I Am Not a Calculation Mistake

Like I mentioned last week, I have been doing a Bible study plan on YouVersion called Hope Heals in the Midst of Suffering. I finished it yesterday and it was awesome. It was written by Katherine, a woman who survived a severe stroke shortly after becoming a mother, as well as her husband.

The plan follows Joseph’s story, the part of Genesis I had gotten stuck on in my Bible in a Year plan. I was glad to read it now.

At one point, Katherine shares that, about a year after her stroke, she is still unable to perform many basic functions. She is still in adult diapers, unable to eat, unable to even lift up her head. Her family is having Thanksgiving dinner with her son, then a toddler. As the family are playing with her son, she wonders if there was a mistake. Should she have died from her stroke?

It was at this point that a lightbulb went off in my head. I, too, have often wondered whether my life is a mistake. A calculation mistake, to be exact.

You see, I was born over three months premature. Officially, I was born at 26 weeks 4 days gestation. However, it is quite probable given the circumstances of my conception that my mother really wasn’t yet 26 weeks along. At the time, 26 weeks gestation was the cutoff for active, life-saving treatment in the NICU.

My parents weren’t even sure I should be treated actively. At one point, when I’d suffered a brain bleed, my father asked the neonatologist what he was doing with regards to my treatment. “We’re just keeping her alive,” he said. He (or his nurse) added that my father shouldn’t interfere in my treatment or he’d lose custody of me.

In 2004, when I was eighteen, this same doctor was quoted in a newspaper as saying that he sometimes meets preemies he’s kept alive back in his early days as a doctor, about whom he wonders: “What have we done?!” I at the time tried to reassure myself that he wouldn’t have meant me. Or would he? I, after all, am multiply-disabled and in long-term care.

The devotional in the Bible plan I was reading continued. Katherine at this point heard God clearly speak: “I am God. I do not make mistakes.”

This was what I needed to hear! I have tried to find my neonatologist on Google several times since that newspaper article. However, I don’t need his opinion. I have talked to my father about his views on my quality of life several times, but it hasn’t helped. I don’t need my father’s opinion either. God chose for me to be kept alive and that’s what matters.

Grace and Truth

Also joining Friendship Friday this week.

28 thoughts on “I Am Not a Calculation Mistake

  1. Oh my goodness you are certainly not a mistake! Being disabled does not make you any less worthy of being alive. I was a mistake in that my parents didn’t plan to get pregnant. But I’m glad to be alive. Big hugs to you x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, not really. This was in the context of the cutoff for active treatment being moved from 25 to 24 weeks in some circumstances at one hospital and not others. The reason the cutoff was at 25 weeks nationwide until then was for quality-of-life purposes. The doctor probably meant people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities. It may seem easy to distance myself from that population, but honestly, I don’t want to.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thanks so much for saying that. I want to assure you though that, even if your purpose isn’t clear to you, it is to God. I for one don’t usually see my purpose as shining through in my posts either.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for your testimony. I have never undergone such difficult circumstances and, honestly, I’m afraid. But your story and of Katherine encourages me. By the way, Susanne Spurgeon was saying same words during her illness: “God never makes mistakes.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing this. You are lucky not to have gone through such hardships as of yet, but I trust that even if you do, your faith will get you through.

      Like

  3. That sounds like a really interesting BIble study plan. I’m so glad that Katherine heard God telling her that he does not make mistakes and that this also spoke to your heart. It’s a good reminder to hold on to. #MMBC

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amen! It is easy to question God & more difficult to accept that God is in control.
    I’m so glad that you can share your mind & heart with me, way across the ocean in Texas!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very interesting as I read your post because one of my friends has a granddaughter born 3 months premature in 2020, and who also had a brain bleed. It’s yet to be determined if she’ll have disabilities but she is naturally behind on the developmental steps because of her prematurity. But regardless of what happens in the years ahead, I agree with you that neither you nor her were a mistake because you are here! God fought for you both to stay alive for good purposes! Thanks for sharing this. I’m glad you link up at Grace and Truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for sharing your story. Yours has been one of long trust. I think our enemy whispers dark questions into our hearts over lesser trauma, so your story is very powerful. I always am inspired by Joni Erickson Tada when she speak on the value of life too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing and I’m glad I inspired you. I think I started reading one of Joni’s books many years ago, but back then I hadn’t become a Christian yet and didn’t like the heavily religious content.

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  7. Powerful! “I am God. I do not make mistakes.”

    And equally powerful, “God chose for me to be kept alive and that’s what matters.”

    I think people get caught up in the “doing.” What do you do? When God calls us to be a sweet fragrant incense, a vessel of faith (which is pleasing to Him), a surrendered heart willing to receive His Love poured out on us, and for us to delight in Him.

    When we learn to “be” before Him – giving and receiving – then everything else comes into perspective. Everything that we “do” will pass away, it’s the attitude in which we do things, our heart posture, if we do and speak in love, if we do and speak as unto Him – that’s what He looks at in our lives.

    When we find that place of contentment, joy and delight in Him and in His Presence, we find freedom. And all the world’s clamoring of what you “do” is seen for the irrelevance that it is.

    Liked by 1 person

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