“God, why didn’t you keep my baby safe?”
With each pregnancy, I have prayed for protection over my baby…safety in delivery…and that God would bless us with a healthy child. In addition to that, I have prayed that God would use each of my little ones to bring others to Him. From the deepest part of my heart I have prayed that God would use my children to impact the world for Jesus – whatever that might look like. I know what a scary prayer this is. It’s a little bit like praying for patience…You want to be a patient person, but you don’t want to ever have your patience tested. Or at least I don’t anyway. As I have prayed health and safety and protection over my children, I have had in my head exactly what that should look like – no illnesses, no accidents, no hardships.
After recently being told that our precious daughter has Down’s Syndrome, my first words to the doctor were “We know that God is good, and He does not make mistakes.” As a mama whose heart had just received such devastating news, I have to say that it was not easy to say those words, but I know that they are true.
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How can God be good when we’ve just been handed such a life-altering diagnosis?
How can God be good when everything we’ve ever wanted for our daughter now seems to be gone?
How can God be good when we consider all of the obstacles that might be facing our little one?
How can God be good when our pain is so deep…and the nights seem so dark?
Yes, friends, we are shattered…our nights are long right now…our hurt is like nothing we have ever known…it doesn’t feel like the tears are ever going to stop…but I can tell you without a doubt that God is good. He is holding us right now. In the midst of our heartbreak, we sense His presence in a way we have never known and we are thankful…
…and through all of this, we are right where the Creator wants us to be…clinging to Him…asking Him to be our strength because we are so overcome with weakness right now that at times it seems physically impossible to stand.
Which has me thinking…
…while we as parents are naturally going to ask our Creator to grant our families good health and safety and protection…I can’t help but consider the fact that God’s response to these prayers may not always be exactly what we want.
Our earthly perspective is so skewed. We struggle to see beyond the here and now. It is impossible for us to understand the mind of God – especially when His plans include something that seems so difficult to face…but we can trust His heart. I know that to be true. I am living in that right now.
I think of a local pastor and his wife who – last summer – lost both of their children in a car wreck … God didn’t keep their babies safe.
I think of the Christians all around the world who have given their lives for the Gospel…God didn’t keep them safe.
I think of the family we know who’s little one is battling cancer…God didn’t keep their little one safe.
I think of our friends who have lost babies before they ever had the chance to hold them…God didn’t keep their little ones safe.
….but maybe God wants us to let go of our definition of safety and release our plans to Him so we are able to accept whatever He might have for us…Maybe he wants us to cast aside our safe faith to embrace a more radical Gospel…one that is way more dangerous…one that might even include illness, an accident, or some other kind of hardship.
God never promised us good health, safety, protection, prosperity, etc.
He actually promised that in this world, we would have trials and tribulations…
…but then He followed up that life-altering news with an incredible promise that He has overcome the world.
From our earthly perspective, we would give anything to not be walking through such a difficult time right now. God has not kept our little girl safe or protected from something we would most definitely not have chosen for her, but we are trusting that through this, He will answer the deepest desire of our heart: that He would use her life to impact the world for Jesus.
We are relying on the strength of our good, good Father and asking Him to empower us as we walk in His plan for our family…a plan that most definitely does not look like the healthy, safe, and protected one we would have chosen.
God chose YOU to be her Mommy, her Daddy, her big brothers. What a blessing that is! God put You and I in each other’s special path and I didn’t know what that was but now it speaks clearly! To pray for You, inspire You, support You and I am making a commitment to You right now that You have my word that I will do all these things for You. God chose You!!!! To be the Mommy for this very special little girl. That is a blessing, not a burden. I Love You, Your family and tons of hugs as You go thru this emotional time. Please know You have the support of so many, too many to count. You are very very special to have been hand chosen by our Dear Lord to be Aubrey’s Mommy. Please message me anytime You need an encouraging word!
Excellent words. Thank you for sharing and I’m sure fighting through the tears just to write it. God is already using your story to touch others.(including me)
I’m so sorry you are going through so much.
I am excited though to see how God uses your sweet girl for His glory.
Keep sharing. God will continue to use your gift of writing to touch many.
Please, please I beg You, please listen to me as I just read Your statement over and over again because my heart and mind so badly wants You to realize that God DID keep Your beautiful baby girl safe… He chose YOU to be Her Mommy, Your husband, Her Daddy, Your Sons, her big brothers. All of You, Her positive influence, love, protectors, exactly what She needs…A stay at home homeschooling Mommy! Hugs galore to You my Friend and Your little beauty & Your family!
As the mother of a son with special needs, I know the heartache that you are going through. The death of spoken or unspoken dreams you had for your daughter. The death of dreams that you had for your family. I remember so well when my son was diagnosed at 3 with an autism spectrum disorder – all the dreams I had for him felt shattered around me in pieces. I knew then, as I do now that God was good, all the time and that His plan was perfect. My head knew it, but convincing my mother’s heart was a different story. Let me encourage you by telling you that my son is now 19, he graduated from high school with a B average and with a regular education diploma despite needing special education support through his school career. He is living at home and attending a local technical college. The journey his life has taken us on has been different that what I would have planned. Yes, I did grieve some dreams for him, but God has blessed exceedingly and abundantly beyond what I could have ever imagined for him. Know that God knows your heart and your dreams and He may take your dreams for your daughter in a different direction, but know that He is working a plan together that may exceed what you could have even dreamed for. The unknowns and the fear of the future and what it might look like can rob you of the peace and joy that is in today. Be present, Be in the moment. Rest knowing that God is weaving a beautiful tapestry in the plan He has for your daughter, your family and your future. Be blessed and continue to love well.
“The unknowns and the fear of the future and what it might look like can rob you of the peace and joy that is in today.” Wow! That is a powerful reminder! Thank you so much for encouraging me, Paige! I am so thankful for your kind words and for the way you have seen God in your own story! Much Love, Elizabeth
God is already using you and your sweet baby girl to impact the world for His glory. Praying for you.
Love you – always have! I will be praying for you guys as you navigate all of this and allow the Lord to use this precious one to invite Him so much more intimately into your lives and that of others! You’re going to do this well! He’s got you all❤️
My heart hurts for you and your family as you adjust to this new reality. However, Aubrey was designed perfectly and knit together intricately by God Himself – this was not an accident, this was not a mistake. It is so hard to rest in His sovereignty when it doesn’t make sense.
The past few years have been stormy for my family – I have a brother who is a disaster right now. He is impossible to live with, running away from the Lord, failing his classes and getting into trouble with his school and the law. He is so full of anger. We have prayed and prayed for him, and we know he is in God’s hands and this is all part of His master, perfect plan. All the same, how do you digest that your brother doesn’t want anything to do with the only One who can save him? How can you come to terms with this angry, yelling, unmotivated boy who doesn’t resemble the boy you grew up with at all? This has been infinitely harder for my parents. We definitely know how it feels when nothing makes sense and it seems like your prayers haven’t been answered. I never considered that something like this would happen to my family, a feeling I’m sure you share.
I thought you might find comfort in the truth of this song. I have prayed and rested and cried over these lyrics and I hope you will too. It’s been a complete blessing to me, personally, in the past year, along with the prayers and encouragement of my friends. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XD0cvWImVjA (Not For A Moment – Vertical Church Band)
You, your family, and your beautiful little girl will be in my prayers as you seek peace, wisdom, and guidance from God in the coming weeks and years – as you visit health professionals, love on Aubrey, and are encouraged by your friends and church family.
Amy, thank you so, so much! Your words, the song you shared, your promise to pray – It has all touched me a powerful way, and I appreciate you reaching out! Please know that I am thinking of your family as well! Please keep me posted on how things are going!
“This was not an accident, this was not a mistake.” – thank you for this reminder! Much Love, Elizabeth
I love this, Elizabeth! I have been thinking of you and praying just for this, that God would use your girl and your family to bring glory to Him – and I know He already is! Beautiful post!
God gives his “special” babies to “special ” parents. He will give you all the strength, love and support that you need to do this “special” job. My prayers will include you “special ” people every day. God blesses you xxxxx
This article really touched my heart. Your faith in God is so encouraging. I know He is going to be with you through this journey.
Kali, thank you so much for reading and for encouraging me! I am so glad we have connected!
Yes! I have been there. My heart goes out to you as I remember the heart-shattering days/weeks/months following the diagnosis. I wrote similarly to you here: https://paperfences.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/why-does-my-daughter-have-down-syndrome/ and then several months later wrote this: https://paperfences.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/everything-we-never-knew-we-wanted/
Would love to connect with you at some point!
Sara! Thank you so much! Your posts have touched me so much! I would love to follow along with your blog! Do you have a Facebook page or an Instagram account?
I have had so much fun looking at your blog tonight — so many fun posts! 🙂 Yes, I am on Facebook — Sara Turnow Fragoso. I think we have a mutual friend, Lauren Clemmer???
Oh! And Amelia has her own FB page: Amelia’s Page 🙂
My first clear thought when told my son may have Down syndrome was: A diagnosis is not a prognosis. It says NOTHING about the quality of your child’s life. People with DS have an awesome life. No doctor can tell you otherwise. Your reply to the doctor was perfect and you will see the beauty AND TRUTH in your divinely inspired statement I promise. Love your family and congratulations.
Download the free brochures at http://www.downsyndromepregnancy.org for you and your spouse, another for loved ones and friends. There is even a brochure for your doctor. Please share this link with the doctor too to give to his patients and his peers. The website has links to a wonderful group lovingly supporting families new to this diagnosis. Welcome and find support online and in your local Down syndrome community when you are ready.
Thank you so much! I appreciate you taking the time to encourage me!
Thank you. You have given such eloquent words to your feelings, and I really can’t thank you enough for sharing them with all of us. You have a beautiful family and have such an amazing faith in our Heavenly Father. We try so hard as humans to put His creations into our shortsighted little boxes where we feel safe and protected. We fail over and over because we try to change what He has created to fit our definition of perfect. We feel this insane need to make things fit our schedule and make our lives go the way we want them to and we get so hurt and angry when the pieces just. don’t. fit. Yes, life would be SO much easier if things would just “go our way”. But, like you pointed out, easy is not promised to us. And as my grandfather was fond of saying, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. 😉 Your family is in my prayers for this journey that we are all in together…may you find solace in all those you have comforted, peace in the path that lays ahead, and may you be able to find time to breath, relax, and maybe even take a shower (uninterrupted!). Much love to you and yours!
What an encouragement you are, Stefani! THANK YOU! Your words have meant so much to me this week!