Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: FEET (01/17/19)
- TITLE: Seeing the Good News in Bad News
By Laurie Staples
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Alas, I am often a part of the “ugly” feet bringing BAD news, focussing on the doom and gloom rather than making a concerted effort to share the GOOD news of the gospel.
When I first meet people, I dread the usual “get acquainted” inquiries. Invariably, I am asked if I have children, and if so, how many and their ages.
When I tell them I have three—thirty-two, twenty-eight, and sixteen, they usually respond: “Awww, so the third one must have been a surprise? How fun!”
I’m tempted not to share my story, because it is inevitably considered very BAD news indeed. But because it opens up the door to share my testimony, I feel I must. "Yes," I answer, "He was a surprise, but maybe not so much 'fun.' He was born severely impaired both mentally and physically. He is blind and unable to do anything on his own—kind of like a giant, un-responsive infant."
And of course, they think it’s awful.
I tell them it’s not as awful as it sounds, that his life has purpose and about the good he has brought into our life.
* * * *
I wasn’t supposed to be able to conceive again, yet miraculously, I did. When that positive line on that pregnancy test appeared, I was filled with a staggering surge of hope and joy. Maybe a miracle baby was just what we needed to get the focus off of ourselves and the mess we’d made of our marriage. Maybe it would motivate us to embrace forgiveness, to trust God for His healing powers, for His mercy and grace to move us beyond the pain we'd inflicted on each other.
When I told my doctor about the positive pregnancy test, he wanted me to come right in for an ultrasound, convinced it was a tubal or ectopic pregnancy—he was wrong. But he claimed it wasn’t a viable pregnancy and should be terminated it as soon as possible.
As I listened to him speak, I spotted a flickering light on the ultrasound screen and asked what it was.
"The yolk's heartbeat,” he replied.
"The yolk?" I'd never heard of the term. "I'm not willing to stop a beating heart."
I was appalled at the suggestion. If God hadn't allowed me to see that heartbeat, I wouldn't have considered the "yolk" inside me as a life at all. I would have agreed to the recommended “procedure.”
My husband, Bob, had accompanied me to the ultrasound and urged me to follow the doctor’s advice, but I was unwavering in my conviction that God had allowed this pregnancy to evolve despite the unbelievable odds to the contrary.
In the weeks that followed, Bob continued to plead with me to terminate the pregnancy. He wouldn't have welcomed the idea of a healthy baby much less one with disabilities. He didn't view this "yolk" as a person, but rather an obstacle. An obstacle to our newfound freedom now that our older children had reached the age of self-sufficiency. An obstacle that could easily be removed, a removal many thought reasonable.
Thankfully, God dramatically intervened to change Bob’s mind. Bob has never had trouble sleeping. He falls asleep immediately and sleeps as soundly as the dead. So it was highly unusual for him to be awakened in the middle of the night with a Bible verse reverberating through his mind...Proverbs 6:17. He wasn't familiar with the passage, but he felt led to get up and look it up. These particular words leapt out at him: “God hates…the shedding of innocent blood.” Tears of shame filled his eyes. How could he have begged me to end a life God had created?
After our son’s birth, we were warned a vast majority of marriages don't survive such devastating news. Though the odds were overwhelmingly against it, Brett healed our marriage like nothing else could. I witnessed a selfless love and devotion I'd never seen in Bob before. He witnessed a strength and faith in me he didn't realize I had.
So in the end, my feet do bring the “good news” the scripture refers to—because of Jesus’ sacrifice, Brett will have a glorious, perfect body in Heaven and perhaps Jesus’ face will be the first face he ever sees. So you see? Brett’s life isn’t bad news, it’s actually very good news indeed.
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