Little Anastasha, despite her likely terminal diagnosis of anencephaly, continues to grow and prosper in her mom’s womb. And, she continues to bless her parents, her siblings, her family, and all of who are blessed to be able to follow her journey and pray for she and her family.
“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:9-11
When Tonya was told by our obstetrician almost exactly 3 months ago that our child in the womb had a fatal deformity, her response through her tears was simply, “God is good.”
That simple phrase has been our heart cry during these last three months.
It sounds simple, but it is … SO … DARN … TRUE. Our God is a good Daddy … ,even when He strikes, it is in love. We believe that with all our heart.
We agree with the psalmist who wrote, “You are good, and what you do is good.” Psalm 119:68
We’ve taught the kids that the God they love is a good Daddy.
Jesus mentions that His “Abba” (Aramaic loving term for “Daddy”) is a Father who gives good gifts to those who ask Him. That can be distorted to mean that He gives us whatever we want if we ask Him.
Any good Dad knows that ISN’T being a good Dad, quite the opposite actually. But, like a good earthly Dad, our Heavenly Father loves to give good gifts to His children, for our good and His.
I wanted to share one very personal and profound example of God being a good Daddy to us on this journey.
In previous posts I’ve mentioned a book that I read, I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy, by Angie Smith. She is a well-known lady who is married to the lead singer of the Christian group Selah. Her journey of carrying and losing her daughter, Audrey, had many similarities to our journey. Her book really ministered to me.
After reading the book, I really wanted to ask her a question about something she wrote. I have read hundreds of books in my life and have never tried to contact an author after reading one. I’m not a celebrity chaser and try not to idolize people (okay, Tim Tebow and Danny Weurffel not withstanding).
In my efforts to contact her, I found an email address on her blog. She had over 7,000 Google friends and lots of readers.
In reading her blog I noticed that she just had a newborn AND had recently moved. As soon as I sent the email, I got an automated reply back stating that she received ALOT of emails and wouldn’t be able to respond.
I thought, “Oh well, it was worth a try. I guess this wasn’t meant to be.” Case closed. No one other than Tonya knew that I tried to get a hold of her.
I was slightly disappointed, but life goes on. This was on a Saturday night.
On Sunday, one of my best friends, Jon Betts, called. He is a pediatrician in Nashville and a dear brother in Christ from medical school. It was shortly after Anastasha’s diagnosis, so he was calling to check on me. I told him I was doing well and mentioned Angie’s book that I just finished.
He replied, “You mean the lady I met this week?” I was confused, so he explained.
Angie brought her newest daughter, Charlotte, in to see Jon in his clinic. He is not their regular pediatrician, but theirs wasn’t available.
Jon didn’t know who she was, but at the end of the visit Angie mentioned something about Audrey and how they had lost her.
The news of our diagnosis was fresh in Jon’s mind because he replied, “Yeah, we have some friends going through something similar right now.”
At that point, Angie said she wondered if we knew who she was or knew about her journey.
Jon asked her if she was the wife of the lead singer of Selah, to which she replied that she was.
Then Jon pulled up on his computer the email I sent where I shared her daughter’s song (“I Will Carry You”) just days before.
They were both in awe of God’s sovereignty.
Jon never solicited, but Angie told him to please give us her personal email address, and that she’d love to be able to answer any questions we have or be a help to us on our journey. He gave the email address to me. I’ve since emailed her several times back and forth and she had indeed been a blessing to me and Tonya.
I shared this story to show the power and lovingkindness of our God. I know it may not seem like a “healing the blind man” miracle, but it was miraculous nevertheless.
For the first time in my life I tried to contact an author with a question that my heart wanted an answer to. My attempts failed, and I gave up.
DAYS BEFORE I was even doing this, the Lord sent this ONE SAME PERSON to the office of one of my best friends in the world to bring her in contact with me. Isn’t that incredible?
Jon admits that he almost didn’t mention anything about Anastasha to her. In fact, he’s not even sure why he did.
If he hadn’t, he would have never even known who Angie was. I believe the Holy Spirit orchestrated EVERY DETAIL of that encounter. I believe God did that just to bless us like any good Daddy, and to build our faith at a time we needed it.
Maybe some of you can explain the whole thing away as coincidence. If you can, you have greater faith than I do.
I think it is easier in this situation to believe in a God who knows the desires of our hearts and every hair on our heads. And to trust in a Daddy who loves to “give good gifts” to His children.
Craig and Tonya
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8
There’s a precious video that records the song about Audrey Caroline and her birth. You can view it here.
Here’s the entire series of amazing stories: