“And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21 [ESV]
Today is a special day. Sixteen years ago today one of our four precious daughters was born, Sophie Anne Harmening. They are all four equally loved and celebrated, but Sophie’s arrival was unique.
Scott and I had agreed we wanted four, or I hoped five children. When it was time to begin thinking about a fourth we committed to prayer. With three little ones already under our wings, we recognized the tremendous responsibility for each and both wanted to be in the center of the Lord’s will. I began fervently asking the Lord to bless us with another child only if he or she would bring glory and honor to Him. If not, I pleaded with Him to close my womb instead.
Shortly after we began offering up those prayers, He began knitting Sophie together. With great anticipation we waited those nine plus months to meet this precious child of promise. On the morning of March 27th, 2002, though, what started as the excitement of labor quickly turned to my fear that we had lost Sophie, and Scott’s fear that he might lose both his child and his wife. While I was at home alone with two year old Sarah, my placenta partially abrupted (tore away from the wall of the uterus).
As a nurse, I knew exactly what was happening and immediately recognized how perilous the situation was for Sophie. In that moment I began surrendering and entrusting her to the Lord in prayer, while simultaneously pleading with Him to spare her life, to allow me to keep her. As I rode in the back of that ambulance enveloped in His palpable peace I asked Him to strengthen me to walk in righteousness if what was my worst nightmare, at that moment, was to become my reality.
I journaled the details of that day in Sophie’s baby book shortly after she was born and will share them below. What has been profoundly washing over me throughout the morning and day today is the realization that Scott and I now intimately know both the indescribable joy and the excruciating pain of having received both of the two possible answers when pleading for the life of your child.
Sixteen years ago I was pleading for the life of my precious daughter, Sophie, and God graciously intervened, sparing her life and safely delivering her to us. A little over nine and half months ago I was on my face pleading for the life of my precious daughter, Sarah, and He whisked her Home instead. I praise Him for the first answer and trust Him with the second.
Today I rejoice in the blessing of those answered prayers sixteen years ago. In addition, I continue to praise Him through tears in the midst of the pain of the answer I did not want nine and half months ago. Though His answer was not my choice, I praise Him still, because He was, He is, and He always will be faithful. “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”