Cradled in the Palm of His Hand

I want to share every detail about “Becoming Grandma… Round Two“, but time has been at a shortage lately. (Although I plan to do so in the near future.) I do, however, want to share two images of our grandson, James, with his brave and courageous Mommy and Daddy. To me, these images depict how our Lord and Savior has us cradled in the palm of His hand.

Three weeks ago, I came up to Washington to spend some “girl time” with my daughter. On our agenda was taking maternity pictures and setting up baby #2’s nursery. The day after we arrived, Taylor was rushed by ambulance up to Tacoma General for severe preeclampsia. She was 26 weeks when they admitted her. Recognizing her very life was at risk, they began preparing the baby’s lungs with cortisone shots. Through the use of magnesium and blood pressure medicine, Taylor was allowed a few more days before giving birth. On August 18, James Connor Hoffman was born at exactly 27 weeks, weighing 2 lb 3 oz. and measuring 14 1/2″ long.

He is beautiful. He is a miracle. He is loved beyond measure.

The past two weeks of this precious little life have been filled with a rollercoaster of emotions. As those who have had a micro preemie know, every day, every moment is a gift because the future is so uncertain. For me, the greatest challenge as a mother has been the feelings of helplessness when wanting to shelter my daughter and son-in-law from the grief and pain that has swept in. Yet, even in the midst of this storm, I see a courageous and unwavering faith rise up amongst them.

I treasure these two images of Taylor and Nate holding their son’s tiny hand. The top image shows Nate’s wedding ring around James’s wrist. Although these images tell a very powerful story of the love of a mother and father to a son, this love can never begin to compare to the great love our Lord and Savior has for us.

When the waves crash upon us and the darkness engulfs us, His Word declares that we have been engraved in the palm of His hand and His grace is sufficient for us.

Here are just a few verses that speak of these truths:

“In His hands is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”  Job 12:10

“But I trust you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in Your hand; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me.” Psalm: 31:14-15

“If the Lord delights in a man’s way, He makes his steps firm; though he stumbles, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.” Psalm 37:23-24

“The works of His hands are faithful and just; all His precepts are trustworthy. They are steadfast for ever and ever, done in faithfulness and uprightness.” Psalm 111:7-8

“My soul follows close behind You; Your strong right hand upholds me.” Psalm 63:8

“I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will hear Him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand.” Psalm 20:6

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

“Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” Isaiah 49:16

Just recently, James had a brain scan and the report indicated a level 3 and 4 intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH). They have been watching him closely and he will have his second scan early tomorrow morning. Although it is uncertain at what level the IVH will affect his future development, I am praying and believing for the miraculous. We have already seen and felt the hand of God work mightily due to the fervent prayers of so many of our family and friends. We stand in awe.

Please continue to pray for sweet baby James and his Mom and Dad. We know we serve a loving and sovereign God and as someone recently shared with Taylor and Nate, “Let James’s story be the story of the Gospel. Jesus held such a profound love for children while on earth and still does today.”

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I wanted to speak this truth to James and all who entered his room in the NICU so I had a large print made up:

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  • September 5, 2016 - 8:40 am

    Vicky Cheatham - Almost 34 years ago at the age of 21, I held one of those little hands. Collin Robert Cheatham weighed 2’6″” as they wheeled him into heart surgery to close off his Patent Ductus. Very common in a preemie. And as we stood with the cardiologists, he said, let’s pray God keeps this little guy strong enough to make it through. I wept knowing yes we were in the palm if his hand on this journey. We grew so much as very young parents, but most of all seen how much God loves us. In 1980 things were very different, not much was known about long term problems, so we walked by faith. Collin has been a delight in our lives, the scripture his grandma prayed over him those very long days was Jeremiah 29:11. And it hangs in his home today. I read it often as I go to babysit his son Griffen Collin Cheatham. Gods has plans not our plans but his. Praying for your family. When you are down and don’t see his band trust his heart!💙

  • September 5, 2016 - 9:31 am

    Lynn Setterberg - Thank you for sharing your family’s story. Praying for James

  • September 5, 2016 - 7:10 pm

    Julie - Your photos express such love and tenderness and our own frailty. Your words inspire faith, hope and an unswerving belief that our God is sufficient and holds us with even a greater love than we as parents can’t begin to fathom even as we love our children with an ache that seems impossible to express.

  • October 4, 2016 - 8:10 am

    Jennifer - Thank you so much for your prayers, Lynn!

  • October 4, 2016 - 8:14 am

    Jennifer - Vicky, thank you so much for sharing your amazing story. What a testimony to God’s goodness and faithfulness! Yes, Jeremiah 29:11 has been a foundational truth we have proclaimed over the life of little James! Thanks again for your encouraging words! God Bless!

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