I apologize for not updating this blog more often. When there is little to no change (except in weight) in Little Jessi's condition, then there is not much left to say. Postings on Facebook may be more frequent, but they can't truthfully say much more on the Baby's condition than is said here. Jessi is still on the ventillator and continues to fight various infections. Thank you for your steady and consistent prayers.
A pro-life organization requested an interview recently, and a women's clinic asked if I would be willing to do as-needed counseling to help women face the decision of saving her own life while taking her unborn baby's. These opportunities feel, for lack of a better term, "weird." Here would be some male telling a very afraid female that she's supposed to just buck up and face the facts that even if she dies, her child will get the chance to live and she should be happy with that. (No, I would not phrase it like that!) But I'm just the husband of a Woman who made the difficult choice to do right. And I'm afraid some type of deification occurs when people make decisions to do right. A lot of missionary "biographies" tend to exalt the person rather than the God s/he represents. Jessica's case has been similar. I want to do justice to the realities of fear and the reality of an incredibly loving God who gives grace beyond measure to the hurting and fearful.
Jessica and I grew up in religious circles that forced conformity through the fear of man. When we got married we struggled to throw off this yoke and "be real" with people, especially at church. Jessica was one of the most honest people I have ever known. She would want me to reveal our humanness and the difficulties of the decisions she and I made. She would want me to help others by being real and saying the hard things that the "more spiritual" would cringe to hear. To be clear, Jessica was at first very afraid. She did not wear some spiritual "No Fear" t-shirt on her heart. She spent the first three days in the hospital making certain she understood the Gospel of Jesus clearly. Then she began to struggle with the treatment options. Jessica was stronger than I; I was about to lose the one person in this world that I loved more than myself, and I was hitting the panic point. In the end, she overcame her fear better than I. So many well-meaning people, churches, organizations, pastors, etc. view everything in life as black and white. But this attitude completely leaves out the god-given element of human emotions. Whether or not to abort the baby was the "easy" choice -- no, absolutely not. But whether or not to accept treatments that might harm the baby was much more difficult; the colors melded into gray hues.
We wrestled with these issues. With no one else around, she would write notes to me reflecting her fight with herself. I watched God grow my Wife's spiritual maturity right in front of my eyes. One day Jessica's brother downloaded a song by Philips, Craig, and Dean entitled "Your Grace Still Amazes Me." This song helped settled all issues for her. She decided she would accept God's grace to face whatever came her way even if it meant death and never being able to raise her child -- which is exactly what happened.
Cancer may have taken Jessica's body, but God's grace took Jessica's mind captive and enabled her to do what she could not have done on her own. Jessica would want any mother-to-be or even husband, fiance, boyfriend or parents to know that it's normal to struggle with fear, or like Job, to struggle with feelings of aloneness or betrayal. But in the end, God gives abundant grace. And in the final end, for those who have Jesus as their Lord, death is a mercy in leaving this world and a grace in entering His visible presence. May God's grace and peace rest on you all. -Clint-