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A Year Ago Today

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I’ve got butterflies in my stomach as I sit down to write this……A
year ago today, I sat in the same cozy chair that I’m in right now in
my living room and answered the phone. It was the nurse from my OBGYN
who called to let me know the results of my quad screen.

“1 in 1000 chance of neural tube defects, (Great!), 1 in 1000 chance
of spinabifida, (Wonderful)……{sigh over the phone}……and a 1 in
43 chance for Down Syndrome.”

“Ummm, what? Could you say that…did you mean…..what did you say
again?” {My heart was in my throat, beating faster than ever
before….}

“The quad screen tested a 1 in 43 chance for your baby to have Down
Syndrome….what we’re going to want to do now is get you in for an
ultrasound as soon as possible. Hold on while I call down to see when
we can work you in. Don’t worry, Emily. These tests are wrong 90% of
the time.”

Seth says there's nothing to fear

Fear. Panic. Crying. Sobbing. Weeping. I have to talk to Joel.
This is a mistake. This isn’t happening. This is crazy. Things like
this don’t happen to me- it happens to someone else. Why would God
let this happen? We serve in our church week after week. We’re good
people. We do all the right things and try to teach our daughter the
same. Our kids are supposed to grow up to really make an impact in
this world with their educations and willingness to serve God and love
others. This wasn’t in my plan- when I dreamed of how my life would
go, this wasn’t even a thought. How am I supposed to sleep until I
know for sure that my baby is okay? It’s okay- I just know this has
to be a mistake. Why did I even take that stupid test to begin with
when the results are so often wrong? Who can I call? I don’t know
anyone else who’s had this happen…..or do I and people just don’t
mention it? I need to talk to God- if I pray hard enough- if I beg
Him, this will go away. He always works things out for me, so He’ll
take this burden off us.

You know how it turned out. Seth.

Joy.  Laughter.  Peace.

We’ve got him. We’re living with Down Syndrome every day. And you know what? It’s not scary. It’s not bad. It wasn’t a curse for something we did wrong. It was God’s plan for our lives.

It was who God created Seth to be. We’re still
serving in our church week after week because God is faithful and
deserves our honor and praise. We’re teaching both Seth and Ella to
love God that way. Seth will grow up to make an impact on this world-
in fact, he already has. This wasn’t how I planned my life- it’s way
sweeter with Seth in it. I sleep great at night because we’re in the
middle of God’s plan for us. Seth wasn’t a mistake. I’m glad I took
the test because it forced me to rely on God a whole lot more than I
did before. I know a lot of people who are now walking this road with
me and their precious, perfect little children. And I still need to
talk to God- every day, every hour, every minute. If I pray hard
enough, He’ll continue to lead my heart. He always works things out
for me for the good, and Seth is proof of that.

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10 Responses to “A Year Ago Today”

  1. Amanda J. December 2, 2008 at 9:08 pm #

    I really can’t think of a comment worthy of this post. It was simply beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. God bless your sweet family, Emily.

  2. Jennifer December 2, 2008 at 9:17 pm #

    Emily,
    I admire your strength to walk the road that most people will choose not to. With my second child I had the same test come back “off”. Samantha had a 1:30 chance of having down’s. In my case the test was a false positive. It would not have made a difference in how she is loved though. I refused the test with my last two kids because I can still feel the raw emotion after the doctor called me. We have a different stuggle though. In my case both of my boys have a severe case of eczema. For them it is not just a rash. It is horrible and at its worst just takes over their whole bodies. It has caused many sleepless nights and lots of crying out to God. My oldest used to always ask why God let him have eczema. It is a tough to try and explain that to a child, but I believe that I was chosen by God to be a mom to my boys so that our struggles will glorify God. It is not easy, but that is what I strive for. I have already seen God work in my oldest. He has more compassion than most kids his age. His heart hurts for kids who are different and picked on. He prays for others when he sees them hurting. I have also learned that people watch how we deal with our family struggles. I say struggles, but that is not the word I really want to use. I have watched you with Seth and the amount of love you have for him is amazing. I know and have seen that not everyone shows that same kind of love to a child who is not “perfect” by the world’s standards. I actually found your blog through a friend that mentioned you in her blog, because you and Joel are just walking in faith. Seth is just a precious joy. I melt anytime I see you guys with him.

  3. Amanda December 2, 2008 at 10:51 pm #

    I love you sister and honored to know you and Joel. Seth and Ella are LOVED!!

  4. Shannon Michaelis December 2, 2008 at 11:30 pm #

    This is Shannon from Logos/biblestudy. I stumbled on your blog from Amy Simcik. I LOVE your testimony of your daily struggle with Down’s. I need to give you my aunt’s number for you to talk with her and listen to her testimony (she was a special ed teacher before she had my cousin, Amy). My Down’s cousin makes ou family who it is. It’s made us all call out to the Lord more and wish at times we were a little more like her. 🙂

  5. Brooke Holliday December 3, 2008 at 12:28 am #

    What a beautiful testimony of where God has taken you. Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I got everything the way I wanted it. I am so grateful that He knows more than me. Thanks for encouraging me to keep going and hopefully on the 1 year anniversary of Andrew’s death I can too say “He is working everything for MY good”

  6. Jen Sirwet December 3, 2008 at 1:42 am #

    Wow! Thanks Em for being honest and faithful. We prayed as a choir right along with y’all. Thank you for living life openley and honestley. Love y’all! Just know that His will and purpose is still being lived out through your testimony and Seth…chosen by GOD. Love you!

  7. Kelly Bowman December 3, 2008 at 8:02 am #

    Em, what a blessing it has been to watch you as you have walked on this journey over this last year. Your faith has been a testimony to so many. I know God must have great plans for Seth, He has already used him in so many ways. You are so right, there is such peace when we realize we are right in the middle of God’s plan for our lives. Sometimes that plan is not how we expected it to be, but praise God that he uses those times to draw us closer to him so we can learn to rest in his peace. Love ya!

  8. cobb December 3, 2008 at 9:43 am #

    l-o-v-e-y-o-u-f-o-u-r

  9. Brandon Cavazos December 3, 2008 at 3:53 pm #

    You guys are awesome.

  10. Aunt Kristin December 3, 2008 at 4:48 pm #

    PRAISE GOD FOR SETH! We love all 4 of you and give God glory right along with you for Seth and his precious life! He has enriched our lives and we are not the same b/c of the Lord bringing him into our family. Love you!

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