Even If by Melinda Edwards
I have been working on my surrender story for almost three weeks now. Writing the words has been incredibly difficult and I’ve felt like giving up several times. After all, I can’t manage to write on my own blog, let alone write something to share on another! But, I know that God didn’t write our story to go untold, so He nudged sweet Kacie to kindly ask me to share…I swallowed hard and agreed.
We were not willing participants in our story of surrender. God was asking us to walk a road we didn’t want to walk and He asked us to join a club we didn’t want to join. We couldn’t understand the reasons why and still don’t… but as scripture tells us, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways." We had no choice but to have faith and hope.
Jack Thomas was born in July of 2008. He was perfect. His three older sisters spent the rest of the summer holding him constantly. We began to notice Jack was having trouble holding his head up and sitting was very difficult. Our pediatrician told us not to worry; he was the baby boy and he never had a reason to do anything on his own. His sisters wouldn’t let him touch the ground. However, we continued to see little signs that something was not quite right. When Jack was 8 months old, the years of testing, doctor’s visits, therapy sessions and hospital stays began.
We would eventually find out that Jack was born with a progressive form of Mitochondria Disease. He was never able to sit, crawl, walk or talk. He eventually required a feeding tube for nourishment and a machine to help him breathe. This disease was robbing Jack of all of his abilities and robbing us of our only son.
We struggled with accepting Jack’s prognosis. It wasn’t that we were in denial…we just couldn’t give up hope. I prayed every day for four years, that God would heal Jack. I knew he could do it, which is why I became so angry when he didn’t.
In September of 2012, I set on the edge of a hospital bed, looking at this beautiful four-year-old boy with crazy hair. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing… a room full of doctors and nurses telling us that there was nothing more they could do. Jack’s respiratory system was failing. As my husband, Tom, talked to the doctors, I could only think about the nights I prayed over Jack. I became so angry. Where was God? Why was He allowing this to happen? Did He not hear my prayers? What about our miracle? I was not ready to give up.
Then, Jack’s doctor said something I’ll never forget. He said, “Think of this as your last act of love for your son. You are not giving up. You love him enough to let him go."
And we surrendered.
On September 7, 2012 at 4:57pm, Jack Thomas passed away peacefully in my arms and God finally healed him… just like I had prayed.
It’s been almost 4 years since we last held Jack. I still have really crummy days. I still wonder why. I still get mad and scream and shake my fist. And He shows me grace.
I’ve come to realize a few things since then:
- God never left us. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
- Jack was to live on this earth only 1,521 days. No more and no less. (Psalm 139:6)
- God asked us to walk down a long, hard road…but He promised we wouldn’t walk it alone. (Isaiah 43:2)
With Easter just a few days away, I can’t help but think of God’s own surrender story. He surrendered His son, so that mine can live. Now, that’s love!
I often think of the day when I will see Jack again. I picture him running to me and I can hardly wait. Until then, we have so many wonderful things to look forward to…graduations, weddings, and grandkids. We don’t have to look too far to find unspeakable joy even in the midst of unthinkable sadness. I continue to hold onto the promises God has made and remember…
Even if… God is still good!
MELINDA EDWARDS is a wife, momma and jewelry maker. She blogs and sells her jewelry from her website, Lil Red Mouse. She and her husband, Tom, are raising their three daughters, Alexis, Lillian and Sophia on their small farm in Southern Indiana. Melinda is a also Mom to Jack, who awaits her in Heaven. You can connect with her through her website, Instagram and Facebook.