By Guest Author Kristen Fundenberger
Have you ever experienced something that made you question God’s sovereignty or His goodness?
I have. Something I am still processing and healing from is an event that no one is immune to — but I never thought it would happen to me.
Lincoln came into the world on February 15th, 2014.
What I was expecting to be the beautiful birth of our second born turned very quickly into a traumatic nightmare. During delivery, Lincoln became what appeared to the doctors to be “stuck.” Not only was Lincoln a 9.5 pound baby, but he was being strangled by his umbilical cord, and there was no time for a C-section. He was literally not getting any air, at all.
After a very traumatic few minutes of delivery, he never cried, and was immediately rushed out of the room for critical care at the local Children’s Hospital miles away.
I was left in the hospital bed, arms empty, and hearing the words over and over again, “He went too long without oxygen. There is a possibility of severe brain damage or cerebral palsy.”
As I processed what was happening with wild thoughts of question, fear, dread and disappointment all I could hear was the old hymn,
“My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand.”
I was not going to put my hope in what doctors would or wouldn’t tell me about my son. I was going to either give in to fear completely, or I was going to put all my faith and hope in Jesus Christ, no matter the outcome. My husband kept reminding me that God would give us the grace for whatever road was ahead of us.
Every check-up I went to, I walked into the unknown, but by the time Lincoln was 6 months old, the doctors pronounced him a miracle. He was a perfectly healthy baby boy with zero side effects from his birth trauma.
Even with those good reports and my faith, I still struggled with the trauma of it. I couldn’t talk about it with people, let alone visit other friends in the hospital or watch my own birth video. I wanted another baby, a girl, but was terrified to go through another pregnancy, labor, and delivery. But God brought Ashlyn to us just 18 months later. As she came, I strained to see if she would cry as she entered into the world. And she did. God is faithful.
Fast forward 2 years after Lincoln; our oldest son Jaxon was diagnosed with a disability. As I sat there trying to navigate how to mother and teach him through his new walk, I wondered why all this had happened. Why so much difficulty with my children? What does God want from me, and what is He doing? All I ever wanted was to be a wife and mother.
And then the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul” rang in my ears. I realized I had grief to process, and despite all the fears I had for my son Jaxon and wondering if he would ever live a “normal” life like other kids, I knew God was there. He was good, and He was still on His throne, despite the unknown future.
No matter what trials you are going through, I encourage you to look to God, the founder and perfecter of our faith.
Of all the things I’ve learned, these are the most important lessons:
- Acknowledge that you love Christ while still grieving and questioning.
- Know that God can meet you in places of doubt and fear. He met us in our greatest need — our need for a Savior; He can meet us in all other needs.
- Don’t walk alone in your grief or trauma. Allow others to be there to walk with you.
- Know that God is enough. He is SUFFICIENT. Because our own strength takes us only so far.
- Realize that if anyone can be acquainted with grief or understand grief, it’s God. He gave up His own son, and He knows the deepest of pain.
- Realize that Christ alone is our greatest comfort.
Fast forward to today: Lincoln is turning seven this month and he has no “issues,” and Jaxon is turning nine this same month, and he has overcome his disabilities and no longer qualifies for any “services.” Both walking miracles who have given their hearts to Jesus.
Whatever you are going through, you are not alone. The Lord is near, and in His promises we can stand through the worst of it all.
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 yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)