"If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?"
-David Livingstone

October 13, 2011

One Year

Quite honestly, I am acutely uncomfortable sharing so much of us with the wide audience that comes with the worldwide web. And yet what is a story if it isn’t shared?

Little did I know one year ago, October 13, what the next year of my life would hold in store.

It would be crazy. I would spend days and days in hospital after hospital. And I would be more tired than anything I had priorly experienced had ever made me. Spit-up would be my new trademark scent. I would wear pasty white stains on my shoulders as badges of honor. And I would experience the joy of more gummy smiles and giggles than I had ever dreamed up.

A year of miracles. Of a miracle.

I go back to that night one year ago.

A tiny hut. Little still-breathing skeletons wrapped in rags. Almost smaller than my hand. Their spindly legs matching my finger. . .

The doctor insisting that they had to have a mother’s name on record and finally asking if they could put mine down. In the haze of the moment I agreed. Little did I realize the significance of my assent.

Five hope-filled days later. The longest night of my life standing so helplessly beside his incubator in ICU, cradling his tiny swollen form in my hands. Wishing life into him. Listening to the swish and hiss of the ventilator, so harsh. His tiny fingers gripping mine for the last time. Watching the agonizing slow and fatal drop of those numbers. . . Praying. Pleading. And in my head so often plays those words, so stiff and feelingless, “Please sign for your son’s body.” Nothing in life had prepared me for that. And once again I cry that it wasn’t supposed to be this way. I had given my heart away.

That night I stumbled away broken, trying to find God in this. I wanted to run, but I couldn’t, not far. There was one more who needed me. I didn’t want to and I didn’t feel ready for this. I curled up beside him on that too big hospital bed. The question wasn’t how could I, but how could I not?

I never looked back.

And... eventually... it would all boil down to one word. Commitment.

His prognosis was poor. They didn’t want to give me much hope. But he was a fighter. With a Father who has a purpose for his small life.

I remember those first months. Daily cleaning out his large and ugly pressure sore. Nights when I paced with him in my arms. The times when I sat just looking at him and wondering what it would be like when he would actually fit into newborn size clothes. That first little trek that I took him - all 3.4 lbs of him - on, clinging to rocks to keep from slipping. Rarely have I been so scared. I decided that we would indeed be going again, but we'd give it a couple months! What felt like forever in and out of hospitals. . . Sending him off for surgery. And then those amazing months of health and joy and growth. Standing so helplessly once again by a bedside, this time at 10-months-old, hearing that his chances weren’t good and watching him fight for life. Surrendering him to his Father. . . God continuing to walk with us, step by step, through this journey of miracles and faithfulness. . . We’ve walked together through thick and thin.

Those days stretched out forever and yet fled so quickly.

And now we’re past one year. I wonder where the time went and I realize that the days feel long, but the years are so short. . . .

As I’ve heard it said, I only hope that he learns half from me of what I’ve learned from him.

I’m not the same person I was one year ago today.

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[For anyone wondering on the quality (or maybe I should say nonexistent quality) of the pictures. . . all the newer ones were taken on my computer. So there!:)]

I also want to say a very heartfelt thank-you to all of you who have prayed us through this journey, this year. Thank-you!


  1. God is so faithful Maria, so faithful... He has gotten both you and Jabez through sooo much in such a short time!I can't even begin to imagine it all. What a year this has been for you!
    And thank you for sharing with the blog world. If you didn't, it would be such a loss.
    And he looks more adorable than ever:)

  2. Not many blog posts make me cry. But then there's some that do.....

  3. Wow, an amazing journey you have been on, Maria. And yes, thanks for sharing blogs with us! (You too Sara--small world lol!)

  4. Jabe truly is such a miracle! And what a journey this year has been for you both. I'll never forget when I saw him for the first time---a tiny, fragile skeleton. I was so afraid to touch him, for fear he'd break in my hands. I also remember 9 months later, when he sat in my lap, a healthy, giggling boy with a contagious smile & a heart full of laughter. What a change that only God could bring--through the love & care of a dedicated disciple. ;-) I'll be praying for you & Jabe in the next year to come. =) (miss you!)