Okay, doesn’t this title sound like the start of a joke? “A miracle, a reminder, and a priest walked into a bar.” Instead of a joke, this is real life, people.
In early May I shared an interview with Katherine Johnson. Brief reminder: Jeff and Katherine found out in the spring that their gestating daughter had a terminal diagnosis and though she’d likely make it to full term, she’d not live much beyond birth. In particular that Arabella Grace’s rib cage would be too small to allow air to fill her lungs. Since then, Katherine has been chronicling their journey on her blog, being transparent on this journey. Saturday she gave birth.
A professional photographer, Kristin Wall, volunteered to capture the experience so Jeff and Katherine were freed up to be present to what was happening and not worry about what they were missing.
Kristin shared this on Facebook: “Arabella Grace; Born at 12:32 p.m. on August 9th, 2015. She was immediately whisked away to the resuscitation room where she was not expected to live. As I headed back to the room, I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew I had heard the most beautiful cry I had ever heard as she was delivered. When I arrived a minute or two later, I heard her cry and saw how pink she was. When I heard two Apgar scores of 9 and 9 back to back, I couldn’t believe my ears.”
Kristin also shared:
“As we were getting ready for Arabella’s arrival, Katherine told the nurses that she wanted Bella’s precious little footprint on Psalm 139 in her Bible. As I found the spot in the Bible and marked it so it was ready, I never envisioned there would be such life and oxygen flowing through that little foot. . .and that her little toes would be wiggling! I had prayed, hoped and knew God could, but the reality is that my faith really was weak and never in a million years could I have thought something so beautiful would happen.”
Now if that doesn’t get to you, you might need your heart to grow a few inches. You can continue to follow The Johnson Journey with Baby Bella here. We all know it could have turned out so differently. To have received this mercy, is just that: a mercy. Katherine and Jeff, we know the journey doesn’t end here as there are doctors appointment, potential surgeries, and other questions that can’t be answered yet. For now, we join with you in thanking God and marveling that his ways are not ours.
“Motion isn’t the problem. Movement is good. The problem is when we self-medicate by filling our lives to the brim and don’t allow grief to catch up with us.” What happens when we stop?
A few days after posting the above, I was contacted by Katrina Ryder, the editor of To Save A Life wondering if she could repost it. I tend to say yes to all requests, but out of curiosity I thought I’d check out To Save a Life.
“Our mission is simple: We want to help hurting teens and young adults find hope and healing through the power of the Gospel. That’s why we’re on a constant search for high-quality, cause-driven, inspiring stories that have the power to touch hearts and change minds.
“Whether it’s dealing head-on with bullying, encouraging those who struggle with anxiety and depression, giving hope to the addicted and abused or providing practical steps for suicide prevention, our passion is to see a generation captured by their true identity in Christ.”
Of course I immediately emailed Katrina: YES, please do! As long as I kept moving, my grief streamed out behind me . . . so I just didn’t stop went live this week. Please check it out, but more than that, poke around the site. Miracles happen, yes. And life is also hard. However, we haven’t been left without help and hope.
“Therefore since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help.” Hebrews 4:14-16 (NET Bible)
Amen. Confidently approach to receive mercy and find grace. Doesn’t that breath life and hope into weary bones? With the idea of confidently approach, I’m going to take a blog break for a week or two. I know God will use you to extend mercy and grace to me, as I’m in need of a break :).
A miracle, a reminder, and a priest. Where do you need mercy and grace today?