We began that night exactly like we began the night that Will was born, and Sarah and I had a word of prayer together committing Andrew's life to the Lord, praying that God would use Andrew for His glory. Plans changed quickly after that as we rushed to the emergency room and sitting in a tiny hospital room in the middle of the night we were informed that our baby had no heartbeat. At that time I couldn't imagine discussing this trial, let alone going through with a memorial service, but God's strength is very real. He does give grace to endure any trial he graciously allows. Sarah and I are now glad to hold a service in order to share, not the grief we have, but the goodness of God that is clearer to us now then any other time in our lives.
We have never experienced God's grace, strength, comfort and peace in such a powerful way before and it is truly special. Our family, friends and church family have surrounded us with such love and support that the strongest emotion we feel right now is one of thankfulness! Accepting God's choice was not the hardest part. We were aware of the delicacy of life even though there had been no indication of any problems, the very day before Sarah went into labor she had a check up and had heard Andrew's heartbeat. The fact that there was nothing we could have done differently and that there was no discernible cause of death made it obvious to us that everything was in God's hands and directed for our good and His glory.
By God's grace, we have no anger at God's choice, no bitterness for what we may feel we missed out on. Having a child is a true blessing and privilege from God whether we get to raise that child or not. The Lord has graciously allowed us to have two precious children already that we can pour our lives into in an even clearer way now. And if He chooses to allow us to have more children we will still look forward with joyful expectation to welcoming them into the world.
God does allow pain in order to make our joy all the sweeter, He does allow loss so that we know better how to value life, He does allow suffering in order to make us understand in a small way Christ's suffering for us, He does allow sorrow to show us his peace and comfort so that in turn we can help comfort those who sorrow as well. What an amazing God we serve! It is truly a privilege to be chosen as recipients of such grace, knowing especially that it is not because of anything we have done to deserve such grace. We are not up to the task that we will face in the days of trial yet ahead, but we know now that God is more then enough, and we can trust His character even though we may not understand His ways.
At the request of some friends we have set up a memorial fund for Andrew Judson with Bibles International. It will be designated to further the work of Bible Translation for people groups in SE Asia. We can't think of anything more fitting, and trust that the Lord can do through Andrew's death what we had prayed He might one day do through Andrew's life.
Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement and support! We are overwhelmed by so many friends and family that have grieved with us and encouraged us. I could never have imagined the strength that God has available to give to his children. We hope to use this seeming tragedy to magnify God's goodness even more.