Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Time To Cry

"There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven-

A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance..."

Eccl. 3

My mom spends every third night at the hospital with Rachael-- during Justin’s 24 hour shift with the fire department. She wrote the following today for me to post . .


“In the wee hours of the morning before the sun came up, Rachael and I awakened to the new day of 23 weeks and 6 days. Rachael has not been dwelling on this moment at all but this day marks the day in her first pregnancy when Gracie Anne was born into this world but was not of this world. Getting through this day is bitter sweet. We cried together. It was a good release. She is doing amazingly well. She has been in the hospital for over 3 weeks now.

I simply can't tell you how much we appreciate all the prayers, words of encouragement, cards, help on the home front, etc...

Rachael has access to a computer and has really enjoyed it when people post on the blog.
As her mother, I implore you to remain vigilantly prayerful for this situation. While reaching the 24 week mark is huge, we really really want this little one to be born full term! Please do not forget about Rachael. She has asked me to remind everyone who is praying to not become complacent. She has a long to way to go yet.

Andrea -Rachael’s Mom, Gracie and Jimmie’s Ma


  1. Still praying for you...........
    -Deecy Means

  2. Hey Rachel. Don't worry we will keep praying every day, many times a day until little Jimmy gets here and what an amazing celebration we will share together. blessings. anita


    In Dallas, the doctor, walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. She was still groggy from surgery.

    Her husband, David, held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news.
    That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency Cesarean to deliver the couple's new daughter, Dana Lu Blessing.

    At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature.
    Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs. 'I don't think she's going to make it,' he said, as kindly as he could.
    'There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one'
    Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Dana would likely face if she survived.

    She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on.
    'No! No!' was all Diana could say.

    She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four.

    Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away.

    But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana.

    Because Dana's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially 'raw', the lightest kiss or caress onlyintensified her discomfort, so they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love. All they could do, as Dana struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl.

    There was never a moment when Dana suddenly grew stronger.

    But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there. At last, when Dana turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time.

    And two months later, though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero, Dana went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.

    Five years later, Dana was a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life.
    <> <
    She showed no signs whatsoever of any mental or physical impairment. Simply, she was everything a little girl can be and more. But that happy ending is far from the end of her story.

    One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving , Texas , Dana was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ball park where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing.
    As always, Dana was chattering nonstop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms across her chest, little Dana asked, 'Do you smell that?'
    Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, 'Yes, it smells like rain.'

    Dana closed her eyes and again asked, 'Do you smell that?'

    Once again, her mother replied, 'Yes, I think we're about to get wet. It smells like rain.'

    Still caught in the moment, Dana shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced,
    'No, it smells like Him.
    It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest.'
    Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Dana happily hopped down to play with the other children.

    Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along.

    During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Dana on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.

    'I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.' This morning when the Lord opened a window to Heaven, He saw me, and He asked: 'My child, what is your greatest wish for today?' I responded:
    'Lord please, take care of the person who is reading this message, their family and their special friends. They deserve it and I love them very much' The love of God is like the ocean, you can see its beginning, but not its end.

    ANGELS EXIST but some times, since they don't all have wings, we call them FRIENDS.

    I too had a premature baby, delivering at 25 weeks. Although it was the most difficult thing I have ever gone through, my daughter is now 1 year old and you would never know she was premature. She is thriving and amazingly enough has no complications. I hope for the best for you and Jimmy.

  4. We pray for you all throughout the day, Rachael! We love you, we love Justin, and we love Jimmy. We'll continue praying all day, every day!!

    Lots of love,
    Adrian and Janelle

  5. You, Justin and Jimmy are in our unceasing prayers, Rachael! Even Hans has been taught that whenever he thinks of you, the Holy Spirit is urging him to pray-and he stops and prays :)

    Three years ago my dear friend was pregnant again after losing her sweet daughter at 20 weeks. At three different intervals during her pregnancy, various tests confirmed stomach abnormalities, followed by a serious intestinal problem. The final blow near the end of her pregnancy: tests showed that her sweet girl had a severe heart defect. IF her baby survived delivery, she would be whisked away to Children's Mercy to await a heart transplant.

    In shock and disbelief, my friend and her husband met with the neonatologist and staff and a pediatric heart surgeon. Odds were discussed and many tears were cried.

    An older woman who was a mentor to our mom's group told us to pray and praise as if God had already said "Yes!" to our prayers. Everyone in her circle praised, prayed and fasted. When Miranda was born, she was perfectly healthy. Tracy questioned the doctor at length, "Could the tests have been wrong?" He told her they saw what they saw; her heart was healed and it was a miracle.

    When we watch this little miracle at play, running around and giggling, we stand in awe of God's grace and sweet mercy. Her chubby little cheeks are a visual reminder that GOD DOES HEAR AND ANSWER OUR PRAYERS.

    So when my family prays for you, Justin and little Jimmy, we paise and thank Him for the blessing and miracle of your baby boy's life. We pray believing that He hears us and has already said a mighty, "YES!" to our prayers.

    "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:24

    You will keep in perfect peace [Rachael] whose mind is steadfast, for [she] trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

    Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. 2 Corinthians 1:11

    The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126:3

    With so much love,
    Jennifer and Hannah Ostrander

  6. I too am in a time of waiting. I read this today and it made me think of you. The whole peace be still... I hope some part of it blesses you.

    Isaiah 52:12 For you shall not go out with haste, Nor go by flight: For the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

    I do not believe that we have begun to understand the marvelous power there is in stillness. We are in such a hurry -we must be doing - so that we are in danger of not giving God a chance to work. You may depend upon it, God never says to us, "stand still," or "sit still," or "be still," unless He is going to do something. This is our trouble in regard to our Christian life; we want to do something to be Christians when we need to let Him work in us. Do you know how still you have to be when your likeness is being taken?

    Now God has one eternal purpose concerning us, and that is that we should be like HIs Son" and in order that this may be so we must be passive. We hear so much about activity, may be we need to know what it is to be quiet.

    Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still! Nor deem these days- these waiting day as ill! The one who loves you best, who plans the way, has not forgotten the great need today! And if He waits,"tis sure He waits to prove to thee, His tender Child, His heart's deep love.

    Sit still, my daughter! just sit calmly still! You long so much to know thy dear Lord's will! while anxious thougths would almost steal their way Corrodingly with in, because of His delay_
    Persuade your self in simple faith to rest
    That He, who knows and loves, will do the best.

    Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
    Nor move one step, not even one until
    His way hath opened. Then, ah then how sweet!

    How glad thy heart, and then how swift thy feet thy inner being then ah then, how strong!
    And waiting days not counted then too long.

    Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still! What higher service could'st thou for Him fill? It's hard, yes! But choicest things must cost! For lack of losing all how much is lost!
    Tis hard, it's true! But then - He giveth grace
    To count the hardest spot the sweetest place
    - J. Danson Smith