Updated: Dec 5, 2021
When life decides to throw bricks at you after you get crushed by the whoas of the world, I want you to know that you’re stronger than you imagine and more powerful than you know. I have had to remind myself of this more often than I’d like to admit. My second child is the living embodiment of this valuable lesson for me.
Doctors informed me that I would never have more children after the birth of my first son, because of several health issues I had. I decided to try various fertility methods. Monitor my diet, track my menstrual cycle, and take several medications that made me so sick that I wanted to give up. After 3 years of painstaking turmoil on my body and my soul, I decided I would. So, I stopped taking all medication and refused to live on that horrible diet doctors insisted would help with fertility. Six months after I stopped taking the medicine, my menstrual cycle stopped. Doctors told me that I started menopausing, so the idea of having more children was definitely out of the question.
My soul began to cry that day. Initially, I just wanted one child and God saw fit to let that happen already, but in that very moment, I decided that I wanted more children. Does that happen to you too? Someone tells you that you cannot have a certain thing and it is at that very moment that you realize that you truly wanted it. My grandmother would always say, “At the end of the day God still sits on the throne, so never give up.” My grandmother’s words inspired me to persevere. I would soon discover that I was stronger than I imagined. I was strengthened in my pleas to God for another blessing. Two years later I discovered I was pregnant with my second son.
You can imagine all the various tests doctors put me through to try and discover how I became pregnant with no menstrual cycle. One of the tests I took was an amniocentesis. This is a prenatal medical procedure used to diagnose chromosomal abnormalities and fetal infections. This test revealed that my answered prayer from God had a genetic disorder called sickle cell.
Sickle Cell is an inherited red blood cell disease. The hemoglobin in red blood cells are shaped like a doughnut without the hole which allows the cells to be flexible enough to move through large and small blood vessels to deliver oxygen to the body. The lack of oxygen in the body can cause attacks of sudden, severe pain. These pain attacks, also called pain crisis, can occur without warning. Hospital visits are usually the effective treatment, but if it is too severe, death can occur.
Doctors informed me of all the possible complications and recommended that I have an abortion before the fetus was too large. Fetus. Not baby. At what point does a fetus become a baby? Emotions overwhelmed me. That doctor had no idea all I went through for what he called a “fetus”. My grandmother’s words rang in my ears once again. “At the end of the day God still sits on the throne, so never give up.” I was about to discover that I was more powerful than I knew.
I thanked the doctor for his time and shared with him that I was not giving up on my baby. To anchor my choice in my soul, I needed a name for this new blessing. I was raised with the understanding that a mother should pray to God to give her an idea of what to name her child.
In my quiet time with God, reflecting on all that had come to pass, Justice kept running through my mind. I stopped to reflect on the word and asked God for clarity. While reading my Bible, I came across the word Corban. This word registered deep in my soul. Then it hit me, Justice Corban. The justice of God’s offering. That would be my child’s name. Eight months later I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy whose name is a reminder to never give up on your blessings.
I would later learn that I was stronger than I imagined and more powerful than I knew. At 2 months old he suffered his first major sickle cell pain crisis. Doctors told me then to call my Pastor and gather my family to say our goodbyes because my son would not live through the night. The complications were too great and the loss of oxygen to his small body would take its toll.
I gathered everything within me and drew on strength I never knew existed. I drew on that strength when the doctor wanted to perform a blood transfusion and I felt deep within me that I shouldn’t. I drew on that strength when the doctor requested a court order against me to deem me an unfit mother, so he could have consent for the blood transfusion. I drew on that strength as I kneeled near the pale little body of my son and whispered in his ear, “you’re stronger than you imagine and more powerful than you know.”
I would have to repeat those words to him on 4 other occasions when doctors told me that Justice would die due to complications from his sickle cell disease. The power of those words and the fierce determination to never give up was almost 19 years ago. So, when you’re faced with challenges that seem larger than life. When you feel that you are the only one that is standing. When it looks like you’re in the middle of a losing battle. I want you to know you’re stronger than you imagine and more powerful than you know.