If I have learned anything over the last seven years it is the amazing power of prayer. I have spent a significant amount of time examining my prayer life this last year and especially in the last few months since teaching a Sunday School lesson on it to children in grades 1 – 5. The lesson taught kids that God answers EVERY prayer and that there are three possible answers; yes, no, and wait. The pre-elementary class started a prayer chain (paper chains often made in school). Children tell the teacher their prayers and the teacher adds it to the chain. I am going to start this at home because it is easy to forget just what we pray for and it would be amazing to have a visual reminder of God’s greatness surrounding us at all times. The teacher has the chain hanging around the classroom…I am going to start one today and have it surround our living room. How better to remind the boys and visitors to our home how very important prayer is.
After making the decision to increase the prayer in our life, we received a text from a good friend (she doesn’t have a nickname yet…I’ll think of one). She asked for prayers as she was going to take some tests. That very moment I told the boys that we received a prayer request, we turned of the tv, sat together and prayed for her, her family, for each other, and for the rest of our day.
By doing this as soon as I got the text I was modeling for them how important prayer was, how serious it was and how easy it was to add it to our day. It was an opportunity to take that first step, an easy step. The boys are absolutely in love with her, her husband (the NextGen Pastor), and their children. Praying for her was a no-brainer.
The sermon that week, her husband was preaching and was talking about how he struggles with taking time to pray. B1 was sitting beside me at the point in his sermon where he asked for our prayers for him adding prayers in to his life by saying something along the lines of, “Every time you think of this beautiful face this week, I ask you to pray.” We were sitting in the front row…and B1 looked at me…giggled, then rolled his eyes. The next day when I was taking them to meet their dad I asked, “What are you guys going to do every time you think of M’s beautiful face this week?” After the sarcasm and giggles they both thought it would be a good idea to try to remember to pray…it’s in their heads, they are half way there.
When I look back over the last seven years I wonder how much more difficult it would have been if I hadn’t had prayer in my life. If I didn’t know how much God loved me as His own…how would I have gotten through them?
When B1 was about a year and a half old I knew I wanted him to have a sibling. I prayed for a sibling for my boy, an addition to our family. In 2007 my fifth pregnancy ended at 13 weeks with a miscarriage. Not long after that I found out I was pregnant again and was told that due to the recent pregnancy loss and subsequent surgical procedure, my body would not be able to support a pregnancy.
Prayer was a part of my life, yet not a huge part…something I did on Sunday at church.
I made it through the first trimester of my sixth pregnancy trouble free. Then without warning, at 12 weeks 2 days gestation I had a partial abruption with ruptured membranes. I was told that if my baby survived the night I would be lucky. During the ultrasound the next day the baby was showing no signs of stress and my fluid level was near normal.
I was offered a D & C that day and counseled that my options were to have it done immediately or to be discharged from the hospital and allow the baby to either die on its’ own or for infection to set in (due to the ruptured membranes) and require surgery to remove the, “…products of conception.” This wasn’t products of conception…this was my baby. If born that week, it would have fit in to the palm of my then 2 year-olds hand and would be a fully formed baby…we could have counted the fingers and toes.
I told the doctor and the nurse who is in charge of the infant bereavement program that this was my last pregnancy and that I was going to enjoy being this baby’s mom as long as God let me. I don’t think I have ever been so scared…yet able to be calm. I knew that if I began crying, the sobbing would be enough to cause my baby to be born. God’s love surrounded me, my faith began to take shape in a way I could not have predicted. My baby was given a 0% chance at surviving. Zero…nothing…no hope.
Instead of being overcome with grief I made the decision that I did not want the final days of my child’s life to be filled with hopeless sadness. I also did not want B1 and Darling Diva to be sad about the baby. I wanted us to enjoy every minute God gave us. We continued to talk to the baby, reading books, belly rubs, everything we could think of to make the last days as close to perfection as we could.
As the minutes turned to hours and the hours to days, no fever developed (the first sign of infection we were told to be looking for). On a return visit to the doctor at the end of the week a repeat ultrasound showed that a clot from the abruption had been retained at apparently the spot where the membranes had ruptured and my fluid levels had returned to normal…the baby was showing no signs of distress, and measuring appropriately.
A running joke now is that I said I would enjoy every minute of this child’s life until God decided his time on earth was through…and now that he is 6 and full of piss and vinegar…I’m still waiting!!! Of course I would be lost without my Miracle Man.
For 23 weeks I remained on bed rest…six months. I prayed, I cried, I hoped. At 35 weeks gestation, after a diagnosis of a pregnancy induced clotting disorder, daily needles, medications every 4 hours around the clock, and a liver condition that nearly took us both…I delivered a perfectly healthy little man. That, my friends, is the power of prayer.
Today I am going to get paper for our prayer chain…so we can see the prayers we have prayed and to remind us of the ones that were answered with either a yes or no. I also believe this will encourage us to continue to pray for the ones we are waiting for answers on.