Becoming a church member isn’t about getting your name on a list. It’s about joining a spiritual family, a family where people “have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together” (1 Cor 12:25-26).
Much of our suffering and rejoicing together takes place at the level of our Community Groups and personal friendships. That’s wise. Those are the people who tend to know us best and are positioned to care for us most effectively. There are some situations, however, where we want everyone to be aware of a challenge one of our members is facing so we can serve and pray for them as an entire family.
I recently asked our Frontline ministry leader, Quinton Cools, to share a unique sorrow they are navigating as a family. Thank you in advance, brothers and sisters, for upholding them with the mercy and compassion of Christ.
Quin and Kelsey answered these questions on Thursday, October 29. On Saturday, October 31, Kelsey gave birth to their daughter after learning she had passed away in utero. They are both grieving the loss of her life and grateful for the sustaining mercy of God. We anticipate sending out more information next week about a memorial service for Phoebe.
You and Kelsey received some unexpected news from the doctor this year. What did you learn?
We were surprised and ecstatic to learn Kelsey is pregnant with Baby #3. However, our happy hearts soon carried a heavy sadness when our sweet baby was diagnosed with a genetic disorder called Patau’s Syndrome or Trisomy 13.
How are you processing this news as a couple? What sorts of hard questions have surfaced in your soul?
For Kelsey, numbness, confusion, and heartbreak quickly set in as we learned the likely outcome will be losing this precious little life. We both share a serious joy in new life, so the thought of losing our baby is jarring. When we learned our baby is a girl, we decided to name her Phoebe. We are thankful to have made it to the third trimester. We don’t know how long we will have with our sweet baby girl, but in Kelsey’s words, “every day, every moment is a precious and priceless gift.” We love our Phoebe Elizabeth Grace.
How have you experienced God’s comfort through the community of the church? Have specific portions of Scripture strengthened you?
We regularly learn of more people who are praying for us, including many fellow members from KingsWay. We’ve been richly blessed by an excellent team of medical caregivers who have expressed sincere kindness toward us. Our closest friends and family continue to be a ballast for us as we walk through this. God has also used worship music and verses from the Psalms and elsewhere in God’s Word to encourage us.
Could you give us a few, specific ways we can pray for you as a church family?
Pray for courage as we face this suffering. Pray that we would trust God’s provision of grace just when we need it. Pray for faith in God’s perfect wisdom. And pray that we will grieve well as we love our Phoebe and parent our other kids, Addison and Benjamin through this difficult time.