I remember not getting much sleep that night. I clung to my Bible, poured over Scripture and just kept praying for our Father God to fill me with peace. Strangely, I don't remember feeling too much fear... and hindsight I know that was the beginning of a sacred encounter with the Prince of Peace, my Rescuer, my Redeemer.
So many details have faded from my memory so the ones that are here and intact, those memories aren't going anywhere. I remember my friends gathered- waiting. I remember the nurses. I remember our pastoral staff. I remember my family. It felt like a lot of "hurry up and wait" and then suddenly, the time had arrived for Maddox to make his arrival. The room quickly cleared and I prepared myself to meet my second-born. Dusty stood with me, never leaving my side.
At 4:25PM, Maddox entered our world briefly, to remind us how big our God is and how faithful He is to answer all of our prayers. As he was born I remember looking down and his eyes were closed. That is my first memory of any sort of fear. I remember quickly asking our doctor if he was alive... Dusty followed our 3lb. boy to the NICU warmer in the room with the staff prepared to work. That wait felt like an eternity...
Is he alive?
After some dialogue between the staff and our doctor, our amazing, God-send doctor looked at me and said no. It was then that I began to cry. In a moment it felt like everything was snatched up. Like all the air in the room was sucked out and I couldn't breathe. It was only a few hours ago that I felt him moving! How was this possible?
And then my husband.
And then my husband came to my bed. He grabbed my hand and said, "Kenz, he was alive!" I looked at him like he had just missed the last few minutes and said, "No. They said no." He responded with every ounce of confidence and joy and faith, "Yes, he was alive. There was a heartbeat but it was too faint to do anything. But he.was.born.alive! He opened his eyes, looked at me, and then closed them again."
Reading that it almost sounds ludicrous that I wouldn't cry out, yell, question why they didn't try anything. But instead, somehow peace filled my heart. We had prayed very specifically that certain decisions regarding Maddox's care would be removed from our control. And they were. Only moments earlier had it felt like my heart was being torn out of my chest and I felt like I was bleeding out... and then suddenly, there were bandages. Bandages that were drenched in my blood, but bandages of joy, peace, and thankfulness; they were the only things holding me together.
The day was sacred and supernatural. A day that this world would suggest would claim me forever, became the most sacred love-note of my life. He reached out of Heaven and filled me in ways only He could ordain... and I could never put into words.
Fives years later, as I retell a small portion of the story that has gone undocumented, I still bear the scar of that heart-wrenching, painful time. I still cry from time to time. I occasionally think what it would be like with another boy added to the mix. But I never go very long without smiling. Somehow this is all part of His plan. "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'" Isaiah 55:8-9
While I don't have a physical scar to run my hands over, I do have an emotional one. My bleeding heart left an open wound that has taken a significant amount of time to heal. For a while I thought I would never get over the sadness, and crying would be an everyday occurrence. But slowly and surely, He has restored me. And not only that, but He has redeemed my pain. Do I look the same as I did before my heartbreak? Definitely not. And for that I am eternally thankful. I now bear a scar that allows me to grieve with other mothers who have or are walking this road. It's a scar that only those of a shared experience can truly grasp, and while I would have never chosen my journey... I would never trade it.
Thank you Jesus for my beautiful scar. For my beautiful boy. For your Perfect Son. "Oh death, where is your sting? Oh hell, where is your victory? Oh church, come stand in the light, our God is not dead, He's alive, He's alive!"
"I have told you all of these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33