If life were a movie, after our busy day at the hospital meeting doctors and getting the MRI, it would soon be time to have the baby. But real life isn't like that. We still had at least 6 weeks before Nathan was likely to be born. Or at least we hoped that he would wait that long! The longer he waited to arrive, the better it would be for him. That was the good part of having so much time.
Ironically, the bad part was having so much time. The meeting with Dr. Yoder weighed heavily on my mind over the next few days, especially the part where he discussed "compassionate care."
Since the day we had decided to move forward believing that our son would survive this whole ordeal, it was somewhat of an unspoken rule around the house that you don't bring up the "What ifs," even though I know we both thought about them, probably more than we wanted to or would admit to at the time, as if that would be showing a lack of faith in God and His healing power.
Relatively soon our son would be born. This was closer and closer to reality. How long would he live? Minutes? Hours? Days? Would there be time for me to hold him? Or would his mom be the only one to experience that? I couldn't take that away from her. Would he know I was his dad? Would he know how much I loved him?
If he doesn't make it, how do you arrange for a funeral? Where would we bury him? How do you deal with all that?
All the questions I had avoided seriously asking myself and many more now flooded my head.
What do you do? I did the only thing I could do --- I prayed.
But what do you say?
I had prayed for Nathan countless times in the last two months. But now it was somehow different. I don't know how to explain it very well, but it was just different now.
Before, even though Nathan was sick and we had known all along that there existed the possibility that he might not make it, that possibility was now more of a blatant reality. The abstract and intangible was now way more real and tangible.
How do you plead to you Heavenly Father for your child's life? What do you say? Do you foolishly think you can barter for his life? Does your child "deserve" to live more than any other child? Are you more privileged or special than someone who has lost a child that you think God "owes you?"
I didn't know what to say to Him. But I knew He understood my heart. I knew He understood how much I loved my son. I knew how much He loved His Son too. So I couldn't say to Him that Nathan deserved to live, but I could say that if he did, Bekah and I would teach him to be a good and righteous man, to love God and his fellow man, and to serve them both. That was all I had to offer. And if in His infinite and perfect mercy and wisdom that meant that Nathan got to live, then we would do our best to keep that promise. But if not, then I prayed His mercy would be enough to keep my heart soft and curb any bitterness or resentment that I might have if He decided that He needed Nathan on the other side of the veil more than we He needed him here with us.
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