Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Meaning of Bella...God's Promise

March 12, 2012

Dear Diary,

As I sit here tonight, I can't believe it's been three years since that day Dr. Matthews told Jenn and Roby he was going to have to deliver their baby by C-section. Jenn's Preeclamsia was causing her liver enzymes to escalate, her blood pressure was sky-rocketing despite the meds, and a crash cart had been ordered.  Try as she might, it couldn't be delayed any longer.  A baby was coming at 23 weeks and 4 days.

With steady, calm hands Dr. Matthews quickly lifted the baby from Jenn and gently placed her on a stainless steel tray...all 10" and 15 ounces of Bella...our teeny. tiny micro-premmie.  Roby could only stare in wonder.

Now began Jenn's walk through fire armed only with prayer and a faith in God's perfect plan...her shields against the doubts and fears that could arise in the weeks and months to come.
Looking back Diary...I'm still amazed by God and His power to heal...to hold...and to awe.

In His perfect timing, had she been one week earlier, Bella wouldn't have been viable...four days earlier and she wouldn't have received steroids for her lung development.  That one week and four days increased her chance of survival from 10% to 53%.  God, breathing into her and over her, changed it to 100%...glory!

This wasn't a coinicidence...this was the power of God....and in His perfect timing, Bella grew stronger and bigger in the many days to come, proving the experts wrong...the statisitics wrong...and the existence of angels right. 
To stand and watch the miracle of creation encased in a tiny glass castle...to feel His awesome power fill the NICU...to watch the nurses and doctors stand with amazed faces as Bella grew and flourished...I left the NICU every day humbled.  All the negativity and statistics fell by the wayside when face to face with a mighty God who held this tiny baby in His loving hands.

Diary, we couldn't contain our joy when that day came in August to take her home.  To have witnessed my own baby become a mother was a gift.  To see her become such a wonderful mother...a privilege.  Jenn never lost hope, holding fast to her God for the strength to face whatever trials and complications Bella might face once she was released.

And yet...as in Bella's beginning...God was in control.

Bella continued to thrive, staying on oxygen for several more months, receiving therapy to aid her in developmental skills, but with no major health problems.  Diary...I have to repeat those last four words and pinch myself...no.major.health.problems!

Praise God! 
By the time Bella reached her first birthday, the oxygen tank was no longer needed.

Diary...she was a little behind on walking and talking, but if it meant carrying her for the rest of her life...we were all prepared to do it.  Whatever God called for us to do...we were ready.

But again...in His perfect plan for Bella...He carried her...and us.

Her first birthday was a major milestone for this child of God.  If the therapists wanted her to start taking a few steps...she did.  Could she learn simple words like Mama and Dada?  No problem.  Solid food in addition to her special formula for weight gain...bring it on.  She didn't just flourish...she blossomed.

God holding her in His hands as she held our hearts in hers.  Whatever was asked of her...He helped her to not just attain it, but surpass her medical caregivers' expectations...time and time again.
Oh my goodness Diary.  Two was remarkable!  To watch as she began toddling around, making a mess as she went.  Reveling in the pure joy of her everyday routine.  Thankful for every little step, every little word, every little kiss.
To watch as her personality began forming and her sense of understanding growing.  To see her soak up the world around her like a sponge, her eyes taking in everything down to the tiniest detail.  To watch her eyes go back and forth when my hair wasn't in braids or I wasn't wearing my glasses.  Seeing her mind formulate an answer to her questioning eyes and then watching as she figured out what was different.  To be able to share in the delight on her face when she solved her own problems.  The simple things that somehow get lost in the shuffle of life were suddenly more important than anything.
Perhaps Diary, we paid closer attention because she is a gift...her life, a precious gift from God...not to be taken lightly.  But Diary...isn't that true of all children?  Through her, I have a different outlook on everything in my life.  I watch her, Graycie, and Brandon differently.  I try not to miss anything...down to the minutia of what happened in school during lunch.
Dearest Diary...through the weeks leading up to her birth and the months she was in the hospital,  this precious baby...this blog baby as she became known...touched so many people.  Strangers at the beginning...now friends forever because of her and their hope and prayers for her.  A uniting of people that can't be explained except by the knowledge, this was part of His plan for all of us. She snuggled into their hearts just as she snuggled into ours and forever bound us across the miles and oceans by the love and prayers so generously shared.   
So I sit here tonight, transfixed Diary, smiling and crying while looking at images of Bella.  Lost in thought and forgetting to breathe from time to time.  Photos that capture my heart, make me weak in the knees, and thankful for His mercy.  I don't know the whys.  It isn't for me to know.  I do know that through His grace and by the blood of His precious son...I have been forgiven and I am saved.  I also know that I am charged to witness to the gift of eternal life that is ours through Jesus Christ.  Miracles do exist...and not just in the Bible.  Bella is my witness of His miracles.  He is the Great I am and I will forever with humble adoration...praise His name.  It is because of her, my prayer tonight and always, is for all to know the peace that comes from letting go and letting Him take control of our lives.

I can't write anymore Diary.  The tears are blinding me, but don't worry...they're tears of joy.  I probably should close this now and get ready for bed and my prayers.

You know me though Diary.  When it comes to how wonderful God is...I never want to stop talking.  Rest assured...my prayers will be about praising the magnificence of my Lord and His faithfulness before saying goodnight to this beautiful day.

~I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.~Psalms 139:14

Thank you Lord for all your gifts, for the friends who now share my life, and for this precious little girl you have blessed us with.

Your humble servant,



Marsha @ Tattered Chick said...

I have no words, Debbie. Your post is so beautiful and moving.

Happy Birthday sweet Bella!

God bless,


misselaineous said...

No back talk today...what an awesome and amazing and heart lifting post to read...thank you so much for sharing again what can only be called a miraculous journey! Truly a gift from God...no more words...just tears! Thank you Debbie! *e*

Tootsie said...

OMG girl...what a beautiful post!

Daphne Nicole & Lynda Cade said...

What a beautiful and inspiring post.
Hugs~~~ Daphne

Michelle @ Sweet Something Design said...

Debbie, Debbie, Debbie...what a wonderful journey you guys are on, God is good! She really is a blessing (so are you)!


Kate said...

The most precious gift you have shared with all of us is this post. The Lord is so faithful even in our darkest hours. What a way to start my day with praises and giving Him the glory. Much love to you my friend.


Faded Charm said...

Wow, Deb...this is such an amzaing story and journey for you and your family. The power of love and faith is so apparent and so glad you get to enjoy your little baby girl:-)

Hope all is well with you. Are you getting ready for the Spring show? Can't believe it's already almost here again and afraid I'll have to miss yet another one:-( I'm still holding out hope that some year I'll make it and would love more than anything to meet you!


Pent-Up Photos said...

It doesn't get any more beautiful than that, girlfriend! Your post is beautiful, Bella is beautiful and life is beautiful! The miracle of Bella reminds us to never doubt the power of prayers!


Cheryl said...

A very beautiful and heartfelt post Debbie. I can feel the strength of your faith and love for all God has done for that precious little Bella. The power of prayer is so amazing.
Happy Birthday dear Bella!
Blessings and Hugs,

Ann said...

i remember your first posts about Bella..and following her progress. God smiles!!!..Bella is proof of His abounding Love!

Jena Williams, Not So Shabby Interiors said...

What a sweet post of some of the most blessed 3 years of your life....sweet Bella, Happy Bday beautiful girl!!

Shelly said...

Not sure how I arrived here, one minute on Pinterest and the next reading this awesome and amazing story about Bella. How beautifully written and such an inspiring story.
Thank you for sharing about your experience and also your faith in God. Blessed to have stopped by accidently.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely beautiful - both you and Bella!

. said...

PRAISE THE LORD!!! And pass the cake ! What an awesome testimony! Happy Birthday Sweet Bella! Hugs to you my friend! !

. said...

PRAISE THE LORD!!! And pass the cake ! What an awesome testimony! Happy Birthday Sweet Bella! Hugs to you my friend! !

. said...

PRAISE THE LORD!!! And pass the cake ! What an awesome testimony! Happy Birthday Sweet Bella! Hugs to you my friend! !

Anonymous said...

Dear Deb
I think there is a book inside of you wanting to get out
Bella's story is so Amazing , such a tribute to God's great love.
I remember 3 years ago when you emailed me to that you had a new grand daughter. Look at her now - I love the pigtail photo :)
Thanks for sharing

lisa Moran, Bilancia Designs said...

It's hard to type as the tears are blinding my keyboard.
What an amazing tribute, Deb, and so beautifully written.
Bella's story is certainly a testament of God's incredible love.
Happy birthday to an angel sent from above... xo

red.neck chic said...


I have big ol' tears running down my face.

I love you and Bella and Jenn and everybody that surrounds you.

and I still wanna babysit.


Lanette of Cottage Elements said...

So beautifully and elequently stated. And so thankful our God is a big God and is able to perform big things. Bella is truely a gift from God. And she is very blessed to have you as her Gramma!


time worn interiors said...

Happy Birthday Bella!

Simply amazing Gods great grace!



I read in total amazement at the wonder of it all! Happy Birthday, sweet baby girl, Bella!

Tracie~MyPetiteMaison said...

She is a gift from above! Debbie, I can't believe it's been 3 years either. I am so very happy for you, sharing so much love with this precious little Bella! God is good.

momto8 said...

I love everything about this post. Oh my goodness...such extremes of emotions! wow. Life is so precious.
I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

Kathie Truitt said...

Oh Deb. I remember this day. I remember seeing that first picture and my heart breaking in two for you, my new blog friend. I prayed for God to comfort you and your family when that baby slipped away because I KNEW she was too small to survive. Oh ye...no, oh ME of little faith. I thank God for the blessing and miracle of this precious, precious baby...
I know give you 'bout as much sass and backtalk as anybody but hopefully you DO know I love you and meeting you is on my bucket list.

(By the way, would like to send you the book but I need your address, darlin')

Pam @ Frippery said...

Breathtakingly beautiful, both this post and your precious Bella. Love ( you know the rest) Pam

Low Tide High Style said...

Deb, what a beautiful post about a beautiful girl! My own daughter, who is now 24, was almost 6 weeks early, as I too suffered from preeclampsia and had to be airlifted for an emergency c-section at a hospital with a PICU. So your story is near and dear to my heart. Your Bella truly is a gift, just as our daughter is to us each and every day!


Unknown said...

Oh Deb,
Another great post. You are such a talented writer. Thank you for sharing yourself and Bella with us.
Thinking of you today.

Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas said...

I am in tears deb. So I will just say...amen!!


Lou cinda

Shabby Vintage Junk said...

BEAUTIFULLY written Deb....!! Bella is indeed the sweetest 'gift' I've ever laid eyes on....I'm looking forward to seeing what life has in store for this little miracle....!!!!!

See ya soon,
Tamarah xx

the old white house said...

I just wanna hug you and Bella and wish her a very Happy Birthday! What a beautiful blessing your family was given that day, I am sure that God knew He was giving her to a family that would praise His name forever and share the blessing with all within earshot. What a beautiful post, my kids know of my love for them but you make me want to slow down this day and make sure to tell each one of them once again. love you!!! t.xoxoox

The Green Pea said...

Dear Debbi, a Happy Birthday to little Bella. Thank you for sharing that special time with all of us. You and your family are all so blessed to have this beautiful Bella.
Hugs from, sandi.

Rebecca said...

I am trying to catch up on your posts dear friend but this one has tears streaming down my face and praising God for his goodness. This has brought me back 14 years now with our twins. And as I read this, I look forward to the day my boys will run, play and tell me all about what they cannot now. How wonderful God is to give us the gifts we need. He is faithful.

Unknown said...

Hi Debbie! Just trying to get caught up on your blog and I came across this post...and what a truly beautiful post it is!! Your little miracle is such a gorgeous little girl and a constant example of His awe inspiring love! Thank you for sharing this story...

Blessings ~

:) T

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Bella is a perfect name...and these photos of her is a perfect reminder of what is REALLY important in life. So happy you shared them and may Bella continue on her beautiful journey - which is glorifying that God is good even when we least expect it....even if it is 23 weeks and 4 days unexpected of goodness :-)

Lots of love

Tammy's in Love said...

I just ran into your blog, read the home page then found your serious post on Bella. My son was a preemie, born at 5 lbs, not sure how early, he was in Korea, I was in the US...He is now a 6 footer, handsome as can be and the Korean people he meets ask if he is a model. God is in control and our lives prove it.


Anonymous said...

He held Bella's hand the entire time. Great is thy faithfulness.