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Showing posts from February, 2013

Men as Trees Walking and Rattling Bones

Last week's ultrasound of the baby's brain looked, to my overly Google-trained eye, significantly different than the previous five (abnormal) studies.  By our sixth ultrasound, we had seen four different specialists; each of whom with varying degrees of confidence told us that our baby is most likely missing part of his or her brain.  Until the last one.  She concluded that in some views, it seemed very likely the marker for the organ in question was actually present.  However, she also stated that the previous specialist (who had told us she was 95% sure this portion of the baby's brain was missing) had done studies that were "far more advanced" than those a typical perinatologist would do.  The final physician's official "read" on the ultrasound was that no new information could be ascertained, and direct imaging of the baby's brain would be necessary after birth. Yet. The timing rules against coincidence.  Typically, the structure in question

"I can see...a cloud the size of a man's hand"

Yesterday's journal entry...

Is it easier to say 'Your sins are forgiven,' or 'Stand up and walk'?

Exhausted from carrying thirty extra pounds and an unmentionable number of grocery bags through the Rochester tundra, I sank to the floor in the kitchen to sort them.  This song was playing, on repeat, from my nearby computer: I hadn't heard it before Sunday, but since then I have strongly considered adopting it as a manifesto for this season.  This is a time when my strength is insufficient.  No amount of planning, effort, or chutzpah on my part will change the outcome of this pregnancy or our child's brain.  And while God cannot be coerced, in Scripture He is often willing to intercede to meet a humble request.   Before I stood up, I reflected on these lines: No power can stand against You No curse assault Your throne No one can steal Your glory For it is Yours alone I stand to sing Your praises I stand to testify For I was dead in my sin but now I rise I will rise, As Christ was raised to life.   And I realized: when we come to Christ, begging for the crumbs that fall from t

Walk by Faith, Not by Sight.

I am 29 years old, and have never given up anything for Lent.  In the past, I figured expending spiritual energy to "do" something for God made more sense than to "not do" something. It took me nearly three decades to realize that we are always "doing" something.  The glass is never half full.  It is always, always, totally full -- of something.  If there is half a cup of water, the other half is air.  Whatever we "add" to our schedules results in the removal of something else, either knowingly or unknowingly.  Whatever we "add" to our thoughts results in the crowding out of something else.  This principle holds spiritually, as well.  If I face a day carrying half a cup of worry, I have less capacity for faith.   Recently, I have found myself intellectualizing our baby's condition.  Intellectualization is a "mature" psychological coping mechanism, which supposedly reduces anxiety by accruing knowledge with which to combat

Grace Upon Grace

How a year changes everything.  Last year at this time, Ethan and I were scrambling to finish up medical school and residency (respectively), while planning a wedding, moving him from Arkansas to New York, and wrapping up our transatlantic relationship (after he spent three months in India, and a month in Lesotho). We planned to adopt.  Someday. Ethan had been tested post-chemotherapy, and told he would never be able to have children.  Naturally, at least.  But we have a supernatural God, who thought it best to make us parents during our second month of marriage (and Ethan's first month of residency).   His ways are not our ways. This past month, we have found ourselves immersed in the prayers of believers (and unbelievers!) around the world after several prenatal ultrasounds found our miracle baby's brain "abnormal".  We are both physicians, and we know these abnormal findings are not "soft markers" (i.e. not easily misinterpreted).   So we find ourselves p