There are many reasons that God sends trials and difficulties our way. One of them is so that, in the future, we can then help others going through the same things that we have gone through. And it’s also worth nothing that sometimes we are called to help others as we are going through a trial – I can attest! Genesis 2:18 says that it is “not good that… man should be alone“. We are meant to live in community, helping and encouraging each other. One of the most dangerous things a person can do when going through a difficulty is to isolate themselves. It’s no wonder that depression, suicide, etc. can begin to emerge when a person separates themselves from other people. It’s definitely a warning sign to be watchful of in our loved ones. This is why I’m so grateful that support groups, like “Rare Trisomy Parents”, have been formed on Facebook. It serves as a way for people across the globe, going through the same trial, to come together in order to help, educate and encourage each other.
I saw this riveting post from a confused and scared mother last week who recently joined the group…
The Facebook post above was one of those that makes you stop everything you’re doing to help someone. My sense of urgency was quite high because I could see this was a matter of life and death. This woman was caught between the decision to keep the life inside of her, or to end the life inside of her. This happens every day with countless women around the world. She was being pressured to do something drastic based solely on fears of the unknown; but what she really needed was some hope. I responded immediately. I also sent her a private message with my phone number in case she needed to talk to someone and be encouraged about the news she just received about her little baby. The woman “liked” my comment, and even though she didn’t respond to my email, I truly felt like God has called me to such a time and place as this. Meaning, being a part of a Facebook group where God would place women in front of me who are considering making irreversible, life and death decisions. Am I getting so much joy out of interacting with and sharing with these women because God has plopped a little unexpected ministry right into my lap… all while I’m going through the exact same trial myself? Quite possibly. The beauty about this is that it takes the focus off of yourself, your fears, and your concerns when you’re helping and pouring into someone else.
It was so encouraging to see how quickly this fearful mother was “surrounded” by women who wanted to encourage, help her and embolden her to know that it was okay to keep the life inside of her. And that the little baby inside of her might very well survive and be an incredible blessing to her life. And it was even more fulfilling to see (later that week) that very same woman who joined the group in such an uncertain state, now encouraging another mother who was going through a difficulty. I felt so much joy being a tiny part of that situation. Lives are LITERALLY being saved through this Facebook group. Below is another example of a post that makes my heart sing. It’s written by a father located in Italy (please bear with the language barrier, and I’ve blacked out the child’s name for privacy purposes)…
As you see, some things we can only see in hindsight. This post was so touching to me in particular because we rarely hear nowadays from FATHERS who look back and are grateful that they didn’t choose to end the life of their child. He went on to include a few photos of himself holding and kissing his precious 2-year old daughter with Trisomy-18. He’s had two years and his daughter is still going strong! A common saying among doctors regarding Trisomy-18 (among other Trisomies) is that it is “incompatible with life”. I can only thank God for directing my steps (through other mothers of T-18 babies) to this particular Facebook group. Because you see very quickly that the hopeless statement made above is a lie. MANY babies with Trisomy do indeed go on to survive – some for many, many years. So again, this is why it is not good that man should be alone. I have been praying lately that God would send ALL the new Trisomy parents to this particular group (not all the Trisomy Facebook groups are created equal I’ve learned). It is the greatest blessing to be able to reach out to someone across the globe to comfort and encourage them in their time of need.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”2 Corinthians 1:3-4
I also wanted to include a devotional I read the other day about going through trials that really spoke to my heart. I’ve had people comment about how surprised they are by how happy and hopeful I am, despite getting such scary news about our son. The answer as to how this is possible is below. The answer is in a Person – Jesus Christ. He is my Rock and my salvation. And it is my hope that by sharing it now, it might help someone else. This is the devotion from February 26th in New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp:
In closing, I wanted to update everyone on how I’m doing. Overall, things are still going well! As my husband and I have been talking more about our birth plan, I have posted lots of very specific questions over the past week to the parents in the RT Facebook group. Since then my husband and I have decided to increase the level of intervention that we would like our son to have when he is born. There is so much we have learned through the online group about the various interventions that it has brought much more peace of mind. The unknown tends to cause fear. So when we take time to educate ourselves, that can really help to ease our worries.
I also have some big answered prayer. My dear mother-in-law arrived to stay with us this past Thursday! She was the greatest blessing to me leading up to the birth of my second child in 2017, as she stayed with us for about a month as I waited for labor to begin. So having her back again to help as we wait for Zion is what I have been eagerly waiting for. She will stay with us through his birth, and after of course. I have had so many kind friends offer to be on standby for our family to watch our children (in the event I went into labor in the middle of the night, for example). But now that my mother-in-law is here, it definitely allows me to exhale and relax in an entirely different way. And it’s a double blessing for me having her here being that she’s also a woman who loves and fears the Lord. So it’s been refreshing to my soul to get to fellowship and talk about things of God on a daily basis with another sister in Christ. 🙂
The help is definitely needed at this point. My amniotic fluid level seems to ebb and flow. Some days it seems like my belly is going to burst and can’t possibly get any bigger. The pressure and discomfort on days like that is quite high. And other days I feel like it’s just a normal pregnancy. So I could use prayer for God to continue to gird and strengthen my body for these last few weeks of pregnancy. The weight and belly size are putting strain on my little 5’3″ frame. I am having some pains behind my left hip bone that make it hard to walk at first when getting up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. But other than that, Zion is still moving and kicking daily! Every day he stays in is a blessing because he’s able to grow and develop more.
THANK YOU for your priceless prayers!
In the meantime, Zion sends a *smile*…
…and welcome to March, which is TRISOMY AWARENESS MONTH! Spread the word that these babies ARE INDEED compatible with life! 🙂