In Memory ofIsabelHope

Here is Isabel Hope's story, written lovingly by her mother, Debra
(You can see more about Isabel at her memorial page online.)

There was a point about 2 weeks after Isabel died when I was so sad. I was crying all the time. Then I read a comment on Isabel's blog that a friend posted. He said God had a purpose for Isabel's short life.

That thought hit me. Realizing that God is sovereign, and instead of thinking of such a short life as a wasted life, thinking that God really did create her on purpose, just the way she was. Who knows what He will accomplish because Isabel lived? I just can't know, but my tears really dried up that day. From that moment, I didn't feel the same. I realized that if God meant for that to happen, then maybe he wasn't sad. She is safely home with Him. She did what He created her to do. Her work was done. I'll never know exactly what that was this side of eternity.

I have had some people tell me that it's sin, (the fact that we live in a fallen world) that caused Isabel's malformation. That these things just happen. I have also been told that it was Satan, who comes to steal, kill and destroy. But I don't believe either of those. The God that I serve is truly Lord of all. Satan didn't slip that by him, and I don't believe it was just a fluke.

In Exodus 4, the Lord told Moses that He made the mute, the deaf, the seeing and the blind.

10 Then Moses said to the LORD, "O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue."
11 So the LORD said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD?

In John 9:1-3, Jesus said that he created the blind man so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.

1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 3 "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.

I have peace in His sovereignty. I don't believe it was Satan, I believe God made Isabel without kidneys for a reason, or He allowed her to be made without kidneys. The Lord reigns over all the earth. That brings me peace.

There are sometimes I will think "I went through an entire pregnancy, and my baby is dead." and then burst into tears. I sometimes can't believe it is my life I'm talking about. It's unbelievable to me. It feels like a dream too. Sometimes I think, "Did that really happen?".

I would knit into the wee hours of the night. I was obsessed. The doctors had told me that I could go into early labor anytime, or I could carry her to full term. That was comforting! I just * had* to have things finished before she was born. I wanted her to have something from Mama. So I would knit and knit, just like the lady on the video on my knitting blog called The Last Knit ( . I would sit there and knit on her blanket, tears welling in my eyes thinking "I can't believe what I'm making will be buried in the ground with the baby in my stomach in a short while." I would think, "She's alive now. Right now, she is alive, I can feel her. How can it be that we know she will die soon, and there's nothing we can do?" It made me want to scream. To explode. The utter helplessness and hopelessness was hard. But what could I do?

Absolutely nothing.

It was up to the Lord. I knew He could save her. He could create kidneys at birth. I knew He could. But would He? I dared not hope too much. I knew He knew my heart. I would leave her in His hands. That's why we named her "consecrated to God". There was nothing else to do, except be angry, but I wasn't. It must have been the grace of God, I really didn't feel angry at God. I did feel so sad. Questioned if he remembered that I was 39 years old? Didn't He know how badly I wanted each and every baby I could have? How hard each pregnancy was? Wouldn't this scare Tony from ever wanting to try again? It's always been me pushing for more kids and him holding back.

It all came down to this...

Do I love you and want the best for you?

Yes Lord.

Does I reign over ALL the earth?

Yes Lord.

Can you trust me even in this?

Yes Lord.

What else is there besides trust in the Lord, the Creator of Heaven and earth? Where else can we turn if not to Him?

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

- Isaiah 43:2

I always wanted the Lord to save me from my troubles. In fact, I still do, course. But I learned that is not His way. Sometimes it is. But generally, no matter how scary the situation you face looks, He will be there beside you to walk through it with you. I was so terrified knowing that I would have to give birth to Isabel and then watch her die. I honestly didn't think I could do it. But somehow, here I am on the other side.

The rain comes down...on everyone. The question is, will we survive the rain? Will our house hold steady?

24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

Matthew 7:24

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