Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sweet Baby Emily and the Ring.

Last Friday night, we got a call from Ryan (Tim’s brother-in-law) that his sister, Laura, was going to be induced with baby Emily on Saturday in Denver. The doctors were unanimous that it was time. She was nearing 39 weeks pregnant with Emily now. If you haven’t read my blog for long, they found out at 20 weeks (while going in to find out the sex) that baby Emily had a rare condition called anencephaly and that she would not live. Ryan and Laura were shocked, confused, scared… but in love with their daughter. 95% of babies with this condition are aborted. They never questioned whether Emily would be given life. They put the situation completely in the hands of God… the One Who created her life and submitted to whatever His plan was for their baby. They cried and prayed and loved every kick during the last 9 months of having her. Laura sewed her a hat and a blanket to be buried in and prayed over her life… that she would be set apart for the gospel and used in big ways for the Kingdom.
So, now, it was time. The day we had all dreaded (yet anticipated) was here. And Tim wasn’t going to miss it. After we hung up the phone, we booked a direct flight out of Atlanta and he was in Denver the next morning. We didn’t tell them he was coming. He walked into her hospital room and surprised his sweet sister. She loves him dearly and was so excited he was able to share in such a special day.
She didn’t end up being induced because when she checked in the hospital, she was already in labor. Tim hung out and prayed and waited on Emily’s arrival. Laura was absolutely full of grace and beauty while laying in her hospital bed. Tim was amazed by her.
Baby Emily died right before she was born. Ryan and Laura were alone in the room when she arrived.
I cannot imagine.
Tim was able to hold baby Emily. This little girl changed him forever. He was so weepy yet in awe of this perfect little baby who now knows in full what we only know in part. (1 Cor 13:12) She was so tiny, yet perfect. Tim was sending me pictures. The only word that kept coming to my mind was “Sacred”.
Her lips were so beautiful that it made me cry as it reminded me of how Ryan and Laura had cared for her during these months. That they were good stewards of their precious baby daughter while she was in their care. Their love for her was made obvious through her beauty.
Laura had made hats for all of her other 3 children that matched Emily to have a birthday party for Emily.
Her older two children were sad and had lots of questions but her 3 yr old daughter, said, “Hey baby. Where’s the cake?”. Laura said, “she just doesn’t understand”. I said, “Laura, maybe she is the only one who DOES understand. And if we understood, we would be asking, “where’s the cake?”. The reality is that we are stuck here and she never knew this fallen world. She was freed from all that we have to go through until we are face-to-face with Christ.
Laura’s heart is broken yet she is so steadfastly in love with Jesus it is shocking. She said, “Steph, Emily never knew pain, sin or the hurt of this world. She never even took a breath of our polluted air.”
When I prayed for her, I prayed that just as Emily was protected in her womb, so Laura would be hidden in Christ during the dark days to come. So safe. So secure. So protected from the pain of this world… because she, like Emily, is being hidden in the shelter of the Almighty.
I got to talk to Laura for a long time from her hospital bed. She mostly talked about the GOODNESS of God. How He carried her through delivery, how she didn’t have to be induced, how baby Emily had a smile on her face when she was born. (What an awesome angelic escort she must have had. I cannot wait until I get to see what she saw.)
Only through Christ are we given such beautiful promises and gifts. Only through Christ is Laura going to be able to navigate through the dense darkness waiting on her at her house and at Emily‘s funeral. Because His light permeates the darkest darkness.
They are making a video of ultrasounds and professional pictures of Emily. I cannot wait to share it with you on the blog. Ryan and Laura chose the narrow road and honored Emily till the very end. They were faithful. The narrow road can be hard but there is so much blessing there. There is never regret. There is much peace. But, most importantly Jesus is there and He carries you every step of the way. If you don’t know Christ as your personal savior, run into His forgiving arms today.
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved“. Joel 2:32

To read more about Emily and her family... click


We are at the beach having a great time. Tim gets here soon and I have missed him terribly. I have 2 girlfriends here with me and we are having an incredible time chasing boys, cooking, laughing, lounging in our Pjs, and laying in the sun.
Yesterday, we were sitting on the beach while Reece was snorkeling and Bubba was riding waves. Reece came up out of the water screaming, “Momma, momma!! I found a treasure! I found a treasure!!”. He came running out of the ocean toward us. I was sure his “treasure” would be a broken shell or a pile of seaweed, but instead he places a beautiful gold college ring with a diamond in it into my hand. I said, “oh my goodness, Reece! You DID find a treasure!!”. I looked on the inside where I saw a name inscribed.
When we got back to the condo, I called Tim and told him about Reece’s treasure. I gave him the name on the ring and told him to try and find the owner. He found him by googling his name. He found a number and called. Tim said, “Hi. My name is Tim Blackiston. We just found something that might belong to you---”. The guy said, “My ring! My ring! You found my ring! I can’t believe it!!”. Tim talked to him and realized he was a Christian. He said the ring was very sentimental because it had taken him 12 years to graduate. He had to take night classes because he was married with children while trying to get his degree. It was a huge accomplishment for him and the ring meant so much. He said it had been a gift from his family. He also kept saying, “I am beside myself! We PRAYED that God would help us find that ring!”.
How fun is that story? The chances of Reece finding that ring are 1 in infinity. We are not talking needle in a haystack here.. We are talking IMPOSSIBLE. We explained to Reece that his “treasure” belonged to someone else and that they had lost it and prayed to find it. That God used him to be the hero! He was so proud but a little sad to have to part with his beloved “treasure”.
I just think this is the coolest story of answered prayer and such a glimpse of the power of God. How God allows us to be involved in miracles for our fun. He must love watching things like this. Hearing the prayer of the owner and having Reece swim closer and closer to the ring in the bottom of the ocean. It wasn’t immediate though. The ring had been there since July. You wonder about God’s perfect timing and why the need to wait. To increase our faith? to show His greatness on a bigger scale? Because He wanted to wait until our family was here to let US be a part of a miracle because He just wanted to bless us… Reece especially? Reece prays in homeschool that God would make him a prayer warrior. Maybe God knew he would need to remember this story later in life as he prays for a miracle. Maybe God just plain wanted to show us His glory when we weren’t expecting it.
Anyway, we saw a miracle yesterday. A tangible example of how God answers prayers. Had this happened if the owner didn’t ask? I don’t know. How many times has God wanted to do miracles for me and I didn’t ask because I thought they were too big… too hard… too impossible. There is no way your miracle is bigger than this one.
Pray for a miracle in your marriage. Pray for your children to be used in miraculous ways. Pray for a miraculous healing. Pray for God to open your womb and give you a child. Pray for God to bring you a godly husband. Pray for the impossible.
He simply tells us to ask Him... and He treasures your prayers way more than Reece cherishes the ring.
“For nothing is impossible with God”. Luke 1:37
“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayers”. 1 Peter 3:12
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened… If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!” Matt 7:7-11
Be blessed~


Angela said...

Oh, Steph. My heart breaks and yet rejoices for and with them. Andrew is eating breakfast across the table from me, where I'm sitting here reading this. He pointed to my face and said, "Mommy, what's that wet drop?" I told him it was a tear. He asked if I had a boo-boo. :(

That story of the ring is amazing! I'm glad you're having a great time at the beach! I'm jealous! :)

Jill said...

Thanks for telling us about Laura and Emily. I appreciate the way you told about it, I welled up with tears just knowing she is with the Almighty. I am so glad you and the boys are having fun at the beach, I guess you are having fun with that little girl too, since you felt her move last night. I miss you and our chats. I love how God is moving in His people, and how when we are obedient we know His mercy, grace and goodness in a supernatural way. Pray for us down here in FL, we are beginning a training study to encourage and nuture marriages. We are so excited to strengthen covenants between couples so the trials of life and the works of the enemy are exposed.

Taylor said...

My heart knows all too well the pain of losing a precious baby. My prayers are with Tim's sister and her family as they face these difficult days.

Carrie said...

Stephanie, so sorry to hear of their loss, but so inspired and moved by their faith. Let them know they are in our prayers for comfort and healing. Such an amazing and hard journey for them.

And what a beautiful story of the ring! I am so glad it could be returned...and his prayers were answered! So awesome to be a part of his prayer! Love that! Beautiful pictures! I hope Tim will be with you all soon...I know it's not the same without daddy! We spent a week in Floriday w/o Dan...and we sure missed him! Enjoy those sweet boys!

Jenny said...

Thanks so much for sharing both amazing miracle stories! I am without words....My heart is full of mixed emotions after reading Emily & The Ring. God is using you Steph more than you can imagine. Thanks for giving & sharing all that God has blessed your family with. In addition, what can I do to ensure that Addie & Reece get married someday? ; )

Tara said...

Praying for your family.

Melanie said...

Wow! AMEN!! You are an amazing, godly prayer warrior. I am so blessed to have found your blog and can't wait to read more.

I, too, homeschool my children (have only been doing so for three years) though they are much older (11 & 13). I am impressed at how you teach your children about Scripture. I did not do that when they were young and am trying to figure out how to incorporate it now. Any advice?

Thanks for your transparency and obvious love for the Lord! It's inspiring to read.