Sowing in tears…waiting for shouts of joy

Note from Christa: Today is the eve of my 59th birthday, and I had planned to write about all that has challenged and inspired me, pushed and prodded me to the woman I am today. Then, I woke up Wednesday morning to read the following blog post from a dear friend, Maegan Roper. I first met Maegan when she worked as the Marketing and Publicity Manager for Abingdon Press. Since the birth of their first daughter, Emmalyn, Maegan has opened her own business, MR Marketing and, just recently, answered the call to serve as the Children’s Pastor at their church. Maegan shares the news she and her husband, Jeremy, were given this week about their yet unborn daughter, Ellanie Beth.  Her words humbled me when I asked if I could share this with our readers:”If He can be glorified in this, it’s certainly what we want.”  I pray her message is an inspiration to all.

From A Different Remedy…by Maegan Roper

I’m young. I still have a lot to experience (Lord willing that is His plan) and while I’ve always said that I would be ready for our time of harvest, building our faith for what is yet to come, there is no way to understand what that means until you’re just there. Standing between the crossroads of letting the Lord have your situation, or letting the enemy have it.

We faced that crossroad today and I am choosing to let Him reign sovereignly over our circumstance. With every part of my being, I am believing in His gracious hand & His promises of truth. Even David chose confidence in his time of desperation, “I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Ps. 27:13-14.  Yesterday morning, what we anticipated to be a routine, normal, 20 week ultrasound was far from it.

We were told by my doctor that our gift of life, which is a girl by the way, has the rarest and severest form of spina bifida called Anencephaly. It is a neural tube defect that causes the baby’s skull and brain to stop developing, very early in fetal development. There’s no way to catch it before 12 weeks and there is no direct relation to the cause. Anencephaly has no treatment or cure and is always fatal. It is inevitable that even if the baby is carried to full term it will not live beyond hours, even minutes. She would immediately be put on life support only to survive for that very short time.Our options are slim. We can induce early and I can deliver within the next few days, or I can carry to full term, knowing that our baby girl will either be a still-born or will only have hours to live at the maximum either way.

This is where we stand and we are seeking the Lord’s wisdom.I honestly am having a difficult time putting my thoughts into sensible words, but I know that several of our family & friends are asking questions about this birth defect and what it means for our family so I feel its important to educate you (if you’re like us and knew nothing of the condition). To tell you the truth everything about yesterday just seemed like a bad dream. I awoke this morning with that first thought…”please tell me that I just had a nightmare.”

We recently moved back to our hometown, after having been gone for nearly 6 years (living in Nashville, TN and then south AL). At first, when we received the Lord’s instruction to move our lives back to Birmingham we didn’t quite understand what He was up to. Today, He certainly revealed Himself in numerous ways today & giving us clarity in that was one of them. Just 3 days ago I accepted the call to serve as Children’s Pastor in the church I grew up in (North Highlands Baptist Church) and piece by piece God has revealed aspects of His master plan that we so often do not understand. Even in the bad news yesterday, He revealed another revelation of that plan. Our pastor reminded me of something when He came to pray with us right after we learned of our situation. He said, “Maegan, you are about to inherit hundreds of kids. I see no coincidence in that.” He is right 🙂

His provision in surrounding us with unconditional love, support, encouragement, and prayer is just another reminder of how great His love is for us. He knew we would need the encouragement & support we’re receiving and I’m thankful that even when we had questions, He gave us the courage to say “yes.” I read a something from Beth Moore a few weeks ago that has stuck and I’ve especially been mindful of today: “The more Satan sees something crucial on the next step, the more he will fight you. Why does God allow such warfare? Sometimes God uses the fight to strengthen the muscles we’ll need at the next level.”

I suppose this is our next level and I’m praying to our almighty God that we will be ready… I wish we could introduce you to Ellanie Beth. The fact of the matter is that the Lord knew her before she was even knitted in my womb and this is all a part of His special plan for her. She has been and will continue to be special to us. She brought us to our knees before we ever learned of her condition and she is bringing us to our knees still… may He be honored in the highest way through her life.


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Christa Allan

A true Southern woman who knows any cook worth her gumbo starts with a roux and who never wears white after Labor Day, Christa writes "not-your-usual Christian Fiction. Her debut novel, Walking on Broken Glass in 2010 was followed by The Edge of Grace, which released in August of 2011. Love Finds You in New Orleans will be available in early 2012. Christa is the mother of five children, grandmother of three, and teacher of high school English. She and her husband Ken live in Louisiana, where they enjoy their time between dodging hurricanes and anticipating retirement.

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  1. I am so terribly sorry for such news. The only reason I know what this is, is because Karen Kingsbury has a novel that revolves around it, called Summer. Praying for your hurting hearts and tough decisions.

  2. Oh, Maegan,

    Just read this through my tears. Our third child, Robbie, was born with anencephaly. We have two daughters, then Robbie, and a fourth child, a son, was born after him. Robbie was born and died 1989.He lived 20 minutes. Such a bittersweet grace-filled time for us. His story became my very first publication. So much I could say right now, but I just want you to know I care. I understand. I’m lifting you in prayer.

    So much love,

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