Difficult news

We’ve had a difficult talk with a neo-natalogist today. Our desire is to be fully yielded to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ. What that will entail we don’t know. Susannah has been given to the Lord. We’ve asked Him to use her as He sees fit. We thought we knew what that looked like. Now we’ve had placed directly before us the fact that our little one may never have fully been with us after birth. We believe life begins at conception and ends when the spirit leaves the body. Susannah’s spirit may have already left.

In total honesty, there is no measurable evidence of brain activity. At first this wasn’t a big deal but each hour that goes by increases the likelihood that it won’t start. I’ve asked the Dr what would cause him to reverse his diagnose and he said she would need to wake up and be able to follow movement with her eyes. Frankly this is about like asking her to climb out of her isolette.

We are praying for Gods direction. We are asking Him to take this difficult decision from us and if He chooses not to give us the grace to do what we need to.

We love you all and thank you for your prayers and support. I read a bunch of blog comments to Susannah last night. She’s even keeping up with what you are saying.


142 thoughts on “Difficult news”

  1. I will continue for praying for you both and for little Susannah. I pray the Lord blesses you with peace as He shows us His will.

  2. She is so beautiful. Our hearts are breaking for you. Praying that you will feel the loving arms of God around you all and know that nothing can separate your precious daughter from his love.

  3. I am praying for your family. Our daughter went to be with the Lord at 8 months old, and I remember all too well the final hours when we knew that God’s plan was going to be very different than we had imagined. I wish there were answers that made sense. May you find peace that surpasses all understanding.

  4. Oh, God bless your hearts as you walk through all this. My heart aches for you.


  5. These photographs will always hold a special place in my hearts. Thank you for sharing them with us. What lies before you seems unimaginable to me. But, then again, the power of our awesome God is something that is unimaginable as well. Our prayers for you will focus on this truth, asking God for grace to fill you right now, and for Him to sustain you. Just know, that you sharing your story through this blog has been such an encouraging, humbling time. I have never, not one moment, taken my children for granted – but now I am holding them tighter, and praising the Lord louder for the gifts He has given to me.


  6. Dear Maxwells,

    My heart goes out to each of you during this fiery trial and I am earnestly praying that the Lord will intervene in a miraculous way for this situation. I know that you have placed your sweet daughter in our loving Father’s capable hands where He will wisely choose to do what is best. It is a beautiful testimony to His name to see your faith in action. I pray that He would continue to give you the peace that passes all understanding and that he would uphold you, comfort you and console you all througout this period of uncertainty.

    Your sister in Christ,

  7. You’re submission and welcoming the Father’s Will be done is inspiring. I’m praying for a miracle for Susannah and for grace for your family.

  8. We are so very sorry. You will all be in our thoughts and
    prayers. (Psalm 91)

    The Hurley’s

  9. I’m so so sorry for your heartache. I wish there was something I could say or do to help, but only God can fully comfort you.

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus

    O soul, are you weary and troubled?
    No light in the darkness you see?
    There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
    And life more abundant and free!

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
    Look full in His wonderful face,
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
    In the light of His glory and grace.

    Through death into life everlasting
    He passed, and we follow Him there;
    Over us sin no more hath dominion—
    For more than conquerors we are!

    His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
    Believe Him, and all will be well:
    Then go to a world that is dying,
    His perfect salvation to tell!

  10. Dear Nathan and Melanie,

    My heart aches for the two of you. We will all continue to pray that the Lord will guide your every step. He knows how hard this path is for you and He is with you continually. He loves the three of you so very much.

    Our prayers will not stop.


  11. You are in our prayers.
    “Underneath are the everlasting arms”.

  12. Dear Nathan, I am praying for you and your family, and that God’s will would be done, that He would be magnified in your lives through this time. Keep trusting our wise Heavenly Father! Your brother in Jesus Christ, –Ryan

  13. Words escape me. So we will lift up prayers from our hearts for you, your sweet girl, and your family as you all walk through this valley. God truly bless you.

  14. What a deep valley… His love for both of you and for Susannah extends to greater depths. He will uphold you. We will continue to pray.

  15. Dear Nathan and Melanie,
    We are praying for both of you as you trust the Lord through this trial. Our hearts ache for you as we imagine the grief and pain you are suffering, but we know that the Lord’s grace is sufficient for ALL your needs and we pray that you would feel His grace and love abundantly right now. We pray for wisdom as parents as you make hard decisions and we pray for comfort and healing for Susannah as the Lord wills. She is a beautiful precious baby and we pray that the Lord will use her mightily for His glory.

    Annamarie and Chris

  16. May the God of all comfort and wisdom envelope you with His care and with His love and grace!!

  17. Just wanted to let you and your family know that prayers are being lifted on your behalf right now.

    In Him,

  18. Nathan and Melanie…
    We are praying very much for you during this time. We have been very blessed to see your willing/sweet spirit to trust that the Lord knows best. We also praise the Lord that you are able to be so close to your precious little one. For Susannah to be close to her Mama could really help her… after being in her Mama for 33 weeks (constantly hearing her heartbeat & breathing, and knowing exactly how her Mama is feeling every moment), it makes sense that for her to have Mama right there would really help her… even physically. Praise the Lord for a hospital staff that allows contact with the baby!
    We love you both… and you are being lifted up to the Father’s throne all throughout the day (and night). May God strengthen both of you…

    With love and prayers,
    Joshua, Sharia, and Jeremiah

  19. I am so, so sorry to hear this. Susannah, Nathan, Melanie, and all of your family and friends are in my prayers. I pray that you are surrounded in the love of God and all those who love you, and that it gives you peace.

  20. I cannot fathom the weight of what you are currently dealing with. I have not written on the blog before, but I have been monitoring the baby updates for several months. In the past couple of days, I have been checking every few hours. Many thoughts and prayers are with you.

  21. Nathan, Melanie, Susannah, and all of our precious Maxwells… the Father loves you so much. I know you know that. I pray that you will know it with more and more certainty as you walk this day – more deeply, more joyfully – with great courage.

  22. I have admired your family for a long time now. Your unwavering commitment to the Lord, even through a trial such as this, is a huge testimony of your faith, and is a shining example of how we all should live.

    I will continue praying for all of you and for His will. However, I can’t help but pray for a miracle as well. May God remove the burden of decision making from you, and may you feel His love (and ours) wrapped around you like a big hug.

    My tears, my heart, my prayers are with you all.

    In His Love,

  23. My heart aches for you all. Our first child went to be with the Lord over 13 years ago. I will be praying for you. I know you know that the Lord is with you, I pray you will sense that stronger than ever in the coming days and weeks. Melanie, I will name you often in my prayers in the coming days. Giving her over to the Lord is the best thing you could do, but it is sometimes the hardest. We love you all.


  24. I can hardly type through all the tears that I am shedding for you and Melanie right now. Your faith and total submission to God are just amazing to me and I thank God for you all.
    There seem to be no more words at the moment. I love the verse in Psalm 91 about being under the shadow of the Almighty. I wish so much that you didn’t have to walk this road. We are still fervently praying for a miracle and for God to guide you into HIS perfect will concerning your precious Susannah Joy. May God bless you both, dear brother and sister in Christ and sweet little Susannah.

  25. Words cannot express my sadness for you all- and in the midst of this fiery trial I stand amazed at your faithfulness to our Lord. God is being glorified through this- I am reminded that God is good and He has been ever faithful to you all- He continues to bestow His Grace and strength upon you. We are praying for you all!

    Jesus loves you SO much Susannah!!!!!!
    Grow in HIS grace.

  26. Oh, how I am praying for your little one.

    Your family’s ministry has been such an encouragement to me. I hope I can encourage you in some tiny way but letting you know that, from our little island, you are being lifted up in prayer.


  27. Sometimes words fail. Romans 8:28 is a comfort, but it’s a lot harder living it than it is reading it.

    We will continue to pray.

  28. Our God is able…is all I can think to say right now. We are still praying for a miracle for precious baby Susannah and will continue. We pray God will strengthen you and give you guidance and direction. Praying for peace in your hearts as you wait on God. Your submission to His will, “not withholding your beloved, only(daughter)” from Him is sure to be an inspiration to many others and bring joy to the Father’s heart. Love and prayers for all of you!

  29. A dear lady from the Mom’s Board sent this when we lost our 16 day old son. It has meant a lot to us. May it be used to bless you also.

  30. Dear Nathan and Melanie
    I will lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help comes from?
    My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth….
    (Psalm 121)
    Dear little Susannah-Joy:
    The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not lack…..Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me…Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Paalm 23)


  31. I will not even pretend to know what you are going through or how it feels. I know how very sad we are and we have never even had the blessing to meet you or your wife personally. All we can do from a distance is continue to pray and be thankful for every moment we have with our little children. I am so very sorry.

  32. Even thought I don’t have the words, please know that my heart is in prayer for you all. Thank you for sharing Susannah with us from the beginning and allowing us the priveldge to pray for you.

  33. Your daughter is beautiful. Thank you for sharing so that we can lift you up to the throne. You are in my prayers. May you feel the Lord’s presence wrapped all around you. He is there with you every step of the way.


  34. My heart is breaking for you all. My family and I are praying for Susannah’s healing and for strength for you.

  35. I will be praying for all of you. May GOD bless you and comfort you. My heart aches for both of you. Thank you very very much for the updates.

  36. Oh Nathan and Melanie — my heart is just breaking for you! I am praying for God’s peace to guard your hearts and your minds and may it surpass all understanding during this very difficult time. You have such a precious, beautiful daughter, I cannot even begin to imagine the ache in your heart! I am praying that God will meet you in the deepest needs of your heart and grant you wisdom and grace as you walk out His plan for all your lives!

  37. Melanie and Nathan,
    What a beautiful baby girl! And what precious parents she has in you! Her Heavenly Father is the only One who can possibly love her more 🙂
    I’m so grateful for the chance to meet Susannah via your pictures and to see her sweet, tiny frame. She truly is adorable!
    My prayers are with you as you continue to wait on the Lord…may He renew your strength every minute of every day.

  38. By His stripes she will be healed, whether in this world, or the next. May God give you the wisdom to know His plan, and may His comfort surround you every moment. Do not give up!
    We are seeking His face for you, and little Susannah Joy! May she indeed “rise up and walk”!
    In Him,

  39. we are all praying for you. I can not begin to imagine the choice set before you. Our hearts go out to you all.

  40. Just wanted to let you know that I’ll be praying for the three of you. I don’t go on the internet much due to our slow connection overseas, but decided to get on-line and see what was happening with Melanie’s pregnancy (hadn’t realized Susannah had been born already). Will pray for the Lord’s will and grace.

  41. Your daughter is beautiful.

    Our family is fervently praying for the Lord’s mercy in this situation.

    The Lord be with you.

  42. You have been in my prayers all week. I’m not sure what to say, but I know that you all walk with Jesus, and I know that He will not forsake you now. He holds Susannah Joy in the palm of His hand.

  43. Tears are falling as I type this….I am so sorry for what you are facing. I don’t even know what to say….. Our family is honored to join with the many other brothers and sisters who are upholding you before the throne of our Almighty God right now. Whatever lies ahead, whether here on earth or in Heaven, little Susannah is in the arms of a Heavenly Father who loves her more than you can even imagine. I can’t say I know what you are going through, but I promise you we are praying for your comfort, your wisdom to know the Lord’s will, and for the Father’s arms to hold you tight through this storm.

    Love in Jesus’ name,

  44. hi to you all; this is the first time i have visited your site as i was given the website address from a fellow homeschooling family near where we live in the UK. i would like to be kept up-to-date with the news & progress on nathan & melanie’s baby; i believe that every good gift is from God & is very precious to Him, i only hope that nathan & melanie may feel encouraged by this at this sensitive, very difficult time. it moved me to tears to hear of this sad news, i only wish that the little one makes a positive recovery & i will of course remember to pray for them. we too, have friends who have recently had their baby (joshua) & he has suspected brain damage, no muscle tone, no sucking/swallowing reflex & is still currently in hospital. so we can only pray (i wish i could do more) for these little ones & hope that our little faith can move mountains & make them better.

    All christian love & Godbless

    Heidi x

  45. May the Lord give you the strength as only He can as you walk this road He has called you on. May He comfort you, Melanie and your families as only the Lord can.

    Your family is continually in our prayers.


  46. Hourly, we are checking the blog since you first went to the hospital. I didn’t realize I could respond here. I am soooo proud of both of you. Our Father is requiring more of you than seems humanly possible to bear. … “Even if He does not” … yet you will bow your knee. I am just sooo proud of you.
    Love, Aunt Tami

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