Friday, March 11 Devotion

from Veronica Amundson

Psalm 126, Isaiah 43:8-15, Philippians 2:25

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

And through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

When you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

Thirteen years and four days ago I was in Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, NY.  Our third child was a week past his due date and my doctor was concerned about how big the baby had gotten.  He admitted me to the hospital and began the process of inducing labor.  Eric and I were so excited.  We already had two perfect children and were very excited to welcome a third into our family. 

I had spent the morning getting to know my labor and delivery nurse as we waited for my labor to start.   She was a beautiful sister in Christ and we shared stories of children and testimonies of God’s faithfulness.  

Our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongues with songs of joy.

I was comfortable and labor was progressing by the book when suddenly an alarm on my monitor sounded.  I wasn’t sure what it meant but I could tell by the look on my nurses’ face that she was concerned.  I don’t know what she did but almost instantly I heard an announcement over the hospital PA system paging a team to my room.  A young doctor I had never seen before was the first to arrive and as she checked on the baby I saw a look of horror cross her face.  “Cord prolapse,” she told my nurse.   I now know that a prolapsed cord means that the baby’s head was on the umbilical cord and was restricting blood flow.  Restricted blood flow meant that the baby wasn’t getting the oxygen needed to survive.  The alarm that sounded meant that the baby’s heartbeat had decreased dramatically and he was in danger of dying. 

Instantly my room was filled with doctors and nurses.  They unplugged everything and as they began wheeling my bed out of the room a doctor leaned over and told me that they were going to take me in for an emergency c-section.

I was terrified.  My mind was racing as I tried to figure out exactly what was happening.  I tried to pray but it was as if my brain was frozen with fear.  I remember thinking that for the first time I really understood what Romans 8:26 meant – “…the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”   

Thoughts raced through my head each one so weighted with terror that I felt as if I was being repeatedly punched.  I realized that if my baby wasn’t getting oxygen to his brain then even if he lived he could be brain damaged.  In one horrible uncontrollable instant I thought that the worst outcome of this situation would not be losing the baby but it would be having a brain damaged baby.  As soon as the thought crystalized in my head I was overcome with horror and shame.  What kind of mother wishes death upon her baby?  I couldn’t believe that I had thought that for even a moment and I hated myself for the thought.  I felt myself being crushed under the weight of my fear, my shame, and my sin.  The thought seemed to confirm my deepest fear - I was not fit to be a mother.  I did not deserve to have the children that God had given me. 

It’s so hard to describe what happened next. 

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.  For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, you Savior.

Isaiah 43 came into me.  The words resounded in my head with absolute clarity and completeness.  It wasn’t a thought because it didn’t come from me.  It just was.  The words were a truth that was placed in me and accompanying the words was a deep, deep peace and comfort. 

I am the Lord your God…I am with you.

I knew God had spoken these words into me.  Interestingly I remember very distinctly realizing that God didn’t promise that everything was going to be ok.  He didn’t tell me that the baby was going to be fine and he didn’t tell me I wouldn’t have to walk through the fire.  He just told me that He was with me.  And that was enough. 

You know the rest of my story.  On March 7, 2003 Jedidiah Paul Amundson came into the world in a most dramatic fashion.  Jedidiah Paul.  Jedidiah – God’s beloved, the name given Solomon before his birth by the prophet Nathan.  Paul – a servant of Christ Jesus, set apart for the gospel of God.

For thirteen years he has brought us joy.  For thirteen years he has served as a reminder of God’s faithfulness to our family.

“Remember the day Jed was born?”