Monday, September 21, 2009

Gift From God

Jesse Kyle Winstead
Born: August 27, 2009; 8:55 a.m.
8lbs- 12oz; 20.5 inches long

For all of you who sent prayers and congratulations to us upon the arrival of Jesse, they were heard and appreciated. Thanks for the encouragement and support.

baby jesse.jpgFollowing closely behind the day I accepted Christ and the day of my marriage, yesterday was without a doubt one of the best days of my life. The roller coaster of nervous, exciting, joyful, and thankful emotions was a ride almost too thrilling. But after taking the ride, like most roller coasters, I caught my breath, let loose a sigh of relief, and then smiled and laughed at the happiness that comes at the culmination of such a series of exhilirating events.

justin and jesse.jpgThose first moments, when you see and hold your newborn baby, are without a doubt, some of the most incredible events anyone can experience. The euphoric feeling you have to see life in its purest form is, I believe, unparalleled. I do not wish to undermine the experience of any other parents, but I must share with you a story about God's goodness...

You see, a few years ago I was diagnosed with cancer and went through a gauntlet of tests, doctor visits, hospital stays, and, yes, chemotherapy and radiation. My oncologist and radiologists informed me before and after my radiation therapy the risks associated with such treatment. I'll spare you the details and give you the main idea: the treatment I received would only leave me with an estimated 5% chance of being able to have children-5% is very low chances!

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the effect of these risks would have on anyone aspiring to have and raise a family-as I desired. Through the tears and fearful emotions, I prayed to God, perhaps as broken-hearted as I have ever been. I begged and pleaded, questioned and accused, and even judged God in that prayer. I demanded answers to my why questions.

depressed and worried.jpgAfter I had said my spill and I lay face down on the floor listening for answers, God's Spirit moved in me and I felt His love and grace cover me like I had only felt a few times before. I could almost feel His arms around me. The peace that filled my heart is one that millions of people around the world long for and never reach. It was an awesome moment.

It was then and there that God spoke to my heart and let me know that He would answer my prayer and grant me a child. His Spirit gave took away my worry and doubt about ever being a father. Now, don't misunderstand me, I didn't hear an audible voice, but there was a whisper to my heart in which God "promised" me a baby. I never again doubted that I wouldn't have a child. Thank God for giving me faith, contentment, peace, and joy during that time and leading up to August 27, 2009.

IMG_4150.jpgYesterday was the ultimate fulfillment of God's promise to me. Holding Jesse in my arms created a paradoxical emotional response- pride and humility all at once. Now as I am here in the hospital room watching our new baby lay in the bed sleeping with Kathryn, I am once again reminded of God's love, grace, and mercy.

One last tidbit- Jesse means, "a gift from God."

Thanks God for the gift. You're soooo good...