Forever Changed - Chapter 30
Ashley changed our lives forever. I don’t know why the experience happened to us. Could it have been that Satan wanted to test us? As our nurse, shared with us, she had seen several couples torn apart by experiences such as this. As you go through trials in your life, keep in mind, I Corinthians 10:13 NLT, “But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.” Evidently God knew that we would be able to stand this trial, yet at the same time it would stretch our faith.
Ashley has brought both Pam and I closer to the Lord. We have both realized that we were farther from him than we should have been. Looking back we realized that we called ourselves Christians but didn’t really have time for God. Our whole focus has shifted from never having time to do anything to taking that time for God and letting other things go. Somehow, the things that we let go work themselves out or eventually get done.
She also brought us much closer together. Pam and I will always remember Ashley. We knew that we had to look at the problem together instead of going our own ways. We knew that we had to because if we didn’t, a wedge would be driven between us. As a result, we grew closer to one another. We will always have those memories. We occasionally visit her grave in a local cemetery.
Part of the reason that we wrote this story was to tell others what God has done in our lives. We both had never experienced being that close to God. It was a brand new experience that we didn’t know how to handle. Looking back it seems like such an important part of our life. We are most willing to share with others our experience. Yet, we realize that even though this experience was very significant to us, it may not mean as much to others. Before Ashley arrived, if someone had talked about an experience that they had similar to ours, I would have said that I was sorry for them, prayed for them a couple times and gone on with life. However, since Ashley my whole attitude has changed. People in tragic situations now mean more to me than just the results of some bad choices. Jesus died for each person on this earth. He did not discriminate about who he died for.
I believe that we experienced just a small part of what God went through when he let his son come to this earth. I just can’t comprehend him doing that. Surely he must love us beyond all comprehension. Although we had just a day with Ashley, God had been with his son forever. They knew each others thoughts and feelings. Spend a moment and imagine the relationship that they must have had. They knew everything about each other. I just can’t fathom the love like that.
If you need God, please take a moment and ask Him to be with you. Tell Him that you give him your heart. Ask forgiveness for things you have done wrong and then get in touch with a good church. If you don’t have a good church, please contact us. We will be able to point you to a good church. I am even willing to talk with the church pastor ahead of time and let them know your situation.
I hope that you have been drawn closer to God as a result of our story. Please feel free to email us your thoughts and reactions. Both of us would like to know how God has influenced you by reading this story. Even though Ashley might have passed away, this is our way of continuing her memory.
Another part of the reason that we wrote this story is so that others will know what to expect if they have to make the decisions that we had to make or if they are going through their own experience with anencephaly. Although your anencephalic story maybe different, the God of the universe cares about the tiniest details of your life, as you have seen from our story. If you invite him, he will stay right next to you and comfort you. As Moses said to Joshua and the people of Israel, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV He knows what you are going through. He gave his son to rescue us. If you are going through circumstances like we have gone through and would like to talk with someone, please feel free to contact us.
Please contact us at:
Brandon and Pamela Lubbert
2274 Madron Lake Road
Buchanan, MI 49107