By Jonah Rhodes
But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.
The week of January 20 will go down as the start of the hardest year of my life so far. It was this week that my wife and I wife started our journey though one of the longest valleys we had ever walked through together. I knew it was going to take all the faith and hope we had.
The week of Jan 20, 2012 started a whirlwind of events that would result in the premature birth of our son, Nash, some 3 months later. During the middle of the night on January 20, Melissa woke me, unable to speak, but letting me know she was in excruciating pain. Her entire body was covered in sweat, and soon after, she passed out. After several days in the hospital, and very little diagnosis, she was sent home. Thankfully, we were told that Nash was fine. Though this situation was never diagnosed nor connected to her pregnancy, we have no doubt that it directly impacted it. Fast forward a few weeks, and I find myself making the decision to again take my wife and unborn son to the ER. Once again, she woke in the middle of the night realizing something was wrong. This time we wouldn’t go home. That night Melissa’s water broke, and it was the first time we really chose Hope over what the doctors said.
The doctor said your son will most likely be born tonight and at 24 weeks; there is not much we can do. Hope said your son will be fine; don’t fear. In that moment we could have given up all hope believing the horrible things we were hearing, maybe this just wasn’t meant to be. We could have mourned the loss of our son and given up. Instead we did what we had been taught to do in those times of helplessness. We called out to the One who we have put our faith and hope in our whole lives. The One who created Nash. We called the family and we prayed. A peace came in the room. We knew it would be a long journey, but we had no doubt that we would prevail.
Just 2 weeks later, Nash was born. We chose hope again; when things looked dim we continued to hold onto Hope. I’ve learned though all of this you can tie a knot in the rope and hang on, or you can give up and not know what could have been. I know the doctors must have thought Melissa and I were just some young, dumb couple who didn’t grasp the severity of the situation. That was okay with us. We did grasp it very well, but our Hope wasn’t in man, but in our faith.
At 11:35pm the night Nash was born, the NICU doctor burst in our room saying that he had to insert a tube into Nash's chest, and if it didn’t work, it was very likely that he wouldn't live through the night. He left, and again we prayed and chose Hope. We laid back down to rest. After close to an hour and a half later, the doctor came back with good news and a sigh of relief in his voice.
Normally, we are somewhat private people, but we chose to share this journey, the most meaningful, intimate story of our lives with friends and strangers, because we hope to show the goodness of our God. We hope to allow people to look at our lives, the lives of regular people, and watch a miracle take place. Whether you are just starting this journey with your family or you have been on the journey a while, Hope is your best friend. Never give up Hope!
Nash never gave up fighting, so how could I give up hope in him? I chose Hope over doubt, fear and negativity, and it has helped me walk the longest valley of my life. As the journey though this long valley comes to an end, I now choose Hope again to help climb the mountain with Nash to his future and to whatever he wants to be in life. I will always teach him to choose Hope first, and he will be able to do anything.