Saturday, November 3, 2012

Why I Didn't "Just Take Care of It"

It's been a while, hasn't it?

This post has been about four years in the making. I have started to write it several times, and have probably written it, in my head, from start to finish more times than I can count. I am not sure why now seems like the time to finally publish this... I know it is the Lord's prompting... but other than that, I don't know.

I starting crafting this post, at least mentally, shortly after we first learned of Isaac's complications in 2008. Upon tearily {or in reality, more like sobbingly} sharing the news with several people, some of them asked me point blank: "Why don't you just take care of it?"

Take care of it? Take care of IT??

To be honest, I was so stunned by the question, I didn't even know how to respond. Eventually, I did respond to each of the people who asked; but still, the question has sort of haunted me because it seems to make a statement about a very widely accepted view in our culture about the life of the unborn: "They aren't really people yet." "Children who are developing less than perfectly are expendable." "If the child won't live long anyway, why not just end it now?"

Let me be clear: This world view is completely counter to the word of God, and is, quite simply, untrue.

I didn't "just take care of it" because from the moment of conception, my child had value, dignity, and worth. He was not expendable.

 I didn't "just take care of it" because choosing to end the life of an unborn, yet fully alive child, is still killing a child.

I didn't "just take care of it" because by the time we had been given Isaac's diagnosis, his heart had been beating for weeks. He had fingers, and toes, and many of his major organs had already formed.

I didn't "just take care of it" because God is bigger than a diagnosis, and He is in the business of miracles.

I didn't "just take care of it" because I knew that any time I had with Isaac was better than none at all.

I didn't "just take care of it" because I knew that God would prove faithful, even if I didn't understand how.

I didn't "just take care of it" because Isaac wasn't an "it." Isaac was a "he".... my son.

But even still, some countered: "But it would be so much easier this way." "If he does live for a while, think about how hard that would be on your family." and even, "It is really hard for doctors to deliver a 'baby like that.""

It just didn't seem to end. From the moment of Isaac's diagnosis up until I was about eight months pregnant, there were questions... looks of surprise when I shared that I wasn't going to terminte the pregnancy... and even being chastised by some in the medical field for our decision to carry Isaac to term.

And all I could think was, "Really? Are they serious?" You see, I never knew Isaac to be a "ball of tissue." I never knew him to be a "fetus." I only knew him to be who he really is: My baby. My child. My son.

And really, that's why I didn't "just take care of it." He's my son. He has never been anything else. He was fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God, and ALL the days of Isaac's life had been ordained before one of them came to be (Psalm 139). From the beginning of time, the Lord knew... He knew how Isaac would develop in the womb; He knew that his life would be 36 weeks 6 days in utero and 16 minutes outside of the womb.

As much as I hoped, prayed, and pleaded with the Lord that his life would be longer, that wasn't God's plan. It wasn't His design. My job as Isaac's mother was this: always protect him, always trust in the Lord with regard to him, always hope for God's best for him, and to always persevere through the tough stuff (1 Corinthians 13). Because, like the song "Unredeemed" by Selah beautifully explains, "When anything is shattered is layed before the Lord, just watch and see... it will not be... unredeemed."

And Isaac's life has been ANYTHING but unredeemed.

His life was redeemed thousands of years ago by the One who has saved him... when Jesus died on the cross.

His life has been redeemed by the Lord by drawing thousands of people closer to Him because of Isaac's story.

His life has been redeemed by the Lord when a few women who have written to me sharing that upon being given a fatal prenatal diagnosis, they were going to end their pregnancy.... but in hearing Isaac's story, chose otherwise.

His life has been redeemed by the Lord in using his life and story to encourage so many other women and families who have also lost a child.

His life has been redeemed by the Lord in using our wrestling for answers, grief, and heartache to cultivate hearts of compassion and sensitivity in his parents.

I could go on.

So why didn't I "just take care of it?" Because he's my son... and I love him more than words could express.