THE PHONE CALL
I was in my church staff meeting when I got the call.
Haylee typically knows that I am in that particular meeting before lunch on Tuesdays, so when I saw her name light up my phone, I had a feeling it could be fairly urgent. I wasn’t alarmed, but knew I needed to take the call. I excused myself, walked out into the parking lot and I answered... and I heard Haylee crying. Violently crying.
Frankly I couldn’t make out much of what she was saying, but I heard her say that she was driving to me. And then I heard something about the baby. “What about the baby? Is everything ok with the baby??”
“I don’t think so.” Sobbing.
After a few minutes she calmed down enough to tell me between sobs that she got word from the Doctor... the routine blood screen came back placing the baby at extremely high risk for Trisomy 18. Edwards Syndrome.
Edwards Syndrome? What’s that? Honestly I never heard of it. I had my headphones in so I started to google it while she was still crying on the phone. I read briefly on WebMD and other sites the cursory information available. But I really don’t remember much of what I read, because there was only only word that I saw... Fatal. She began to explain that it was just a screen so there was a possibility of a false positive, but these are such rare cases that the odds aren’t good. I told her I would go inside and grab my things, and then when she gets here she and I can go pray and talk.
I got off the phone and went into the office and grabbed my stuff. I was crying by this point too, so Josh (co-pastor) and Valerie (administrator) were naturally concerned. I shared with them what I knew, all the while trying to reassure myself that it could be a false positive. We went into the parking lot, Josh prayed for us, and then I got in the car and we drove to the bay. It was a beautiful day... so we just watched the water, prayed, researched on our phones, cried, prayed some more.
Scripture after scripture began to flood my mind. Mostly Psalms. “I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord.” (Ps 77:1-2a). We prayed for a very long time. Not even knowing what to pray. Details were still not solid. During that time, we heard from Jen (our obstetrician and friend), telling us to schedule a meeting with the High Risk doctor in Pensacola. So we went to Faye’s house (friend) and picked up the kids... drove home and scheduled the High Risk appointment for the next week. The seven days afterwards would be the longest of my life, waiting for that appointment.
Throughout the entire week, emotions ran high. I was filled with sorrow for Haylee that she was even going through this. I was filled with confusion... how was this happening? Why was it happening? But in the midst of the confusion... I was so thankful for the rock that is the Word of God. In our time of distress, God’s word was like salve to my soul. Thank God for the rock of His Word:
“Hear my cry, O God,
listen to my prayer;
From the end of the earth I call to you
When my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I,
for you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy.
Let me dwell in your tent forever!
Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings. Selah.”
I have found that there is nothing in life that can provide such strength and encouragement as the Word of God. All I knew is that the waves began to crash against my soul... my wife’s soul... and our family. The storm of life hit us, and hit us hard. But the rock that God led us to was His Word... reminding us of His goodness. His faithfulness. His kindness. His mercy. His love.
No matter what wave hits us, we want to dwell with Him. We want to take refuge under the wings of our Lord. In the waiting... we trust the Lord. May God grant us Grace to Trust Him more in this season.