His Mercies are New Every Morning

By Amanda Ranck



“Just try to get some sleep,” the nurse told me, as she turned down the lights and left the hospital room, leaving me looking down at my brand new baby girl sleeping sweetly on my chest. My husband was already asleep on the cot beside me. Sleep was the furthest thing from my mind at 3 in the morning, after just giving birth. I was finally able to take a deep breath and start to wrap my mind around what had just happened in the past twenty-four hours. 

Twenty-four hours earlier, at the crack of dawn and at 39 and 3 days pregnant, I got the call that I was dreading, yet knew was coming. It was a call from my dad, saying we had to leave right away and get to the hospital as fast as possible—my mom was taking her last breaths, and we had to go say goodbye. Five days earlier, I had given her one last hug and kiss as I watched her being wheeled away for open heart surgery to fix her mitral valve. It was a risky surgery for her as she had a lot of health complications, but the doctors thought this was the best option to increase her quality of life. She went willingly into surgery trusting God with the outcome, noting many times beforehand that “it was well with her soul”. Even though she made it through the surgery, the next few days were full of drastic setbacks until there was nothing left for the doctors to do but to see if her body could pull through. We prayed for a miracle, we prayed for wisdom for the doctors, we prayed for extra time, but that bright, beautiful, sunny Sunday morning at 8:52, my mom left this earth and saw Jesus face to face. 

That evening, I went to bed physically exhausted, emotionally drained and so, so sad. Shortly before midnight, I woke up to go to the bathroom (39 weeks pregnant will do that to you!) and couldn’t fall back asleep. Then, at exactly midnight on the dot, the start of a new day, I had a very strong contraction. It caught me by surprise how strong it was, and when the next one followed only two minutes later, I still thought it was a fluke. By the third strong contraction, I knew that things were picking up and that I better finish packing my bags, since we weren’t prepared. As the contractions continued every three to four minutes I knew we had no time to waste. We got to the hospital with no time to spare. Adalyn Marie was born 17 minutes after we walked through the hospital doors, and only an hour and 52 minutes after that first initial contraction!

Sitting there in that hospital bed, contemplating the whirlwind of the past twenty-four hours, I was filled with such bittersweet emotions. We went from one extreme to the other—death to life, sorrow to joy, endings to beginnings. It was too much for my heart to handle, but the Lord was demonstrating his sweet mercy with the timing of it all. His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:19-26). When my first contraction happened at midnight on the dot, it was as if God whispered in my heart that this was the start of a new day, a new beginning. Joy can come out of sorrow, and His mercy and grace would carry me through. In the days that followed, I remember nursing my baby girl and crying out to God, asking why everything had to happen this way. I felt this tender realization that it was exactly how the Lord had planned it out. He knew what I needed. None of this came as a surprise to God, and there is nothing that can happen to take away or change the number of days the Lord has given to us (Psalm 139:16). He knew that my mom’s passing and Adalyn’s birth would be mere hours apart, and in His great mercy, He knew that new life in the midst of great grief would bring great joy. By stripping everything away, the only thing I could do was cling to Him, and He knew that this situation could be used to draw me close and strengthen my dependence on Him. 

This twenty-four hour period was life-changing in more ways than one. But, the biggest change that started that day was the one inside my heart. In the months that followed, the Lord became my rock, my protector, my comforter. He started teaching me (sometimes I was kicking and screaming) how to rest in Him (Psalms 62:6-8). He continues to teach me now, four years later, that His ways are holy (Psalm 77:13). He is in control, and my salvation has nothing to do with my abilities, or my works, but everything to do with His great love and mercy (Romans 9:16). 

These past four years have continued to be full of change. My dad remarried, and few months later, we had our third child, Carson. As we were still in the hospital, less than twelve hours after Carson was born, my dad was admitted to the hospital, very sick, and was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Once again, my newborn days were filled with sorrow and uncertainty about the future. After months of chemotherapy, he went through a bone marrow transplant last spring, and after a long road of recovery, is currently in remission! Praise the Lord! When I look back over these past few years, I am struck by all of the changes, the highs and lows, the joys and sadness. I now realize that life is going to continue to be full of changing circumstances, as we live in a fallen world that eagerly awaits the return of Jesus and the new heaven and new earth. Even though so much has changed, there is one thing that always remains the same. My Savior, JESUS Christ the Lord, is the same yesterday, today and forever! (Hebrews 13:8). He is constant. He is never-changing. He provides for all my needs. When I am weak, He is strong (2 Cor. 9-10). I am so thankful for this hope that can only be found in Him. May you also draw near to Him, and rest in the glorious hope of Jesus Christ. 

Amanda Ranck is a stay-at-home mom to three kiddos, ages 6, 4 and 2,  and has been married to her husband, Tyler, for 10 years. As a former elementary school teacher, she enjoys helping in the children's ministry program at her local church and having kids over to her house for a neighborhood preschool. She values doing life together with her church community through women's bible fellowship, small group and Sunday school class. In her free time, she enjoys cooking for friends and family, morning runs, baking, reading and going for evening walks, especially ones that end with ice-cream. 

Comments

Sarah said…
Thanks for sharing, Amanda. Thankful for friends like you, who share God's heart of compassion with me. Thanks for the window into your life and heart so we can see an example of Christ faithfully carrying his children when it's too hard to stand in our own strength. And thanks for being sensitive to the Lord's prompting and reaching out to me several times over this past year as we walk through my Mom's terminal cancer diagnosis and the joy of expecting our first child.
What a comfort it is to know Christ's presence and to have friends lift us up to him when we need to know his nearness the most. I can't wait for the day when he makes all things new and we see him face to face. The best is yet to come. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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