Dear Family and Friends:
Aimee and I are writing you this letter because we want to encourage each of you with the work that God is doing through his grace in our lives. Friday, September 21, 2007 is a day that will forever mark our lives. This was the day our loving Lord chose to reveal to us the precious gift he planned for us before the foundation of the earth. It was on this day that we were told by sonogram that we were having a little girl, Sophie Ann, and it was also on this day that we were told that Sophie appeared to have a serious genetic anomaly. Our dreams of a healthy child were dashed in the blink of an eye. The pain was very acute for Aimee and I, but little did we know what God had in store for us.
I want to type a couple of passages that have ministered to us in this last week. I Peter 4:12-19 says, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s suffering, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And ‘If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?’ Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” Peter continues on this theme in 5:6, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.
These words are absolutely true. Aimee and I have experienced the God of all grace over the past week, and he is a good and Sovereign God. Sophie Ann has been diagnosed with a chromosomal anomaly. The world’s statistics say this only happens in 1:10,000 births, but we know that God has hand-picked us for this task. This condition has been verified as fatal. Our expectations are that she will either be stillborn or go to Christ in the first hours after her birth. She is a “wise gift from God.” He knows what our family needs to grow in our faith. We now know some truths more personally than before. God is sovereign and good and merciful. We understand much more about prayer because of our struggle with him for the past few days. Aimee and I have sensed his very real presence, and our lives seem to be more focused than ever on the glory of Christ and his righteousness!
We need you to help us in several ways. First, we covet your prayers. Pray that God gives Aimee strength and grace as she carries our little girl. Pray that Sophie experiences his mercy. We do not want her to remain in this world and suffer.
Also pray for Aimee as she continues to tutor her students. Aimee is an absolute wonderful teacher and is very dedicated to her students. Many of her students look to her as much more than just a teacher, but also as a friend and confidant. They also bring her much joy. Pray that I will be to Aimee as Christ is to his church. I am going to need to suffer for her as much as possible, and I am asking God to give me patience and grace in this process. Pray that God will not let this little trophy of grace be wasted! Pray that his glory extends to the community and the world through her little life.
Many of you have asked us about our plans to continue to adopt Lily from China. When we began our adoption process in May of this year, we knew we felt extremely compelled to adopt from China. We now can see the mercy of God in his plan for our life. In no way, will Lily ever replace our Sophie, but thinking about Lily has brought some glimmer of brightness in a very sad time in our life. God has been so sweet. After coming home from our Ultrasound at UAB, we were stunned to find in our mailbox that Aimee’s fingerprints had come back from the state of Alabama and FBI as CLEAR! Many of you know, her first sets of fingerprints were rejected because they could not read them clearly. We felt sure that she was going to be one of the rare few that just can’t fingerprint! God was so good to allow us to get that letter in the mail on the same day as our tragic news. We can now move forward with our paperwork.
Aimee started a blog about 6 months ago to update friends and family about our adoption process. We plan to use this blog as a place to share our thoughts and prayers during this difficult journey ahead. We encourage each of you to check the blog for updates and please use the blog to share your own thoughts and comments. Aimee will leave the comment section open to the public. We would love to hear how Sophie is changing you and your walk with Christ. We would also love to hear any words of encouragement. Aimee will try to update the blog as often as possible.
Here is the address: www.weathersfamily2007.blogspot.com
Or Google: Weathers family blogspot
Laboring together for His Glory,
Carlton and Aimee
This is a letter we wanted to include for your encouragement. Aimee wrote this on Tuesday before we had our Level II Ultrasound on Wednesday. Thank you ladies for praying for my wife.
Dear Ladies of Grace Fellowship,
First of all, I am so sorry that I am not there, I am physically tired and I don’t think I can bear anymore crying at this point. But know, that I am on my knees at home praying with you. You will never know how much it means to have you praying over my family. I ask that you would take this precious time and beg God for a miracle, but above all, that Christ would be glorified. I want His will, and not my own. I also would ask that you would arrange your schedule tomorrow and put all things aside and pray like you have never prayed before for Carlton and I during our appointment in Birmingham. Our appointment is from 3:45-until. We have been warned that the clinic is very sterile and there will be zero compassion. To them, my child is a glob of cells. Pray that I remain strong, pray that the doctors will see the glory of Christ on our faces and that their lives would be changed. Pray that they would be able to tell us what is going on. I can’t take the waiting anymore. Pray that I would continue to trust God after the information they give us. Pray that my little girl, Sophie, would live, pray for my sweet little Hannah Grace and my bundle of joy Noah. Hannah Grace is very aware that her little sister is sick. But, she trusts Jesus will all her soul. If only I could have faith like my Hannah Grace. Noah is not aware of what is going on, but God has been so sweet to us through him. Noah is the ONLY thing that has made me laugh the past 4 days. He brings us so, so , so, much joy. And last but not least, pray for my husband. What a rock he has been. He is carrying so much of my pain. What a blessing to have a husband who lives out his faith.
I want to share with you some of my thoughts and things that God has shown me and taught me over the last 4 days. Many of you don’t know this, but I have shared this with some close friends and family. God, in his merciful kindness, told me that my child had this particular problem 5 days after I saw the positive on that pregnancy test. Debbie and I prayed many, many times that God would take away my worry and my concern. At six weeks, I even made a special appointment with my OB/GYN to tell him. I told him specifically what was wrong with the baby. Dr. Daniel encouraged me not worry over this. Carlton spent many nights and mornings with his hand on my shoulder praying for me. He fasted several times also. This went on for about 13 weeks. God was so good to me. He comforted me like never before. For the first time in my life, I felt the power of prayer. I knew He was listening. Now, looking back, I see his goodness. He loved me so much, he had spoken to me! HE SPOKE TO ME! He spoke to a worthless sinner like me. He knows me so well, he knew I needed time to prepare myself for this, and I also needed to learn how to pray and to really believe in the power of prayer. I have always felt so unprepared as a pastor’s wife and have often asked God to grow me spiritually and now He has answered my prayer. I have never known God like this. I knew about him from reading about him, but I have “tasted and seen” that the Lord is good. Everything about me has changed. I will never be the same. Life has new meaning. Things that worried me before, are meaningless. I look at my children, and I see that they are not mine, but God’s. I will never place my children, family, husband, above my relationship with Christ. He really is all you need. He is all you have.
I am trusting God for a miracle tomorrow. But, whatever the outcome, He will be glorified. Sophie has already touched people’s lives. My sister, wrote me an e-mail, yesterday and Carlton and I wept over it. Sophie is already a blessing. God is using MY baby girl to bring others to him. I am honored that he would use her. I am also honored that he hand-picked Carlton and I for this task. We WILL be a display to God’s glory. This will not weaken our faith. It will strengthen it. If this is an attack from Satan to test our faith, well, he has already lost. Satan, you have been defeated. We belong to an almighty God who is completely sovereign over all things. And God is holding our little girl in His hands, not you. God will bring us through this, and we will be changed. I don’t know how I will make it, but I will. Please don’t be afraid to talk to me. And please do not pity me. I am OK. I am still the same feisty Aimee that I have always been. I need your support and friendship to help me through this. But, above all, I need your prayers. God hears our prayers. Thank you again for coming together to pray.
Please read these scriptures aloud:
Hebrews: 12:6-11 Discipline means “training”
1 Peter: 4:12-19 and 1 Peter 5:6-11
Isaiah 49: 1-6