But now, O Jacob{Jessica}, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
2 When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:1-3

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Good News or Bad News?

Jessica and Jason made it to Augusta today.  It was challenging getting started; but ,Jessica did relatively well traveling that far.  Hopefully, this means she will be able to make some other trips soon like to the beach and to Walt Disney World.  While the news today wasn’t exactly the news we wanted, there was some good news.  The trial will not benefit Jessica.  They are doing everything they can for her.  There is no new growth. So is that the good news or the bad news? In life there are things that seem like good news and things that seem like bad news.  We judge situations and circumstances from our limited perspective of the moment.  

I went into labor early.  We had looked forward with excitement to the day; but, we hadn’t expected it to be so soon.  I was only 34 weeks.  It was probably just Braxton Hick’s contractions.  I had had them a few weeks before; but, being first time parents we rushed to the obstetrician's office.  The doctor smiled and sent us home no need to worry they are just Braxton Hicks.  Real contractions will grow closer and closer together and won’t stop. 

Jessica is the one on the left.  At this point she was several months
older than the newborn on the right
We stayed up all night timing the contractions.  They were fifteen minutes apart, ten minute, twenty minutes, five minutes, thirty minutes. So, is that good news or bad news?   Finally in the early morning hours exhaustion drove us deep into sleep.  We slept through the alarm clock and woke up five minutes before my husband was supposed to be at work.  Bad news.  He rushed around throwing on clothes, muttering under his breath.  “Well, at least we made it through the night,” he said as he grabbed his lunch and dashed out the door.  I waddle toward the bathroom and just as I heard the door slam shut my water broke!!  Good news or bad news?

This was before cell phones so I yelled out for my husband to come back like he could hear me from a block away.  I waddled my way back to the bedroom and picked up the phone and called his work.  “Is Gene there yet?”  Duh, of course not, he just left and we lived 15 minutes away.  I calmly told his boss….“TELL HIM HIS WIFE IS IN LABOR AND TO GET BACK HOME NOW!!!!” 

Jessica was born six weeks early.  She was in respiratory distress.  The doctors were not sure if she would make it.  We could send her to a neo natal intensive care unit in Columbus that could treat her; but, she might not survive the trip.  Good news or bad news? For five hours they worked with her to stabilize her enough to transport her.  Finally, her father, a specialized nursing care team and Jessica boarded a helicopter and were transported to Columbus.  

She had a traumatic and difficult beginning.  She suffered and almost didn’t make it.  Her lungs were under developed.  She was on a respirator.  They shaved off all her beautiful hair (which didn’t grow out again until she two years old.  We had to glue ribbons on her head so people would know she was a girl.)  Good news or bad news? 

Looking back on it now I am struck by the realization of how blessed we were.  There was a specialty nursing team available.  Fort Benning was not in the middle of maneuvers and so they provided a helicopter team for FREE to transport the team and Jessica. (We never could have afforded to have paid for the trip.) Did that mean everything was perfect?  No.  Jessica had numerous health issues over the years that may have had something to do with her premature birth perhaps even her cancer now.  Who knows?  But God was with us giving us strength, hope and wisdom. 

We live in a society addicted to bad news.  Newspapers, news stations, magazine shows feed off of bad news.  Even our weather reports are fashioned around the possibility of bad weather… “And now, Action News SEVERE Weather Team.  Today it is going to be sunny 76 degrees with a cool breeze”  Severe Weather really?!?! While bad news seems to “keep people’s attention and make advertisers dollars,” bad news leaves God out of the picture.  Bad news promotes fear. Good news promotes faith.

Today we got good news!  Jessica is on the right medication regime for her cancer.  We have done everything we can to be sure that it is the right treatment.  It is doing what it is supposed to do. We have faith that through it all no matter what happens God will be with us.  He will give us strength. He will give us His wisdom.   We have His Hope!.  And, we are going to focus on that!

Bad news or good news?  It is a matter of choice.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy -- meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8



  1. Always thinking of you and praising God for your good news! Patti

  2. I remember getting Jessica's birth announcement when I was in the hospital after giving birth to Robbie, and then getting that whole story from you later. :)

  3. Love and prayers to Jessica and your whole family.
    So thankful for your good news! Barbara & Howard Ruddick

  4. Love hearing good news for you! Praying for you every day!

  5. Love you always---and keeping you and family in our prayers!!!!
    Karen Moon

  6. I am good friends with a good friend of Jessica's. My prayers are with all of you during your Good news and Bad news. God Bless Jessica!

  7. Thanks for your blog. As a person who tends toward the worst case scenario I really appreciate your courageous spirit. We pray for you all and think of you often.

  8. What an awesome witness Jessica and her family are making to our world! I feel blessed to be a part of this circle of supportive friends for this family! My prayers of support and love are with each one of you almost all the time! Love transcends, dominates, surrounds, uplifts and yes, conquers all!
    I love you,
    Julia O'Neil

  9. That's awesome news you ARE going to pull through this and be another MIRACLE from GOD. My family loves and is praying for you and your family. Much Love Jennifer