Doug and I had the typical marriage where if we fought we could go weeks without talking to each other. Sometimes we could not even remember why we were not talking. I read all the marriage books and things went along as most marriages do the first two years of newlywed bliss. Date night was 5 burgers with 5 fries for $5 at short stop. That was our fancy dates. When we were really on a budget we went to the store around the corner for 25 cent ice cream sandwiches. We ate tuna fish sandwiches and Ramón soups all week then we would go to Doug’s mom’s house to eat on Sundays after church. Doug was still in school and working nights. We were broke but we were in love. Two years into our marriage we figured it was time to start a family. This is when the true love test really began.
We did the pregnancy test and it was positive. We began to tell everyone and then I miscarried. That hurt my heart and my pride. I just sat in the bathtub and cried and kept thinking about now I have to go and tell everyone never mind. This happened twice and then finally after 3 years of trying I was pregnant. I was teaching Early Childhood and had 23 students and a teacher's aide. It was a very difficult class. I was starting to have a lot of pain, but I was so naive that I thought it was normal. I bought a back massager thinking that would help. I started walking around the playground while the kids were playing. I went to get a massage, but they could not do that while I was pregnant so I got a pedicure instead. Nothing helped. Then my stomach started hardening up painfully all night then I would get some relief and it would start again around noon. Now that I look back these were early contractions that were lasting hours at a time. I was going to my regular checkups and they never found anything abnormal and I do not remember telling them anything significant, because again I just thought pregnancy was unpleasant. Finally it came time for the sonogram. We were going to find out if it was going to be a girl or a boy? Well that was when we found out things were not normal. The Doctor sat us down and told us the baby had Hydrops and some babies have survived. Some have survived? We knew that was not good news.
We were then sent to Galveston, Texas where we were treated by doctors and students. The first blessing in this story was the night before we were to check into the hospital God gave me a dream. I was able to tell my baby I loved him and he told me he loved me. The second blessing was in the hospital. The song that was popular at the time was “you gotta be bad you gotta be bold you gotta be wiser you gotta be hard you gotta be tough you gotta be stronger you gotta be cool you gotta be calm you gotta stay together all I know all I know love will save the day” by Des’ree. That was not a Christian song, but every time I had to go have a test or procedure done that song would be playing. To make an unpleasant story short; things did not turn out good. I had an emergency c-section and an hour after our baby boy was born he died. We were devastated we had the perfect name picked out and the perfect bedding and room decorations. We now had to make some unpleasant decisions like do we give him the name that we picked out or a different name? autopsies, donations for research, funeral arrangements the horror went on and on.
I then started the questions we all ask. Why? Is there really a God? Did I have faith or was it denial? How am I going to live through this? Whose fault is it? Is it the Doctors fault or was it my fault? Is it because we didn’t have enough faith? Is it because we were not perfect Christians? This questions and the grieving process took 7 years. I was numb. During this time I had 2 more miscarriages. Thank God for a great church. I had awesome Godly support even though my attitude was not always the best.
A year after my last miscarriage, 6 years after we started trying to have children and 8 years after we were married I finally had Tiffany. We later became pregnant again and the fear of losing another child had returned like a vengeance. I went to a women’s conference in Houston with my church ladies group and I was afraid that when I was tired I was going to lose the baby and if I drank anything with caffeine I would lose the baby. I decided I could not live that way so I prayed and told God after this next sonogram and check up I refuse to live in fear. At the doctor's office I found out we were having a boy and that all was well with the pregnancy and God took away all my fear. That was such a blessing.
Now remember during this time I was numb. I really was angry with God and truthfully I knew I was, because I hated the song “I’m desperate for you”. I chose to love God.
Here are a few other things God taught me. God is God. We live for him. We live to serve him and worship him. He does not live to serve us and worship us. We live in a fallen world. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. Faith is trusting God in the good times and the bad times. If life was going to be perfect we would not need God. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10 The devil is testing our faith in God to see how far he can push us until we turn our backs on God. The devil is out to destroy us not just make our lives uncomfortable. God does not see death the way we do. In heaven death on earth is life in Heaven. God has no reason to be sad, because he knows the plans he has for us. 'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11. It is okay to be sad and to grieve; that is how God created us, but we also must choose to trust him. I did a lot of praying Lord help my unbelief. “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief”. Mark 9:24 and Lord I receive the life you have for me by faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. Hebrews 11:8. I started worshiping him for who he was not for what he can or will do for me. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever. Psalm 118:1
Here are just some of my blessings since then. Doug and I have the greatest marriage. We know we can get through anything together. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Ephesians 4:26. Yes we still have disagreements, but we never let it get in the way of our love and respect for each other. I have 2 wonderful but sometimes challenging children. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Luke 12:31 Key word: the kingdom of God; it is all about God and his Kingdom. I have learned and relearned again how to forgive. I am finally able to see what God has done and is doing in my life.