Anna Marie reflects back on the events of last year and wrote a post to share what is on her heart. —Sarah
As Simon Peter’s brothers and sisters excitedly prepare to celebrate his first birthday, my mind has been traveling back to a year ago and all the events surrounding his birth. I find rushes of emotion catching me by surprise as we begin to pass these one-year milestones. But the overwhelming emotion (often through tears) is one of gratitude because God has shown us over and over again that He is good and He is faithful; that His grace is sufficient and His strength is made perfect in our weakness. I don’t really think I’m crying for the loss of normal last trimester, normal birth, normal nursing, normal routine and life with a baby. Because God gave us infinitely more than “normal.” He gave us Himself. What we knew in our heads a year ago as we entered a “Red Sea place” in our lives, God has proven in our experience as He showed His goodness and faithfulness leading us each step forward.
Also thinking back to the birth, there are some special memories and tidbits that I don’t think I shared before. As many of you know, Christopher and I have enjoyed working together on our babies’ names for months leading up to their birth. But because of everything else going on during my pregnancy with Simon Peter, we ended up finalizing decisions on his name and verse while waiting for my Pitocin to kick in at the hospital—which made for special memories of writing names and definitions and verses on the whiteboard in the delivery room. 🙂 Simon means “he hears” or “God has heard;” and Peter means “a rock.” The meaning of his name to us is two-fold. First, it is a reminder to us that God hears us and is our Rock as we go through this trial. And second, our prayer for Simon Peter is that he will have a close relationship with Christ, hearing Him and seeking Him; and that he will be firmly planted on the Rock and unmovable in his resolve to follow Him.
That tied in perfectly with Psalm 18:2 which we chose as his verse. Shortly after we settled on that, I received a couple of texts and emails from different friends and family who sent that very verse to encourage me! I love when God puts things like that together—another reminder to me of His care for each detail of our lives!
I think we mentioned before that the birth team was such a blessing to us. My day shift nurse was great, and then the night shift nurse went above and beyond helping me to be as comfortable as possible through transition and delivery. Christopher and I were really blessed by her servant spirit. To my surprise, a few weeks ago when I went for my targeted cancer therapy shot at the hospital, my nurse at the cancer center for the day was that same delivery nurse! She just switched to working at the cancer center and it was a happy little reunion when we recognized each other. Since she’s a believer, it was special to reminisce together (and share with other nurses) about the little ways we saw God work in Peter’s birth.
Simon Peter is such a delight to our family. His sweet, laid back personality has blended perfectly with the unusual circumstances and events of the past year. It’s been amazing to see how God has taken care of him for things I was most concerned about for him physically and emotionally. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of a few mamas both here and in Washington who provided milk for him to receive that incredible nutrition for the first six months of his life and he has definitely thrived!
Simon Peter has been my little buddy through this whole journey. From the time I first noticed the tumor a couple weeks after finding out he was on the way, it was precious knowing that he was growing and gaining strength for whatever lay ahead, and that God would give him the grace needed as well as us. He was my traveling companion to Washington and kept me in my role as mommy while I was away from everyone else at my parents’ home for those few months of chemo. During that time, despite being a sixth born, he was an only child in a household of four adults! He got to visit mountains and seashores, and loved staring up at the tall evergreens on our daily walks.
He adjusted well getting back to life in the Midwest with five doting older siblings. He loves interacting with everyone and is becoming quite the little explorer as he “army crawls” all over the house. As I mentioned earlier, all his brothers and sisters are thoroughly excited about his upcoming birthday, and even though he has no idea what they are excited about he gets fired up with their enthusiasm.
Thank you all for your investment as you prayed for him and us through this journey! We are so thankful for you!
“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength,
in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” Psalm 18:2