I’m Twenty Five Today

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My Mother and I on the day I was born.

I’m twenty five today. Brielle is 37 weeks today. My Mother and I have individually spent the day thinking about how I am almost in the exact same situation she was in twenty five years ago. She didn’t know it, but she was about to have a daughter (she was expecting a boy) and I am a few weeks away from having a little girl as well. Today is a strange day, it should be a happy day.

When I was a little girl I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, a mom. When I was four I “married” Batman and we had twelve kids. Twelve. Over the years I’ve been asked to choose a profession, a degree, a goal in life. Being a mother was never an acceptable answer, but it is all I’ve ever wanted to be. So I should be happy, I’m twenty five today and I am a mother. I’m a mommy to the best little girl that could ever exist. But I’m not happy. I’m grieving, I’m afraid, I’m deep in despair, and I just want all of the pain I’m in to stop. I want to hold onto Brielle and never, ever let go. My body is ready for Brielle to arrive, my heart and my mind are not. It’s the last thing I want. But my body can’t keep up anymore. So I’m sitting at home crying, because the day she arrives is getting closer. And I just want to keep her inside me for forever. I’m spending the day mad at myself for being upset, when I should be celebrating a milestone that I share with Brielle.

Last week we had such high hopes and great news from our visit to the doctor. Thursday we went back for another scan. David and I fully expected to see improvement or complete healing. We got the opposite. My fluid levels were up to 44 cm, Brielle wasn’t breathing, and my placenta, although still in the normal range, is not doing as well as it used to. David has remained optimistic, but I am not optimistic by nature. In this way, I struggle much more than David does. It’s not uncommon for a baby at this stage to not show signs of breathing, so it may not be a bad thing. She was moving so much we couldn’t get a clear picture of her bones, so who knows if anything has changed. And my fluid levels? We’re completely confused. My body is doing better than it was at 30 cm, David can wrap his arms around me and grab his wrists, and the areas of my skin that were stretched to the max at 47 cm are flabby and loose. My body is showing no physical sign of increased fluid levels (quite the opposite), but the scan says differently.

I spent the rest of Thursday crying or sleeping. And today I’ve just hurt, pain so deep that every breath hurts. David keeps telling me he won’t give up, and that I shouldn’t either, God’s not finished yet. And I won’t give up, I haven’t. But I’m tired. The past seventeen weeks have pushed me mentally, emotionally, and physically past my breaking point. And I’m exhausted, in every way. I don’t have the strength to hope, to grieve, to even think.

My Mom raved about a Bible study she did on Esther by Charles R. Swindoll. So I bought the book and have started the study. Last night, after I had cried my eyes out talking to Brielle, I picked up the book and read the second chapter, hoping to find some comfort. It was interesting, nothing too comforting, until about eleven pages in.

“God can move the hearts of the rulers of this world wherever and whenever He wishes. And, in case you’ve forgotten, He is in no hurry. We tend to think that if God is really engaged, He will change things within the next hour or so. Certainly by sundown. Absolutely by the end of the week. But God is not a slave to the human clock. Compared to the works of mankind, He is extremely deliberate and painfully slow…This is the big picture that we need to see if we are to put our anxieties on hold. God is at work.”

I wanted complete healing for Brielle for my birthday, but that’s not what God wanted. He has a different and better plan and I have no idea what that is. I don’t know how to do this part. I don’t know how to trust or hope, and quite frankly, I’m too tired to actively learn. So I’ll wait and believe. And I’ll believe that God understands my pain and that he will be patient with me. I don’t like this, I want relief and I want things done my way. But that is a rather petulant attitude to have. And God is undeserving of this. He has answered every single prayer I have asked of him. And, in the past twenty weeks he has saved mine and Brielle’s life at least four times. I shouldn’t complain or doubt, he’s taking care of us. But I would be very grateful if he would give David and I a break from this rollercoaster we’ve been on. At least I know he understands and he isn’t angry with me for my weakness.

“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him, for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust…” Psalm 103: 13-14

So today I will be sad, I will cry, and wallow in my own misery. But I will continue to believe that God isn’t finished and that he will completely heal Brielle. I’ll also grieve knowing that he understands and doesn’t expect me to be strong all the time, I’m allowed to be weak, because I am just dust. And he is far greater than I could ever imagine or understand.

Learning to Have Faith

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These two verses have, for a lack of a better word, haunted me.

“”If you can?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9: 23-24).

I have repeatedly asked God, “Please help me, help my unbelief. Please save my daughter.” And I have struggled with this. I know full well that what is bestfor my daughter may not be what I want. I can’t see the whole picture, I only see moments now. I cannot fathom what will happen if she lives or dies, and the consequences associated with each outcome. I also know that if I do not ask, if I do not believe, how can I expect Him to save her?

So I struggle. I think of Abraham and how he knowingly took his only son to be sacrificed, having full faith in the Lord that He would do what was best for Isaac and himself. Abraham’s faith was strong, deep, and admirable. Because of his faith, God provided a ram and Isaac was spared. It was a test of Abraham’s faith and God promised, “…because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” (Genesis 22:16-18). And God did bless Abraham. The Jewish nation emerged from Abraham’s descendants and became a great and powerful nation. Jesus came from the Jewish people and went on to bless all nations and all peoples.

I want to have faith like Abraham, granted he also had eighty years on me that he had spent with God. I still want to have faith like that, but I don’t know how. So I beg God to help my unbelief. I want to go up to that altar and trust that God will provide. But I am afraid. I am afraid that the provision will cause me great heartbreak and great pain. If Brielle lives, will her life be one of suffering and pain? Will taking her home to be with Him, be merciful and loving?

Samuel was a strong Godly prophet and was of great use for the Lord. I spend time thinking of Samuel, because of his mother, Hannah. Hannah was barren and she was in deep anguish and grief because she could not have children. So she made a vow to the Lord, “O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life…” (1 Samuel 1:11). She had a son shortly after her vow and she kept her vow. After her son was weaned, she gave her son to the House of the Lord. He went on to be one of the greatest prophets of the Bible and his whole life he remained faithful to the Lord.

So I offer my daughter, I beg Him to make her a Samuel, to use her for His purposes and to let her life glorify Him. I ask this knowing full well that her purpose may resolve shortly after her birth. And I struggle. I don’t have answers and I don’t know what the plan is. I am afraid. I don’t know how to trust and how to fully believe that He will save her. I want to know how. I want to know that peace, I want to have that level of faith. I pray that God is merciful with me, that He understands my heart and that He chooses to save her, despite my unbelief. He amazes me and I want to know and understand that amazement through faith, through belief. I want to fully believe in complete healing for Brielle and trust that it will happen.

Learning to Ask

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I have a couple of scheduled posts for today, but I wanted to quickly share what God has done for us today.

Last night I spent a long time in prayer, asking God to help my doubts and unbelief, even though I feel as if he’s telling me Brielle will be okay. I prayed that he would open the right doors and get us an appointment with a neurosurgeon. I prayed that the neurosurgeon we’d meet with would be open and receptive to our case. I prayed for David and the stress he is under.

This morning I woke up to a message from a friend telling me she felt that Brielle would be okay and to not lose faith or hope and to keep on fighting for her. I had not told her anything about my prayer and had not initiated the conversation. David called the neurosurgeon’s office today and we were placed with a different neurosurgeon than the one originally recommended, but who has more experience with cases similar to Brielle’s. He also graduated from Baylor University. We’ve been trying for weeks to get an appointment, David has called multiple times for the past couple weeks alone and has not been able to get through, and today we were given an appointment for October 9. I’m going to take that as an answered prayer and reassurance that Brielle will still be here by then. David has received good news as well today, and is having a wonderful day. In fact, when he called me earlier, he sounded giddy.

God has heard my prayers and he has answered them. God is good and faithful and He will provide. We have a wonderful and loving God and I am thankful, so thankful.

“…You do not have, because you do not ask God.” James 4:2

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8