Jon and Stacy were pregnant with their first child when they got their news. The son of a minister, Jon had been a Christian most of his life. He worked for Habitat for Humanity. Stacy worked at Angels Foster Care, an agency that places babies born to drug-addicted mothers into the arms of loving parents to receive the care and bonding they need. Jon and Stacy were the poster couple for producing healthy, well-adjusted children who would grow up understanding what faith really means.
However that was not the script for Jon and Stacy’s life.
Six months into their pregnancy, they were told that their baby’s heart wasn’t developing. Their doctor gently told them that their child would probably die in utero. But the little warrior inside Stacy apparently didn’t get the memo. That baby hung on– and with each month, Jon and Stacy’s faith hung on too.
The warrior baby (now named Drake) continued to defy the doctors, staying alive in Stacy’s womb until he could be delivered. Hundreds of people knew his story because his parents blogged his progress—the obstacles, the miracles, and eventually the birth. It looked as if God was overcoming the odds in bringing this baby into the world. It seemed clear He had a plan for this little life.
Drake lived three days.
Just long enough to be held, baptized and ushered into God’s presence.
It was a tragic end to an unfair story. Why would God string Jon and Stacy along, only to have it end this way? If Drake was going to die, why didn’t he die right away, saving them the turmoil, tears, and financial strain of this little baby’s journey?
Remarkably, these weren’t the questions that led Jon and Stacy in their journey with Drake. Instead, they decided to let their baby’s life and death be whatever God wanted it to be.
It’s impossible to measure the impact of Drake’s short life. Jon’s dad Curt had recently transitioned from being a pastor of a small church to becoming a denominational missionary leader in the Congo. Watching Drake’s care during his three day life touched him so profoundly that when he returned the Congo, he had new eyes. He saw with sharper vision the disparity between the health care of children in the Congo, and the health care of children like Drake. Children in the Congo were dying of the common cold, while Drake was kept alive with a half functioning heart. Surely there was something he could do.
Curt and Jon began exploring ways to connect people and resources to children in the Congo, and Covenant Kids Congo, a new arm of World Vision, was birthed the year after baby Drake died. http://www.covchurch.org/covenantkidscongo/
Stacy has a new empathy that accompanies her in her mission of placing babies into loving families. Many of the couples she works with are unable to conceive, and Drake has helped her understand that pain in a new way.
It would have been understandable if this couple lived in resentment toward God, abandoning their faith because it didn’t produced the result they wanted.
But they did not.
In an interview that played on Easter morning after Drake died, they said, “We are grateful that God let Drake be born so we could see him, touch him, and be with him for three whole days.”
Drake’s life on earth was the same length of time that Jesus stayed in the grave. And this strange parallel made it clear that both lived and died to show that this life on earth is not the end of the story. As Jon and Stacy’s interview went viral and played on thousands of computers across the world, stories of pain and heartbreak found their meaning in Drake’s story — that death does not have the final word.
Death, in fact, happens to us all. It’s the way we live the time we are given that makes the difference. Jon and Stacy’s response to the gift of their son Drake allowed us to see that the quality of a life is not measured by the time it’s lived.
One year ago, Jon and Stacy welcomed their second boy, Jaxon, into the world. He weighed seven pounds, three ounces and required only one doctor. Through his birth, Jon and Stacy discovered that their sorrow had inexplicably become a part of their joy. So they gave their new son a middle name that would hold them both.
— story excerpted from Finding Faith in the Dark, here’s the link:http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Faith-Dark-Story-Takes/dp/0310337119/ref=la_B00IKAGCDG_1
To meet Jon and Stacy, and hear about their journey with Drake, I invite you to view their story. (It’s well worth 5 min of your time!) http://www.oceanhills.org/#/watch-listen-stories/drakes-journey
Questions for response: How have you experienced God in dark times (if at all)? Does the promise of eternity affect your worldview? Do you think God is more concerned with the time we have- or what we do with that time?