Thursday, September 20, 2007

1:00 am

Copeland has lived exactly 36 hours. We are in awe at how well she's done.

I say that knowing we are likely in the final hours of her life. We've had the most incredible time with her, rocking her, cuddling her, singing to her, sharing her with friends and family. Tonight. I sat in my hospital bed and chatted for about an hour with an old friend who happens to be a labor and delivery nurse here. It was wonderful getting to talk about totally inconsequential things while Copeland slept in my arms. Conor slept for a while on the sofa. Then, suddenly, her color began to change and her chest rose and fell a little less routinely. I called the NICU nurse and it seems we've landed on one stretch of the journey we were a little unprepared for: ultimately Copeland will continue to grow more and more weary, and every cell in her body that's fighting for life will give in to the fact that she just can't make it on this side of heaven. The nurse we spoke with was gentle but firm in her statement that "this will be hard to watch." We are aware that as she fades, Copeland may struggle to breathe, and as a result, may turn a little blue. I tell you this only to let you know that we are specifically asking for prayers right now that she will not suffer - not that there will be no evidence of this, necessarily, but that the Lord will give us a peace that despite the physical signs, Copeland will be free from pain even in the midst of the process. I believe He is capable of delivering us from the heat of the fire - look at Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego - even as the flames burn around us, so we ask that you would pray against suffering for our sweet girl.

I told Conor tonight that after my molar pregnancy, which happened in 2005 and required chemotherapy in its aftermath, I felt incredibly betrayed by God. Not that I doubted His sovereignty or even His goodness. God's ways are not mine, as I've always 'known' in a sort of Sunday-school-sense. But to believe that He was good in a way that I might totally understand or feel, from an emotional standpoint, is something I've wrestled with for two years now. If God is good, why does so much of life hurt? After miscarrying again the following fall - 2006 - and then of course getting this diagnosis about Copeland when we believed we were finally going to have the baby we'd so prayed for, I have to tell you the struggle within my soul has raged on. I have often felt that Jesus, the Jesus I knew and loved as a child, has changed in so many ways and that believing in Him wasn't as much the issue for me as believing in His character... trusting Him despite the incredible pain He has allowed into my life. As C.S. Lewis wrote, I don't fear coming to a place where I doubt His existence but rather a place where all the qualities of God I've believed in, everything about Him, suddenly feels like a joke. And then came the last 36 hours.

Having Copeland for any time at all - the fact that she even made it to birth - has been one of the most wonderful and blessed gifts of my life. I know I speak for Conor and I both when I say that we expected a couple of hours, if that. What we're getting has been beyond our wildest dreams. David writes in the Psalms, "Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation." I think sometimes we all need our joy restored, even when it comes to incredibly basic theological ideas about God that we 'should' get after years and years of believing in Him. I needed that restoration in my faith. I needed to believe Jesus would give me good things just because... not because I did something right or asked in the correct way. These last two days with the daughter I thought I might never get to spend a single hour with have been that for me: faith-restoration.

We have no idea what the next hours will bring. We are alone in our room and the hospital is quiet. Copeland is snuggled safely in her daddy's arms. We would ask you to pray for these three things: one, that Jesus would keep her from suffering. Two, that we would be given energy and strength despite our emotional and physical exhaustion, so that we can enjoy her for as long as the Lord oermits. And three, that as we approach the moment when He takes her home, we will be filled with a peace and even a celebratory spirit that allows us to offer her up to Him with joy, knowing full well we will be with her for far longer in eternity than any length of time we might get with her now.

Blessings...

Boothe

67 comments:

Jenny said...

I just posted this on your last post, and checked back and saw that you had updated. In case you don't check back there, I'll post it again here.

"By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life." Psalm 42:8

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."... He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday." Psalm 91:1,2,4-6

Praying for you so desperately. I can't even imagine how emotionally confusing this time must be.

Mandy said...

Praying for your strength and specifically for those three things. God has been so good to give you and Conor this precious time with Copeland. Thinking of you.

Mandy

jennifer said...

"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken." Psalm 62:5-6

Praying that all three of you would be covered in God's rest right now.

Jennifer Coyne

MOM said...

Praying for your dear little one, sweet Boothe and Conor. Her name is written in the palms of His hands.
Much love and peace to you,
Paige Holloway

Anonymous said...

Praise the LORD for His deep and true restoration. That God would use this baby girl to give you that gift is evidence of his deep and profound love for you Boothe!

With tears of joy and lots of prayers,
Dan and Azurae Phelps

Dellie said...

Boothe, I just want to send you all huge, and I mean HUGE hugs right now xxx

The Brown Clan said...

I praise HIm for this time you are having with sweet Copeland. She is just beautiful, and i feel privileged to "meet" her! know that we are continuing to pray for you all. we love you...nathan, taylor and dylan

JMom said...

Boothe- I don't know you, but I want to. You truly "get it" and that is being proven in the midst of the fieriest of trials. You testimony has left a permanent mark on my heart and my soul. Copeland has left her mark in this world for Jesus. Thank you for sharing her with us. God bless you all!

Elizabeth S said...

My heart aches for you, but is also grateful that God is carrying you through this time and giving you peace. I will pray those three things for you.

Mary Alice said...

Boothe, I have been awake most of the night praying for you. For you, Conor and Copeland that your time throughout the night together is beautiful and precious and peaceful.

I have been praying and will continue to pray for the three things you requested. Baby Copeland is so loved.

Marc and Charity said...

I found your blog through Sarah's In The Midst of It. I am humbled by your faith. May He just lavish His love on you and your family right now. May you feel His presence like never before...sounds like you already have actually.

Praying in Wales for y'all!

Joann said...

love and prayers

Emily said...

Sweet Boothe,

You radiate Christ right now. I will pray for everything you asked. No one seems to understand when I describe how "good" it was to hold my baby girl, sing Jesus Loves Me to her, and tell her all the ways she's loved, and who to look for in Heaven until she took her last breath. Maybe sacred is a better word than good. Whatever you call it, it is an honor to behold. When Miller Grace went to Heaven, we were both filled with an instant joy and Matt stood up and said "What a glorious day." I pray Copeland's passing will be as sweet. I pray your soul continues to be filled with peace to treasure each moment. And I pray, pray, pray that Miss Copeland does not struggle or hesitate when her Father beckons her. Again, God's grace will be sufficient. Thank you for letting us get a glimpse into such a very sacred time of your life. May He bless you and keep you today in the days to come.

Emily

Anonymous said...

Praying those three things for your family right now.

crystal varenkamp said...

Prayers for all of you were the first thing on my mind this morning, and will continue to be all day long. Nicole is praying for Sellers too. Thank you so much for keeping us updated. We love you all-

Anonymous said...

praying that the angels of heaven are surrounding you right now. Comforting you and giving you peace beyond all understanding. You and your family are being lifted up in prayer by so many.....we love you.

Pepper Magargee said...

So thankful for every hour you have with Copeland.
I am praying specifically with you.
I am also praying that you will get to hold your
sweet girl for a few more hours.
Much Love,
Pepper

Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

This post touched me at a profound place--my only daughter was born a little over a year ago, and when she was diagnosed soon after with a very rare, life-shattering syndrome, I had the very same question: Is God good? I was so angry and felt so betrayed all summer long.

It has taken a while, but as my daughter continues to grow and surpass what we had expected for her, my trust in Him has also grown. He did not change--God is the same forever, but my understanding of His goodness did. Instead of showing His goodness through miraculously healing her, He has shown it through giving us her as she is, and we have grown mightily through loving her just the way she is. I still fight against her diagnosis for herself, but for myself I don't think I'd change it. I am becoming a different person, and while I still struggle sometimes, I can say that I love Him more and see my need for Him more since she was born.

All that to say thank you for writing about what's raging inside you--the world needs to see Christians working out their faith in a real way. I pray for Copeland, that her hours here will not be filled with pain, and for you and Conor, that the days to come will be filled with tangible signs of His goodness, and people who surround you with love and prayer.

Friend of Whitney's in B'ham said...

How sweet of the Lord to restore your faith in the midst of this journey. I will be praying for you today and the days ahead. Your love for our sweet Jesus is more than an acouragment to me. You are loved by so many.

Melissa Platt said...

rejoicing with you for the life of your little girl and praying for strength to face whatever this day holds. love to all of you.

Emily said...

"Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders."
Deuteronomy 33:12

"For I am the LORD, your God , who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you."
Isaiah 41:13

I'm praying fervently for you to know the sweet presence of the Lord in the midst of this day.
Emily Duncan (Angie Luce's Friend)

Anonymous said...

Praying for the three things you've requested for you, Conor and Copeland and the rest of your family.
Mary T.Miller
Birmingham

Anonymous said...

I've been lurking for several weeks, amazed and humbled by your candor and faith. Just want you to know you have touched my life in ways you can never know. Praying for your 3 requests.

Laurel Wreath said...

A luker here, I am praying for you. Your honesty, your heart, in this post is powerful. I am so speechless right now all I can say is that I am praying for you and for Copeland.

Thank you.

AuntieB said...

Most Holy God, we enter Your gates this morning with a spirit of rejoicing. I thank You that little Copeland has been able to spend time with her family. May You be glorified in that. I also come again on behalf of Boothe and Conor. Let this little one not suffer as You call her home, and accept our praise for that. Grant Boothe and Conor a double portion of what they need most today. Allow peace and comfort to rule in their hearts today. Such a peace that it would settle down into their bones that nothing would shake them. Help their hearts to rejoice during this trial. May Your name be lifted high. And when the time comes that little Copeland is ushered from this world into the next, may the cry of our hearts be a celebratory shout of praise. And at that moment they would get a glimpse of the breadth, width, height, and depth of the love of God. I pray that as Jesus steps out on the stormy waters of this situation, and says "Peace be still", they would be able to stand and say, "The Lord giveth, He taketh away. Blessed be the Name of The Lord!" In Jesus name, Amen.

Anonymous said...

Praying for you this morning as I don't yet know what the rest of your night brought.

"...He restoreth my soul...he makes me lie down in green pastures...as I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil...thy rod and thy staff will comfort me...surely Your goodness and mercy will follow me and I will dwell in the house of The Lord forever.

Your precious Copeland has truely shown God's love. Your faith is an inspiration and will no doubt draw many people to come into a relationship with Christ. May you feel a joy and peace beyond man's understanding because of this.

Love you, Betsy Powell

Laurie said...

Praying directly for these three things for you. How sacred for your faith to be restored and strengthened during this journey with Copeland. I ask the Lord to keep all pain and suffering away from her, peace and joy for you both and strength as you keep watch over her. Most of all that when the hour comes and the Lord calls her, that you feel His hands on yours as you lift her up to Him. May your letting go be gentle and tender to your hearts.
"The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."Psalm 34:18
He will see you through and protect your hearts.
Praying non stop for you all day long.
Laurie in Ca.

derrickandamy said...

Boothe and Conor,

I have known of your family for a long time. I have known your grandparents and uncle in Texas. Please know that I pray without ceasing for your family.

After suffering a miscarriage myself in 2005, I also struggled mightily with the character of the Lord. I pray that your absolute faith in His goodness will be restored. We live in hard days.

Even as I type, I pray that God grants your prayers and that sweet Copeland is already experiencing the peace that we can only long for.

Blessings~Amy

Anonymous said...

as someone who struggles with my faith and "who is God", your last post is so sweet, touching, inspiring. i am in awe of your trust in God, and your strength. thinking, praying for you and your precious copeland.

Debra Kenney said...

Thank you for sharing this intimate time in your life. I appreciate your honesty, and you are teaching so many of us who read your blog. My heart aches for you and yet rejoices in the time you've had with Copeland. I don't know what the last hours have brought, but I'm continuing to pray.

Jenna said...

Boothe, I don't know you but was linked to your blog and I know it was for a purpose. Firstly and most importantly, so that I could pray for your sweet family and your amazing Copeland. I also believe it was to hear God speak as only He can through your words. Thank you for sharing your journey here with us and giving us the honor of knowing and praying for you and yours.

With love and continued pray, Jenna

whitney burrough akin said...

Still praying this am, and rejoicing for all of the good gifts restoration, etc that He has sent to you and to others via miss copeland. you are loved.

natalie said...

We are praying for all of you...
She is such a wonderful gift to us all, and I give God the glory for every moment that she is with you.

Dee Dee in NC said...

We lost a tiny one about 8 years ago, held him as he went home to Jesus. It wasn't easy to say good-bye to him, but it was very peaceful. I pray that for you as well.
Today I can look back and see the joy and how God held us. I can't say that I saw it all then, as you do.
Keep holding tight to Jesus; he loves you all and your little Copeland so much.

Anonymous said...

I am simply blown away by what God is doing through this precious angel. Boothe, you are so REAL and honest...I admire you so much. My relationship with the Father is stronger because of you and your family...thank you. Pleading with the Lord on yall's behalf. Love, Jennifer Godwin

Jody said...

You both are such an encouragement and inspiration. The Lord is going to use this to glorify him in more ways than you can imagine. Praying for your family. Keep the faith.

delia said...

I'm leaving you with a gift: peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn't fragile like the peace the world gives. So, don't be troubled or afraid. (John 14:27)

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

Prayers for peace and strength for you today.

LWB said...

I got up and immediately checked your blog. I so appreciate what you have written. Will be praying for your requests and wonderful moments with Copeland.

Laurie Wunder Bolden

Jana said...

Dear Boothe, I will pray earnestly that God will grant you the desires of your heart. Much love in Christ,

Jana Rome (Nathan Luce's sister)

Anonymous said...

Your words inspire me with their honesty and clarity. I praise God for your words, your restoration in the midst of this situation, and for God's presence during this time with Copeland. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You are blessing many. May God continue to restore and refresh you as I know you are exhausted. You are in my prayers constantly....and it is amazing to hear for you guys how God is answering. May God give you peace and may Copeland not suffer. You guys are loved and prayed for today.

JUST A MOM said...

My word what a blessing she is. God IS good Boothe and Conor look at that beautiful baby girl. God has given you this time to ease into what is to come. God bless you and keep you tight to his heart. I am late coming here from out West but kow that you have been in my heart and thoughts all night as I woke thinking of you. ((HUGS))

Anonymous said...

Boothe and Conor,
It is so sweet to hear you speak of God's blessing and provision...His Peace and calm in the midst of this storm... this precious gift of time with Copeland.
It seems that the Presence of the Lord that rests on a room when a child is born, is continuing to hover there over your family...holding you. He is true to His word. "...the Lord...goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you, nor forsake you..."
We lift you up to Him in prayer.

-Carol and Jack

Anonymous said...

Dear Boothe, you reminded me so much of Hannah dedicating Samuel to the Lord. She said to Eli,

"As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given ober to the Lord." 1 Samuel 1:26-28

You're truly a woman after God's heart. He will bless you as He had blessed Hannah. I'll be praying for you, Conor, Sellers, Copeland and your family! May you feel His presence every moment of the day.

Under His Wings,
Phemie

Courtney said...

what a bless-ed child copeland is - a vessel to bring forth God's glory and to bring divine joy to you...it's nothing short of a miracle. dear boothe, i am praying for the sweetness of Jesus to permeate your being this day, that the deep sense of His love will remain with you even as He takes Copeland into His everlasting arms.

"But Jesus called for them and said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kindom of God belongs.'" (Luke 18: 16)

"...for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." (Neh 8:10b)

Anonymous said...

What a testimony you are! I do not know you but you and your precious family have touched my heart. Your complete trust and faith in God is humbling. So many times we get consumed by everyday things that we lose touch with what really matters. Your incredible strength and faith has been a "reality check" with many I have shared your story with. Your family is in our hearts and prayers. Copeland is truly a gift to many and I thank you for sharing her.

Sun said...

I just saw this post this morning so I am praying now - how beautiful your heart is before the Lord! Sunshine

Anonymous said...

Peace be with you and sweet, precious Copeland today! God is such a gracious God and I know he is with you wrapping his loving arms around you all. May God continue to bless you and give you strength.

Copeland, you are beyond a doubt the most precious miracle. You have blessed so many people through your birth and you are loved by thousands! What a gift you have been to us all! Sweet, sweet baby!

Jason White Family said...

How miraculous Copeland's influence is and will continue to be. She is changing lives, including mine. My mom has had this quote by Adrian Rogers on her mirror for years now, and it has always been a source of strenghth to me: "The Will of God Will Never Take Me Where the Grace of God Cannot Keep Me." We are praying in Memphis.

Cherry said...

Boothe & Conor-
You guys are inspiring all of us right now-I am praying for your strength today as Copeland celebrates her 2 day old birthday! We love you guys and are praying for all your requests-she is a beautiful little pirate!

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your blog randomly from someone who had it posted it on their Facebook wall.

I read your story and will be praying for you. Your testimony to God's grace is beautiful.

Psalm 111 says, "...how amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails. He causes us to remember his wonderful works. How gracious and merciful is our Lord."

Stevenson gang said...

I came to your blog through a very circuitous path 3 days ago and when I read each post my heart is so full -- with sorrow for your pain through all of this, with joy for your joy that radiates through the midst of this trial, and with thankfulness to our God for such a clear example of His faithfulness and grace. Like so many others both known and unknown to you, I will stand in prayer with you throughout the day, raising your names to the Lord.
Thank you for taking the time to share your story with us even in the middle of these precious hours -- know that your willingness to be so transparent is moving hearts and restoring faith to so many people.

Anonymous said...

It's so obvious that as you hold precious Copeland in your arms, God is holding you in His arms, gazing at you in the same adoring way you gaze at her. Your faith and strength are amazing and inspiring. I'm praying for your sweet family and your beautiful baby girl.

Tiffany said...

Boothe,
Prayer is continuing to pour from my heart to the Lord for you, Connor, Copeland, Sellers and your close family and friends. It is thrilling to 'see' your heart so full last night. I am praying for God to continue to show you His redeeming ways that are lavish and beyond expectation.

courtney said...

I cannot think of a more miraculous time period than right after the births of my own girls. And for you, not only that specific euphoria, but, knowing that God has given more than you imagined must feel like such a gift. Like a sister before posted, you also remind me of Hannah and her giving of her beloved Samuel. God is truly so good to continue to grow his modern day believers just has He has since the beginning of time. Continuing to be on my knees for all of you...

Overwhelmed! said...

April sent me here to offer up prayers and your post has brought tears to my eyes.

I've just prayed for the specific things you've asked for. I also pray that you and Conor are given the strength and support that you need to see you through this difficult and yet precious experience with Copeland.

Many blessings to all three of you!

Amy T said...

I was "sent" here by several different blogs. Know that all over the world, there are people praying for Copeland and the rest of your family. I pray for His comforting arms to be around you all.

Lyric said...

A stranger to you, but a sister in Christ who is praying.

I've never run into anyone who's had a molar pregnancy. I did, unresolved after treatment that resulted in a complete hysterectomy at age 27. I understand many of the emotions you shared. Thank you. Thank you for sharing a piece of your journey.

Anonymous said...

Continued prayers to you and your family. Thank you so much for sharing your heartfelt thoughts and also your faith. I once was watching The Today a very long time ago, it was right after Bill Cosby lost his son (he was murdred) and Katie Couric ask him if he was angry with God....without hesitation he said no..we are first to blame God and ask why he said but we forget that there is a devil there as well. He said God had nothig to do with it except for accepting him in heaven...I have never forgotten those words, and in your battle with questions and faith, God has won, you see the joy in this and that is so inspiring to all of us here praying for you all. Peace be with you all

Tina said...

Joining in the prayers!

Katie and Dan said...

Boothe, you are so precious. Lifting you all up today.
Katie and Dan

Anonymous said...

Praying from NC that Copeland will not suffer and you will feel God's peace.

Anonymous said...

I'm praying for you all and for little Copeland's strength. I am in awe at your heart in this time. Thinking of you often today.

Melanie

Christina Adams said...

Boothe and Conor - I am so touched by your faith in the midst of such a heart-wrenching experience. It's such a testimony to all of the rest of us that the love of Christ is always enough. Boothe - I have always loved what a genuine heart you have and even though I cannot imagine what you are going through right now, I want you to know that my friends and family and I are on our knees praying for you and your precious family. I pray that the love of Christ will absoluetly overwhelm you and your family and that He will do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we ask or that we even think possible.
Love you,
Christina Adams
"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
Ephesians 3:16-19

the good, the bad & the ugly said...

Praying for your family. It is beautiful to see that God shows us the beauty and truth of the gospel even during the most painful of times.

MaryBeth said...

Praying for you and your family right now...

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