Several months ago, a couple within our church family (Adam & Jaymi Stapp), came by the office to see me. Jaymi was pregnant and they had returned from a visit to the Doctor with some heart-wrenching news. They were informed that the baby had Trisomy 18 which is also known as Edwards Syndrome (95% of these babies die before birth). The doctor informed them that the baby would never make it (and surely would never be born alive) and gave them their options, one of which was that they consider abortion. The news was devastating, to say the least. As a parent I cannot even imagine receiving such news.
That day, as we sat in my office, we read Scripture, prayed, and talked about the sanctity of human life and the incredible power & providence of God. I was truly amazed at the resolve displayed by Adam and Jaymi as they faced their situation. They chose to honor God in the midst of their circumstances and cherish every moment that God gave them with the precious little girl growing in Mommy’s womb.
The next day, Adam posted a note on Facebook about the situation. He wrote, “Every kid is a blessing whether he/she is perfectly healthy or stricken with an awful disease/disorder that makes them handicap for their entire life. I do know that there is a reason behind everything. God has a plan for everyone of us and how He plans on using us in His plan, is for us to figure out. God gives us trials that we will face in our lifetime and it is up to us to determine how we are going to handle the situation. I hope this trial that we have encountered will bring us closer to God and stronger in our faith.”
As the days went on and the visits to the doctor increased, the little one continued to surprise the medical experts. Though, the doctors still cautioned that as time progressed, the lack of amniotic fluid would continue to pose a problem. After one said visit, Jaymi wrote, “We are just going to continue to put this baby in God's hands and know that He is in control and whatever happens was meant to be.”
On April 17, 2009 that beautiful little girl made her grand entrance, against all odds. She lived a few hours. Mom, Dad, and big brother Jed were able to enjoy some hard, yet precious moments with little Maggie Faith Stapp. I had the privilege of being there that day and hold in my arms that precious child. It was a moment in time that I will not soon forget. Although Maggie Faith’s life was brief, it was precious and she touched so many.
I will never forget the words spoken to me by that Daddy at the hospital that day. He said, “Our prayers were answered in that she was born alive. We got to hold her and spend time with her. We would have never had that opportunity if we had done that which was suggested to us” (My paraphrase). Wow!! I have to honestly say that the heroic manner in which these two parents responded to this situation is one of the greatest examples of Christ-like parental care that I have seen.
I pray that Maggie Faith’s life serves as a reminder to every one of us that life is indeed sacred. I pray that we will continue to be challenged to honor the Lord with every moment that we have. I also pray that we will, all the more, long for the day when the Lord Jesus Christ returns and makes all things new; when all tears are wiped away and there will no more death or mourning or crying or pain. What a glorious reunion we have to look forward to as we join our loved ones, who have gone before us (including little Maggie Faith), in eternal worship of Christ The King. What a Savior!!!!!