About a year ago I welcomed my baby boy into this world. The previous months had already been difficult. There was great turmoil in our nation, as there continues to be, and I was doing my very best to lead Renovation Church in gospel clarity, and social fidelity.
By the time we’d welcomed Lèonce into the world, we’d become quite familiar with Northside hospital. In an almost cinematic way my sweet Breanna, after a routine pregnancy check up, had to be whisked immediately to the hospital. The doctor had discovered the rarest of conditions in her body. Lèonce’s umbilical wasn’t fully formed. Rather than being encased in membrane, it was more akin to several strands of loose wires, the blood vessels fully exposed. At any moment they could rupture and both he and Breanna could be lost—a 95% chance in fact that he’d die.
For four weeks my bride and I lived scattered. She at the hospital, and I in between home and there. I finished writing my book, Renovate, in the hospital. We homeschooled the children together in her room, by her bedside. And each week, for those four weeks and six after, I preached three times a Sunday in our “Beautiful By Design,” series. And each Sunday I walked right out of the pulpit and headed to the hospital—these were trying times to say the least.
Renovation stepped in incredibly, loving us more than I could have imagined; bringing meals to the hospital and to our home. It was a testament to the beauty of the Church.
The night of my son’s birth was unexpected. It was the first night I’d slept at home. My wife thought I looked terrible, and needed a good nights sleep, so she sent me home. Sleep would be short lived, as a call came at 3 am. She was bleeding profusely and being rushed to surgery.
I beat myself up badly. “How could you leave her?” Burning tears filled my eyes as I sped to the hospital, hoping to get there to see her before she went in. It was to no avail. They’d started an emergency C-Section within minutes of the bleeding. I couldn’t get to her. I couldn’t do anything but weep and wait.
After some time her doctor came out and told me that she was OK. I asked about my son… her countenance dropped. “They are doing all that they can.”
At the time I had no idea that this meant his doctor was literally fighting for his life. At the point when even the nurses felt things were done (we’d be told later by one of his NICU nurses) the doctor wouldn’t give up. She fought for my boy. He was born nearly dead, half the blood gone from his body, heart rate at 30 BPM, and he didn’t breath for over 7 minutes… but she fought for him, and God moved, and he lived.
Being in the NICU afterwards was a long road. The first 24 hours were crucial. He could still die. He could have severe brain damage. His entire life could be hampered by his tumultuous birth.
And yet, here we are. One year later and our baby boy is beautiful, strong, and healthy. He loves to laugh and dance. We roar together like Lions. He’s brought new life to our family dynamic. And I can only say, BLESS GOD. He saved my cub from the cords of death, that he would live to praise His name.
My heart is full. I am thankful for my little lion man. 🦁