I struggled with how to start this post. Do I give you every background detail of the last six or so months of our life ? Because there’s a lot to tell about our story, but all those details would get lost in the main reason I’m writing this today. And maybe those are for another time. Maybe those moments, those struggles, those fears— are for another post
It’s taken my husband and I a long time to get to the place we are today. And it has only been the Lords hands who have gotten us here. We were married at 21 an 22 years old. We were kids, who didn’t have a clue about life but where playing house. We’ve done more, had more changes, challenges, ups and downs, and struggles in the past six years I think than most people realize. To say that this life has been a roller coaster would be somewhat of an understatement. And I say that because to the outsider sometimes people think other people have life all figured out. To the outsider life looks magical doesn’t it? And it is in fact magical, we have had the most beautiful moments, but we’ve also had very difficult ones.
Life today is filled with perfect Instagram squares along with elaborate Facebook posts that are just not real life sometimes. I am guilty of feeding into this as well. But our family is a real family. With real love, with real struggles, with real messes, we aren’t perfect.
We were surprised after just a year of marriage to find out we were expecting. It was fast and quick. We were young and selfish and still had so much to learn about life, but I truly believe God gave us Emelia to teach us so much more about what life is truly about. I believe he gave her to us to make us hold on when things got hard. She is our angel, and angel we didn’t deserve.
Years 2-4 were some of the hardest years. Being new parents, job changes, and being in major financial debt we felt suffocated. We were selfish. God was pretty much out of sight in our crumbling world that we so stubbornly tried to control ourselves as we kicked screamed when it didn’t work out the way we wanted it to.
As our little girl began to grow up my heart longed as people around us continued on with baby number two, but the Lord told me to wait for a very long time. He rooted in me deep down that my marriage needed to come first, even though I often didn’t put it first.
There were times I cried because I didn’t know if we would ever have another baby, and it wasn’t because we were trying to have another and it wasn’t working, it was because something inside me, deep down–said no.
So we focused on us. I prayed to the Lord to lay on my heart if we were supposed expand our family. At the age of three my daughter began asking me about siblings. We would lay in bed at night and she would pray the Lord would make her a sister. But the Lord still whispered wait. So I did. And as He continued to have her press into my heart with her prayers the word wait began to fade as the Lord used my first little to lay on my heart for another.
It wasn’t as easy as we thought it was going to be–life stressors, health issues, and all kinds of unknown <saving those details for another time> seemed to all fall around us at once, and right in the middle of that chaos, we would find out we were pregnant.
I remember saying a few years ago, “Maybe when Emelia turns four we’ll try for another.” There I was trying to have 100% control over my life and to my surprise it worked out just that way, or seemed to at the time. I was pregnant almost 5 years later exactly to the time I had been with Emelia. My girl was four and right before her fifth birthday she would be that big sister.
There’s these little areas of life that we try to box of from God aren’t there? I believed that He would and did lay on my heart that we were supposed to have another child, but I still wanted to control when that happened, and to my surprise it all worked out just the way I had planned. We were ready. Our marriage was stronger than ever. We had moved into our house that gave us the space we needed. Our finances were better, job stability was there again, we had a 5 year plan to become debt free. We were ready.
We try to make it all about us don’t we? Like it’s our plans that are going to carry us through this life.. It’s always about us isn’t it? But that’s so far from the truth–it’s actually not about us at all. It’s about Him.
After seeing that sweet baby’s heart beat, we shared the news with our family and friends and we couldn’t believe that we were finally at this place. Until we weren’t.
Halloween came and went and as I sat in the kitchen that night with my mom I would voice how anxious I was again to go in for my 10 week ultrasound. How something just felt off and I was anxious to see the baby again.
The nurse practioner placed the probe on my belly and although I couldn’t see the baby clearly it was there, but as she pressed more my heart sank inside and I knew. I sat up and said there’s no heart beat is there? I could tell in her eyes that the baby was gone, but she insisted on sending me for another ultrasound to be sure.
There’s this look they give you. It’s a look that you’ll never forget. You do your best to swallow the tears so they can walk out of the room without you falling apart.
A pain of guilt ran through me as a I walked down the hallway to leave the hospital, it felt like I had taken my daughter’s entire hopes and dreams and crushed them before her eyes. I choked through the sentence with my husband to get out the words that the baby was gone.
The next day I would find myself meeting with my physician to go over my d&c procedure. It all was so fast. How did this all happen? Why did this all happen?
I put my daughter down for her afternoon nap and hugged her and kissed her longer than usual just saying thank you Lord, thank you for my daughter. I fought back the tears as I walked out of her room. I thought back to all those years ago being a first time mom. How much I took for granted a healthy child. How much I’ve taken her for granted. I incredibly blessed we are that she is healthy that we have her. What a beautiful testament she is to the Lord’s promise in our lives.
That afternoon on November 9th my surgery was completed and I was sent home to recover.
The last two months have been filled with hills and valleys, just like our marriage has been. But I’ll tell you what’s different today as I type this out, my marriage is stronger. We are better parents together for our daughter. We are better people together and as individuals and that’s not because of us, but because of the Lord’s change to our hearts.
This past year my husband has truly lifted me as I’ve cried in his arms as I’ve so many times doubted the Lord. He has been the rock to our family as I’ve fallen a part before his eyes. He has held me through every single moment and we are here today together hand in hand trusting in the Lord that he is good. That he is faithful. That he will continue to carry us for the rest of our days.
My devotion the day after my procedure read: “Why did Christ endore all of this hardship? Because He knew we’d feel them too. He knew we would be weary, disturbed, and angry. He knew we would be tired, grief stricken, and hungry. He knew we would feel pain, if not pain in the body, pain in the soul…pain too sharp for any drug. He knew we would face thirst, if not thirst for water, thirst for truth. The truth we glean from the image of a thirsty Christ, who understands. Because he understands we can come to him.”__Max Lucado.
In just 8 weeks time our world has changed. We’ve experienced loss as our other angel child has gone to heaven to be with Christ.
What the Lord has unfolded to me in all of this is these kids are not just ours, they are His. They are his plan. His gift to us. He knows every hair on their head. He formed them in my womb and He knows all the days of their lives, of our lives. They are a product of his perfect, devine, beautiful plan that we’ve been blessed to experience through the gift of being parents.
I can type this today with peace. And that doesn’t mean that I do not have pain– mental, physical, and emotional pain. It doesn’t mean that this coming June my heart won’t break inside remembering the baby that didn’t make it here to meet us, what it means is that the peace of God is greater than than all of that. It means that God is greater than all of that. It means that he overcomes. It means that in Him we are overcomers, warriors, that in Him we are not alone.
On the days I feel most alone, I have to continue to focus on the one who will sustain me.
Whatever your past five years have been like, your past five months have been like, your past five days have been like, you are not alone. Believe that the Lord is hanging on to you and even when we feel like we’ve given up, he won’t give up on us. Believe that he will carry you through. Believe that he will sustain you in the valley and celebrate with you on the mountain.
Six years ago on our wedding day our pastor preached from Psalm 3:5-6. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.
I marvel at the Lord for the ways he speaks to us. How he couldn’t have prepared a more beautiful, truthful verse for our road in this life together. Two selfish kids, who had no clue about life, who took so much for granted. Who took the Lord for granted more times than I’d like to admit. How his grace was delivered to us over and over again when we so didn’t deserve it.
So here we stand trusting him. Six years later. So much has happened but he has remained constant and he will continue to remain constant in our journey no matter where he takes us.