THE SAMUEL SERIES 2: THE HOPE WALL
The day had come. I was NOW 23 weeks, and our baby was being called a “dry baby” because the water bag that was supposed to surround him had broken and had been constantly leaking for two weeks. It was a miracle even to make it to that day. I honestly think the medical professionals taking care of us at that point had little to no hope of that even happening. “If you are still pregnant at 23 weeks, come back to the hospital to be admitted.” So that was our first goal: get to 23 weeks.
And we made it, today was the day.
I sat at our dining room table at that glorious 23-week morning, next to the scriptures and words of encouragement and ultrasound pictures that were taped on the wall. That wall was the place I had come in the heat of those two weeks, it was a place of safety for me, for our family. I would be in the living room, suddenly overcome by despair and cathartic weeping, and Steve would physically walk me to that wall, and have me verbally read aloud what I saw before me. It was our hope wall. Our kids memorized those verses and we desperately clung to the words. They were ever on our lips, in our thoughts, and an anchor for our fearful hearts.
It was a Friday and I remember as I sat there scanning the wall, that I had a strange sense of victory already brewing. It was still too early and of course the longer our baby stayed inside, the better, but we had made it to the 23-week mark, and what was to say God wasn’t going to keep it going? I had been looking at and reading the things on that wall, reaching for more hope even within the same 10 or so verses there. And the one that would always pop out at me was a vision that our friend had when she was praying for us the night my water broke 2 weeks prior.
“Two angels from heaven came upon Rachel, one swiped her hand over her broken bag of water and sealed it shut, the other angel, she blew into the bag of water and it refilled with water.”
I read it over and over and over, and not just that morning, but all day, every day. I read it aloud in front of our kids, I read it in my prayers, I read it in my worship, and on my knees. It fueled me when I was empty, it warmed me when I was shaking cold, and it covered me with the grace that proved to be sufficient. I know it was from the Lord to our hearts, and even if the content of the word never would’ve come true (which we will never know until we ask in heaven), it was the faith that it spurred within us that made me believe it was from above. It wasn’t just spaghetti, it wasn’t human-inspired, but a beautiful gift from the good, good Father. And also, a gift from our friend. Our friend who stepped into a scary situation and shared a bold vision over us in that time. It was life-giving, it was risky, and she walked in obedience that turned into an anchor for our souls on that first day and all the days thereafter.
We were ready. We were ready to fight, we were given the grit and guts and grace to step forward. The victory was already won, and sometimes in this journey, we were on fire and stood on the top of the mountain and claimed it. It was time to go, time to get to the hospital. I was so confident, so gung-ho, so assured that I didn’t pack a single thing. No pillow, no suitcase, nothing. Our faith was big and our God was bigger. This was what victory looked like on the 23rd week and for all we knew “all was well, carry on in your pregnancy, per usual…” CELEBRATE EVERY TINY VICTORY.
So, although the Medical team made it entirely clear that it would be likely that I would be admitted, I brought nothing. It was just Steve, myself and our “dry baby” in the car on the way to the hospital. And as fast as the faith came, the fear fought its way in. The closer and closer we got to the hospital, the louder and louder we cranked the volume of “Closer Than You Know,” by Hillsong United. It was like we were trying to drown out the enemy and his schemes. I was breaking, Steve was breaking, and as Steve rolled the car into park, we sat there. The song was still blaring, there were people walking by, but we were in it. We were weeping and singing and worshipping the King, because whatever grit we had 30 minutes ago, was suddenly met with the reality of what was ahead of us.
Listen to the song: "Closer Than You Know" by Hillsong United. It's the song we heard the Lord's voice and heart toward us. It blared in our ears and hearts that day and so many days before and after.