Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Challenging Topic

When I shared with Jonathan that I wanted to do a post about one of our family's journeys, he asked what made me want to. My response was that I know that there are others that are struggling with similar situations, or that have friends that are struggling. So, if me sharing can help anyone then I think it is so worth it. Not to mention, it is a story of God's hand restoring me, and redeeming me, so it is again, worth sharing!

Its taken almost two years to be this open with our journey, not because we're private people (I am definitely the opposite), but because it was really hard at the time. We now understand that God gives grace that we are so desperate for, and that He loves us bigger than we can imagine. Even in the midst of struggles! Here are the events of July 2008, straight from a journal I have:

While visiting family in Mississippi that summer, I decided to take a pregnancy test. Lo, and behold, I was pregnant. I couldn't wait to get back to South Carolina to tell Jonathan. When I got home on July 14th, I told Jonathan that I had an early anniversary present for him. We were beyond excited! Over the next two weeks, our house overflowed with two weeks we would celebrate our first anniversary in Nicaragua while on a mission trip, and we were PREGNANT!
On July 25, we would leave Greenville, SC for Villa del Carmen, Nicaragua. When I woke up that morning, I noticed I was spotting. It didn't overly frighten me, as I had been told, this could be normal. We continued getting ready, and headed to the airport. My concern grew as I began to feel cramping in my abdomen (like menstrual cramping). The realization of what might be happening began to set in as we arrived at the Atlanta airport. I was almost frozen in an emotion that I can't explain, while Jonathan had to search the airport for what I would need physically (I wasn't prepared-at all). All this time, it was just us (me and Jonathan) and we were just trying to figure out what to say, what to do, who to tell, etc.
When we finally reached Managua, Nicaragua, we decided we needed our team leaders to know what was going on (one of which is a doctor). Although it was very clear that this could be the end of our pregnancy, we left that conversation feeling blessed and at peace. And, we left asking that the circumstances not be shared with our team.
The week in Nicaragua was incredible...peace, blessing, and comfort are the words that I would use to describe it. The pastor's wife at the church that we worked at even blessed us. During their Wednesday night service, she touched my tummy and said something in Spanish. I was able to catch "baby" and "Jesus," but that was it. Later through translation realized that she had said that Jesus can work miracles, and she had blessed my uterus. It was a truly incredible experience, lesson, and blessing I will forever remember. We finally told our team what was happening during our debriefing session. Their love, understanding, and prayers surrounded us immediately. We were not ready to leave Nicaragua. It was so easy to see, feel, and serve God there. Coming home meant distractions and facing the facts: our baby was gone.
We went for an emergency ultrasound on Monday when we got back into the States. It was true, we had miscarried. The good news (if there was any) was that I wouldn't have to have any follow up procedures to correct anything. Being back at home, and back at work it was easy to get caught back up in life. It didn't take long to forget all that God did and all that He gave while we were in Nicaragua. I soon forgot the lessons of peace and comfort He had given. By September I was beginning to recognize that I longed for a baby more than I longed for God. While somedays I was able to recognize God's hand drawing me nearer to Him, others were scorched by disappointment, bitterness, sadness, and a multitude of other negative feelings.
Finally, I talked to a friend that had her own struggles with conceiving. I told her I felt like I was having to lay my desire for a baby down every single day, and often more than once a day. She suggested that I stop focusing on putting it down, and start focusing on reaching up, start reaching for Him. Despite when our next pregnancy would occur, I recognized in that moment that God was at work. He was in fact, redeeming and restoring me to Himself. He would make me whole. He would be the desire of my heart if I let Him.
Jonathan and I decided to begin "trying" again almost immediately. On election day (Nov. 2008), I took another pregnancy test-it was positive. We were grateful and we rejoiced. And, Emrick just turned a year old!
God did a mighty work, on my body, and more importantly, on my heart.

There are many friends that are not as blessed as we are. We have friends that have been faithful for years as they have prayed for children. What we endured was so short to the time span that some of our friends have remained steadfast in their prayer to conceive. Others are plagued with sadness with the lost of multiple pregnancies. My heart hurts for them. Yet, so many of them are true examples and encouragements in our lives. They inspire us as they continue to trust in the Lord.

If any of our family or friends read this, and think, "You never shared this story with us." Please know it was only because we were waiting to tell everyone our exciting news until we got home from Nicaragua, and then we struggled with knowing how to share what saddened us instead. We just weren't sure of what or how to say anything.

We are thankful for the journey God has taken us on the past two years. Its been nothing short of miraculous, and He deserves all the glory!


The Brooks said...

Ok, I just read your last 3 blogs and think I cried at everyone! First, happy 3rd anniversary! Second, I could not have worded the problems with education in this state any better! It is a fear of mine seeing as I will soon enter into the education world (well, hopefully!). Lastly, thanks for being so open with struggles when you were going through them (that is when it is the hardest) and now, when ya'll are on the other side of the fire!

Mountain Dreamer said...

I am so blessed to have such a warm and caring daughter-in-law. I could not have asked for a better partner for my wonderful son. The two of you are so great together and I am SOOOO proud of both of you. Even though mom and I knew about the pregnancy and the miscarriage I never knew every detail. I cried two years ago and I cried again this morning as I relived (and in some instances for the first time) your experiences of that summer trip to Nicaragua. This morning's tears were very much tempered with the joy of our little Emrick. The Lord truly does work in mysterious ways. God bless you, Jonathan and Emrick. God has truly blessed us. We love you, Dad