Ushered into the Glory of Heaven February 2, 2010 ~ Born February 3, 2010How completely characteristic of the the Donahue family to have written on the board in their labor and delivery room the goal for the day: "Glorify God and Enjoy Him" - the answer to the first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. As a godly couple facing the trial of their lives, it is no surprise that they arrived at the hospital with the catechism's question printed on their minds - "What is the chief end of man?" As strong as soldiers headed into battle, Steve and Joanna were the picture of grace and strength during the birth of Jonathan Elijah. God answered their every prayer, though not in ways expected.Joanna had wanted Jonathan's siblings to meet him but was hesitant, not knowing how best she wanted the children to remember their brother. The Lord sent freezing rain so transporting the children to the hospital by the grandparents wasn't wise. God chose that the siblings would, instead, have beautiful pictures in which to remember Jonathan.
Requests were made that Steve and Joanna would have the grace and strength to love Jonathan completely and say good-bye at the same time. Evidence of greater love has never been witnessed by those who walked beside this family during the labor and birth.
We had prayed that Jonathan's passing would be peaceful and not filled with trauma. He died during the labor tucked safely beneath his mother's heart.
Today, a multitude of friends and family joined together at a snow-covered country church to memorialize Jonathan's life. One of the pastors and close friends who spoke said that Jonathan has done more for the cause of Christ in his short life than that of some Christians who live 80 years. We are forever changed by Jonathan's life. We are forever changed by observing his parents walk triumphantly through this very fierce trial.
Requests for comfort are now the greatest priority as they endure the season of grieving. How does one return to a busy life filled with the joys and challenges of parenthood with one, much-loved child missing? May God carry them close to His heart.
Steve, Joanna, and Jonathan - in your mission "To Glorify God and Enjoy Him," you have been successful. We are forever changed by your testimony.