Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Touched by an Angel

Please note this entry was written a few days ago and is just now being posted.

Few of us can say this. That is, that they were touched by an angel. I haven't been around much lately for many reasons of hustle and bustle of the season, but more so because, I've been touched by an Angel.

I have had the tremendous honor and privilege to be a part of the lives of a family who let me meet their Angel. This post is about Amy, Mike, Alex, and Lydia-may it bless you too, to be a part of their story.

It's just CRAZY to me how God works. How God brings people together. Amy and I are in the same moms club, we attended a retreat in the spring and we attend the same Bible study. Through all this, what brought us together though, was a dining table. Yes, this sounds silly but it is how I came to know her "better". She wanted to sell her dining table and I, very annoyingly, badgered her about it before finally deciding to buy it (I absolutely LOVE it, BTW).

She told me when I bought the table that she was expecting their second child, so she wouldn't be able to help me move it. Through our brief conversations, I thought to myself, I really like her-maybe I should actually attend some MOMS club stuff;-)

Anyway, as time passed and school began, I got an email from her one day asking for prayer. She had been to the doctor for her 20 week check up and ultrasound and got some truly unthinkable news...her precious baby that she was carrying had a rare condition called anencephaly and this condition is not compatible with life outside of the womb. I instantly called her but she did not answer. I was not surprised-she hardly knew me, why would she now answer the phone and pour out her broken heart to me. SO, I did the next best thing in this technological age and e-mailed her. I shared with her our story, which I knew was not the same as hers but I told her that I would like to help in any way possible as I knew that when I had a difficult pregnancy, help that was offered to me meant SOOO very much. And, I really felt a connection to her.

She responded to the email and our friendship grew-I wasn't there for her as much as I should have been in the weeks following but I thought of her constantly and prayed. I had also offered to care for her as her nurse when she had the baby if she wanted and she decided she would like that. I was honored. I prayed the Lord would work things out and make it possible for me to be there as her nurse and friend.

Amy was due January 11. Never really knowing, we all thought we had some time...but as things would have it-we didn't have a much time as we'd of liked. Amy began leaking amniotic fluid over the weekend and told me about it Saturday night. She called her doctor and he said he would see her in the morning just to make sure- none of us were really convinced that at 34 weeks it was "time". I forgot to mention, over the course of these past months, Amy was blessed by the gift of an elective ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby so they could bond and spend sweet and precious time preparing for the birth of their daughter. They were able to also give her a name-Lydia Grace.

So, I awaited a call on Sunday morning to find out if Amy would need to be delivered due to the amniotic fluid leak, and indeed, she called me and told me they would be heading to the hospital. God is so good. I was able to head up to the hospital and care for her and her husband Mike and wait out the delivery of Precious Lydia. While things did not go as fast as I'd hoped for Amy, her labor went smoothly and when Lydia was ready, she came quickly (almost too quickly). She was born into this world Monday December 3rd at 4:47pm. I was able to help Amy and Mike thru some of the deepest waters they will ever tread-but I am not writing this because I am "proud" or think "I'm so great" but because I am so humbled by the goodness of our Lord.

Few of us will ever experience such a situation, but I know I am a better person because of it. Blessed beyond measure, actually. Many of us think we may say, "no God, it's too hard". It was hard. But it wasn't about me-it was about helping Amy and Mike and doing for them the same thing I would want someone to do for me-show them love in their darkest hours. Lydia's birth and short life were so beautiful. It's hard for most of us to imagine packing a lifetime of love into 28 short minutes, but Mike and Amy did and they did it so gracefully. At 5:15pm Lydia's heart was no longer beating. She went home to be with our Heavenly Father.

I will never forget holding her and cuddling her. Being so blessed to be able to help with keepsakes like pictures, footprints, and hand and foot molds. Who is blessed like this? I feel so unworthy-yet know that I did it lovingly as if Lydia were my daughter. I had a few others nurses ask about it-how hard it must be. I tried to be God-honoring and explain it's what I'd have wanted and it was actually easier to care for them knowing them than when we take care of patients whom we don't know and don't know how to best serve.

Can you imagine cuddling your newborn and having to say good bye as soon as you've said Hello? It's indescribable. Little Lydia was incredibly precious. She had perfect hands and feet-in fact, she was perfect in every way, maybe not in Wordly terms, but to God, her parents and those who were blessed to be able to meet her. Her body was just not made for this Earth.
I liken her to a butterfly-her delicate and precious body touched the lives of many but was not intended for long life on this Earth. I will probably never see a butterfly again that I don't think of Lydia. As they softly flutter by with their delicate wings and graceful presence-I pray I never forget.

Not many of us can say that we know what it is like to grieve over the loss of a child. I know I can't truly say that. I've never lost a child. I know when I was pregnant with Owen, I feared the loss of his life GREATLY and went as far as to thinking about funeral arrangements, etc.

This experience has affected me more deeply than I was prepared for. I feel blessed, though sad. I've spent these last few days constantly thinking about Amy and Mike. And praying...

I've also thought {even} more about God. He also lost a child-actually, He did something even harder-He gave His only son's life---for us. This very time of year His son came into this cruel World and 33 years later, the Lord gave-SACRIFICED His son's life as a payment for the sins of this World-MY SINS! Speaking of unworthy-WOW!!! The grace I'm given, though don't deserve.

Amy and Mike's choice for Lydia's name is a really neat thing to me-Lydia means beauty and Grace means unmerited favor. How fitting.

The Bible says "the King is enthralled by our beauty"...I rarely feel beautiful but yet God tells me He's ENTHRALLED by my beauty. He's enthralled by Lydia's beauty also-He created her.

Psalm 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.

They are planning a glorious memorial service for Lydia. They have been so brave and inspiring through this all. I'm so honored they allowed me to be a part of their lives-and Lydia's life.

Mike, Amy, and Alex-I love you guys!

Please keep this dear family in your hearts and prayers. I know in the days, weeks, and months that follow they will have a lot of physical, emotional and spiritual healing to deal with.

Read about their story at http://www.focosi.net/

Cry Out To Jesus

Words by Mac Powell / Music by Third Day

To everyone who's lost someone they love

Long before it was their time

You feel like the days you had were not enough

when you said goodbye

And to all of the people with burdens and pains

Keeping you back from your life

You believe that there's nothing and there is no one

Who can make it right

There is hope for the helpless

Rest for the weary

Love for the broken heart

There is grace and forgiveness

Mercy and healing

He'll meet you wherever you are

Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus


Anonymous said...

It is 2:50 am and even though it's the middle of the night and I can't be nearly as articulate and poetic as I would like in response to this AMAZING and (every word of it) TRUE post, I HAD to respond in this moment so you would wake up and read this (and that I would be your first comment)!!! And why didn't you e-mail me that you posted this? God told me to check your website just now.

My legs literally shook the entire time I read this post (thank God I was sitting down). I don't know what to say in this moment, except I love you and I thank the good Lord for you (and SO many others at this time), but especially you and my 4 "girls" who got to meet our precious baby girl. God put you 5 in my life for a MAJOR reason to get me through this (He knew you could handle it and be there for me in ways that no one else could). Especially you, medically, being with me the ENTIRE time I was in labor, allowing me to be your only patient and you to be my sole nurse. And you, compassionately. It's so amazing the way this whole turned out and how it happened the way God orchestrated it to, apparently. How the 5 of us were friends, pretty good, separate friends I might add, last week and now we are the BEST of friends and have a love for each other that I will never be able to explain. It's just there and it's beautiful because we have all been through this together (although I've had it the hardest, okay?). :-)

I thank you for writing this, from every corner of my heart. I am BLESSED. I praise GOD for YOU, my other girls, my family and other friends, Mike, Alex, and especially precious Lydia.

And I PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I too couldn't sleep and felt compeled to check Mike & Amy's site. I really don't know what I wanted to see, I had just checked it earlier today. To be honest I wanted more of Lydia. Then I saw about Renay's post. I used the link to check it out.

I know what Renay is talking about, I too met that beautiful angel. Every word she said is true. Renay, as a friend of Amy's I want to Thank You for being everything you've been for the Focosi family lately...nurse, friend, someone who's been through a difficult pregancy too, a servant in so many ways!

When I first got home and all alone after meeting Lydia that Monday evening. I knew I was a changed person. I was in awe of God's newest creation, Lydia. I couldn't get her off my mind and still haven't been able to. Nor do I want to! She has forever impacted my heart, my life, and how I serve my BIG GOD. Through her God has shown me how to love people even more, sieze each moment in life, truely give glory to God in everything, trust him and lean on him like never before. I wish I could of learned this another way, but it is part of God's perfect plan. I will not let Lydia's short, but meaningful life not live in my life how God intended it. Everlasting like God's love for us. God Gave his perfect son to die for our sins. Don't wait another day or another minute to accept that unconditional love, that unlimited forgiveness, and give yourself to God. You can't be perfect when you give yourself to God, you have to come to him the way you are unworthy of his love and grace. You will then experience a love you could never imagine and your life will have more meaning.

Renay - Thank you for letting me go on and on your blog. I might just have to get me one of these.

Trusting in Gods Plan as hard as that is....

Anonymous said...

Oh, Renay, as Amy's mom I felt good from the beginning when she told me a friend would be her OB nurse. Then meeting you and spending time with you throughout Amy's labor and delivery and Lydia's time with us was such a blessing. God helped Amy as best he could through this pregnancy and delivery, and putting you with her was a wonderful gift. I'm so, so grateful I was able to meet and hold my beautiful granddaughter also. I was worried with the distance and Indiana winters that I might not make it. But I was supposed to be there and Praise God - I was!

The Baker Family said...

Beautiful post. This is why I am trudging through school to become a nurse. You were able to be there, to comfort her, and most importantly be a servant of God in her most despirate time of need. Please know I am in tears reading this and will pray for this precious family. I needed to be reminded to hug my little one more closely today. Thank you.

Candi and Skeet said...


Please give my love to Amy and Mike. I know that their beautiful little angel will bless their lives forever. My heart goes out to them at this time. Please let Amy know that if she ever needs to talk, I am here to listen. With my loss still so fresh in my mind and heart, and today being my due date, my heart breaks for them that they had to say good bye to their daughter too. I will pray for them and I hope that they know that their beautiful little girl will be theirs forever.


Anonymous said...

What beautiful posts to describe your experience with Mike, Amy, Alex, and Lydia. It's a blessing to read this through your eyes and just be amazed about the ways God speaks to us in ALL things.