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Meant To Be

The first premonition came in late April, 1999, when I was 8 months plus a few days pregnant with Cody. It had been a very normal pregnancy, all my checkups had been fine. This particular morning, like every other morning, I got up around 8 AM, showered, and got dressed. Then, as I was walking into the kitchen, I had an experience that I am almost incapable of describing. An impression came to me so strongly that I started to cry. It was an overwhelming feeling, a "sixth sense," so to speak. I immediately picked up the phone to tell my mother what I was feeling.

"Hello," she answered, and by then I was crying uncontrollably. She asked, "Whatís wrong, baby?"

"Momma,...I donít think God is going to let me keep this baby."

"Oh honey, donít say that!" she said.

"I canít help it, Momma. I just feel that way."

She tried to make me feel better, saying that I was only scaring myself over childbirth which was only a few weeks away. I did stop crying eventually, although from that morning on, the feeling that we would lose Cody never left me.

On May 10, mild contractions began around 11:30 PM, and I was awake on and off all night. The next morning Randy and I went to the doctor's and they told me to go back home for a while. I was barely dilated. So we went home, packed my suitcase, and made phone calls to family and friends. Then we waited.

This was my first pregnancy, and I really didn't know what to expect or how long the birth process would take. So, when I started having more pain, we went right to the hospital, feeling it was better to be safe than sorry. As it turned it out, I was very slow dilating, and it wasn't until the next day, May 12, that our precious son, Randall Cody Griffin, was born. I have to admit, even as I was pushing him out of my body, I honestly expected the doctor to deliver him and then say, "Iím sorry..." My feelings were just so strong about it. But when he was born alive, I was so happy! I had given birth to a wonderful baby boy—7 pounds,14 ounces, 19 1/2 inches long. I was grateful to know that I had been wrong, and I silently thanked God.

We had so many visitors over the next two days that I was more than ready to get home with my new family and get some rest! My mother came to help out, and of course every little noise Cody made, we were all wide-eyed. Our "hearing" had increased.

The next morning, me and Momma were standing over Codyís bassinet, admiring how beautiful he was, and once again I experienced the "feeling" that I would not be keeping my child. I immediately broke into tears. "Momma," I cried, "Godís not going to let me keep him." I had never felt more certain of anything in my life. I knew our time with Cody would be short. But of course I wasn't willing to accept it. What I would eventually come to know as Godís loving preparation, I tried my best to ignore over the coming days and weeks.

When the time came for me to return to work, I was very cautious about who would care for Cody. I wanted someone close to my work so that I could get to him quickly in case something happened. And I was insistent that the person know CPR. I returned to work—reluctantly—on July 12. I hated leaving Cody, but I had found the perfect sitter. Not only did she know CPR, but she had a loving nature, was wonderful with children, and lived only 2 blocks away from my job.

I continued to purposely ignore my feelings of things to come. I told a friend who had lost a child that I would absolutely die if something were to happen to Cody. Even as I said it, I thought of those "feelings," but I pushed them away. I had not told Randy about my premonitions, and as I watched him loving and playing with Cody, I would feel so sad. Randy loved Cody with all his heart, as I did, and I knew we would never see our son grow up. I knew it would break Randy's heart when the time came.

When my last "warning" came, I did not even tell my mother. I thought I was really losing my mind this time, and I did not want to worry her. Every afternoon after work was my "quality time" with Cody. He and I would sit in the recliner and play "ride the bicycle" and another game I called "booden, booden, Poop," which he always loved. I would flip his bottom lip down twice with my finger and say, "booden, booden." Then I would tap his nose and in a high voice say, "Poop!" This always made him laugh. It was during this game one afternoon that, after the "Poop," his smile turned into a most serious look, and his eyes changed, suddenly appearing like those of a wise old person. Cody was just 3 months old and could not speak, but he looked deep into my eyes as if to say, "Momma,...Iím not going to be here much longer." I gazed back into his eyes as if to say, "I know..." And then suddenly I became frightened. I had to get up, sit him in the recliner, and walk away. I went to the kitchen, trembling and thinking, Whatís wrong with me? Am I losing my mind? Why do I keep feeling this way? I didn't know how or why it would happen but I knew Cody would be leaving us.

A week later, on August 17, I received a call at work from the sitter. Something had happened. Later we found ourselves at the hospital, and Cody was on life support. And the next day, our baby died. It was from SIDS—Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The life support was removed, the doctor checked his heartbeat one last time, and then he said it was over. Still holding Cody in my arms, I looked up at my mother and in a tear-choked voice said, "I told you...." Then, though I had known this would come, complete shock and overwhelming devastation and grief fell hard on me.

The night of Codyís funeral, I was awakened by something in the night. I looked at my sleeping husband, and in disbelief I saw my Cody sitting on his back. He wore the same outfit he had worn the day he died, and he held his arms up as if to balance himself. I know he was letting me know he was all right. I hit my husband to wake him up, and Cody just dissolved into thin air. "Randy!" I said, "I just saw Cody!" (Little did I know, about the same time this happened, the rest of my family was at the nursing home where my paternal grandmother, Mae T. Dollar, had just passed away. All of this happened on my father's 65th birthday.)

After that night I asked God many times to let me see Cody again. One day, driving home from work, I told God that if he would allow me to see Cody just one more time, or show me some other unmistakable sign, I would never ask again. Minutes later, as I was driving into our driveway, I noticed something on the roof of the house. I parked and got out. It was a huge hawk! He flew in front of my car and landed in a tree in our front yard. I walked closer to him, and he turned to look at me, then flew off. Never before had that happened to us, and it hasn't happened since. I knew God had given me what I asked for. And I have kept my promise and have never asked to see Cody again.

I know my baby lives with God and that he is all right. I tried to ignore my premonitions at the time because I didn't really understand where they were coming from. But now I know that they were from God and the Holy Spirit (Proverbs 16:1) and were meant to prepare me. Remembering them now gives me comfort and strength. They show me that Cody's leaving us was not an accident. I'm so grateful to know that he—that all of us—are in God's loving and knowing hands.

I now support the SIDS Alliance, but I will always believe that SIDS is nothing more than the will of God. Babies donít just die without a reason. SIDS babies show no signs of suffering, and doctors cannot find ANYTHING medically wrong with them in an autopsy that would cause their deaths. It is as if God himself, reaches in, takes their souls, and leaves their bodies to die....

As if it is "meant to be."

What happened to me was real. God did prepare us to lose our son, Cody. The experiences I had absolutely came from Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit. I know it beyond doubt. When people ask how I know it, I say that God knew my heart, and He knew that I would need this preparation. He knew beforehand that Cody would not stay with us. Jeremiah 1:5 supports this: "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified theeÖ" The Lord knows all of our needs even before we do. I also believe, with all my heart, that anyone who has a premonition of SIDS can pray about it, ask God to let them keep their baby if it is His will. I believe in the possibility to change things through faith and prayer. But we must always believe that whatever happens, God has a reason. We must trust Him.

I trusted Him, and my story didn't end with Cody's death. Just a few months after, one night in November of 1999, when I went to sleep, I had a dream. I could see myself in this dream, and it was like a voice spoke to me and said, "You will have another child. It will be a girl, and God will let you keep her." That was the dream. When I woke up, I told my husband, Randy, about it. At the time, I thought it was a strange dream, but it was so clear and vivid. I never forgot it. But I was still engulfed in grief over losing Cody, and just didn't give the dream much thought afterwards.

One year later, also in November (2000), I had a second dream. Randy had gone out of town on a hunting trip, and I was alone and "something" told me to pray about having another child. It had been one year and 3 months since we had lost Cody, and we were healing, but were very lonely inside. So before dinner, I sat down and prayed to God, and I said, "Lord, if it is in your will to send us another child, then send me a sign of some kind to let me know. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen." That very night, I dreamed I was in the hospital, and the doctors were handing me a baby, but I wouldn't let them tell me what it was. I unwrapped the blanket and saw it was a girl, and I burst into laughter, because at that moment, in the dream, I realized that it was God, who had sent me the first dream, and I knew I would be keeping this child.

When I woke up the next morning, I thought, "Wow, I asked for it, I got it!" Randy called before I left for work, and I told him of this dream. He said he felt it was a sign from God. I couldn't help but believe the same. A few days later, though, doubt crept into my mind, and I thought that maybe these had been just dreams instead of signs. But I still could not stop thinking about them. Days later, I started to look in the Bible and see if God would give this kind of information through dreams and such. I found in several places (Matthew 1 & 2, and 1Kings 3 are great examples) that He did, or an angel of the Lord did come to people in dreams. I started thinking my dreams were really Him speaking to me once again.

I told Randy I was going to ask for just one more sign, and if I got it, then we would begin trying to have another child. So once again, I prayed about it. A few days later, I had a third dream. In this dream, I dreamed my cousin Beth and a woman I did not know were talking, and I walked up to join the conversation. The woman turned and looked at me, turned back to Beth, and said excitedly, "She's going to have a baby girl!" The next day, I told Randy of the dream, and I said "Ok, that's it!" I could not dismiss the fact that God had given me three preparations for losing Cody, and now I had three dreams about a future child. I knew we had to try. I gave testimony at my church (Randy and I both were baptized after we lost Cody) in December of 2000 that I believed God had come to me in these dreams, and I knew He would send us another child.

Another thing happened in December. We did not put a Christmas tree up in 1999, but decided to in 2000. I had started collecting angel figurines, and I had one that was transparent, perfect for the top of our tree. I put the lights on the tree, and put the angel on top, and placed the first light on the string underneath the angel, so when I lit the tree, the angel would light up also. I lit the tree, and I gasped at the angel. She was pink. I told Randy, this had to be another sign.

A year later, November seemed to have some significance, because on November 1st, 2001, I found out I was pregnant with our second child. I knew immediately in my heart this was the little girl God had promised me in my dreams. I told everyone I knew about my dreams prior to the ultrasound I had performed on January 23, 2002. I was 17 weeks pregnant. Our little girl, Emily Faith Griffin will be born sometime around July 5, 2002. I know just what my first dream confirmed, that God will let us keep her. I got up at my church, the same night of my ultrasound, and gave testimony that God had kept his promise. I don't know why God blessed me the way He has, but I do know one thing. You can trust your dreams, because they do come true.

Sandy Dollar Griffin



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