I could tell by the look in the nurse’s eyes she wasn’t sure I understood what she was saying. We stared at each other, she with one brow lifted in question for some sign of comprehension on my end; me drifting inside myself with a host of “what if’s” tumbling through my mind.
My twins, due in two months, would be delivered in a matter of hours. The medical staff had done their best to keep them in, and now they had no choice but to take them out surgically.
In part I was relieved. My son, whose water had burst five days earlier, and whose heart stopped with every contraction, couldn’t possibly survive much longer. But the nurse wanted me to acknowledge the risks of such an early delivery: long-term disabilities, breathing difficulties, jaundice, stunted growth, brain defects…and very possibly death. My husband squeezed my hand and spoke for me. Yes we understood. Yes we were prepared.
But no…I wasn’t.
I remember feeling so cold that the blanket tucked around my swollen body was about as effective as it could’ve been warming a block of ice. A new mother, never having held one of my children, I wasn’t at all prepared for the worst. In truth I wanted nothing to do with it.
In my mind’s eye I saw my children alive and healthy, growing and happy. From the first toddled steps to the first days of school; then on to camping trips, family vacations, and game days. That’s what I was prepared for. My heart, which others wanted me to coax into being ready for anything, was defiantly unyielding in its loyalty to the original plan. Come what may, problems and all, I wanted those babies.
But soon enough, as with every other time when my will has rushed to the frontlines of battle and tossed it’s proud locks, words buried in my core began to whisper what I knew all along to be true. It wasn’t my choice. And no amount of will could change that. Whether either twin would suck that first breath of God’s given air into their lungs, or pass quietly on to the call of their Maker, was out of my hands.
I had to lay before Him the desire of my heart – that He let my babies live – then lay my will flat-faced on the floor in submission to His, and accept whatever He chose for me. And in all that still know that He loves me, He is for me, and He is now and forever will be my King. As soon as I did that I had peace about the entire situation, and was finally prepared in the way the doctors and nurses wanted me to be prepared.
What strange creatures we are! What is it in us that makes us automatically think when we’re willing to let go of something we desperately want, it means we’ve already lost it? For at that time, though I still had hope, and I knew beyond doubt that God could not only let them live but make them completely healthy, I was internally cringing in preparation for loss.
I look back on that now, nine years which seem to have passed as quickly as nine glorious sunsets, and I can imagine Him looking down at me on that rather hard, sterile rollaway. His eyes full of compassion as He listened to the fears suppressed beneath my brave exterior. He knew I would love Him no matter what – perhaps He just wanted me to know it too – then He blessed me with two completely healthy, beautiful babies.
My twins – His twins – turned nine recently. And as they reminisce over the fun they had bringing in the “big nine,” I sit back and look at them in celebration. Not just celebration for their lives, but also celebration of the worthy, mighty Father who gave them life. He who did not spare His own Son, spared both my son and my daughter.
And He is now, and will forever be, my King.