In the arms of Jesus

Friday, May 31, 2013 around 3:30 pm our sweet precious baby Evan went to be in the arms of Jesus. He is no longer struggling to breathe! He is no longer in pain. Now he is whole and healthy and rejoicing at the feet of our Lord. I’m not going to pretend that the last 48 hours haven’t been the worse days of my life here on Earth though. The hole that a child leaves in the heart of their parent when they pass away is one I cannot even begin to describe. Hole actually isn’t even a fitting word-it’s more like a gigantic crater. I feel like part of me is gone forever. And in essence it is. From the moment that Brent and I found out we were pregnant I loved that baby more than my mind could really even comprehend. We spent our nights dreaming and talking about the months to come and what it would be like when that sweet baby made his arrival in April. We thanked God every night for blessing us with a child and prayed for Him to help us be the best parents we could to this baby. In November when the ground beneath us literally shook while we were told something was terribly wrong with our baby we continued to pray. Our prayer changed though. It became a prayer in which we were making a plea to God. Please God heal our baby boy. We cannot lose our baby! There were days throughout our journey that we asking WHY?? Why us? What have we done to have this happen to us? Week by week passed and we would go the doctor and pray for everything to just be ok. Throughout this time I was really struggling with getting excited about Evan making his arrival. My joy was overshadowed by fear of what would be happening once he was no longer inside me. I think I felt that as long as he was inside me I could protect him. Rationally I knew this wasn’t true but I know that’s how I felt. We prepared our house for bringing a baby home. While we were hesitant to do so we were praying and had faith that God’s will would be done ¬†and that we would be ok with whatever that ended up being. E
The morning of March 15 when the nurse came in and said that the doctors had decided that would be our son’s birthday I was so scared. I cannot even put into words the fear that was creeping inside of me. I just laid on that hospital bed and prayed to God. I prayed for him to be with us, the doctors, the nurses and all the rest of our medical team. I prayed for Him to keep his hand on Evan. To let Evan live. My biggest fear was for him to not live. While we knew there were things wrong with our baby we really just didn’t know to what extent. The time came and off to the operating room I was whisked. I held Brent’s hand and was so scared. I think I was past scared actually. Finally Dr. Medlock held Evan up and said “Hey mama!” What a relief it was to finally see my baby boy. They rushed off to the side with him and began working on him. I didn’t hear a peep out of him. We had known that his lungs were underdeveloped and this was reiterated by the silence coming from where he was laying. In just a few minutes an isolette rushed by with Evan inside. They paused for us to take a quick glance then out the door they went. We knew he must be so sick by how quickly they were getting out of that room and up to the NICU so they could work on saving him. The neonatologist came over and explained to Brent and I that his lungs were very small and that he also had a birth defect we weren’t aware of called an omphaleceole. Not really knowing what any of that meant exactly for Evan we just continued to pray. Finally I was led to recovery. Dr. Medlock pulled Brent aside and more in depth explained to him that they didn’t think Evan’s lungs were big enough to support his life. After all he was a hefty 5 lbs 14 oz at just 34 weeks! Dr. Medlock came and told me that he would get me up there to see Evan if they thought he wouldn’t make it. I remember being numb, but literally and metaphorically. I cried and cried and prayed and prayed. Minutes turned to hours and we heard from a stream of doctors about how Evan was progressing. He was doing better than they originally anticipated and they were cautiously optimisitc. The next few days were a blur but our sweet baby kept hanging on. When he was three days old they explained that there was nothing else they could do for him and that they needed to send him to Birmingham where they were better equipped to care for him. Off to Birmingham we went the next morning. The following days and weeks were, at that point, the hardest days and weeks of my life. We had to watch our sweet baby go through much. It was a roller coaster with some days being great and the next being terrible. The feeling of helplessness for your child is one of the worse feelings one could ever experience. Throughout the days though we continued to cling to God. My prayer daily was for God’s will for Evan’s life to be done. That is a hard prayer to pray when you know that HIS will and your desires may not coincide. As a parent you become a selfless person. I knew that if God’s will was for Evan to be with Him in heaven that I would be left here heartbroken. But in that same thought I knew that the only people that would be feeling pain would be all of us here on Earth. If God’s will was to have Evan with Him then that would mean that Evan would be free of pain and suffering. Sadly for Brent and I and our families God wanted Evan with Him. I don’t know that Brent and I will every have our questions answered about Why?, Why us?? That’s ok though. Maybe we are meant to spread God’s word through Evan’s time here on Earth. Maybe there is another reason that we will never underestand. We don’t expect to understand. I do know that we have learned so much. Never take a breath for granted. Never go to bed without saying I love you. Forgive easily. Love your enemy. Be in control of your own attitude and don’t let others influence what kind of day you have. Most importantly we have learned to lean on God every minute of every day. I recently heard someone say that God will not bring us to anything we can’t handle-without GOD. There are many things we are faced with that we can’t handle alone. With God we can handle anything because he will not bring you to anything that he won’t bring you through. That’s so hard to remember when you are deep in the valley. They are easy words to say when someone else is going through a tough time but not so easy words to believe in when you are the one going through something tragic. Brent and I have grown so much closer as a couple and as christians. I pray that God continues to use us, our experience and Evan’s life as a testimony to others. We’ve learned firsthand how to walk in faith and not by sight. I pray that everyone reading this is a christian and that everyone knows Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. If not, please ask him into your heart today so that you can know Him like I do. There is no greater love than that love with Jesus has for you.
I ask that all of you continue to keep me, Brent and our family in your prayers. Services for Evan will be Tuesday afternoon. We need all the prayer that we can get to make it through the upcoming days, weeks and months ahead. Thank you all for the support, love and prayers that you have provided us in the weeks past and that I know you’ll continue to provide in the upcoming time. One of the nurses in Birmingham told me that this was going to be so hard and that it wasn’t going to be a party but that one day we would be “ok.” Please pray in the upcoming days for us to come upon a day that we are ok. Even if it is one ok day among a lot of other hard days.
We do rest assured knowing that Evan is in Jesus’ arms being sung lullabies. I’m going to leave with a poem that I saw on the internet the other day. I’ve been drawing comfort from this poem in the last two days.

Daddy please don’t look so sad, Mommy please don’t cry. I am in the arms of Jesus and He sings me lullabies. Please do not try to question God, don’t think He is unkind. Don’t think he sent me to you and that He changed His mind. I am special and I’m needed up above. I’m a special child you gave Him, the product of your love. I’ll always be there with you, so watch the sky at night. Find the brightest star that’s gleaming, That’s my halo’s brilliant light. So Daddy please don’t look so sad, Mommy please don’t cry. I am in the arms of Jesus and He sings me lullabies. -Author Unknown