Her Name is Whitney

There is a young couple named Sean and Sheyenne, ‘Shey’ to her friends. Shey recently entered her third trimester of pregnancy carrying a very special girl child named Whitney. One of the reasons Whitney is so special is that she has a genetic disorder called Triploidy which means that Whitney has an extra set of chromosomes. The vast majority of such children die in the womb during the early months of pregnancy. Very few infants with this condition survive to full term. Of those that do, most are stillborn and those that are born alive usually die shortly after birth due to severe defects. And there are many such instances where the parents choose to terminate the pregnancy shortly after the diagnosis. That was not an option with Sean and Shey.

So Sean and Shey live one day at a time not knowing whether their precious girl will be born alive so that they can hold her in their arms for an hour or two before she succumbs or whether Whitney will pass away in the womb.

Now that’s the finite medical side, let’s look at the larger picture.

The majority of Christians believe that life begins at conception, but does it really? Firstly, God created man in His own likeness.

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
Genesis 1:27

So then, if mankind was created in God’s own image God must have an eternal plan for his highest creation.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him…having predestined us to adoption…by Jesus Christ to Himself…In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will…”
Ephesians 1:3-11

In view of the above, does life begin at conception, or was Whitney’s life predestined when her name was written in God’s book of life before the foundation of the world? Consider Jacob and Esau whose destinies and purpose were also foreordained while in the womb before either had a chance to prove their worthiness.

“And…Rebecca also conceived by…our father Isaac (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), it was said to her, ‘The older shall serve the younger….’ Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not!”
Romans 9:10-14

Consider another wonderful Biblical story. After the nation of Israel was divided as a result of King Solomon’s idolatry, the first king of the northern ten tribes was Jeroboam I. He was also disobedient and participated in idolatry. He was warned about his activities.

“And behold a man of God went from Judah to Bethel by the word of the LORD, and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. Then he (the man of God) cried out against the altar by the word of the LORD, and said, ‘Oh altar, altar! Thus says the LORD: Behold, a child, Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and men’s bones shall be burned on you.’”
I Kings 13:1-3

Lo and behold about 300 years later a certain man was born to perform predestined duties.

“Then the king (Josiah) defiled the high places that were east of Jerusalem…and he broke in pieces the sacred pillars and cut down the wooden images, and filled their places with the bones of men. Moreover the altar that was at Bethel, and the high place which Jeroboam…had made, both that altar and the high place he broke down; and he burned the high place and crushed it to powder…”
II Kings 23:13-16

This story recounts that a particular man named Josiah was called to perform specific duties at a specific time and he was called by name more than three centuries before he was born. So when does life begin in the mind of God?

Our lives at the present level are limited by time and space dimensions and it is easy and in fact natural to seek answers on the same level in which we live. Job questioned God and God addressed Job’s inquisitiveness.

“Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding………”
Job 38:1-40:1

So Sean and Shey are on a timeless journey. They were chosen for this journey because of their faith and their subsequent witness to thousands. They were chosen for their recognition of and commitment to the sanctity of life principle ordained by God. They were chosen because they will accept God’s plan regardless of the earthbound consequences. Remember the three Hebrew youths who refused to bow down to King Nebuchadnezzar.

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, ‘Oh Nebuchadnezzar…our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace… But if not, let it be known to you… that we do not serve your gods…’”
Daniel 3:16-18

Regardless of the way in which Whitney blesses this generation the journey can only end in complete and total victory. The sovereign God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob does not make mistakes. Whitney’s life can be described with the Greek word pleroo which is translated in the New Testament as fulfilled, complete, and perfect. In other words Whitney’s life will accomplish the purpose for which God intended before the foundation of the world.

Let it never be said that ‘Whitney was her name,’ but let it forever be said that ‘Whitney IS her name.’

Follow Sean and Shey’s journey on http://churchonmission.typepad.com/seanandshey

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