As I was driving the children to church last Sunday, I decided to flip off the XM radio and on over to local radio. I put it on 89.7 the local Christian music channel. (I always feel a little inappropriate listening to booty shaking music on the way to church… this seemed to be a better choice!)
This song came on. I couldn’t tell you who the singer was or the name of the song, but I remember one line of the chorus that stood out. Of course, the exacting phrasing eludes me, but the gist was this: “I don’t want my prayers to be empty prayers.”
That line grabbed at my heart. I thought long and hard about it. Oddly, during the sermon, the Pastor also spoke about our relationship with God and having meaningful conversations.
The thought occurred to me that I don’t remember the last time I had a “meaningful” conversation with God.
In fact, I think the last time I really prayed was during my pregnancy with the twins.
Since then, I haven’t really spoken to God.
Sure, I say the prayers at church and I say nightly prayers with the children. I take them to church and I continue to raise them in a spiritual community, because I believe that is good for them and right. And it’s what I promised to do when I had them baptized as infants.
But I don’t talk to God like I used to. In fact, for the most part, I handle my relationship with God like a sibling who betrayed me.
He’s there. I know He’s there. I want my children to know Him. But I feel distant.
I am angry.
Perhaps I have even lost some faith.
And yet, my eyes have been opened to the fact that grief happens to every one every day.
And how many times each day are we asked to pray for someone? Someone whose mother or father or sister or child is dying? Someone who has been faced with tragedy?
It is all around us.
We suffer. Every day.
People are born, people die, people go through difficult times.
I am not alone.
And yet, as different people ask me to pray for them, whatever their situation may be, I find myself replying that my thoughts are with them. Rarely do I tell someone I am praying for them. Because I know that I’m not. It’s too much. I can barely pray for the needs of those around me. I’m completely and utterly overwhelmed by the amount of people who need our prayers each and every day.
How many times do we say we’ll pray for someone? Do we? Are they empty prayers? Or do we really take the time to talk to God, to really converse and truly ask for His help?
Despite my anger and grief, I DO believe in the power of prayer. I remember the calmness and almost a sense of quiet peace that came over me as I lay in that hospital bed, day after day, pregnant, waiting and hoping for a miracle that my babies would live. I remember when I came to peace with the fact that Kathryn would die.
But I also remember feeling grace and comfort, knowing that I was not alone.
I know that it was the prayers of my people. Churches, friends, strangers, loved ones, Christians, Jews, Muslims, even non believers that prayed for me and for my babies.
We did not receive a miracle, but I was brought to peace in a time when peace seemed impossible.
I was comforted, and I am certain it was because of the prayers of people literally around the world, praying for me and my babies.
So while I am angry, I also believe.
And there are two people that I DO find the time to pray for. Two people that I hope you will pray for as well.
The first is Diana and her son Kaden. I first learned of Diana when my dear friend Dana told me that she had a blogger friend who was pregnant with twins and had gone into preterm labor at 18 weeks. At the time her facebook page was “Hearts for Diana.” I subscribed and followed. I cried with her as her boys were born at 21 weeks and died shortly after. It was not fair.
During this time her Facebook changed and I followed her blog Hormonal Imbalances. I followed as they considered adoption, and rejoiced as she found out she was pregnant! Another little boy.
And then tragedy struck again. She delivered Kaden and he was 7lb 9oz and beautiful. He was having some breathing issues, so they took him to the NICU. After a few days, it was discovered that he has a life threatening heart condition and will likely need a heart transplant. Diana is praying for a miracle. And I am too. Kaden needs you to pray. He needs real prayers. Not empty prayers. You can follow Kaden’s journey at Hormonal Imbalances.
The second request I have is for Karin. I met Karin through the Twin to Twin Transfusion world. Through very sad circumstances. I am part of a group of women who send care packages to other mothers who lose twins to TTTS. The TTTS Support Team matched me with Karin because she too delivered identical twin girls, Gabbie and Aubrey. Aubrey died about a month after birth. Now Gabbie is in critical condition. Gabbie has chronic lung disease but is not a candidate for a lung transplant because of the damage done to her brain by brain bleeds after preterm birth. Her lungs are not growing fast enough for her body, and the doctors have only given her a few weeks to a month to live. Gabbie desperately needs a miracle. The facebook page A Miracle for Gabbie was started to keep us all up to date with her progress.
Kaden and Gabbie need your prayers.
They need real, full prayers. Not empty prayers. Their mothers have already suffered such terrible loss already.
Diana and Karin are both amazing women who have placed all their faith and trust in God. They have lost children already. When I look at their situations, I am willing to put aside my own anger and open up that dialogue again.
We are asked to pray every day for people in different levels of tragedy.
I ask that you find a moment to add Diana and Kaden, Karin and Gabbie to your prayers.
More than anything in the world, I want these two babies to make it. I want it for their mothers, who have already suffered so much.
No matter your religious affiliation, will you please take two seconds to say the following prayer:
Dear God, I pray for a miracle for Gabbie and a miracle for Kaden. I pray for their mothers. Please be with them. Amen.
Please visit their pages and follow their stories.