Today would have been Susannah’s 6th birthday. As a little background, it seems appropriate to share the story. Nathan and Melanie, my oldest brother and his wife, married in January 2002. Although they desired children, it was four and a half years after their marriage before they received the happy news in September 2006 that Melanie was expecting.
Early in February of 2007, contractions were no longer occasional, and they picked up in intensity, causing Nathan and Melanie to make a late-night trip to the hospital, where doctors stopped the labor with medication. Melanie went on bed rest, and we praised the Lord for each day little Thumper could stay in the womb. Susannah earned the nickname Thumper for how active she was. Day after day went by, with continued contractions. Finally, on the evening of March 20th, contractions kicked in for real. The baby had already been given shots to help develop her lungs. At the hospital, labor progressed well. Doctors monitored the baby, and she was doing great. A little after 5 a.m., on March 21st, Susannah Joy Maxwell was born! But, our joy quickly turned to concern, since she didn’t move or open her eyes. Something was wrong. We prayed, and we waited. Hour after hour went by with no change.
Nathan and Melanie were courageous. They kept their focus on the Lord. We visited Susannah in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Mom was already with Nathan and Melanie. Susannah was gorgeous: dark hair, a precious countenance, delicate features, and so perfectly made by an incredible Creator.
Susannah lived three days before slipping into the arms of our Savior. Tears flowed like never before as we mourned our temporary separation and the reality of not having her here with us. The longed-for-jewel crossed the river, Revelation 22:1, “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” What a welcome she must have had in Heaven!
As we remember Susannah, I also remember another family who lost their baby, Spring, at that same time. Over the years of traveling, we have met families who have lost children. Their testimonies of trusting the Lord is incredible.
If you want to watch Susannah’s slideshow of pictures, please see this link. Be prepared though. I was in tears myself after watching it.
Parents, please, treasure every moment with your children. Are you giving your all to raise them for the Lord Jesus? Are you setting aside your desires and pleasures to prepare young people who will be dynamic, on-fire-for-Jesus Christians?
Give your precious little ones an extra hug and a kiss today.
In the mist of the pain, God gives a song in the night: “…joy cometh in the morning.”
Only five months later, Miss Abigail was on the way. Now, with a growing family, Nathan and Melanie make Susannah’s birthday a special time of remembering and allowing their girls to know their older sister.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”