He Alone Holds Us

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My stomach tightened into a knot as we stepped off the elevator.

The walls and furniture were bright and colorful. Moana played on a television at low volume. A friendly receptionist pointed us to a cartoony touchscreen to check in.

The cartoon fish didn’t fool me. This isn’t fun. I don’t want to be here. No one does.

The fluorescent lights flickered. The smells were antiseptic. The chairs were clean but worn down by countless worried parents before me.

I blinked back tears as we sat. Our three-month-old baby slept peacefully in his car seat, completely unaware of the abnormal measurement that had brought us here.

The physical feature—his big head—that was often the focus of our lighthearted jokes might actually be a problem. It was growing too quickly. An ultrasound was needed right away.

***

I’ve never been so aware of a simple fact: my children do not belong to me.

My love for them is vast. It’s visceral and gut-wrenching and wild. I want to believe that I can protect them. That I can keep them from harm.

But I can’t.

No amount of control or caution can keep them from disappointment, broken hearts, or irregular test results.

***

I often wonder how Mary did it.

When God said, “he will come to save the world,” did she know that meant unspeakable pain and suffering? The ultimate sacrifice? Death on a cross for her precious son?

Would she have felt differently about this whole parenting gig if she knew? This child was her flesh and blood. Borne of her body and tied to her heart.

But when the angel came, Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”

Oh, what faith.

***

We were eating dinner in the hospital food court when our doctor called my cell phone. The radiologist had reviewed the scans and she had the results. No excess fluid in the brain, no abnormal growths. We’ll have to keep an eye on it, but for now, everything is normal.

The tears burned again, this time on an overwhelming wave of gratitude. I clutched our baby to my chest and breathed out a shaky prayer: thank you thank you thank you.

***

Mary knew what I struggle to accept.

Despite coming from my body and carrying my heart, these children are not my own.

They belong to their Father. As I think about that night long ago—about a young mother, a stable, a baby—it’s even more clear.

Whatever the future holds, He alone holds us.

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7 thoughts on “He Alone Holds Us

  1. I cried along with you, while reading your words. And I cried with relief, reading that the results are normal. Son is fine. I, too, have three children and one had a similar situation to yours. The specialist told us after many tests, that our child just has a big head, no abnormalities too. He also said our child will grow really tall and be very handsome. Like Movie-Star handsome!
    Well, darn it…he was so right! Our son grew to 6’ 4” tall, and is so handsome. He literally grew into his big head and is proportioned just right.
    Blessings and love to you all. Your son is fine…and is probably going to be super-tall and even more handsome than he is now! Merry Christmas! Our Lord is watching over you all and keeping you safe!

      1. I appreciated your reply, Jessica. You are a wonderful writer and for years, your blog entry’s have warmed my heart.
        I totally understand the worry and horror you went through, with the testing, and waiting for the results. It is gut-wrenching and it feels like you have a huge football in your stomach, right? The worry goes right into our soul, as their mothers.
        Our children are such beautiful gifts, we love them so much, and protecting them is our job. But, He, our Lord, has it all in control.
        We were referred to a specialist and even though it made us more terrified, seeing him was actually the best medicine. As he did even more testing, over many years, and each time the results were normal. So, please don’t panic too much, if your son gets referred to a specialist. This is a good thing, as the specialists are very thorough and want to see our children grow and thrive.
        I think you are an amazing and beautiful mother. Your children are precious darlings. Before you know it, they will be teenagers and eating you out of house and home…and towering over you! Everything will be a-okay!
        Hugs and blessings to you all,
        Caroline

  2. From Aunt Connie, Jess, I was touched by your story about Henning.  Your mother told me you had taken him to De Vos Children’s Hospital but I didn’t know what the outcome had been.  I’ve been thinking about you and your family all week.  So looking forward to seeing you all on Chrtistmas Eve.

  3. May God bless you and your family richly this Christmas time. May your Christmas be filled with love joy and peace!

    Richard & Belinda

    Dubbo NSW

    Australia

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