May 13, 2009
My world changed.
"It doesn't matter, just as long as he is healthy."
Since we announced to our world that Meredith was pregnant with our first child last fall, we got asked the question, "Do you want a boy or a girl?" Almost as a reaction, our response for a short while was, "It doesn't matter, just as long as he is healthy."
It was a natural response.
We actually meant it.
But not too long after beind inundated with that question, I remembered one of my best friend's in the world, Paul Huneycutt. He and I roomed together with 2 other guys in college. Those three guys shaped my life, my perspectives, my heart as much as anyone in this world.
Paul was the kind of guy who would do anything to encourage you...even if you were the one who discouraged him.
The week before Paul's wedding, I literally hit him with his own car breaking his leg in a couple of places and putting him in a full-leg cast for his wedding day (and his wedding night). My stomach is in knots even now thinking about that moment.
Paul forgave me.
More than that, he restored me.
He didn't just accept my apology, he told me there must be some greater purpose for it happening.
Then he hobbled his way down the aisle, and said "I do" while sitting on a stool...
Not too long after that, Paul and his wife Lorie found out they were going to be parents.
Not too long after that, Lorie went into labor much too early and gave birth to a beautiful, tiny baby girl named Rylie. Rylie was treated for weeks at the hospital and Paul and Lorie were told she had a complication that would keep her in a wheel chair. She has cerebral palsy.
I remember visiting them in the hospital, with tears in my eyes watching Paul let little Rylie wrap her teeny tiny hands half-way around his pinky. I remember begging God for Rylie to make it.
I remember being amazed with Paul as he said:
"There has to be some greater purpose for this happening."
Paul and Lorie live in Wyoming where Paul is a youth pastor. Rylie is one of the greatest joys in Paul's life. You should see his face light up when he talks about her. When he talks of how she has changed him and made him a better person, a better father, a better husband, a better friend, a better Paul.
I thought of Paul and I realized that I really wanted Colten to be healthy...but if there was something that could only be accomplished through him being "unhealthy" I wanted that more.
The night before Meredith and I went to the hospital for her to be induced, we prayed that God would allow us to be changed by Colten, that He would do whatever He needed to do to change lives, regardless of our comfort. We prayed that God would use Colten to teach and change us first, so that we could be used to do the same for others.
At 7:00 PM on Wednesday, May 13, 2009 Colten James Gardner was born.
We are so thankful and humbled.
But our prayers haven't changed....because Paul, Lorie and Rylie changed them already.
at 5:33 PM