The Boy They Thought Would Die

I remember the doctor looking straight into my eyes on that cold, January day and saying, “Jessica, there’s a good chance that you will deliver this baby tonight and if you do, there’s a good chance that he will not live.”

I had been anticipating that 20 week, gender ultrasound since the day we had first taken that pregnancy test and when it came, it was nothing like I had imagined.

I remember that Tuesday like it was yesterday.

I remember the large window to my right. I remember the gray cupboards in front of me. I remember the black flats, the black yoga pants, and the coral maternity top I was wearing. I remember hearing frantic voices outside our door and thinking, “It sounds like there’s an emergency.” I remember Don insisting that we change our boy’s name form “Grant” to “Caden,” and I remember easily consenting to it. I remember wondering why we had to see the doctor again and why we needed to “discuss the ultrasound.” I remember being anxious. I remember being scared.

I remember January 18th, 2011 like it was yesterday.

My body was supposed to carry this newly-formed soul for another 18-20 weeks, yet I was in the early stages of labor. How could this be?

As we rushed to the hospital, I remember willing my fingers to dial my mom. I remember seeing the cloudy skies through tear-filled eyes. I remember the dirt-stained floor mats of our Silver Subaru. I remember texting my friends and simultaneously announcing that not only were we having a BOY, but I was also in labor with that BOY. I remember Don’s anxious breathing and his erratic driving. I remember my fast pulse and sweaty hands.

I remember that drive like it was yesterday.

And as we drove the drive we never intended to drive, I remember an ocean of peace rushing over me. And as that peace took over in a way I really can’t explain, I remember saying some of the strangest words I have ever uttered in a moment of crisis.

“The God who was faithful to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is still the same God that remains faithful to us today.” 

And oh, how He was.

He saw us through an emergency surgery.

He saw us through four months of bed rest.

He saw us through weekly steroid shots.

He saw us through weekly doctor visits.

He saw us through weekly ultrasounds.

He saw us through until our little boy took his very first breath on May 27th, 2011.

He saw us through. 

I never wanted to forget those moments of fear; I never wanted to forget those moments of dependent clinging; and I never, ever wanted to forget those moments where God’s faithfulness reigned. So shortly after we brought our little bundle of joy home, I claimed this verse and had it printed on his very first photo book.

“Then let us arise and go up to Bethel [the place where Jacob had fled in fear from his brother Esau], so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.” Genesis 35:3

And as I looked through my camera lens this weekend and steadied my hand to snap another memory, I lost my breath.


Well…because 1,518 days ago, the doctor was doubtful that I’d be taking pictures of a little boy playing catch with his daddy.

And as I pondered this humbling thought and thanked God (again) for the miracle behind the camera, the Lord reminded my weary and overwhelmed heart of the very thing I had never wanted to forget, the very thing I needed to hear on a Sunday afternoon.

Jessica, the very same God that was faithful to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the very same God that was faithful to you on January 18th, 2011 is STILL the very same God that remains faithful to you in 2015…

for ALL of your trials;

for ALL of your weaknesses;

for ALL of your worries;

for ALL of your doubts; and

for ALL of your moments.

I have seen you through and will continue to see you through.


Because I am a covenant-keeping God who loves you with a steadfast love that faithfully extends from generation unto generation. 

“And I will establish my covenant between me and you [Abraham] and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.” Genesis 17:7

“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.” Deuteronomy 7:9

“Surely goodness and lovingkindness [the Hebrew word for ‘covenant-keeping love’] will follow me all the days of my life.” Psalm 23:6


7 thoughts on “The Boy They Thought Would Die

  1. Awesome story, friend! So very thankful for the Lord’s protection and deliverance of Caden… and for all the many, many other things He protects us and delivers us from that we don’t even know about. Love you!

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