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Light shining in darkness

Steve and Lindsey Justice met in college, married five years ago, and have two daughters, Hannah and Hope. They wanted another child but Lindsey was having trouble getting pregnant. She was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)—a disorder that complicates conception. They began looking into adoption and Lindsey started receiving fertility treatments.

She found out she was pregnant on Steve’s thirtieth birthday.

An ultrasound at six weeks revealed multiple babies. At eight weeks, seven heartbeats were heard. The doctors advised “selective reduction,” a euphemism for abortion. They explained there was a potential threat to Lindsey’s health and if some of the babies were aborted, the remaining ones would have a much better chance of survival.

I think it’s prudent to pause here and consider the enormity of the decision Steve and Lindsey had to make. Most of the time, decisions concerning abortion are about whether people want to say “yes” to life or not. This was never a choice for them—they were “yes” all the way. The dilemma they faced was much more complicated. It was about Lindsey’s well-being as well as what would be best for their unborn children. Should they be pragmatic and try to save some of the babies at the expense of the others, lowering Lindsey’s health risks at the same time? Or should they take the chance that Lindsey’s health wouldn’t be jeopardized if she tried to carry them long enough for all of them to live?  

Steve and Lindsey made the choice to carry all seven babies as long as possible. They needed to make it to the 24th week to have a chance and 32 would be ideal. At 12 weeks, she loses one of the babies (a boy). At 21 weeks, six girls are born and die after only a few hours. Steve and Lindsey give names to them all: Mercy, Eva, Sage, Shiloh, Isaac, Aspen, and Honor. If you take the first letter of each name it spells MESSIAH.

Here’s a couple making the toughest decision they’ll ever face and they trustingly write Jesus across it! When things don’t go as they hoped and prayed for, they’re devastated and Lindsey says, "I can't fake being OK right now, that would be impossible, but we are OK. We do have hope and we do have peace and we do have joy. We do have sorrow too, and that's OK." They don’t deny their pain but face it by writing the Lord’s name on it.

This is courage—this is faith—this is conviction. They don’t have all the answers. They’re not immune to the problems and pain of life.  They’re immersed in the mysteries of life just like the rest of us. But this they know—Jesus is Lord!

In the darkness, their light glows!

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