Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Isaac's Story

Our Isaac

What does redemption look like?

I don’t really know for sure but I am pretty sure it looks a lot like today will look. Today Barry will run a marathon of 42kms from Moggill Cemetery around the city and UQ and back to Anzac park. He will do it because it’s the next step in achieving the vision God has given him. He will do it because its Australia Day, and he will do it because 5 years ago today our Baby Isaac should have been born happy and healthy, and our new life as a family should have started that day.

Sadly that didn’t happen.

The midwife entrusted with bringing Isaac safely into the world, made some big mistakes and missed the signs of him becoming stressed. He died about half an hour or so before he was delivered and we where left holding the lifeless body of our baby boy.  Our dreams of our new family unit where shattered, and it felt as though my heart had been ripped from my chest.

I remember every detail of that day, I remember the look on Barry’s face when he knew before I did what had happened. I remember Barry making a few frantic phone calls to our family and friends. I remember our family and our church family rushing to our bedside to offer any support they could.

I remember waking up through the night to the cries of healthy babies in the next room. I felt like I was being tortured, every cry I heard pounded at my chest. I remember pacing the hallways in the early hours of the next morning going out of my mind trying to figure out what was going on and how I could escape that hospital ward.

I remember leaving the hospital cradling a tiny teddy bear instead of our new baby.

I used to love Australia Day but now I hated it. I used to enjoy Fridays like any other day but now I hated them too, if I could have struck Friday from the calendar I would have.

I couldn’t stop replaying what happened over and over in my mind. Why was this happening? How did this happen in an ultra modern state of the art hospital in the first world? I was so mad at God. Sooooo MAD I can’t even begin to describe it. How could a loving God allow this to happen to us? What did we do wrong. Why us. These thoughts swirled around in my head like poison in a glass.  Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, and the deep dark valley I was descending into seemingly had no bottom.

Barry was in his own dark place but somehow we held onto each other, some how we didn’t blame each other. We had just lost our son we had no intention of losing each other.

I remember receiving well-meaning cards from family and friends. I remember one said that “God has a plan and purpose for this situation and he will bring good things from it” (or words to that effect) I was so mad when I read it, I was so blinded by my pain that I was convinced no good could ever come from Isaac dying. To me it seemed too ridiculous to even contemplate.

Our friends and family where and still are an ever present part of this journey and we are so grateful they continued to love us even when we where not the fun-est people to be around, to say the least.  They journeyed with us and loved on us so deeply that we finally allowed God to start to mend the broken pieces of our hearts.

It wasn’t until we first heard the call to go to Haiti that God showed me without doubt He had a plan to use our pain to help others to minister to those that had lost so much. But it wasn’t until we sold almost everything and moved to Haiti that I started to get a real glimpse of what His plans where. I remember writing verse Isaiah 61 up on the white board at the guesthouse one morning. It reads…

 1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
 because the LORD has anointed me
 to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted,
   to proclaim freedom for the captives
   and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
   and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
   instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
   instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
   instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
   a planting of the LORD
   for the display of his splendor.

I clearly remember thinking how well this verse fit what Gods is doing in Haiti. He wants to redeem Haiti. He wants to exchange joy for mourning and beauty for ashes. 

It hit me. It’s our story too. He wants the same for us. He wants to redeem us replacing our despair with praise and exchanging beauty for our ashes.

It wasn’t until Barry shared with me the big vision God had laid on his heart that it all became clear and all the pieces fit together. Barry will run back-to-back marathons across Haiti to raise money to build the new Heartline Maternity Centre. He is using our story, our pain, our experience to help other mums be cared for and their babies receive the type of care Isaac should have received. He will use our experience to change the experience of so many others. Wow now that’s redemption, that truly is beauty for ashes.

Whether we admit it or not we all carry around ashes. They could be a teacup of ashes from lost loves, or 44 gallon drums of ashes from pain unspeakable. Whatever the size or whatever the reason, God is bigger and he is ready and willing to write a new story just like He did for us.

It may seem hard to believe but if I had the chance I wouldn’t change what happened.  Sure when I see my friends kids starting school, or sing happy birthday at kids parties ill admit it still stings. I yearn to know him and what type of man he is.

But I know where Isaac is and for eternity I will get to know him and spend time with him. But right now God has a plan and that plan is going to change and transform the lives of hundreds if not thousands of women that will come through the new maternity centre when its built. They will be cared for and loved because God is bigger, He is bigger then any pain or situation or circumstance. The stories He writes are more beautiful and redeeming then I could ever have imagined.


  1. Bec, thanks for sharing your heart today. Mary Beth

  2. When we were in Haiti last June, I could sense a certain sadness about you at times. Now, I understand. Thank you for sharing your story with us.


  3. xxx and big hugs too. You are an amazing, resilient and amazing couple :)


  4. Wow Bec,
    That was written so beautifully. I think you are an amazing couple and I am so blessed to have met you.

  5. This is such a powerful and moving personal tesimony and I too thank you for sharing this for God's glory. Jesus Bless your heart, your dreams and your work! xJess

  6. Bec, Thanks so much for sharing this, your courage in sharing your testimony is beautiful :) Love you and Miss you tons!


  7. You are such a strong, courageous, amazing woman.Thank you for sharing your story. It is so moving.

  8. You two are truly amazing and inspirational. We are so happy that you have found some peace and purpose and are very happy to help by donating. I just can't seem to get the link from the DONATE button, I will try again, but may be worth checking your end. Much love, Sue & Steve

  9. Barry and Bec, thankyou from the bottom of my heart for your willingness to share your story and God's amazing way of giving us beauty for ashes. Only those who have walked that o so painful road of losing a child can truely understand where you have been and what a miracle it is to be able to get up and move forward. Praise God for His strength and enabling. Although it is 22 years since we lost our daughter just moments after her birth, we still remember it as if it were yesterday. God has given me a heart for others who find themselves in a similar situation and it would be great to know more of your work and perhaps share in it in some way. Bless you both as you are a blessing to others.


  10. Boz & Bec,

    The incredibly remarkable work that He is doing through you both is plainly evident through how you both have chosen to respond to this tragedy & God's plan for your lives. The passion that you share for seeking God and His will through all of this makes my heart ache & smile at the same time. Thank you for sharing this.

    God Bless You Both,

  11. It is such a privilege to be on this journey with you, and to have seen and continue to see how God is working in your lives and also through you. You are two amazing friends. I look forward to seeing what will happen next in this story, and I can't wait to hold your Isaac again and see his smile. Love you, Kel

  12. Team B & B,
    Only He could make something so deeply beautiful out of such pain. He is incredible, isn't He. Redemption... hmmm makes me think about what it will be like when He finishes the job of redeeming this old world. You are a signpost of what will one day be fully realised... His redemption of all that is bad, wrong and ugly into what is thoroughly good, true and beautiful. He is certainly to be worshipped and loved. Your story makes us worship and love Him all the more.
    You guys are loved so much by so many,