One weekend in August I was at an event with my daughter and a friend and her kids, and my friend, turned to me and said, “Do you know Josh and Jenny Lake? Their baby died shortly after he was born. I’m so heartbroken.”
I didn’t know the Lakes, but I knew three families who knew them well, and soon my Facebook feed was covered in grief for sweet Oliver Wyatt Lake, born August 7, 2015. Oliver lived only 35 minutes and despite the hard work of the medical team, never took a breath. He was 9 lbs. 1 oz., 22 inches long, and had a full head of beautiful dark hair.
Oliver’s parents were shocked by his short life and death after a normal pregnancy. They were so excited for him to join big brother Owen and big sister Olivia. Soon after his death, his parents made the life-giving decision to donate his organs, and one child’s life was immediately saved because of Oliver.
An autopsy showed that Oliver had a bowel movement in the womb and swallowed a large amount of meconium, which is very rare. But he had so much in his lungs that he was never able to breathe. His dad said on Facebook, “So this is the medical explanation as best I can give it. What we CHOOSE to believe is that our God had a higher plan for Oliver. He needed him to save lives. One right away! God chose us for this because he has tested us before and made us strong. He sent Oliver to visit us for this brief happy moment because he knew that Oliver’s Mommy and Daddy have the strength to do HIS will and hold others above their own wishes. This is what we choose to believe.”
As I said before, I do not personally know the Lakes, but their story has touched me forever, and I have thought about Oliver dozens of times in the past two months. What touches me now, as I watch this beautiful video and celebrate Oliver’s life, is his parents repeatedly using the word “Choose”.
The world can feed us lies, and Satan can feed us lies about our God. But we can CHOOSE to believe what we know to be true about Him, even when it is very, very hard. Even when it HURTS, and it feels like the truth will tear us apart. The Lake’s choice has impacted me and I pray it will impact you. I hope you will share this message and help Oliver’s life touch thousands, thousands, thousands more. Let’s make Oliver’s story count especially this month during Pregnancy Loss and Infant Loss Awareness Month. #GoPinkandBlue
I’ll never forget you, Oliver Wyatt Lake.