Meeting Our Sweet Girl
On Sunday, March 25 at 10:37pm, Leeza gave birth to our precious little girl, Bethany Rose Kuravackal. She was 4lbs, 2oz and had a full head of jet black hair. She lived for about 10 minutes before going home to be with the Lord.
Our journey with Bethany over the last several months hit an unexpected bump in the road last November as we found out she had a lethal condition that was deemed “incompatible with life” (you can read more about this portion of our story here). Ultimately we decided that rather than terminating the pregnancy early, we would continue on and treasure the life God has given to us no matter how long or short that life would be. Last night, in the midst of very raw feelings of pain and heartache, Leeza and I were asking ourselves whether we made the right decision. Ultimately we came to the conclusion that it was worth it in the end just to spend even a few brief moments with Bethany. She was so perfect. Although she passed after 10 minutes we were told we could keep her with us as long as we wanted, so we ended up spending almost 24 hours with her. We believe that her spirit went to be with the Lord but her body was with us and that’s all we had. Still those few hours we had, as painful as they were, are moments with our dear Bethany that we will always treasure.
As we thought about the day Bethany would arrive for the past few months we had no idea what to expect. I wondered if we would doubt God’s sovereignty and love for us. But when I found myself in the operating room for the cesarean, sitting by Leeza’s head with a curtain separating the doctors from us, there was an overwhelming sense of peace that just came over us. It was the kind of peace that can only be explained by the presence of Christ with us. His grace was indeed sufficient for us (2 Cor 12:9).
Bethany has taught us so much about hope, so much so that we almost named her Hope (I will post later why we went with Bethany instead). Because of her life, the reality of the hope we have in Jesus through His resurrection is something we’re experiencing on a much deeper level than ever before. Our hope is in the One who laid death in His grave and caused death to lose its sting (1 Cor 15:54-57). And because His death was followed by resurrection, we who are in Christ will also rise with Him one glorious day. It’s on that day that He will wipe every tear from our eyes and remove all our pain and suffering, bringing complete restoration (Rev 21:4). It’s on that day that we will see face to face the Author and Perfecter of our faith, living forever with Him in glory. It’s also on that day that we will see our dear Bethany again, completely healed. For these reasons, Leeza and I find ourselves truly longing for that day. We are thankful that the Lord gave Bethany to us, because through her life she has taught us what it means to have hope in Jesus.
As we grieve the loss of Bethany, we pray that the Father would use this journey to make us more like His Son. We are beginning to understand that our grief is an integral part of being made like the One who was acquainted with grief and our sorrow an integral part of being made like the Man of sorrows (Isa 53:3).
As difficult as this experience is for us, we trust that it is ultimately for our good and for His glory. We join with Job, who suffered incredible loss, in saying “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”