I’ll never forget hearing your Dad tell me over the phone, “His name is Elias Angel.” He said it with such certainty that I took notice. Your Mom was still unconscious from an emergency C-section. I was keeping your Dad company by phone as he waited alone in the middle of the night for news.
Elias means The Lord is my God. Angel means Messenger from God. I can’t help but wonder if your life isn’t a message sent to us by our Heavenly Father letting us know more of Him.
When your parents brought you home after 116 days in the NICU, I couldn’t wait to see you in person. You see, you were born right in the middle of a worldwide pandemic caused by a wicked virus called COVID-19. No one but your parents were allowed in the hospital to see you. I stared at every photo your Mommy sent to me. I caressed your sweet face in my heart as I lifted my prayers to the One who created you.
Another virus caused you to have many health problems. CMV. It is a virus that is minor in its effects to adults, but most often fatal for unborn babies. At 24 weeks and 5 days God decided to rescue you from this virus. Once you were born the meds were administered to stop CMV in its tracks. But the damage done was irreversible. At least that is what we were told.
Yes. It is confirmed by MRIs that you have microcephaly and only 40% of your brain mass. (See Ultra-sound photo above)
Yes. It is most likely to be confirmed as you turn two that you also have Cerebral Palsy.
But God. When we see your cognitive ability, the way you look at us and react to what we do and say is nothing but miraculous. Yes. You can do more than they thought. But your limitations are also many: You can’t sit. You can’t talk. You can’t walk. You can’t swallow food. But God. He is writing your story to a watching world.
Hundreds all over the globe from California to the Bahamas, to the faraway country of Ukraine have leaned in to hear every update your Mom writes. They want to watch what our amazing God will do. We have prayed for miracles. We have cried on our knees for His will to be done in your life. And I just realized something huge–God has answered our prayers. You, my sweet grandson, are a miracle. Like Tiny Tim from A Christmas Carol, you are teaching all of us how to rejoice in long-suffering and how to have joy in the midst of pain.
When you cock your head to the side and smile at me the way you do, it’s as if you’re looking deep into my heart saying, “It’s going to be okay, Nana.” When I hold you and snuggle I pray for God to help us help you to the best of our ability. And He has.
When your eye began to bulge and your Mom asked if I thought it was bulging, I prayed, “Please, Lord. Don’t let this be cancer.” But it was and now we are walking with you through your silent battle with this beast called Rhabdomyosarcoma. You can’t tell us what hurts. It is hard not knowing what you need when you need it.
But God. I find comfort in knowing that He knows what you need and He is working miracles everyday that you continue to fight. The joy on your face comes and goes now, and it’s in those moments when all I see is your boo-boo face, that I want to cry and take the pain for you. But I can’t.
Your life is speaking volumes to all of us about perseverance and hope that doesn’t fade. And you haven’t spoken a word.
Two years now I have loved you, and I will continue to love you for all eternity. But my most important prayer for you, sweet Elias Angel, is that you will know the love of your Heavenly Father who dwells in the secret places with you. He is always there and comforts you in all your afflictions. You have a godly inheritance that will not fade. It is being kept in Heaven for you. So stay the course Elias, and I will be by your side to sing your song to you every day if you like. That’s what Nana’s do. “God bless us, every one.”
Nana loves Elias Angel
He’s as sweet as he can be
When he was born he won my heart
Tiny Warrior (Super Hero) from the start
I thank God He brought you to our family
Oh my heart! These heartfelt, gut wrenching words, inspired by the Holy Spirit, are bringing a flood to my eyes. You and your family, and most certainly, your precious Elias Angel are an inspiration to all that know you, and I am sure, to many who don’t know you! Thank you Debbie for sharing every aspect of your family’s hard journey. God never stops working! So many lives are being touched by our Father through your little Elias! I am praying for you all.. every step of the way down this twisty, up and down path you are having to walk. I am thankful for the work our Lord is doing in and through this journey. Thank you for allowing us to hear and see the Joy! Elias is certainly teaching me! I love you beautiful friend 💕. Donna
Thank you Donna. I can say the same back to you friend. I am grateful for your encouraging words—how I need them!
Thank you, Donna. This is hard on so many levels, but God is carrying me most of the way. I’d rather not be in this place, but I trust Him.
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My heart hurts for sweet Elias … even more as his smile hides behind pain and his Daddy and Mommy (and his extended family) are in pain for him. I believe you are correct… God is writing his story for a watching world. The scope of this message and who it reaches may not be evident until eternity. Count on my continued prayers for you all …. which will now include the lives of everyone his story touches.
We love you and pray with you for miracles!!
Thank you, Cindy. It’s your prayers that are giving Matt and Heather the ability to be up nearly around the clock comforting Elias. I am grateful for your family!
What a beautiful letter this is, written with love amid the pain. Your letter is so reflective of the Bible that many call God’s “love letter” to us. Debi, your letter like the Bible is written with love amid much suffering.
I pray that Elias Angel will know that he is loved by his Creator and his family. Father God, I pray You will give daily strength and endurance to his parents and grandparents. I pray that the testimony of Your grace will continue to touch lives through Elias’s story–Your divine story. May Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. In the strong name of Jesus. Amen.
Thank you Manette. Your words are a comfort, and even more your prayers. I love reading God’s Word daily and have made it my pursuit for decades. Through it God has helped
Prepare me to walk through this valley of shadows. But He is with us! He makes it evident daily.
It’s nice to meet you. I found you via Mitch Teemley’s blog. 🥰
Mitch, has a knack for connecting many bloggers. Nice to meet you as well. God bless you.