Her name shall be called Yixuan (義宣)

Roxanne has been discharged last Friday after a week’s stay at KKH. She has been advised on complete bed rest at home and will be followed up weekly by the high risk maternal fetal team.

At the moment, they will be doing weekly scans on her cervical length. They will also do weekly scans on the baby’s growth as they found her a tad small for her gestational age.

Though we have not exactly overcome all the difficulties, we are much relieved that we have overcome the most critical stage for baby.

We believe the turnaround is because the blessings of God have been activated in the spiritual realm. This is because of prayerful support. We believe this is also because we have declared in obedience that Jesus reigns in our baby’s life.

To understand, we will have to follow the chronological order of events over the last few days.

Sun: the day of declaration

This was the day before the cervical length scan. Previous scans have shown Roxanne’s cervix shortening at an alarming rate of 0.25cm/day. At this rate, Roxanne would have hit a critical length of 2.2 / 2.3cm.

Anything under 2.5cm is critical, which means the cervix may go on to dilate and Roxanne may go into pre-term labour.

Preventing this involves a surgical procedure of stitching up her cervix. Yet this also mean that there is a chance of where the womb’s membrane or water bag may be accidentally ruptured. When that happens, it would mean early labour as well and baby would not survive.

Everyone is worried for us and our child. My mum went to the temple in the morning to pray to her gods. She never tells me whenever she does this as she respects my faith in Jesus.

Not quite so for Roxanne’s mother. Not only is she a devout worshiper, she also has a charismatic personality and sometimes innocently imposes her beliefs on us. She’s the kind she will go Malaysia annually to light up lanterns, seek fortune telling, and may even pray for a shortening of life so as to ensure her family’s well-being.

Both our mums met in the hospital and my mum told Rox’s mum privately that she visited her temple that morning. Rox’s mum came to me to tell me about it. I felt very uncomfortable.

Later on in the afternoon, Rox’s mum again made some reference to a fortune telling stall. That was the opportunity I needed to make my stand.

While I completely understood her best intentions of praying for us, I had to, gently but firmly, tell her to stop.

I told her not to go fortune telling or do perform special rituals for the sake of baby’s welfare. I used a convenient Chinese phrase and told her that “the two sides will clash”.

I told her that my baby will be Jesus’s and Jesus will decide (her life). She listened and my mum heard it too. They seemed fine.

I told Roxanne that I felt very led to do that and I have to do it as their prayers (despite good intentions) will only add on to the spiritual warfare of our baby’s condition.

Mon: the day of the scan

Miracle turnaround! Roxanne’s scan showed that her cervical length did not drop further. Instead, it extended from 3.0cm to 3.8cm, much to our relief!

Then, it also occurred to me that yesterday, Sunday, was the first day right after the seventh month ghost festival! That was an important day for praying devotees!

This could be why my mum went to her temple in the morning. And I am almost certain that Rox’s mum has the intention of doing so too (since her place of worship is just around the corner. She also left especially early that afternoon).

Had I not made the declaration, and she had went to pray, or worse, offered to shorten her life so as to extend our baby’s, she would have concluded that Roxanne’s condition has improved because her gods have answered her prayers.

This would not have been what we wish for. After all, Roxanne’s biggest dream is to have her parents’ saved.

Or, perhaps God might have taken our child away if we have not stood up to declare His Lordship faithfully, as an act of grace for our parents?

Far-fetched? God is sovereign. He can decide to do anything. And Roxanne’s experience this night was hair-raising.

Roxanne was then exactly 23 weeks 5 days pregnant.

This night, she suddenly remembered this Hillsong’s worship leader who lost her baby and then sang Desert Song in This Is Our God album.

It’s a song and testimony that Roxanne felt touched by. She felt led to google about her to see if she can find any comfort or encouragement from her ordeal.

It was then Roxanne discovered that this worship leader has a blog and there’s even a post about her losing her baby.

Are you ready for this – she lost her baby at 23 weeks 5 days! Roxanne was exactly 23 weeks 5 days too when she read this post!

Roxanne cried for their pain and shared with me the website, of which I also broke into tears and worship. (Her touching post about her painful lost here: http://jillmccloghry.blogspot.sg/2008/07/maxs-story.html)

Tue: one day after the scan

As we continue to ponder about the spiritual significance, we remembered how closely Roxanne’s pregnancy condition resembles her mum’s.

Her mum was also put on complete bed rest because of threatened labour from 1st trimester.

Most shockingly, as we discovered termites in our home during this time of pregnancy complication, Rox’s mum told us that her old house was struck twice by termites – both times during her pregnancy!

At first, we were puzzled by this repeat of events and we wondered if it was because we have not done enough cutting off of generational curses.

We now sensed very strongly that God is doing a divine work through our pregnancy process. We sensed very strongly these parallel experiences may speak to Roxanne’s parents. Perhaps they will witness the grace and blessings of God through our ordeal? Perhaps they will understand that the turning point for our child came after our declaration of Jesus?

At the same time, I had a revelation from God that the manifestation of termites is a symbol of how God is working in our home – our own backyards. Termites in your backyard bring your attention back to your own home. Both Roxanne and I have often been very involved outside, but this is like an indication from God that He is moving us back into our own families.

With this, we saw God’s hand in our child’s divine purpose. This has always been something we pray upon our child. We dedicated our child to Jesus for His fullest glory right from conception.

Now, we see that even before she was born, God has used her to declare to our parents about His Lordship.

As such, our daughter shall be called 義宣 (Yixuan). Yi means righteousness and Xuan means proclamation. The Yi is written in the old style of the Mandarin language with a 羊(Yang) which means lamb, above, and a 我(Wo) which means me, below.

Some scholars who studied Chinese history found strong links between the olden Mandarin language and the Scriptures.

My righteousness according to the Scriptures, comes not from my own efforts, but from the lamb of God’s sacrifice for us. That is the meaning communicated by the old character of  Yi ( 義), which the new character does not.

Some have also highlighted that the old character Yi written “義” is so much more complicated than the new one written “义”.

Some have commented that Yi sounds more masculine and is not usually used for females.

But I now know that my girl’s got a special purpose and I want people who see her name to know that and I want her to see her parents’ purpose in giving her that name.

We believe just how special she is and she’s destined for God’s purposes.

She will know this by the name we chose for her.

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