It's amazing sometimes how a seemingly bad situation can turn into a blessing, and never have I seen that more clearly than the past couple months.
My wife Kelsey's only sister Erin had a perfectly healthy pregnancy, until April 14. Her water broke with the baby at about 21 weeks along. The chances of the baby surviving were not good, to say the least.
Being Erin and her husband Cody's first child, it was particularly tough. Amazingly, the doctors were able to keep the baby inside and alive, and Erin was sent home on bed rest two days later. Kelsey flew down to Lexington, Ky., to help out in any way she could just a day after Erin went home.
Things were going relatively well again, until April 28 when contractions hit. Again the doctors were able to help delay the birth of Jonathan until May 7, at 24 weeks along, still very premature. Kelsey was set to fly back on May 8, but she passed up the flight to continue to help out.
I had some vacation scheduled for the middle of May anyways, so I extended it a bit, leaving for Kentucky May 17 to help out as well and take a much-needed 10 days of relaxation (mostly).
Jonathan has been amazing, and I was blown away when I finally got to see him in person. It's hard to understand how small a baby under 2 pounds is until you actually see him face to face. Yet, the dexterity in his fingers and toes, the hair on his head (almost more than his balding father Cody!), and all the functions of his tiny body are all there.
He has fought some major battles already in his young life, and he was in critical condition fighting a sudden infection for a few days when I was there, and yet he keeps fighting. He still faces an uphill battle, but he's been incredibly strong, just like his parents, and the God who sustains them.
That's been the most incredible part of this story to me: watching the impact this beautiful baby boy has had on so many other people. Erin and Cody have shared updates on Facebook to their wide circle of family and friends, and many of us have shared his story as it's happening, and it's gone viral in Kentucky, Michigan and many other areas of the country, too.
We all continue to pray for Jonathan as he continues to develop, but God has already worked miracles in this story. God's grace has been the sustaining force through this whole ordeal for Cody and Erin, and through other people's prayers, they've felt immense peace. Their testimony through this whole situation has been going just as viral, and it's caused so many people to understand what faith in action looks like.
We still don't know how this story will play out in the long run, but it's amazing the number of ways we've already seen God work. Even some aspects of my vacation worked out in incredible ways.
Kelsey and I were originally planning to drive home through Chicago and Green Bay until just days before we left we found out our married friends Mitchell and Cassandra would be vacationing with family in Detroit. We hadn't seen them since March 2012, when we were both in their wedding downstate.
We met them at the Detroit Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins game in Detroit Sunday afternoon, spent time with them the rest of the day and drove back Memorial Day mostly refreshed and ready to get back to work.
One of my favorite Bible verses is Romans 8:28: "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God "
Not everything is good, but it works out for good, for followers of God. I've seen that so crystal clear throughout this whole situation with Jonathan. If you're so inclined, join me in praying for him also, and think about the ways in which seemingly negative things happened in your life, only to ultimately result in a positive outcome. Amazing, isn't it?