Bible Verses to inspire preemie parents


***update*** There is now an ebook as an extension of this post. This post is my most popular and I wanted to share more of my whole experience. 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AJSLB42

Verses for Preemie Parenting

[Jesus said,] “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

This verse came in my email today.  For the past year or so I’ve been trying to start each morning with several emails of scripture after my morning devotions.  It calms me and reminds me of all God has done for me.

Almost eighteen months ago I became the parent of a preemie.  Everything about preemies is scary.  In my case I developed pre-eclampsia and it all happened so fast from there.  Then there was my baby and the NICU and the weeks we were separated from each other.  I didn’t get to hold my baby for four days after she was born.  My situation is mild compared to what some parents go through with a premature baby or the NICU. There have been studies done that claim a NICU experience can cause PTSD in some people.

Prior to this experience I was at church each week.  The first thing I did when I knew how sick I was becoming was call my grandmother to ask her to call my church prayer team.   Then other prayers from friends and family all over the place went into action for me and the baby.  It’s funny because I can just imagine a scene kind of like in It’s a Wonderful Life, where all the prayers are going up to heaven for George Bailey and the angels are talking about who to send to help.

After I came home, I was still very sick.  My blood pressure could not be controlled and my baby was over 100 miles away round trip.  I also had a toddler at home.  My husband and I were having an awful time missing our baby and worrying about her.  It was weird because it just didn’t feel right to be in our home without her.  I also was having a hard time going back to church, because I felt embarrassed that I got sick, guilty for having a sick child in the NICU, and needy for asking for prayers.  I was used to being the one praying for other people and helping others and supporting others, I was not used to it being the other way around.

My baby eventually came home, but the months that followed were not easy. We had the normal preemie reflux, the vision scares, she couldn’t be comforted- it was hard.  Way more difficult than my last child.  I did come around to going back to church.  About eight months after she was born, I was finally able to realize how much God had given me in order to grow and adapt and be able to get through this.  I knew I was blessed and the baby was blessed, because we both had good health, but emotionally I was a wreck.  I finally realized life is not easy, He wanted me to know I could get though it and I did.  He also wanted me to know that I could try to be supportive for other people in the same situation or just in general, because I had made it through one of the hardest things in my life.

There were several verses from the Bible that helped me a lot and I wanted to share those verses, in case they could help another preemie parent, or anyone struggling with hard times.

Psalm 46:10  Be Still and Know that I am God.  This is probably the verse with the most impact for me.  I was always doing something, always multitasking, always planning, I am type A!  God had told me over and over again this verse, even before my child was born prematurely.  He’s woken me up in the middle of the night to tell me, I’ve asked for guidance and this is what He told me, and all along I was thinking ok, I’ll be still and then He’ll really tell me what matters, but I was wrong.  This was it.  We need to be still.  For our own sakes, for the sakes of our children- we need to not be doing all the time and looking for the next milestone.  With my preemie, I’ve learned to sit back and enjoy, no rushing for walking, crawling, talking, eating on her own.  Just relax and watch this little blessing.  I also learned that when I am still God can lead me more and show me His plans.

Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fall
.

This was an important verse to learn, because with a preemie you can’t keep your emotions to yourself.  You need to tell God what you are feeling and how you are hurting and what you need help with.  He already knows, but He wants us to come to Him in prayer and He will take away our difficulties.  When you are home alone with a preemie who can’t be settled all day long, it is hard.  When you are wondering why your preemie has issues with her eyes and what the doctor will say you need to share your worries and pray for guidance.  I also liked to pray for my older child, because I wanted to make sure he was getting the attention he needed also.

1 Peter 5:7 7Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Similar to the last verse, this is another one I prayed about, because I needed to speak to God.  I needed to know He would get me through the long days and sleepless nights, that He would help to heal my baby and take care of us.

John 3:30 30He must become greater; I must become less.  This to me was about shifting the power of thinking I could handle it all and I could do it, to prioritizing.  I needed to make God the first part of my day, the last part of my day and everything in between.  I needed to pray without ceasing and give thanks for everything- good and bad, because He was teaching me and leading me through something bigger than me.

Micah 6:8  8 He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God. 
 This verse is a strong one for parenting and for being a person in this world.  God gives us so much and all we are required to do, is act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.  I try to think on these things as I go through my day.  I want to act justly, be an example for my children.  I want to be merciful to others, and I want to walk humbly.  I need to know God loves me and I need to humble myself and learn to serve others and take care of my family. 

Philippians 4:11-12 11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

Contentment.  I was never really content, but when I had my preemie.  I realized there was nothing I could do.  I couldn’t change the past and do things differently (better diet, exercise), I didn’t do anything wrong, they don’t know why some people get pre-eclampsia and some don’t.  I couldn’t wallow in self pity because my friends had healthy baby and great preganancies, as did most of the other moms on my floor.  I needed to be content with what I had right then and there.  I went through something bigger than me , that changed me for the better.  God taught me patience, He showed me that He would care for us and provide and He did. 

Jeremiah 29:1111 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Before this happened I was content on raising my kids and then going back to work full time in finance when they were in school.  After my preemie experience I decided that I want to go back to work for social work or counseling- to get my Masters, so I can help others like so many great people helped me.  God has a plan for each of us.  It’s never what we think it might be, but in time He will lead us each to our calling.

Proverbs 3:5-6 

 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

 6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Most of the verses that mean a lot to me, have similarities. This one is just something I think about to remind me, ask God, pray to God, thank God- He wants the best for each of us and He will help us get there.  I had to trust that He would help us parent our kids and keep us safe and healthy, that no matter what we came up against He knew I could rely on Him to help us through it.

John 14:277Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  This is a great verse for anyone who is sick or in the hospital.  It is always a scary time to be sick or hospitalized for the person or friends and family.  God will give us peace and help us through.  I know He was watching over me and my baby in the hospital and during the birth and as we recovered.  There were nights before I met my baby, where I just cried and cried.  It is a very sad thing to have a child in the NICU.  This verse has also comforted me when family members have been sick.

Ephesians 2:10 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Lastly, I never thought I would be a parent.  It wasn’t something I dreamt of growing up.  My parents had a rocky relationship and I went to live with my grandparents, so I wasn’t big on the family thing.  But then God blessed my husband and I with two beautiful children.  Because of my children I went back to my childhood church, became more involved, teach Sunday School, have a strong desire to serve others.  I also realized that all along my most satisfying life experience has been that of mom.  God knew along and He was just preparing my heart and getting me ready for this His greatest job and blessing he could have bestowed upon me.

So if you know someone who is dealing with an illness or premature birth write down some of these verses and share them, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and Preemie Parents are stronger parents, because of their tiny gifts from above.

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