Four years ago today I had the amazing honor of holding a real angel. Four years ago my dear friend, Shawna, gave birth to the most beautiful miracle…Joshua Lane. Just 20 weeks earlier Shawna and her husband heard words that no first time parents want to hear. They were told that their unborn son had a rare genetic disorder called anencephaly. They were presented with their options and told that their sweet baby most likely wouldn’t make it to term and that if by some change he did his life would be very short. Even though she was hurting Shawna stood firm in her faith. She could have spiraled deep into depression, she could have given up, she could have been angry and I’m sure she did experience all those things but she didn’t stay there. She claimed God’s promises over Lane and prayed. I have never seen so much faith in one person. I have never known someone to be so amazingly strong in the face of something so heartbreaking.
Shawna created a CD with songs for Lane and shared them with her family and friends. The first track on the disc is the most beautiful sound…Lane’s heartbeat. Following were 21 songs full of hope and promise. I think I listened to the cd on repeat for weeks. Some of the songs I would even fall asleep to. They were so uplifting. Shawna’s deep faith and trust in God was so clear in these song choices. Every time I hear one of them I am flooded with memories and I feel so blessed that I was able to witness such faith.
Today I want to send out love to my sweet friend and send heaven kisses to sweet baby Lane as he celebrates his 4th birthday in heaven with his Gramma. Today I want to celebrate the beautiful life that God gave Lane. For the minutes of breath that he blessed Shawna and Brad with. They were able to hold their sweet baby and watch him blow spit bubbles and reach his arms up to them. God gave them an amazing gift in having those moment with him. I am so thankful to God (and to Shawna) for letting me be a part of Lane’s life. I feel so blessed that I was able to hold him before he went to be with Jesus. What a blessing to hold an angel before he got his wings. Happy birthday sweet Laney! Even though you are greatly missed you still bless us every day!
Shawna and Brad now have two beautiful little girls and they share Lane’s story with them often. They have photos of Lane out and a large memory box of items that they share with the girls. The girls know that they have a big brother and that they will always have him with them in their hearts.
If you or someone you know is dealing with a loss related to anencephaly there are many resources and stories of hope and blessing. Please know that you are not alone. This link will lead you to more web pages dealing with anencephaly…