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God’s Grace Shone Brilliantly

Celebrating 9 years of birthday breakfasts!

Celebrating 9 years of birthday breakfasts!

On this day, nine years ago, God’s grace shone brilliantly to our family.  In an operating room at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, grace met fear and overcame 19 years of our heart cries for a normal, healthy child.  Spencer Michael came into the world after sharing a growing and nesting place in my womb for 36 weeks and in my heart for always.  For months God had allowed him to be ours and now he was being shared with the world and what a day that was.

After a dreaded and fear-filled caesarean birth, he was whisked away while I endured another surgical procedure and he was assessed.  He was allowed to be brought to my recovery room for less than an hour before we all noticed that breathing was taking more effort than it should and he was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit and diagnosed with immature lung function and pneumonia.  He remained in that NICU for the next 9 days that seemed like a span of eternity because of our previous experiences.

The day we drove away from the hospital without him, was perhaps one of the deepest, darkest, moments of my life.  I had been in this same space six times.  Six pregnancies and never one time had I been discharged with a baby to take home.  How I had dreamed and longed to be one of those moms who was put in a wheelchair, juggling flowers, luggage, gifts, and a bundle wrapped in blue or pink while passersby smiled and offered congratulations.  Instead, I was in a wheelchair, alone, being whisked into my mother’s car and I cried all the way home.

Me and Spencer at Kure Beach

Arriving home, I found my father-in-law and sister-in-law planting a flower garden in Spencer’s honor and many members of my family who had come to celebrate with us.  Their support was amazing and in the next nine days, Spencer grew and healed and then it was home-coming day!  WHAT A DAY!  Dressed in a light blue, sailboat outfit, he came home to a room decorated in a sailboat theme with the words “Captain Spencer” painted on the wall.  And then, surprising to no one who truly know us, we took him to the beach the very next day.  A beach trip is required initiation into the Parris family.

Spencer...God's amazing gift to us.

Spencer…God’s amazing gift to us.

For at the water’s edge, we are most at home.

So much like his daddy!

So much like his daddy!

I am sure the feelings of parenthood are common but often I wonder if anyone can possibly love as deeply as I love this boy (and his sister).  He truly is God’s gift of grace in the flesh to our home.  Spencer has added so much to our family.  He is compassion, joy, laughter, and fun.  God wired him perfectly to be a sister to Emma Grace.

Sometimes we just need to be embraced!

Sometimes we just need to be embraced!

He is very gentle and understanding of her special needs.

The bond of siblings is a beautiful thing.

The bond of siblings is a beautiful thing.

God designed him with his daddy’s intelligence and his momma’s tender heartedness.

I could never fully express how this little boy has healed my heart on so many levels and in so many ways.  He truly is God's human touch in my life.

I could never fully express how this little boy has healed my heart on so many levels and in so many ways. He truly is God’s human touch in my life.

Spencer’s favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”  He quotes that verse often and I pray He will always remember the truth of that verse.  God created and equipped him to do a great work in his generation.  We are so blessed to be able to share the journey with him.

We four...are one!

We four…are one!

God is so gracious in giving us our hearts desires.  Often not in the time or way we would prefer but always in the time and way that is perfect according to His plan.

A perfect blend of fun, adventure, and sweetness.

A perfect blend of fun, adventure, and sweetness.

Thank you, Lord, for shining your grace so brilliantly in our lives nine years ago.


About Renee Parris

I write to share the message of grace God has so generously splattered on the pages of my life. My heart beats strongly with love for my husband, children, and those God has placed in my path. I adore the world God has created for us to explore. My heart beats to share, through written words and pictures, my love for nature and the people I meet on this beautiful journey called life.

3 responses »

  1. Happy belated birthday to my favorite 9 year old! He is a precious boy. I had tears as I read this because he truly was and is the answer to prayers.

  2. Elizabeth Hutchins

    This brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful story. It’s amazing what God’s grace can do. I thank God each and every day for my daughter because she has been my cheerleader and has brought such joy, love and peace to our family. So happy for you and yours. God bless you!


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