Ben and Magda Barth, longtime Rifton workers, received a baby in August. This Christmas we bring you her story. Magda writes:
As a shooting star blazes through a night sky, so Emily entered our world: unexpected, sudden. Interrupting our perfectly planned summer, she was born on a hot August night. Weighing just under 2 ½ pounds and so early that her eyes were still fused shut, we realized – however beautiful she appeared to us – that we might not get to keep her.
There followed a blur of updates on Emily’s condition, her countless diagnoses and problems: possible meningitis, intestinal infection, severe anemia, chronic lung disease, apnea, eye damage, and developmental delays of all kinds. We were reminded many times that we should take the “long view,” that all this was a “normal preemie thing.” But it gave no comfort.
Days became weeks and we struggled along until one day our pastor came to the hospital and offered to pray for Emily – and for us. Right there in the NICU we placed Emily in his arms. Seeing her there, hearing the words of blessing, what had seemed so random and inscrutable became clear and meaningful: Emily’s path lay in front of her, perfectly ordained by her Maker. And God had chosen us to care for her and love her during her time on earth, however long (or short) that might be. We felt the peace that had eluded us for so long.
After 87 days in the hospital, there’s now a star in our home. Emily’s future is uncertain, but it is in God’s hands.
So together with Emily’s family we at Rifton wish you a happy and blessed Christmas.
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