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Our Baby Will Die Moments After Birth; My Heart Is Opening in Surprising Ways

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I'm trying to trust in the midst of despair

From the first moment my wife and I were faced with a fatal diagnosis for our unborn baby, just last week, we’ve been clear about how we will move forward. We feel blessed by God to have the remainder of her pregnancy and the predicted few moments after birth to spend time loving our beautiful new son.

And yet while we knew from the start that we would walk this journey together as spouses and as a family, our situation has honed my sense of compassion to all those who have chosen differently.

The doctors presented us with a choice — termination versus seeing this through — and I can admit there was a part of me that wanted the whole situation to go away. I wanted to have it all be over, cope with it and move on. I wanted to pretend like this wasn’t happening, like our baby had never existed.

Those feelings came out of the deep pain of recognizing that I don’t feel confident I have the strength to get through this.

We are seeing it through, of course, and that means while we are embracing the life our son has — engaging in this terrifying and heartbreaking waiting game — my heart has been dramatically opened to those who decided they could not do it.

I’ve spent much of my 33 years of my life professing my trust in God, my obedience to his will no matter what. But it’s only in a situation like this, when God is asking me to trust in the face of total despair, that I have come to realize what accepting his will really means. It means saying yes to being torn and bled, like Christ. It means exactly what Paul said in Hebrews 10:31: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God.”

As I try my best to trust him, despite my overwhelming anger and unending tears, I better understand all those who weren’t able to, because now I realize that something as simple as saying yes — even with the gift and anchor of faith — is the most difficult thing in the world.

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