Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Gift that Joined

His first name means "Jehovah has joined"; his middle name means "gift of God". He was named long before his birth, but his name turned out to be *perfect* for this little guy. A week ago today, his mother (my oldest daughter Kelsey) was admitted to the hospital with pre-eclampsia. At that point, she was just 30 weeks pregnant. With my unfortunate all-too-familiar knowledge of pre-eclampsia, I knew this meant trouble. But this time it wasn't ME in that hospital bed watching the magnesium sulfate drip into my arm and hearing alarm bells from the blood pressure monitor every fifteen minutes. It was my daughter. And my first grandchild's life was at stake. Knowing the risks was terrifying; knowing that she was four weeks ahead of when my earliest problems had begun was even more frightening. A LOT of growth and development and "fattening up" happens in those few weeks, and we all knew that a birth that early could mean a host of major problems for such a tiny little baby.

We did what we knew to be the *only* thing we could do--we mobilized our vast force of prayer warriors. All over the world, from Opi (my hubby Pete) in Taiwan on business, to brothers and sisters in Christ in Germany, Africa, and even the Middle East, to friends, family, and fellow Christians all over the United States, we were praying both for Kelsey's body to be spared the harsh effects of her skyrocketing blood pressure and for the little one she was carrying to be strengthened for his inevitable early birth. We had hoped they would at least have two or three more weeks, but it just did not happen. Little Levi Nathanael was born, 9 weeks before his due date, on Memorial Day. He weighed just 2lbs. 13oz. and was only 16.5" long. That name of his--the good, strong name chosen for him with a God-honoring heritage, was displayed strongly as people who knew and loved his parents and grandparents joined together in prayer to petition God for His divine protection and provision for this tiny little baby. This gift of God joined the outside world with gusto, taking his first breaths and uttering cries that confirmed the strength we had prayed for. He is very small, but as you can see in the picture of his hand holding Mommy's pinky finger, he has a strength given to him by the very God who formed him in the womb.

Keep growing, little Levi. We know you're already strong; it's what all of us were joined in prayer asking God for. The Lord has big things in store for this teeny little boy. And his Omi and Opi couldn't be prouder.

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