they are worth it


August is a month that is full of birthdays for us.  Both of my daughters were born in August.  One of my grandchildren was born in August, and the list goes on.

I would like to reflect on a very special life with this BLOG.

Have you ever felt that life was unfair?  Have you prayed and prayed and yet the answer has not come?  Years ago, there was a time when I cried out to God with everything in me to change the reality of our lives.

Life was going pretty much according to our plan.  Jimmy and I had been married three years when our daughter Holly, came into our lives.  Everything went well at the birth, and she was such an easy baby bringing us great joy.

Then three years later another baby was on the way.  Jimmy and I were very excited.  As the weeks and months passed, our anticipation grew.  Would it be a girl or a boy?

Finally, in the early hours of August 24, two weeks past her due date, Shelly Anne came into our lives.  We now had two girls.  We both rejoiced at what God had done for us.

Then everything changed.  Word came from the staff at the hospital that our baby girl had multiple problems.  We were in and out of the hospital with one issue after another.  We spent New Year’s Eve in the emergency room where Shelly’s life hung in the balance … and that was just the beginning.  She was unable to sit up, exhibited some mental retardation, had speech problems, and on and on the list of issues went.

My life reminded me of a story about a woman who wanted to go on a trip to Italy.  She saved her money, learned the language, and planned every part of the journey.  Finally, the day came when she was on the plane headed for Italy.  But when the plane landed, she heard the flight attendant announce.  “Welcome to Holland.”  She pressed her call button and told the flight attendant there had to be a mistake.  She was supposed to be in Italy.  The flight attendant explained, “This plane does not go to Italy.”  The woman immediately asked when the next plane to Italy would leave, only to have the attendant reply, “I’m sorry, but there are no planes to Italy.”

At that moment the woman realized she had two choices.  She could spend the rest of her life angry, bitter, and disappointed, or she could embrace Holland and all of its beauty.  Jimmy and I chose to embrace Shelly and help her become all she could be.

Where are we now?  Shelly graduated from high school, drives a car, but never on the freeways and has a job at our local hospital working in food services.  One of her favorite things to do is putting applesauce into small cups for the patients.  She is a swimmer in the Special Olympics and sings in a large choir every year.  She has been on two mission trips and has a great love for life.

The handicaps still have to be overcome each and every day, but as it turned out Holland is a beautiful place and these days I very rarely think of Italy.

If you are facing an issue which seems overwhelming in your life, acknowledge the pain and disappointment.  Then embrace where you are and start hearing and understanding God’s heart in the situation.  It will not only change your life but the lives of those around you.

“I have come that you might have life and that you might have it abundantly.”

John 10:10



Anne Pierson is the Director of Ministry Services for Loving and Caring, Inc., a national ministry whose mission is to provide resources, training, and encouragement to life-affirming people and organizations.

3 Responses

  1. Jackie says:

    This is beautifully written. I feel blessed to know Shelly. She is a gift from God.

  2. Lynn Cole says:

    After 3 miscarriages my husband and I decided to adopt a baby. Financially, it was impossible. Then my Dr. suggested to try to adopt from foster care. God brought a set of siblings 7 yrs 8 months (girl) and her brother 4 years old. We were told because of her history they were not sure if our daughter would have any problems. When she reached the age of 12 we realized something was wrong. She is mentally disabled, neurological problems and Fetal Alcohol Syn.. What a blessing she is to our family. She is now 30 years old. She volunteers at the nursing home, helps at church and loves to clean house and do laundry. Most importantly she loves the Lord and reads her Bible every day. It isn’t always easy but she is a joy to have in our lives.

  3. Jerry Allwein says:

    I am new to your blog, and was blessed this morning to read it. Thank you Anne for sharing. It helps me to realize many many people have it much worse than we do. 2 years of knee pain is nothing! Shelly is a very special young woman and I enjoy seeing her each time that I do with her smiling caring face. We look forward to seeing her the next time with the big big smile. ☺ Jerry.

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