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We’ve begun walking through a season where everything reminds me of Titus. Just over a year ago we began our difficult journey with our sweet, brave boy. It’s tempting to think we were naïve to believe Titus would survive his first year. Optimistic may be a better word. Hindsight is always 20:20, but I see how we put our faith in God who could deliver us, rather than in what the medical profession could do.
We sat in our first of many consultation rooms a year ago to figure out what was wrong with our unborn baby. The doctor explained our baby’s tummy condition, along with a couple other suspected abnormalities. I held Leon’s hand as I stared at the doctor trying to comprehend what she said about syndromes and groupings of abnormalities. Things began feeling like a blur to me. I tried to focus. “How certain are you that this baby has Down Syndrome?” Leon asked her. “I’d say eighty to ninety percent certain,” she replied. I took a deep breath and tried to hold back tears. When will I wake up from this nightmare?
Our dreams were shattered for the first time in our journey with Titus. God knows what He’s doing. We weren’t going to terminate the pregnancy because of a diagnosis. God valued the little life growing in me, and so did we. We believed He would deliver us. Somehow, God would be glorified in the beginning of our journey with our precious unborn baby.
In the book of Daniel Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were ordered to bow to King Nebuchadnezzar’s golden statue. When they refused, the king ordered the three men to be cast into a fiery furnace, one that was seven times as hot as it would normally be. Before being thrown into the furnace, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego told Nebuchadnezzar that God would deliver them.
“If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18
And miraculously, God delivered them from the fiery furnace. King Nebuchadnezzar recognised that God delivered the men, and worshipped God, too. God was glorified in a seemingly impossible situation.
We were thrown into our fiery furnace that day in Newcastle. It was hard, but Leon and I determined not bow to the things of the world. We chose to believe God would deliver us. He delivered three men from the fire. Surely he would deliver us, too. He’s more than capable of delivering us. And if not, we knew God is still good.
Almost thirteen weeks after Titus was born, we made the decision to move him into children’s hospice. As we drove out there to visit him that evening, we began to wonder how our family would sustain so many trips between home and hospice after we’d been in hospitals for weeks. I began to wonder whether God would deliver us from our fiery furnace.
Not even 24 hours after Titus moved to hospice, he died. We were heartbroken. At the same time we were relieved, like a burden was lifted from us.
Has God delivered us even though we lost our son? Over time, I’ve come to realise that He has delivered us; He just didn’t deliver us in the way we expected. God gave us 13 heartachingly beautiful weeks with our boy, and now we’ve been delivered from hospitals and heartache over liver problems and heart surgeries. We’ve been delivered from being a family in separate cities for days and weeks on end. He delivered Titus from all of those things, too because miraculously Titus is now healthy and whole in Heaven.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego weren’t alone in the fiery furnace. The men who threw them in were surprised to see a fourth person standing in there with them–the Lord. God was with those young men in the furnace. They trusted Him for deliverance. If they weren’t delivered, they knew God is still good.