Thursday, April 09, 2009

Bye for now

On December 12th, Abigail Noel Hankins was born an unexpectedly very sick little baby. On December 17th, we learned that there was nothing more the doctors could do for her. On December 19th, we gathered all our family together to witness as we dedicated her to our Father in Heaven. Pastor Scott Sheppard came to Atlanta to perform the dedication service, and we asked him difficult questions.

If we knew that it was never too late for God to heal her, was it OK to let them remove her breathing tube? Could we do that and still be practicing faith?

He looked me in the eyes and asked me an even more difficult question. What do you feel Abigail needs?

I had to breathe a prayer for strength to say what I really knew deep within. Abigail was tired. She had fought so hard. She had been through so much pain, and all there was left for her besides our love was more pain and inevitably death. I didn't want to admit it, but I could see that she was even losing her natural newborn reflexes. There was no doubt in my mind that it was time to let her go and pray for a miracle.

Pastor Scott assured us that it was no lack of faith. He knew what we knew, and that was the simple and unquestionable fact that God could heal her with or without that breathing tube...and if it was His will for her life, that was exactly what He would do.

He proceeded to bless her, and to bless us. We promised to give her fully to our Lord no matter what. We dedicated ourselves to this, and our daughter to the Sovereign God who was already holding her in His heart. Pastor Scott wrote something beautiful in Abigail's journal, and I wanted to share it with you.

Dear Abigail,
What a beautiful little girl you are. Everyone is so very proud of you! The blessing these few days has been to your family and friends is a gift from God all wrapped up in "you." I am so sure God knows your every move and has your best interest in the center of His heart! Hey as pretty as you are he has to have your picture on his wall. Listen, I need you to promise me, if you get to see Jesus before me, tell Him how much I love Him. P.S. You are doing everything God wants you to do for your family. Keep up the good work! You are a special little Princess. Elizabeth, Hope, and Harrison wanted me to tell you hello and give you hugs and kisses. Bye for now, and God bless you forever.
Pastor Scott

I was standing nearby when he finished writing and stood up. He leaned over Abigail and kissed her head, then he whispered in her ear, "Keep on breathing!" I held on to those words. I prayed them over and over as I held her swollen little hand and breathed in the smell of Johnson's baby lotion that we had smoothed over her dry skin. I prayed them all that night and all the next day as we prepared to do what we had to do. Lord, just let her keep on breathing.

I thought I'd also share with you the note I wrote in her journal that evening too.

Dear Abigail,
You bring me such joy. It is amazing that it can hurt so much. I'm still praying for a miracle, but if you need to rest in God, that's a miracle too. Your light shines.

1 comment:

Princess Abigail said...

I think of you both all the time.
Abigail's time on earth, told through your talented words, is so very moving.
Thank you for sharing your precious, precious little girl with us.
I have learned a lot.
in France