I want to jump right in with a few things, I want to let you know that this post may be sad, however, If you finish reading this sad, than you have missed the point of my post today so I ask that you please hear my heart in this. But be mindful, this blog is going to be really long.
I want to start by telling you something that happened in the life of my wife and I. On the 28th of October 2014 at around 6pm my beautiful daughter was born into the world. Her name is Suzanne Joy and she is the most beautiful little girl I have ever met. At around 5pm on the 27th we locked the doors and handed in the keys to our house in Melbourne and began the drive 2000km to Beaudesert. Somewhere around 1800km into the drive at around Warwick the wife started to feel a bit uncomfortable and feeling small amounts of pain, within around 2 hours (And about 15mins after arriving in Beaudesert) she was doubled over screaming in pain.
So we made our way to the Beaudesert hospital emergency department to have them take a look, being 29 weeks pregnant they were quick to see her and within minutes she was in the delivery room cause our little girl had decided to arrive early. A few hours later she was birthed naturally and oxygen tubes were put down her throat and the doctors got to work. It was a trying time as the wife naturally was in a panic saying ‘are we going to loose her’ and many other things. She was then RUSHED out to a separate room where the team could better care for her with less confined space.
I can promise you, that their is no pain like when the midwife who had been looking after you, stood in the door with tears in her eyes and shake her head so slightly… It was then that those of us in the delivery room (At this stage is the the wife and I, My Mother, My eldest Sister and the older Sister, trying to keep us calm and upbeat) just stopped, that one second before the first response was probably the longest second in my life… Before the ‘No… No… No…’ from my eldest sister began followed by a wail of pain and sorrow.
It is difficult for me to remember this time, as it still brings a tear to my eye and I remember my pain, but worse than that, the tight squeeze of my hand as my beautiful wife sat there in shock and looking me in the eyes you could see her heart stop for a moment.
The hours following that were somewhat beautiful and yet so traumatising. The wife’s parents and sister came down, my Step Father and little Sister came down and my best mate was there. In fact, all I could do was ask for him to come and see me… And he did (Praise God). My Daughters lifeless body was bought into the room where we were able to hold her and meet the shell of our daughter. At the time we were adamant to not hold her, as the pain was so great. But we did brave it and held her a few times, as well as had our family hold her.
The funeral was worse, as I did the Eulogy I could barely read the words. All the hugs and advice was just bouncing off, as I was numb and unable to feel anything at all, except sadness and it was overwhelming. The wife could barely stand waking up of a morning, freaking out in her sleep and screaming, and having the many people call us to speak with us, but to numb to answer anyone.
Now, Sadness aside I want to share the ways God used this horrible situation we went through, and some of the best things that came from it.
- The Change of Processes: One of the hardest things when looking back, was that when Suzanne was stabilised we were unable to hold her or see her alive, and too this day that is our hardest memory of the day. When the review of processes was completed (A legal requirement to ensure the Hospital did everything they could) by the board of Queensland Health, their was an amendment made to troubled delivery processes to ensure that in EVERY circumstance the parents have the option to see their Child alive before they are taken from the room.
- Additional Training for staff: A few of the younger staff during the process (Some of which were called in being an emergency in a hospital in a small country town) were not sufficiently trained to deal with circumstances such as these. Because of this, they were all offered additional training for the whole unit to ensure they were adequately trained and prepared should it happen again
- Ward Preparedness: Unfortunately for the delivery of Sue the ward was unprepared as their process was to rush the delivery to a nearby hospital. However, in this particular case Leanne was too far along and was unable to be moved. So now the ward in Beaudesert is prepared for this sort of circumstance.
- Meeting some Beautiful People: One of the biggest blessings was meeting and really getting to know the midwives and doctors in that unit and being able to contact them. They still frequently contact us and speak with us and we see them whenever we are in the hospital, we know that we will know them for life.
- Suzanne is GONE but not FORGOTTEN: Each year at Christmas the midwives buy a decoration in memory of Sue and writes her name and Date of Birth on it. Suzanne is also in a very prominent place on the photo board in the hospital, and all the hospital staff know who she is, and who we are when we visit. *See the 2016 decoration here:*
- Getting closer with our families: My older sister, who I have never had a good relationship with, has become quite close with me over this situation, and has become very sincere toward me and changed her heart in many ways.
- The Family Foundation shown: The family drew together to show just how much they love us. By way of caring for us (Moving in with them), Paying for Sue’s funeral, and just speaking with us and showing empathy and their own love for Sue.
- TIMING: The wife went into active labour only 15-20mins after arriving in Beaudesert.
- POSITIONING: The Wife’s parents (Who normally live 8 hours away) happened to be only 45 minutes away on holidays.
- BEING ABLE TO HELP OTHERS: Being this is a fairly unique circumstance that not a lot of people have gone through, Christ has bought us through it. This is probably the biggest of all the blessings. Whilst the hurt can still be there, we are able to empathise and share with people out of our own experience. Sadly this happened to a family member of the Wife recently, who happened to go through the same thing. We are now in a position to speak with them and able to share tears and yet showing that Christ can still use such a horrid circumstance.
There is so many more blessings in disguise that I can go on about, but I will leave it at 10, and move on to what GOD says about sadness and these really tough trials that we go through in life.
The first thing that Leanne and I had to learn, was that not always listening to what others say, like ‘Trauma takes 2 weeks to process, so give yourself that long’ and ‘It may hurt, but not as much as ……………, so you are lucky.’ But instead of listening to this kind of advice, hearing the advice of those out of the word of God like ‘Jesus speaks about him giving peace to those hurting’ and ‘Remember what happened to JOB, then God blessed him with so much more than he started with.’
At the time I did not respond the way I should of, I didn’t take peace from the word of God, but instead held resentment towards God, but how I got out of that is another story for another day.
The bible speaks time and time again about God rescuing us from our pit of despair, lets have a look at a few of them:
Daniel 3:19-24; When punished for not worshipping the the king of the land, were thrown into the furnace and were rescued by God.
Job 1-2, 38-42: Job had horrendous things happen to him from the murder of his children, the slaying of his live stock, terrible sickness and boils on his skin and much more. Even his friends and wife accused and attacked him (Before his wife was killed that is). Then at the end God himself came down to show Job his power, his presence, his peace and his glory. My favourite part of this story is- Job 42:10 ‘And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayer for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice twice as much as he had before.’ HALLELUJAH!!! Reward for the suffering.
The persecution of Paul displayed in multiple verses: 2Corinthians 11:24 ‘From the Jews five times I have received forty stripes minus one,’ and 2Timothy 2:8-9 ‘Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained.’ Showing Paul was beaten and imprisoned many times, however we are shown the peace of God right in the next chapter at 2Timothy 3:10-11 ‘But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, Love, perseverance, persecution, affliction, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra-what persecution I endured. And out of them all the Lord Delivered me.‘
So I bring these to your attention, some in more details than others, to show you that when Christs lets us go through something, we need to remember he will deliver us from them. I love it in the word where it says God will NEVER tempt us with more than we can handle (1Corinthians 10:13), yes that is speaking of Temptation, but when I read it, the Spirit of God always speaks to me saying that it isn’t just temptation, it is trials and hardships and life as well.
I close of with this awesome piece of scripture and a line from a song I love (link is to the song is right HERE) The line goes:
You stay the same through the ages
Your love never changes
There may be pain in the night
But joy comes in the morning
And the scripture which is where we pull this promise from reads it so beautifully: Psalm 30:5 ‘For His anger is but a moment, His favour is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.’
“Thank you Jesus for your amazing love and and patience in our lives. Thank you Lord that when difficulties come our way, we are assured by you of you being right their beside us, and that you never ever ever give us anything that will break us or take us away from you. You are amazing and we love you so much Father. Be with those reading this today Lord and guide them into a closer relationship with you. Amen’
‘”Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yolk is easy and My burden is light.”‘ Matthew 11:28-30