was nothing I could do at that point but pray and trust God. My prayer was something like this...
"Lord, I believe both of these boys are a very specific answer to prayer. I don't really believe that it's your will for them to be born right now, but I often don't understand your ways. I have no power to save them, but You do. I trust You Lord and I know that no matter what happens, You are good and I can trust You with my whole life. I recognize that these babies really belong to You and I am blessed and privileged to be chosen by You as their mommy. If I only get to have them for a short time...even if I only have them while they are in my belly, I will praise You Lord."
When we got to the hospital, I was sent to the triage rooms in the maternity ward. They had to put me in an overflow bed and, frankly, didn't seem to have much time for me. I was clearly on the bottom of the list for urgency and the nurses busied themselves with other patients while I sat hooked up to a monitor to record my contractions. The problem was, the monitor was attached incorrectly and even while the contractions continued to increase in number and strength, nothing showed up. The nurse came back infrequently and begrudgingly readjusted the sensors but it wasn't until two hours later that they finally got the monitor on right and saw the contractions that were coming 2 - 3 minutes apart by that time.
Oddly enough, an image kept popping into my mind of a darling woman named Gwen from my church who, years before, had stood up in service to demonstrate a song she liked to sing for the children: "My God is so great, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do!" She had belted it out with gusto, complete with hand motions and everything. So I started to sing. It was all I could think to do. So like a little child, I proclaimed it over and over again: "My God is so great, so strong and so mighty!"
Finally, the go ahead came from my doctor to administer fluids and drugs to stop the contractions. Up until this point, they had given me nothing. The first drug didn't work so I was loaded up with magnesium through IV and admitted to the hospital. This became the first of two long hospital stays in our attempts to keep the babies inside for as long as possible. I am thankful for every moment I spent in that hospital bed. In that one prayer on the way to the hospital, God prepared my heart for the work I had to do over the next eight weeks before my children were born, the first few weeks of their lives in the NICU, Sam's subsequent readmission to the hospital in February, and each moment I've been tempted to worry or panic or try to somehow take back control of my children's lives.
Yes indeed my God is great! The public dedication to the Lord this past week was a wonderful reminder of that precious period in my life, where God led me through such a difficult time and showed me a glimmer of his awesome love and power. He will never let me down, even if the outcome isn't as favorable in my eyes as it was this time around. I will continue to praise Him!
And for sure my two beautiful, healthy blessings from God will learn that song...complete with hand motions!!!