Saturday, January 8, 2011


The holidays are officially winding down in our house. Family has gone home, Daddy is back to work, the decorations are finally put away, and though a few houses around still have their Christmas lights up (and lets just face it...those aren't coming down...ever) it's beginning to look at lot like plain ol' winter. But this past week we did celebrate a birthday (Happy Birthday Mema) and we did recognize an anniversary. Actually...we recognized 2 anniversaries. Twins you might say...except that they are exactly one day apart. The first anniversary is not the kind you celebrate...but it is the kind you never forget. It is the anniversary of the day I felt my world crumble around me and I'd have liked to buried myself in the rubble and never come out. It is the day we were told our little unborn baby had no hope at a healthy, happy life. The day we were told to just give this one up and start over. The day we learned about SB. Last year - 1 year since that day - it snowed - covering everything with a beautiful light blanket of renewal, simplicity, and peace.
It felt as if God was whispering "I remember...I was with you...I am still with you...and I make all things new."

This past Friday marks 2 years since that day. And I still remember with perfect clarity - the heartache. I remember how the tears actually hurt my eyes as I sobbed. I remember how my head felt as if it would burst as I tried to comprehend what was happening. I remember looking at David...and then looking at nothing...trying to make my mind go blank. I remember hours of going numb...then suddenly feeling as if I was being ripped apart. I remember being so angry...but even more - so deeply hurt at how this could happen. How could He let this happen? And every time I hear about someone losing a child, anyone facing this kind of pain and heartache - it brings all those feelings back - and my throat goes tight and I cannot help but cry for them. Oh how I wish I could take it away.
No one should ever have to feel that way.
It's the deepest hurt I've every felt.
Crushing. Suffocating. Heartbreaking.
But this year, as I stood in my mom's kitchen and watched my little boy toddle around the floor and play with his Aunt Kay - amid the feelings of gratitude and love and pure awe of God's mercy - I felt a gentle reminder that this isn't the only anniversary I should be reflecting on...nor is it the most powerful.
For as I stood in the kitchen, my mom pointed to a family of bluebirds out the window - "Look" she said. "Look at how many there are today. On the day you found out about Jet's diagnosis - my heat was breaking for you. I remember coming to the window and looking out - and seeing the bluest bird I've ever seen. I'd been waiting for them and hadn't seen a single one all winter. They are my favorite bird - so beautiful. And I looked out the window and there he was. And I knew. God was taking care of you. God was going to make it all okay. And I just had to trust Him, and wait." I remember her telling me that last year, and this year as we stood there seeing at least 4 or 5 of God's little promises fly around her bird feeder,
I wasn't brought back to the day of pain and suffering...
I was brought back to the day of a beautiful miracle.
And there in my heart I celebrated the second anniversary.
The anniversary of the next day.
The day we got in the car and went for a second ultrasound. The "second opinion". Where the second doctor would check things out and tell us what was happening with our baby. For the second time I watched as the ultrasound tech pointed out our little one's tiny fingers and toes - but this time I cried silently through the whole thing as she was unknowingly tearing out my heart with every word she said. How could I look at my sweet little boy knowing I was going to lose him. Knowing he was not okay. When the doctor came in we were prepared to hear the devastating news for the second time.
But we didn't.
For in one day's time things had completely changed. Our baby did indeed have SB - but it was not as life-threatening as originally thought or seen on the first ultrasound (what? confused? read more here). I could hardly breathe - I was stunned - not willing to let myself believe him at first. But as we talked I not only knew that the doctor wasn't making any sense - I knew why he couldn't explain it -

"...the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14-15

The reason the doctor's explanation sounded weak was because it wasn't medically reasonable. - it was divinely miraculous. God had made possible what I hadn't dared to hope for. I had prayed for a miracle - and God gave it to me - even when I didn't think it would happen.
I have never been so humbled. So thankful. So loved. So sure.
On the second day...God gave our baby a second chance at life.
I don't claim to know everything. Nor do I understand why some don't ever get to celebrate this "second anniversary." It breaks my heart to know that is true.
But I know God's hand is over it all.
And I know He loves His children.
And I trust Him to make everything new in His time.

So this year, I am remembering to celebrate that second anniversary.
The day God showed us He is still in control...
...and the day we learned everything is going to be okay.


HennHouse said...


Kelley Churchill said...

I am Beckett's Nana. Although I have read about your family and your sweet baby Jet regularly since soon after we received Beckett's diagnosis, I have never commented before. I can't move on this time. This post is ABSOLUTELY beautiful!! Thank you so much for sharing your precious thoughts, for being such an encouraging friend to my Meghan and all other SB Mommas, and for sharing your God-given talents of writing and photography with us. You are so right sweet Joanna, God is still in control, your beautifully PERFECT baby boy is a miracle, an everything is going to be okay. God Bless You!

JourneyWithTheCrosiers said...

Well Joanna, I was going to comment about how perfect this post was, about how 2 years seems to make such a difference, but my momma said it better above. I'll just leave it at that.
LOVE the new header picture of Jet WALKING all by himself!

Scasmflops said...

Amazing isnt it. How your heart just swells with the pain that you know was faced and felt... how it freshens it in your own heart. Then the miracle we all have experienced.... A heart swelling with happiness, joy, love, and perfect understanding. Oh friend, these anniversaries, are indeed the perfect reminders of how great our God is and how much care he has for us.... bringing us all bluebirds. Love girl!

truly blessed said...

amen, momma. amen.

Jill said...

Just so perfect. Just so you. :) Happy anniversary.

Sarah Hull said...

beautiful. this should be published and given to doctors to give to new SB moms. You are wonderful. The Lord is so good and has such a plan for each of us. I am forever grateful for your miracle and for mine too! We are so blessed!! love you!

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