As Iʼm beginning to write this, Iʼm looking over at a happy, healthy, 11 lb, 7 oz, baby boy napping beside me. Iʼm sure nothing sounds too unusual or extraordinary about that. But considering he was born 13 weeks early weighing a mere 2 lbs, 4 oz, itʼs nothing short of a miracle.
As some of you know, on July 27, 2011, while my husband and I were driving from our home in Atlanta, Ga., to Gulf Shores, Ala., my water broke on I-85 South in Montgomery, Ala. I was 26 weeks and 6 days into my seemingly uneventful pregnancy. Our son arrived on July 30, just four days later. He would remain in the hospital in Montgomery, Ala., for the next three months.
I know that many of you were praying for my family over the last several months. I know this because we felt it daily. The prayers sustained us. They protected our thoughts, lifted our spirits, and enabled us to find joy and peace in the midst of our fears. Your prayers helped us to focus every bit of our love and energy on our son and his healing. How do I ever say thank you enough?
On one hand, the last several months was the most terrifying and stressful time of our lives. On the other hand, it was one of the most beautiful and precious times that we will possibly ever experience. The love and kindness that we received from our friends and family was one of the most humbling experiences of our lives. In talking with a friend of mine who lost her father several years ago, she said it best when she said, “Itʼs hard to receive so much grace when you have absolutely nothing to offer in return, isnʼt it?” Yes, yes it is. Itʼs so incredibly humbling. We received so many blessings to help us in our time of need. I have never felt so loved.
And some of the biggest blessings we received were from my Orange family. Within just a few days of our arrival in Montgomery, a phone call was placed on our behalf from Orange to a church in Montgomery. The next thing I knew, Hunter Hills Church was providing us with weeks worth of dinners, donations of furniture for our temporary housing, financial donations to assist us in covering missed income and hospital bills. They even went as far as to coordinate repair efforts when a tree fell on the house we were supposed to move into. And then there was the blessing of my Orange family back home. Jon Williams, a writer with Orange, quickly began taking collections for us. Their generosity was absolutely overwhelming. It allowed us to focus all our energy on our sonʼs healing instead of worrying about money, our living situation, our work, etc. My Orange family literally came to our rescue in our time of need.
As a result, I believe that my family witnessed the true body of Christ being lived out through the love and grace we received. I believe God was honored through the grace extended to my family. Iʼll never forget it for the rest of my life. Thatʼs how powerful grace can be.
Porter is now fully recovered, 100 percent healthy, with absolutely no long-term health issues to speak of. Porter truly is a miracle from God. I cannot wait to one day tell him of his story—a story full of Godʼs never-ending grace and of the body of Christ at work in our lives.
Thank you for being part of this story.
God bless!
The Hood family
To read more about Porterʼs story, visit our Caring Bridge site.