I thought I would share my wife's testimony from our Spring Worship Musical last Sunday THE POWER OF CHRIST IN ME. Maybe it will encourage you as it seemed to have really touched our church body. I pray that it does. Isaiah 43 says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God…” Joshua and I had been married just over three months when we discovered we were pregnant. At first we were shocked, but also very excited. Just one month earlier I was diagnosed with diabetes, so the doctor was concerned about our pregnancy, which was now classified as “high risk.” We had a scare at the beginning, only 2 weeks after finding out we were pregnant. The doctor thought I might be miscarrying – so he did an ultrasound – and there she was, our perfect baby with a strong healthy heartbeat. On March 8th, 2006, we found out we had a baby girl on the way – and we were floating on Cloud 9. I remember the first movements I felt, seeing her on ultrasound after ultrasound. She was perfect – ten fingers, ten toes, strong heartbeat, hiccupping, sucking her thumbs, putting her face right into the ultrasound camera as if she was saying, “here I am, ready to meet the world.” We saw our perfect baby alive 11 times on ultrasound before sorrow hit us like a ton of steel. On July 6th, exactly 21 months ago today, only 11 days from her due date, our daughter Michael Lynn Rhodes, had died in my womb. She never knew pain, sorrow, or sin like we do. She flew immediately into the arms of Christ, and for that we rejoice for her. She’s already attained the one thing that we strive for more than any other: to look into the face of her Creator and Savior, for who is like God? In fact, that’s the meaning of Michal’s name: “Who is like God.” Shortly after finding out that Michal died, I realized that I still had to deliver her into this world. I was filled with an overwhelming grief and sadness – all this for a baby we would bury at the end of the week. I labored for a long 46 hours before telling Joshua that I would die or grief, if I had to have a C-Section. Only an hour later the doctor told me the situation: because of the circumstances, if they didn’t do a C-Section now and fast – that I risked dying myself, let alone having any future children. Michal was born July 9th at 1:28am, 7 lb. 5 oz., 18 1/2 inches and she was absolutely gorgeous. I was so full of love for her, as well as grief, anger, and hurt like I had never felt before. People ask me if I grieve. Yes, I do. Not all the time. I don’t think about it every day. But whenever anniversaries, milestones and birthdays roll around; I realize again that she won’t be here for the piano recitals, the graduation, the wedding, the children. So yes, I grieve. So does Joshua. The Bible tells us we do not grieve as those who have no hope. Hope is not reserved for the future; it’s the way we stand in the present, because of the confidence we have in God. Without hope, I would be a bitter, anxious, and depressed person. Even in the face of tragedy – we have a hope of future joys and eventually heaven, where we will see our daughter once again. When we celebrate the resurrection, we proclaim that our God is the Creator and Sustainer – the Lord over life and death. My present and my future are in His hands. And I believe He can be trusted with it. Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise. When the darkness closes in, Lord, still I will say: "Blessed be the name of the Lord! Blessed be Your glorious name!"