My refuge in the storm

Writing contribution by Alyssa Alderman

I will never forget the sheer terror and panic that surrounded me as I sat there on the bathroom floor. My water had just broken 12 weeks early. It was late September and we were not supposed to meet our son until early December. How was this happening? After driving as fast as we could, we waited in the emergency room at 4 AM, silently wondering the questions we couldn’t ask out loud,

“Will everything be ok?” “Will our baby live?”

will our baby live

Becoming a mother was something I had long anticipated. I pictured being pregnant, swelling with joy as my belly grew. I imagined what it would be like to see our baby for the first time and hold him in my arms moments after he took his first breath.

I never thought becoming a mother would look like this.

will our baby live

I had a healthy pregnancy with no warning signs of complications. We were planning for a natural birth, had signed up for all of the classes at the hospital, and were preparing to welcome our baby boy home and into our lives. We weren’t prepared for the possibility that our son would be born prematurely and what that would mean. I certainly never pictured that the first time I held my son would be three days after he was born with him hooked up to a monitor, a feeding tube down his nose, and oxygen helping him breathe. Yet, at exactly 3lbs, our miracle had arrived.

becoming a mother

Talk to any NICU parent and they will tell you, the journey is a roller coaster. One day there would be progress and the next day, we would take several steps back. Did he have a good or bad night? Had he gained weight? There is nothing you can do but wait for them to grow and develop, and for their brain to begin sending the right signals so that they breathe continuously. It was the most helpless feeling in the world. I couldn’t protect him or fix this.  I wasn’t in control and the truth is, we never are.

Never before had I known greater depths of fear while simultaneously experiencing the fullness of God’s peace.

Throughout the 11 weeks that we waited for Pierce to come home, all I could cling to while I struggled to stay above water were God’s promises. I would sit there in the NICU while holding my son and pray, fixing my eyes on Jesus and clinging to Him, my only lifeline. Every day, when I would kiss Pierce goodbye and tuck him in before walking out of his hospital room, I would ask God to watch over him and sustain him through the night.  I had no choice but to surrender my fears, my pain, and my worries to Him.

He was my refuge and stronghold in the midst of my greatest storm.

He gave me peace in exchange for my fears, hope instead of despair. He granted me strength enough for each day when I was weary and couldn’t imagine stepping through those hospitals doors one more time. I clung to Him, my rock, when the boat was being tossed about by the wind and the waves. I had no steady ground and He kept me afloat.

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” – Psalm 18:2

becoming a mother

I prayed this verse over Pierce* before he was born and it became truer, more alive to me during his first months of life. As I stand on the other side, having finally brought my son home, I can look back and see God’s love and faithfulness through it all. I have seen the depths of despair and I know that He meets me there. He is strong when I am weak and His love anchors my soul.

*Pierce means, “rock”. We named him before he was born and we never knew how much his name would ring true.

About Alyssa.

becoming a mother

Alyssa is a wife to her best friend and a new mother to her little boy. She lives in Denver and works for Young Life, the organization that helped lead her to Christ. She is passionate about living with purpose, pursuing a relationship with Jesus, and loving people. She enjoys trying out new recipes, taking photographs, hiking with her husband, and drinking red wine.

Follow along with her honest journey of marriage and motherhood on Instagram @alyssaalderman  and connect with her via email [email protected]

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Photo credit:
Ashton Songer Photography •  @songerphotos




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  1. Evelyn, PathofPresen
    March 14, 2018, 11:32 EST

    Alyssa, You are amazing. Your post gave me chills and I am delighted to hear that Pierce is well and that your beautiful family is held strongly by faith. Many blessings on your continued walk of Love. <3 xo, Evelyn,

  2. Jordan
    March 15, 2018, 11:54 EST

    So, so very good! Thank you for sharing your story – it’s beautiful!

  3. Ginger
    March 15, 2018, 2:18 EST

    I can’t imagine how terrifying that had to be. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Tami
    March 15, 2018, 10:00 EST

    I cried throughout your post. Thank you for sharing your little one’s courageous journey.