(To read part 1 of Christin’s story, click here.)
Mauricio and I understood that both my son and daughter, equally, were being woven together by the Lord, that He loved them immeasurably, and that He had a plan for both of them. We knew that God could do a miracle and save our son if He so chose. How freeing it was to know that it was His responsibility to make that decision, not ours. With hearts full of hope emboldened by faith, we determined to bring our son before God’s throne of grace in prayer.
Walking by Faith
And so, along with our church, family, friends, and even strangers, that’s what we did. We prayed. We prayed that the babies would not be born early. God answered. I was induced on March 20th at 38 weeks, exactly the day the doctors had determined to be ideal.
We prayed that Nathaniel would survive being intubated upon birth. God answered, and the doctors told us he did better than expected. We prayed that Nathaniel would stabilize enough to be transported to the Children’s Hospital. God answered, and the doctors told us he did better than expected. We prayed that he would survive the surgery to move the organs down into his abdomen and patch the hernia. God answered, and the doctors said he did better than expected.
We prayed that Nathaniel would survive the terrible infection that set in after surgery and that God would heal his organs that were beginning to fail. God answered, and Nathaniel made incremental progress, gradually healing and learning to breathe on his own as his lungs grew.
We prayed that Nathaniel would be able to go home, and after a ten-week hospital stay, God answered. We welcomed Nathaniel home on May 31, 2017. The Lord answered our greatest prayer and saved our precious boy. Though the journey was difficult and he required a year of weekly follow up, today Nathaniel is a healthy and happy little boy—you would never know he had once been so sick. We have never regretted for a moment choosing life for our little boy.
Maybe you’re reading this blog, and you too have received a prenatal diagnosis or find yourself in a crisis pregnancy. Maybe you have had your world upended and now your heart is reeling like a sailor pitched about by violent winds on a stormy sea. Is fear holding you captive? Fear of the unknown, of suffering, of inadequacy, of want?
Dear moms and dads, may I encourage you? Right now, though the future may seem bleak, this is not the end of your story. You may feel like giving up and giving in to the despair and false claim that abortion will solve the “problem.” But there is One who is calling you with gentle yet firm reassurances to trust in Him. He’s saying to you, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go,” (Joshua 1:9).
A Trip to Holland
Pam Vredevelt, author of Angel Behind the Rocking Chair and mother of a son with Down syndrome, uses the following analogy to explain how she learned to accept the life trajectory she’d been given.
Imagine you’ve been planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy. You’re all packed, your hotels are booked, and you’re ready to go, but instead of landing in Italy, you find yourself in Holland. How disappointing! How did you end up here? It feels like a disaster. You have to learn a new language, meet people you hadn’t planned on meeting, and find new places to stay. Before long, though, you realize that Holland is a wonderful country with many interesting places to visit and things to do. Italy isn’t better, it’s just different. You could mourn the fact you never got to go to Italy, or you can choose to enjoy your new destination.
Romans 8:28 says, “We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Each of us has a choice. We can choose to trust in the Lord’s good purpose for our lives and the lives of our children, or we can reject God by taking matters into our own hands. We can come before Him with a humble, child-like faith and a willingness to learn, persevere, and grow. When we, like Pam Vredevelt, choose to anchor ourselves to Jesus as we face the storms of life, we find ourselves secure and able to withstand the fiercest tempest.
Receiving the Crown of Life
Is prenatal diagnosis easy? No. Is having a sick child easy? No. Is suffering easy? No. Let me tell you, it’s hard. Very hard. But our suffering, if we allow it, can be the very thing we so desperately need to draw us nearer to the Lord than ever before. As we cry out to Him, as we cling to His Word and His promises, and as we learn to draw our strength from Him, we will see Him move. The situation around us may not change. He might not heal our child. But we will change. And ultimately, as James explains, we’ll gain the greatest reward: “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” (verse 12).
Jesus held my hand, walked with me over the stormy waters, and led me to shore.
He can do the same for you.
If you want to read more of my story or sign up for timely messages of hope, please visit www.christinrosa.com. You can also find me on Instagram @christin.a.rosa. Stay tuned for my first book, Saving Nate: Choosing Life After a Hopeless Prenatal Diagnosis, to be released later this year.
 Vredevelt, P. (1997). Angel Behind the Rocking Chair. Multnomah Publishers, Inc.