03/08/2015 08:17 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Thank You: A Prayer in Crisis


The natural birth of Lucas was amazing. Madeleine was a little slower to make her appearance. Emily was experiencing contraction after contraction and nothing was happening. After close to four hours, I noticed something dripping on the floor. I don't know why, but I assumed that it was water for a moment. When I realized that it was blood, I told Lauren (the doula) and ran out into the hall to yell for the nurse. Emily was in trouble and so was Madeleine. As medical professionals rushed into the room, my anxiety grew exponentially with each passing second. When I started to pray, there were no words coming out. I just kept sending thoughts and emotions to God. Somehow out of my hope that God would see our family through, I managed to whisper, "Thank You."

The more the doctor worked, the more it became apparent that this was not going to be a natural birth. Emily made the decision to go ahead and have an emergency caesarian section. While she was being prepped for surgery, I stayed back in the room and struggled to keep it together. From her appearance, I could tell that Emily was not in a good place. When I arrived into the operating room, there was blood everywhere. After a few moments, the doctors handed Madeleine to me and told me that she had been stuck face first in the birth canal. Emily was under anesthesia and unable to provide too many lucid thoughts, but she did manage to let me know that I was going to be getting a vasectomy as soon as possible. Though the nurses wanted me to go with Madeleine, I couldn't leave Emily. When it was finally over and we got back to the room, I softly cried. Looking up, from a deep place, I managed, "Thank You."

This morning, Emily's doctor came in and told us just how close we came to having a funeral instead of a celebration. Madeleine was stuck and could not have come out on her own. If Emily had chosen to keep pushing, she would have broken Madeleine's neck. By the grace of God and the medical professionals at Denton Presbyterian Hospital, I am looking at Lucas and Madeleine feeding on Emily's chest as our other three children, Phillip, Jeff and Quinley, run around the room. There are not enough words available to describe the magic of these moments. I can only say, "Thank You."

For many years, I have sought to pray more fervently and effectively. I have shouted out prayers. I have repeated ancient prayers. I have written prayers down. I have forced out difficult prayers. I have spent hours upon hours trying silent prayer. I have been mentored in prayer. I have even spoken in tongues a time of two. Through it all, I have prayed and prayed and prayed. Yet, despite all of my strivings and searchings, I think I just got all the prayer education I will ever need. In a moment of crisis, "Thank You" was enough.