EDITOR’S NOTE: When things don’t go the way we had envisioned, it’s so easy to become discouraged and question God. For Darryl, having his daughter be born with a “birth defect” medically speaking caused him to question the Lord. But then God spoke to Darryl and his perspective changed.
Six years ago my first child was born. Like every first time Dad I expected to have the perfect baby girl. I’d prayed about it. I knew God was going to show up. Her birth would be just right. Quick and painless. A series of events meant this didn’t happen. Instead of a beautiful birth my wife needed an emergency Caesar. And my precious daughter was born with a soft palate cleft. This is when there is a hole in the roof of the mouth which makes feeding difficult.
The nurse told me I needed to get use to the term ‘birth defect’. I don’t blame them or harbour any bitterness, their care was great, but these words broke my heart. And I felt like God had simply abandoned me and ignored all of my prayers. Where was God? Why had he done this? Why hadn’t he turned up?
Driving home from the hospital one evening I sensed God’s presence with me. I heard his silent whisper say ‘I have not abandoned you.’ I had my questions ‘Then what are you up to? Didn’t you hear my prayers?’ The response I received was another question. ‘What is her name?’
We had named our daughter Lillian Ruth well before she was born. We chose Ruth because of the Bible character. She was a foreigner in Israel. She was a widow without children. In every way she was disadvantaged. But not in God’s eyes. He looked after her and provided for her. She was special to him. Our daughter was special to him. Her name had become a promise of God’s care and provision.
I’m not ashamed or guilty for feeling like I’d been let down by God. He understands how I felt and why. He’s good like that. I still don’t have an answer why my daughter was born with a cleft but now I don’t need one. She had an operation to mend the hole when she was 1 and now 6 years after her birth she is still beautiful. She is passionate and thriving at school. We have a special bond. I really like her. Just as the Biblical story of Ruth, I look back and can see God has provided.