Below you will read one of the most wonderful posts ever. It is by Mark Tolson. I know that you prayed for them. I know that you have loved them. I pray that their heart for the Lord Jesus will motivate all of us to seek God and to honor Him.
On February 16th, 2010, we went to the Doctor to find out about our baby that we were expecting in 19 weeks. At that time, we learned that our baby had what is known as “Body Stalk Anomaly.” (Basically, all the organs from the mid-chest down developed outside the body and attached themselves to the placenta. This condition makes the baby incapable of living outside the womb.) Natasha and I both sat in the exam room crying as we were shocked and heart broken. We were both wanting a second child.
What to do? From what we understand today, many people choose to terminate their pregnancy once they find out their baby has a problem such as ours did. We knew and had settled long ago in our hearts that we wanted God to be honored with our lives and decisions. When Natasha and I were married, she had a short phrase inscribed on the inside of my wedding band as a surprise. It says, “MAXIMUM GLORY.” Our desire as a couple and coming together in marriage was and is to bring God MAXIMUM GLORY with our lives, so we made a decision to continue the pregnancy. However, there was really no need to even verbalize it; we knew where each other stood. As stated in my original blog post on the news of our baby’s condition, we stated the following:
“The baby is currently living, and Natasha will continue to carry the baby as long as it lives. We know the Lord is in control, and we will continue as normal to see what the Lord does….We will love this baby as long as it lives. We will tell it of it’s Creator and the love He has for us. We will tell it how it could soon be meeting Him….We are thankful that the Lord has given us this child. The LORD gives, and the LORD takes away; blessed be the name of the LORD. As the baby lives we will praise the Lord for everyday He has allowed us to have it, and once it passes on, we will continue to praise the Lord!”
Our hearts were set on the Lord, and the next 100 days were filled with joy and sadness. Life went on as “normal”, but in the back of our minds, we knew every day that Natasha carried the baby would be a day closer to saying goodbye. Many prayed for a miracle or that the doctor’s diagnosis would be wrong, but Natasha and I would talk about it, and we both knew that it wasn’t the Lord’s will for our baby to be healed. We knew deep inside that our baby would die, and the Lord gave us a peace that passes all understanding. Eventually, even though it hurt and still hurts, we were ok with it.
As we continued to traveled on deputation, we would meet new people, and have to tell our story what seemed over and over again. Baby showers were canceled, we were no longer excited about buying, clothes, toys, etc. It was a waiting period. A time of sadness. We received much encouragement from friends, family, and churches.
Appointment after appointment, things never got better. After 14 weeks and two days of waiting, on Thursday, May 27, 2010 at 6:35 AM, our little baby boy was stillborn.
We were admitted into the hospital on Tuesday morning of that week. The day was full of hustle and bustle with family and friends visiting us in the hospital. By Wednesday evening, we had made very little progress in the inducing process, and at midnight chose to send everyone home to get some rest. Our midwife had told us there was too much activity, and we needed to focus on what was taking place. She suggested having some alone time. After everyone was gone, I kneeled down along side Natasha’s bed, with my hands on her belly and talked to our little baby. I told him he would probably be meeting Jesus soon and that would be much better than meeting his earthly parents. I told him I loved him, and it was okay for him to go ahead and go. I was really hoping and praying inside that we would get to spend a few minutes with our baby alive. I prayed there by her bedside and gave Him up to the Lord, as I had done before. Then Natasha and I laid in the bed together holding each other for a while.
The night went on, and Natasha became more uncomfortable and sick throughout the rest of the night. Around 6:30 AM, she called the nurse because she was feeling pressure and the nurse informed us that the baby was on it’s way. I watched as our baby was born. The process was over in just a few minutes. Though our baby did not come out alive, we were thankful that Natasha was healthy. There were many factors that could of been very dangerous for Natasha’s health (I won’t go into detail here,) but all of those were dismissed as the Lord answered our prayers on her behalf.
The nurses took the baby and made him presentable. We found out it was a boy! Then we were able to hold our little guy. He weighed 3 lbs and 2 oz and was 11 inches long. We had a professional photographer take some pictures for us to remember and cherish in the future. Many friends and family came to visit and were able to hold him as well. We named him Wesley Allen Wei Tolson.
On Friday morning, Natasha and I said our goodbyes. We had him brought to the room, had a short family devotion, told him the Gospel, even though by that time, he probably knew the whole story, and then gave him a kiss and sent him away. Natasha was released that same morning.
On Saturday, we had a small private graveside service at 10 AM. The small casket was opened for a short time for family to view him. I took a quick minute to challenge those who have watched our lives over that past few months to see God’s hand of comfort and peace in our lives and for them to trust Him as their Lord and Savior, and not only that but also to live their lives completely sold out for Him. Then, my pastor, Austin Gardner, shared a quick message on how our faith has been tested and proven, it is worth more than gold, and passing the test brings praise, honor, and glory to Jesus. After the service was over, I gave little Wesley a kiss, telling him goodbye and that I loved him.
Now as I write this, it has been three days since he was buried. I guess I am compelled to write and tell you, we are thankful that the Lord has given us this child. The LORD gives, and the LORD takes away; blessed be the name of the LORD. As the baby lived we praised the Lord for everyday He allowed us to have him, and now that he has passed on, we are and will continue to praise the Lord!
Our hearts desire is that He will receive MAXIMUM GLORY, and as my wife so perfectly described it, we are on an “Amazing Journey.”
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