Saturday, November 19, 2011
November 17, 2011
Lord, indeed You are worthy to be praised--not just for the wonderful and praiseworthy things that You have done, but simply because you are God. Today, You have given us the privilege to participate in a miracle through the life of our darling baby Brooke. Today, You have shown us that You can form a whole brain out of nothing and that You can move hearts to see You as You are--God Almighty.
Exactly one month ago (October 17, 2011), Michael and I had our routine ultrasound to find out if our little “Sweetpea” (as we fondly called our child whose gender was then unknown) was a girl or a boy. We also had the Congenital Anomaly Scan (CAS) done. To our delight, we found out that we were having a girl and confirmed that we’d name her Brooke Gabrielle, but to our dismay, the diagnosis of the CAS came out with what I’d call “a death sentence” for my daughter.
Brooke was diagnosed with holoprosecephaly, a condition wherein the brain didn’t form during the early weeks of development. The most severe type of which was noted as incompatible to life, which meant that Brooke would not make it outside my womb. This condition also came with facial deformity.
What I felt when these facts were presented to us, I can’t even begin to describe in words. As a mother, I could not believe that such a fate was given to my darling daughter. As a wife, I saw my husband’s pain through his tears and could muster up only enough strength to comfort him. When he was ok, I wasn’t. When I was crying my eyes out, he held it together for me. When I kept crying as I lived in the reality of the diagnosis, he shook me back to his reality--the true reality--of the Sovereign and Loving God who loved us so much and was willing and able to perform a miracle for our Brooke.
When he wasn’t ok and started getting sentimental after a brief visit to Mother Care, God gave me the strength to be the one that was ok, to be enthusiastic in seeing all those little girl clothes, and to remind him of the faith that we held on to. God was truly with us, and He was indeed the center of our partnership as husband and wife. We held fast to God’s first Word for us: Brooke was our reward (Psalms 127:3) no matter what the doctors said.
Throughout all these four weeks, we received support and love of every kind and from all fronts. Family and friends called, texted, facebooked, cheered us up, and prayed for us. The influx of support and prayers was truly overwhelming. What’s even more overwhelming was how our church family stood in faith and prayer with us for a miracle and a complete turn around of Brooke’s condition. Being faced with facts like that, it would have been easier to just accept it and expect even the worst so that we wouldn’t have to be disappointed by what would happen in the future. However, as believers, we knew God wanted us to see the facts with eyes of faith just as Abraham did, and believe that God is able to do the impossible (Romans 4:19).
Our church family held prayer meetings for Brooke weekly. Week 1, we cried out all our emotions and recognized the spiritual battle that this was. We renounced the work of the enemy and even then claimed Brooke’s complete healing. We prayed specifically--for the corpus callosum, falx cerebri, etc. of the brain to be in place. We prayed against any abnormality and believed that God would bless Brook with beauty inside out. We also acknowledged that Brooke was an instrument to tell of God’s goodness, greatness, and holiness. As the weeks progressed,, we could see God doing something new not just in our lives, but also in the lives of those who stood with us. He was not only making Brooke brand new; He was renewing us all!
This journey took us to a much deeper relationship with the One True God and enabled us to encounter Him in a more intimate way. He said to us all, “I am God. Is anything too difficult for Me?” And in all His splendor and might, He always always always said, “I love you so much, my children. I hear all your cries.” How amazing is that?
Today (one month later), we had an ultrasound done with the trusted sonologist of my OB, who happens to be also my Ninang. Admittedly, Michael and I were a little nervous, human as we are, but God assured us to have confidence (Hebrews 4:16) and that we should believe and NOT DOUBT (Matthew 21:21). When the ultrasound started, the first thing the sonologist said was “It’s not holoprosencephaly!” She examined our baby Brooke further, found some fluid in the brain, but confirmed that all parts of the brain were in place. The fluid could lead to hydrocephaly, and since baby Brooke was hiding her face, we could not tell how here facial features were formed. Everything else was perfect--complete spine, perfect heartbeat, kidney, arms and legs in place, good movements!
And this is where it gets amazing: The first diagnosis was not incorrect. It WAS a classic case of holoprosencephaly. The machine was not faulty. The sonologist was not blinded. It’s just that God turned the situation around. He had already performed the miracle by forming all of Brooke’s brain parts out of nothing!
Now, there are still things to pray and believe for. But as Michael and I left the hospital, we praised God for His miracle and believed that as we spoke, the fluids were gone, Brooke’s face was beautiful and without defect, and her development would continue perfectly. As we eagerly await Brooke’s birth some time in February 2012, we are happy to continue the race with faith and expectancy at how God will reveal Himself even more to us all.
In having prayed for the miracle and in continuing to do so, our ultimate reward is not the miracle in itself. The reward is God Himself--knowing Him, being loved by Him, loving Him, and seeking His face. All things will follow (Matthew 6:33).
As we believe in God’s mighty hand, we pray this every night. We call this Brooke’s prayer:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:13-16)
Brooke Gabrielle D. Manahan will be a living testimony that God is able to do the impossible. She will live to tell her story, and she will indeed be beautiful inside and out.
Labels: faith, family, love
posted by mari_elle at 23:35