Created in God's image
March 21 2002 by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor

Created in God's image | Friday, March 22, 2002

Friday, March 22, 2002

Created in God's image

By Steve DeVane BR Managing Editor

Jim and Lisa Wright's daughter, Abby, just turned 2 years old. The oldest known living child with her condition is 5.

Instead of getting bogged down with bitterness, the Wrights have started a ministry for parents in similar circumstances.

Abby has a form of dwarfism called opsismodysplasia. Only about 20 cases have been recorded in the world, Lisa said. Most children with opsismodysplasia die at birth or in the first year of their life due to lung problems, she said.

The Wrights are members of Cartledge Creek Baptist Church in Rockingham. Jerry Straight, the pastor, said Abby has become an invaluable asset to the church.

"I don't know how to put it in words," he said. "That's really the church's baby. Everybody just cares for her and lifts her up."

The Wrights' ministry has reached far beyond the church, he said.

The Wrights now speak at churches and other meetings. They have a Web site at www.missabby.homestead.com to help reach people who have children with dwarfism or other conditions.

"I think Jim and Lisa have come to the point in their life that this is a ministry," Straight said.

Lisa said some people were initially apprehensive about talking about Abby because they didn't know what to say. Now, they realize that it's OK, she said.

"We feel like we've been given her for a specific reason," she said. "We don't know exactly what that reason is.

"We know there's a lot of people out there with problems, whether it's another child with a physical or mental disability or people with sickness. It's kind of the story that this is out of our hands. We're putting our trust in the Lord and accepting His will."

Lisa said she is humbled that God gave them a special child.

"A lot of people have come up to me and said, 'I would not be able to do what you do,'" she said. "I tell them I wouldn't either - the Lord has equipped me, that's the only way."

Straight said the Wrights have helped some people realize that everyone is created in God's image.

"It's a wonderful testimony," he said.

Lisa tells Abby's story on the Web site.

In the summer of 1999 everything seemed to be going great. Their son had just accepted Jesus as Savior, and Lisa found out she was pregnant.

"If you would have asked me about God I could have told you how great He was," she said. "Little did I know that soon my faith would be tested."

Jim's father was battling cancer in 1999. He had an operation just before Christmas, but doctors couldn't remove all the disease because it was wrapped around the main artery to his brain. The Wrights began praying that he would live long enough to see his grandchild.

In January, Lisa began having problems with the pregnancy. After an ultrasound, a doctor told her that her baby would be born with dwarfism.

Lisa prayed for a miracle, but a February appointment showed the same result.

"I realized that I needed to focus on having a healthy baby not a baby that would be perfect in the world's eyes," she said.

While at home for bed rest, Lisa began to wonder why. She read about Job and wondered why her faith seemed so weak.

The night before Abby was born by Cesarean section, Lisa was still struggling to understand.

"Why did there have to be something wrong with my baby?" she asked. "I didn't smoke, I didn't drink, and I didn't take drugs. It just didn't seem fair."

God answered.

"He was giving me this special child because He knew I would give her the special care she would need," Lisa said. "I began to realize that I was being blessed and not burdened. When Abby arrived into the world she was absolutely beautiful."

Jim's father saw Abby a week before he died.

At his funeral, Lisa felt at peace while listening to the 23rd Psalm.

"The Lord is our shepherd and He is always there for us," she said. "I still question God sometimes. I still ask Him why, but now I ask Him why He chose me to have such an awesome blessing."

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3/21/2002 11:00:00 PM by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor | with 0 comments
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