Childhood badges of honor are a bit out of the ordinary at our house. Let me explain. One evening at dinner, my five kids started verbally competing with one another in the "I'm the only one who" category. It began with Kyle sparring, "I'm the only one who was ever bitten by a snake a snake Mom promised wouldn't bite me!" Yup. Definitely not my best Mom moment.
Megan anted up, "Well, I'm the only one who ever broke a bone, and I broke two." Indeed she did. Sarah piped in, "Well, I'm the only one who's allergic to bee stings," and thank Heavens for that! Next was Anna, "Well, I got bitten by a bat and had to have 19 rabies shots," and we truly hope that was an once-in-a-lifetime experience. Then Sam quietly trumped them all. "Well," he said, "I'm a miracle child."
Sam's right. He is. Just 14 weeks into my pregnancy with him, I was hospitalized with contractions. After four days, much medication, and many tests, Tony and I were counseled to terminate the pregnancy and try again. The doctors not only felt I wouldn't be able to carry Sam long enough for him to survive, but that even if I did, he would be born with serious, lifelong disabilities. The tests, they told us, were definitive. For the doctors, termination was the only acceptable option, but it was something I couldn't do, couldn't even think about.
As I prayed throughout the next few days, God gently, beautifully revealed that regardless of what happened over the next five months, Sam was already my child. Even if I never got to hold him in my arms, he would always be my son, and every moment he remained safely tucked away inside of me, he was mine to love and nurture and cherish. He's mine for a time, but God's forever.
As the days turned to weeks, then months, the test results didn't change and the contractions never ceased, yet Sam continued to grow and develop, and early on the morning of December 31, he was ushered into the world by a neonatal medical team not one of whom was needed. He was a little small and a little pale, he hadn't learned to suck, and he looked an awful lot like Yoda from Star Wars, but he was perfect in every important way. There were no words for what I felt as I looked at my tiny, newborn son, only tears, and complete awe in a God who is so much bigger than the details, so far above the medical diagnoses, so much greater than I'd ever understood or believed. "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power at work within us, to him be the Glory, forever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20
As I looked around the table at the faces of each of my children at dinner that evening, I thought, "These are my badges of honor, five priceless, precious gifts from the hand of my Heavenly Father, full of life and love and promise for the future worthy badges of honor, indeed."
Cindee Snider Re lives in Sussex, WI with her husband, their five children, two cats, and two Shichon puppies. She enjoys quiet evenings, long walks, good books, homeschooling her kids, and lots of good, strong, hot, black tea.