Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

For you created my inmost being;  you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  Psalm 139:13

When my wife Karen thinks back to her kindergarten class of 1996, she remembers one student in particular – Shannon. Karen will tell you that this little girl was “a source of real encouragement.” She was one of the “brightest and chattiest in the class, a delight, a blessing, and a very precious girl.” Yet before Shannon was born the doctors had wanted to abort her. This is her story:

Tracy was just a few months pregnant when she had her first scan and discovered her baby had a severe case of congenital hydrocephalus (water on the brain). The condition was so bad the doctors informed Tracy that unless they aborted the baby she would have a non functioning child that would be deaf, blind, and unable to talk and walk. However, Tracy refused to have her baby aborted and insisted on going a full term.

It was a brave decision. When Shannon was born by Caesarean section on the 27th of September 1989 there were a number of complications. Brain tissue was protruding from her skull which had to be surgically removed. The doctors also had to perform a ventricular peritoneal shunt to drain the fluid in the brain cavity. Miraculously Shannon pulled through these operations yet the doctors were still convinced that she would be abnormal. Tracy was told that she shouldn’t expect the child to function as a human being. But Tracy refused to give up. She wouldn’t accept the harsh prognosis and continued to call on God to heal her daughter.

God answered these prayers and the doctors were soon marvelling as Shannon went from strength to strength despite a number of epileptic fits. Tracy kept on praying. By the time Shannon was seven her seizures had stopped and CT-scans displayed “no physical ailments!”

This is not to say that Shannon didn’t have some hurdles ahead. She had delayed milestones and a squint that needed to be corrected. Nonetheless, Shannon will probably complete her schooling. Tests reveal that she has an above average language ability and an earnest desire to learn. Yes, the “Shannon’s” of this world are “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Isn’t that tremendous? It reminds us of Psalm 139:13-16 where we read; “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

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