Shattered-Dreams300With her medical residency almost complete, Lydia was ready to start a family. She didn’t have to convince Clay, he had been ready for awhile, but they both were being patient, waiting for the right time. God’s time. Soon, God answered their prayers. Lydia was pregnant. Their dreams were becoming reality.

A baby changes everything.

Every pregnancy has important milestones, like the moment a young couple gets to share the good news with friends, their parents and their church. Perhaps the biggest milestone of all is listening to the heartbeat and seeing sonogram image of the baby for the first time.

That was what they were supposed to do that day. They were supposed to hear the heartbeat and see their baby. The doctor positioned the stethoscope, and then quickly moved it to another location, then another. He looked up and said the words that would shatter Lydia and Clay’s dreams, “I can’t hear a heartbeat.”

A few months later Lydia became pregnant again. This time, instead of anticipating their sonogram appointment, they dreaded it. They were terrified. However, their dread turned into joy when they heard the words they longed to hear, “I can hear a heartbeat.”

The dread was gone. They could dream again. At twenty weeks, Clay and Lydia went back the doctor for a second sonogram to find out the sex of the baby. A boy. They were going to have a boy!

A baby changes everything.

As they digested the good news, Lydia concentrated on the nurse’s face and knew that something wasn’t right. Something was wrong. It wasn’t the heartbeat because they had already heard it. What was it?

As they waited for the doctor to arrive, Lydia’s mind raced through a rolodex of possible problems, but she couldn’t have possibly guessed how bad it was. “Your baby has anencephaly,” The doctor said. Because of her training, Lydia knew that her baby had a death sentence. Anencephaly is a congenial birth defect where a major part of the brain, skull, and scalp are missing. The baby would die as soon as he was born.

Lydia and Pastor Clay hoped against hope. Many people prayed for a miracle to happen with their baby boy, but on October 4, 2010 Karston died on the day he was born.

It isn’t supposed to happen this way. Children are supposed to bury their parents, not the other way around. Without getting to attend a single little league game, Christmas play, graduation or wedding for Karston, Clay and Lydia had to attend his funeral. Why does this have to happen to us God? They thought. Why . . .?

Perhaps you’ve experienced shattered dreams. It may not have involved a death of a baby, maybe it was cancer, drug addition, job loss, mental illness or something else. While people can’t predict what tragedies they will face in life, they can be sure of one thing—they will experience deep, life changing sorrow. Like Lydia and Clay, they will experience shattered dreams that will change everything.