Friday, April 19, 2013

By the Grace of God

There's something about me that I would say most people do not know. There's actually a lot of somethings. But that's normal.

This something is from the beginning of my life.

It's not a secret. I just don't feel obligated to share it a lot of the time. Most people aren't exactly interested in hearing about how you were born. But today, that is what I am going to tell you.

Because it's part of my story in a unique, grace-filled way.

I was born on a stormy evening in the middle of the fall. Maybe that is why my parents called me Autumn Rose. Although, I wasn't exactly the pinkest baby ever born.

I was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck. No big deal, the doctor said, we'll just unwrap it. But the cord was weak. And it snapped.

And there, I should not have lived a moment longer. One third of my blood was lost, I was not breathing, and my skin was bright blue. My Apgar was 1 or 2 and they were pulling out the crash cart.

They took me away.

And I lived. 

Soon, I was breathing again.

I guess after my mom was able to hold me, they had to take me away again, later. She sometimes recounts the memories she has of laying in bed there in the hospital, listening to my tiny self scream. If someone were to shave my head today, you could probably find the scars from the needles they put in my head. Tests... or something. I do not know.

And now, 19 and a half years later, I am living and breathing. I am a sophomore in college. And I am a product of the grace and mercy of my God.

As I've mentioned before, I am studying Special Education at my university. I just recently made this my major, after studying Biblical Counseling for almost two years. In my Educational Psychology class this afternoon, we were discussing students with exceptionalities. When we reached mental disabilities, my professor (as she often does) recounted a few stories from earlier times at the university. Then, she brought up a woman who works in the child care center that is on campus. This woman had suffered brain damage at birth. She had struggled to take classes at the college level, and would never be able to get a job anywhere besides where she works now. Her parents worry about what she will do when they pass away.

This woman was born with the umbilical cord around her neck. She lost oxygen. And a lot of it. You see, apparently, losing quite a bit of oxygen at birth is kind of a big deal. I'm told that it's supposed to cause brain damage. And for this woman, that is what it did.

I was stunned. I sat in class, rolling what my teacher had just said through my mind.

But that's... what happened to me. I lost a lot of oxygen. A third of my blood. Why am I so different from this lady?

I could only provide one answer.

The marvelous grace of God.

According to both statistics and basic facts, my IQ should be below 100.

I get A's and B's in my college courses. My GPA for this semester is slated to be an almost 4.0.

I don't say these things to show you how great and smart I am.

I say these things to show you how great my God is. How he took a tiny baby who was never supposed to be able to support herself and grew her into a young woman who is now taking ahold of life with both hands.

I firmly believe that each and every person on this earth was created for a singular purpose: to glorify God. Each individual situation He uses for His glory.

If I had become mentally disabled, I would still be able to say that I am who I am by the grace of God.

But by the grace of God I am who I am!!

He has granted me a hunger and thirst for knowledge to share with the world.

He has given me a love for teaching.

He has given me a love for those in need.

Of whom I was on the edge of becoming on the day I was born.

I look forward to the day that I can be in a classroom filled with beautiful eyes belonging to beautiful children all peering up at me, waiting. Waiting for me to share with them what I know. Waiting for my love. Waiting for my compassion.

And they won't have to wait but a minute, as I let them take my breath away, for just a moment.

And I will teach.

And I will love.

And I will show compassion.

I will show these children the love of my wonderful Savior, the One Who made them the way they are and Who loves them more than I or anyone in the world ever could.

I am amazed and blown away that God would even think to look upon, much less love, me! A poor, dirty, rotten sinner. And He has done more than just look upon me. He loves me, He cares for me and He died for me. Amazing love, how can it be?!

Maybe I'll never completely understand this side of Heaven why God chose to spare me from a life so very different from the one that I lead now.

But one thing I do understand: by the grace of God, I am what I am, and I will press on toward the mark of the prize of the highest calling, as a great cloud of witnesses cheers me on as I race to the finish line of life. Everything in my life will be done for the glory of my great Savior, and I will praise Him through every kind of weather.

Praise be to God for His unspeakable gift.


  1. So, now you fully understand. We weren't sure what your future held, just that our sovereign Lord and Savior held your future in His capable hands.

    Now, perhaps, you understand why your Momma sometimes gets teary eyed when she visits you at COLLEGE: You are a miracle.

  2. Addition: you didn't make a sound when you were born-and for a long time afterwards. All of your blood vessels had collapsed. The only place they could find to put fluids into your body was in the top of your head. That's when I heard your tiny, weak screams. Praise God you could scream!

  3. ::Sigh:: Another comment from you-know-who! There is another part to the story. You were born testing positive for Strep B. Step B is the most common cause of blood infections and meningitis in newborns and often causes the death of the baby. Another baby girl, born a day before you, died of this. I met her mother. She is the one who spoke before Congress and got it passed that all pregnant women must have a Step B test before giving birth. You were one sick little baby. God's grace allowed you to live and grow up into the beautiful young lady you are today. I love you.


Popular Posts