August 16, 2011
"And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope." 1 Thessalonians 4:13
"We'd like for you to consider placing a DNR order on your daughter's medical chart."
Do Not Resuscitate.
As a new mama, those were the hardest words I'd ever had to hear.
How do you decide the impossible? How do you gather the strength to approve the removal of a life-support system? How do you give an order that grants permission for your loved one pass from this world into the next? How does one sit and watch their beloved struggle to breathe while taking no action to intervene?
Through the power and hope of Christ and Christ alone.
The day my daughter passed away in my arms my faith in God became more real to me than ever before. Suddenly my life--and the life of my child--depended on it. At times my faith wavered. I contemplated God's sovereignty. I questioned how a loving and compassionate God could allow my daughter to die. But in the end I recognized that only God's promises stand the test of time. The raw exploration of my faith chipped away the parts of my foundation which were built on false beliefs, and led me to the place of true, authentic faith in Him.
I believe there is a God. I believe God's Word--every bit of it. I believe God sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins. I believe that by professing faith in the atoning work of the cross we will live life eternal in Heaven with God and His Son and with others who have professed the same faith in Christ. I believe that in Heaven there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4).
It is my faith that gives me hope. It is my confident hope that gives me the courage to decide the impossible.
My daughter was sick. Very sick. Though I'd have given anything for the chance to care for her here on this earth, it was obvious her little body would have required immense medical support to survive. When doctors asked us to consider placing a DNR order on her chart we knew there was no right or wrong answer. My devoted childhood pastor advised us to consider which option would lead us to a place of peace. Would we find peace amidst our vicious fight to save our daughter? Or would our peace lie in allowing her to return home to her Maker?
Though it was the hardest decision I've ever had to make God faithfully led my husband and me to a place of peace. And on August 24, 2005 our beloved daughter did indeed pass from the loving arms of her mama into the scarred hands of her Savior.
I wrote in greater detail about our decision in my first book. I write today to simply encourage those who face similarly impossible decisions. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him (Romans 15:13).