Tuesday, February 11, 2014

On Prayer

A great many things I do not know. Two things I know for certain: this is hard and this is not an accident.

"Be strong and courageous."

These are the Words that have become my heartbeat over the past 4 days.

"I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous."

God tells this to Joshua three times before his story really begins. And now, my God is whispering this to me. When our families vigil with us and take care of Avery so we don't have to worry, I hear His whisper. When doctors and nurses show compassion beyond what is required, I hear His whisper. As we read countless cards, texts, emails, and messages from friends and family, I hear His whisper. When I feel supernatural peace cover my soul like a blanket as I hurt and wrestle with hard questions, I hear His whisper.

"Above all, be strong and courageous."

Three times God says this, but one time the people say this to Joshua. You, dear ones, are our people. Lee and I have simply been overwhelmed by the love you have shown us, and we could not be more thankful. Many of you have asked what you can do for us. So, here is your task:


I mean it. Pray for us. Even if it's been years since you talked to God. Pray. Because so many have literally bent to their knees in prayer for us, we have heard our mighty God whisper as we love our precious baby girl and wonder what is next for her.

So, here is how you can pray:

  • For Kate's breathing to improve. She breathes too quickly sometimes, and her oxygen levels drop a little when she gets upset. (Like during diaper changes or when it's time to eat.) 
  • For Kate to be able to manage breathing and eating through her mouth at the same time. Today, she was able to eat through her mouth for about 3 minutes, which was amazing!
  • For Kate's genetic test results to come back quickly. Right now, they are thinking we may have them by the beginning of next week. These results could tell us her specific diagnosis, and after we have those results, the doctors will begin to make a plan for further treatments and her coming home. So, the sooner the better.
  • For Avery to somehow understand what is going on, and for her to feel loved by Lee and me, even as we spend a good portion of every day in the NICU. We are SO thankful for our families who are making this crazy season as seamless as possible for Avery. 
  • For Lee and me to wait with peace. Also, for us to grow together as we try to figure out our new normal.
I love knowing that our Kate is prayed for continuously-- it reminds me that my God is Creator, and He creates with beautiful purpose. 


  1. Sweet Shannon, My heart is heavy with all that you are going through. You are right that this was not an accident. I do not know you well and have only met your husband a couple times, but the love of God shines through very brightly in some people and you and Lee are 2 of those people. God made Kate just for your family. You will be a blessing to her and she will be a blessing to you. Avery will be doubly blessed! Also, do not have guilt over your time away from Avery now. I guarantee she will only remember the happy parts of her sister being born! I will continue praying for you all. -Lisa Bown

  2. We have never met, but it doesn't matter. I am praying for you as you wait to receive those tests results. Waiting is one of the hardest things you will ever experience. Not knowing and not having the information is brutal. Nearly twenty years ago this coming May, our son Doug was born and we were told he "probably" had Down Syndrome or Trisomy 21. I began praying that he didn't have anything wrong, couldn't imagine what a diagnosis like that would mean for the life of our child or for the future of our family. In the middle of one of my gut wrenching God-beseeching prayers, it occurred to me that the Lord had already determined it all. My theology of total sovereignty was really put to the test. My husband and I began praying for the Lord to help us accept what He had already put in place for Doug. The tests results were positive, and even though I felt my world had just been turned upside down, I began to see the Lord blessing others through the life of my little boy. For the next several months, we experienced something new as believers: Grace. Thought I knew what it meant, but I didn't really know. On the days when my mind said, "You should be screaming and going mad right now," my heart said, "I'm the One carrying you, it is only by My strength that you are able to do this." My prayers for you and for your husband is that you will truly, truly see Grace as it enters in and transforms everything to reflect His image. I promise you it will be amazing!

  3. Many you don't even know are praying for you and beautiful Kate! Sending love! You ARE strong and courageous!

    Sophie magness

  4. And the people said: "Above all, be strong and courageous"...for He will never leave or forsake any of you as you walk this path. He walks beside you - every step - over every bump - around every curve - building a bridge over any river and a tunnel under any mountain. Blessings! Be! "Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God is one."

  5. Your faith inspires me... I am praying for you to be strong and courageous. It's obvious you have it in you. Kate is one lucky baby to have a momma like you.

  6. Praying for your family...
    Denise Briley

  7. Shannon,
    You and your precious family are never far from my mind this week and last. My prayer partners at work and I lift up Kate in prayer every week when we meet, and I find that God places her on my heart and mind many times daily so that I can take this petition to His throne of grace. You and Lee are amazing . . . I marvel at your spiritual insight and want you to know that you are an inspiration to us all. Your blog entries resonate in my soul, and I hear your words as I pray for you and Kate. God is such a mighty, awesome God. I want to encourage you as you encourage us. You are a mighty warrior with resilience and strength, an overcomer--and your faith will be rewarded because you trust in Him fully and completely. I praise Him for all that He is doing in Kate's little life. Sending my love, Candace Leibe