Half Baked Cake

By: Jenny Abbott Edwards 

Recently, while wanting to know more about preterm babies (like myself) born at 28 weeks, I stumbled across a quote by Dr. Margaret Kern, a researcher at the University of Melbourne. She said that, "biologically, there is a lot of key development that occurs across the cycle, and when that is cut off very early it raises risk, like an uncooked cake, there isn't enough time for things to come together fully."

At first glance, I laughed out loud at this quote and found myself thinking, "Well, that sounds about right!" I can relate to feeling like uncooked cake on those really special days when things don't quite come together!   Ok, I can agree to that on occasion.  Maybe medically speaking, that analogy works but, what isn't considered in this statement is that the God I serve is thee I Am.  He's the one who made my cake. I don't think the God who placed the stars in the Heavens, who created the earth and yet, who cares enough to know the number of hairs on my head, would call me half baked!

There are days when my body seems to remind me as though it may have had some more "baking" to do. There are days when doctors tell me that research links premature birth to some of the oh-so-fun health ailments that I tend to deal with that frustrate me. There are days that I feel like a half baked cake, but it is not because I was born prematurely. It is because Satan comes to steal our joy. It is because Satan has deceived me into believing his lies more than once that I am not strong and healthy and that it must be because I was born so early. When my health starts to slip, immediately, Satan recognizes an unlocked door in which he will try to squeeze through. He begins whispering and eventually shouting out all the reasons I have to be angry at God.  But, graciously, God always reminds me, Jenny, I've bestowed a crown of beauty on you, instead of ashes.

Someone much more artistic than me made this beautiful image above on Mercyisnew.com

Today in the midst of one of these moments while at the doctors office, God literally spoke to me and said, "I chose you." When my mother was dying of toxemia as I was being delivered, he chose me and then he saved her life, as well. He restored my mom's health and her hope after losing her first born baby girl three years prior to almost identical circumstances with one difference- for some reason, it's like God said, "Not this time. This minature half baked cake, is perfect in my sight. For I know the plans I have for her."

The mountain God placed in front of me in the NICU on March 30, 1982, has most certainly not always been easy to climb. In Exodus 13 it says, " In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling. The nations will hear and tremble." In 17 it goes on to say, "You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of your inheritance-the place, O Lord, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, your hands established. The Lord will reign forever and ever."

Last year, during a season of poor health, my beautiful friend and yoga instructor, Jessica, gave me a gift of prayer flags much like the prayer flags one would see in pictures on top of Mt. Everest. These beautifully hand crafted flags had painted images and words on them. Some of the words read, "Let go", "Trust the Process", and "Radiate". When I first read the words, I thought they meant these were mountains ahead for me to climb - lessons for me to learn or things for me to work on. Jess then explained to me that these bright rectangles of recycled fabrics and cloth are suspended in sacred places that are often in stark, high altitude landscapes. She helped me realize that once you've reached the flags, you've climbed that mountain.  Her gift to me symbolized the mountains I had climbed in the midst of my struggle.

So while stating that a 28 week old baby is much like an unbaked cake, there are elements of that analogy that I can understand. However, this now 34 year old woman, knows that the one who made me is not a baker. Instead, He is the Maker. The one who perfectly timed my entrance into His world.  The one who knows the mountains and valleys before me. The one who knows that at the base of the mountain that the trek looks impossible and the hiker unqualified.

The one who knew that it was the journey up the mountain that made the view all the more spectacular. It is Him, the one who made me, who writes messages on my heart,  that sway like a banner over me, "I hear you. I'm holding you. I chose you." It's in Him, my Maker, not some undercooked-baker, that I find my worth, my truth and my assurance that I am wonderfully and fearfully made.