Today is Abi’s (my oldest daughter) 3rd birthday. As I think about that I am reminded of the goodness of God.

Three years ago January 18th fell on a Thursday. Nicki was in the 32nd week of her pregnancy. That night, we went to a “Preparing for Childbirth” class at the Regency Medical Center, which was where we were to deliver. This was a multi-week class that we were looking forward to going through in the weeks leading up to our delivery. That first class was mostly an introduction concerning the things that would be taught in the class. There was only one thing that stuck out to us from that class. The teacher stressed that we could call the Regency at any time, day or night, and speak with a nurse if we ever had any questions. So, we left the class and drove home, not knowing that we would not make it to any more of the classes.

Later that night, there were some complications and we didn’t know what to do. But, we remembered what the teacher had said about calling the Regency. So, we called and they advised us to come up to the Regency. When we got to the Regency, they hooked Nicki up to the monitors and we realized that she was having some pretty substantial contractions.

I will never forget the nurse we had that night. She stayed at the foot of Nicki’s bed talking with us and observing Nicki. I believe that it was the mercy of God that ordered things just so that she would be there that night to take care of Nicki.

The scariest part of that night was when, without warning, 5-6 nurses came running into Nicki’s room. One of the monitors had set off an alarm indicating that the baby’s heart-rate had dropped. They rushed Nicki off to the operating room for an emergency c-section. I was not allowed in the operating room and had to wait alone in the hallway.

By the grace of God, Abigail Marie Simpson was delivered early Friday morning, January 19th, 2007. She weighed 4 pounds, 8 ounces. Because she was premature, Abi had to stay at the Regency in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) for two weeks. She just needed some extra time to grow and develop before coming home.

One of the hardest days was when Nicki was released from the hospital and we had to go home without our child. No mother should ever have to do that. In our minds we had planned it out much differently. So, we left the hospital only to return a few hours later so that we could visit Abi.

Once Abi came home, our doctor told us to keep her at home for 3-6 months. He encouraged us to be extremely cautious because it would have so easy for her to get sick. Imagine how difficult it is for a church staff member to leave their family at home every Sunday for weeks and months. It was not much fun! In the end, we ‘cheated’ a little bit and brought her to church for the first time on Easter Sunday. What a day that was!!

So, Abi turns three today. She is healthy. She has rarely been sick. She is intelligent. She displays no signs of being born prematurely. She truly is a gift from God. It is my prayer that Abi will grow up to love the Lord and to serve Him with all of her life.

I have written this testimony to give praise to God. The birth of a child is always a miracle. Always! Nicki and I praise the Lord for all of our children. Our pregnancies have brought much difficulty and pain, but they have also brought evidences of God’s grace into our lives. People often ask, “Why does God allow bad things to happen?” I believe He brings difficult situations into our lives so that we may more fully comprehend and appreciate His attributes. I can honestly say that the birth of Abi caused my faith to grow. It caused my reliance upon God to grow. It caused me to appreciate God’s mercy more and more. It reminded me of my utter inability.

I encourage you to remember the hard times in your life. Recognize them as from the Lord. Praise Him for them. Thank Him for them. Draw closer to Him.


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