February 28, 2011 § Leave a comment
It rained tonight. Really rained. The kind of rain that comes in sheets, sets off the tornado sirens and makes you peak outside with a pounding heart. It was an appropriate end to a day deemed rain-worthy.
I’ve been having a hard time lately. Spiritually I felt like I was under a covering. Much like the rain clouds that moved in tonight, I felt cloudy spiritually. The darkness hid my Light. I felt like I couldn’t get past myself to see or hear Him. Amazing how this happens so quickly. One big thing was causing this rift.
I find it hard to even say that. No it’s not his fault, it’s my fault. My son is precious to me. He is a joy to us. We love him and cherish him, and thank God for choosing us to be his parents. But I have been chosen too. When I chose to believe that Jesus died for my sins, and forgave me and I asked Him to come dwell in my heart I was then chosen to be the voice of Jesus. To be His hands, His feet, His mouth. This is something that has been made known to me in a very real and life changing way this year. So when the opportunity to be a part of a mission trip to the Dominican Republic came, of course I jumped at the chance right?
Wrong. Of course I didn’t. What a wimp am I? My thoughts immediately going to my sweet son. He would be just over a year at that point. Too young. I couldn’t possibly leave him for the 9 days the trip would be. And so it went. I was asked again. And again. But of course, I said no.
Then I prayed. I asked God for an answer in this. And I felt that I needed to go. Crazy? A little….at least I thought that one or two more times.
So I said yes.
Then the doubt came. The fear, the sadness. Leaving Oliver? For 9 days? How could I do that? What kind of a mom does this? He’ll have to be weaned, he’ll have to be somewhere he isn’t used to, his schedule will be by someone else, he’ll be fed and put to bed by someone else. His food- I won’t be preparing his meals, will he be eating all solids by then? Will he be crawling, walking?
And on and on it goes until my mind felt like it would explode with doubts. I’m amazed at how all-consuming one little boy suddenly became. And no it’s not wrong to love him, to want to protect him, and watch out for him, this tiny little man. But my heart felt far from God. I felt angry. How could you ask me to leave my son God? I had somehow put Oliver in front of God.
Then it rained. At the end of this long, somewhat tiring day, the rain came and ended and throughout it, something in me changed. I had prayed for all those doubts today. I prayed them to be released one by one. And as they came back I prayed again. I asked God to take my doubt and fear and replace it with a burden for those in the DR. For those on the trip.
And in answer to the very doubts:
Yes, I’ll be gone for 9 days. But I will be with my husband and a group of kids that are excitedly preparing for this trip, prayerfully and willingly ready to see what God has in store. And Oliver will be with his grandparents. Dear people that love him. Dear people that raised my own loving husband. They love God, and they live by His Word, and set a faithful example time and time again. Who else but family, would be the best choice to watch him? His schedule will be fine. He’ll be one. He’ll be more independent than he is now. He’s too young to remember everything and 9 days will not change his whole life. He’ll be okay with new meals. He’ll experience different kinds of food that I may not give him, but it won’t kill him, it will grow him. He’ll be loved on each day and night as he goes to bed, he’ll know he’s loved, and not forsaken. He’ll do okay for the 9 days. His mommy and daddy will miss him terribly but he’ll be loved by his grandparents, aunt and uncle, great grandma and family in the meantime. He’ll have a blast. And he’ll be thrilled to see Jonah and I when we return.
And tonight as the rained cleared, my heart felt lighter. It was like the veil was opened, I could breath easier, I could feel His presence around me again. What love there is in His presence. He understands my hurts, and even in my wimpy human failings He loves me and knows how He can use me. I struggle with this. Use me? What do I have to offer? I have a willing heart. I pray that there is true genuine love and hunger for Him. He has a purpose for me to go on this trip. I need to go. I need to grow. I need to let Him lead me.
I don’t know what this trip entails. I don’t even speak spanish. Not a single word. Well, maybe one or two. But I don’t think ‘Hola’ will get me far.
All I know is this is what He has planned for Jonah and I. Oliver will be okay. He will be loved, and well cared for, and above all, He will be held safe in Jesus arms. I know this in my heart, and I’m praying that my mind will catch up to that fact.
February 12, 2011 § Leave a comment
I had planned to have a natural birth.
It wasn’t this way from the start of my pregnancy, but the more I researched, the more I was drawn to natural, no meds, childbirth. As crazy as that sounds to some, after I had learned all the benefits of this choice, I really desired to labor my way through that moment, experiencing the pain, and listening to what my body was telling me.
I had prayed for this as well. All along the way Jonah and I prayed for our son, for his birth, for the hospital staff that would be there. We were excited, I was nervous, not knowing what to expect.
This changed at around 35-37 weeks. We learned our sweet son was breech.
This late in the game it was rare for a baby to turn. But we prayed. We tried everything we physically could to help him turn to head down.We also scheduled a c-section, by the advice of our doctor, knowing we would continue to trust God for the delivery, regardless. But my heart was still set on pushing this baby out.
The morning of my very last OB/GYN appointment (3 days before my actual due date and 2 days before our scheduled c-section) I went into labor. Contractions came quickly and they hurt. After calling my doctor we headed to the hospital. They checked me into triage, monitored me, and at my request did an ultrasound to see what the baby’s position was (we hadn’t had this done in several weeks, since we learned he was breech). The nurses on duty scanned my lower pelvis and told us that he was definitely head down. Oh the rejoicing! How thrilling! Our prayers were answered as we had so desired!
I was checked in, and we went to our room, mind set on getting through each contraction, and the long road ahead, since I was only at 3 centimeters.
Then my regular doctor arrived. She was skeptical. She broke my water, and checked me again, only to say, “No this baby is breech as ever”.
But she did proceed to do another ultrasound, checking my lower abdomen and the upper, only to find, yes, breech as ever.
At this point we heard the words, c-section, now.
Not really fully understanding that meant right now.
Contractions at this point picked up rapidly. Painful, fast.
We felt a little lost in this new knowledge. She did mean right now.
I was handed paperwork to fill out, while I contracted and groaned through labor pains.
The next thing I realized I was being moved to a wheelchair and wheeled down to surgery. I still see the harsh white lights, the narrow bed, the hospital sheets. It was cold in that room.
I was given an epidural at this point, which was painful. In between contractions they inserted the needle into my back. I was glad I couldn’t see the needle. I was too busy groaning through pain and looking for Jonah. He wasn’t allowed in the room with me until I was in position, with curtain up, and lower half of body numb.
We hardly had time to even call family to tell them we were meeting our son today.
Then Jonah was there, surgery began, and a mere 20 minutes later, I heard the first loud wails of our sweet son. Jonah snapped pictures of the whole delivery, umbilical cord and all. Those I treasure, as I wasn’t able to see what was going on, nor really remember due to the shakiness I was enduring. My teeth were rattling as I shivered on that bed.
I then met our son. Wailing and crying out to me. I said hello, I saw his precious face, his bald head, his perfectly formed body, and those squinted newborn eyes focusing on me… and my eyes filled with tears. It was surreal. I felt like it wasn’t me on that bed. It wasn’t really my son in front of me. I was a mom! It was so much to take in.
Fast forward to now.
I have precious memories from those moments together in the hospital. It was a learning experience, to one day be a couple, and the next moment be a mom and dad to our son. I soak in the photos from those days, reminiscing about how small our son was, how helpless. How in love we are with him.
And I forget the labor briefly. I forget what parts I missed and had anticipated for months. The parts I knew I would want to remember that did not happen with a c-section.
Pushing him out. Having Jonah cut the cord. Enduring the pain of the whole labor. Laboring. Lying our boy on my chest. Holding him right out of the womb. These are the things I missed while having my c-section.
I don’t write this to say I am not grateful for our son. I am. I am so grateful for an uncomplicated delivery. I am so grateful for a normal c-section. My healing was painful, but I healed. Our son is and was healthy. Jonah was there with me the whole time. The staff and my doctor were excellent support.
But there was heartache in not experiencing this rite of passage.
I didn’t realize it’s full effect on me until now. My friend just gave birth. It was a quick birth that ended in post delivery scare. Her very life was in God’s hands, and much prayer on my part, and on many friends went up for her and her new little family. God showed His abundant grace and protected her.
The part that reared up in my heart, that I ashamedly write was the jealousy.
Jealousy that she pushed her baby out.
Until I heard about her post- delivery complications, I fought with jealousy that she experienced a labor I never had. I was ashamed at my thoughts and shoved them away, asking God to release them from me, trying to ignore them and trying to rejoice at this new families precious baby.
And then I learned of her complications. Her life was in the balance. And broke down and cried. Ashamed for even thinking the thoughts I did.
How selfish am I?
But the next day I woke up again feeling those thoughts that wouldn’t leave.
I surrendered. I got alone with God and poured out my heart. Writing down what I felt. As ugly and dark as it was. I layed it out before Him, asking for Him to help me. There is much healing in openly stating your weaknesses. Embracing them, so that you can release these to God.
I have a long ways to go on this path of healing. I have much to learn. But in those moments of quiet worship with God, Holy communion with Him, He revealed some precious verses to me.
Isaiah 66:9 states:
Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord; shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God. Rejoice with Jerusalem , and be glad with her; all ye that mourn for her; That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out , and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. For thus saith the Lord, Behold I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream; then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
While the context of this passage is referring to Israel, not me personally. The content and the choice of words in it, impressed something on my heart. This passage was randomly selected after I asked for God to direct and speak to me. Of all the passages in the Bible this is where I opened and read. How awesome and humbling it makes me to think that God spoke directly to my mommy heart by using the very words that were in my mind and heart. He could have shown me a Psalm, or Proverb, or passage in the New Testament. He didn’t have to show me this. But it was here I read, and here I found comfort in knowing He knows the very heartaches I endure. He knows my desires. He cares about these things. He cares.
What an amazing God I serve.
My heart is glad, because He made it so. Fullness, completeness, healing come from my Father. And I am in awe. This road of motherhood is an amazing one, and so much more greater with Jesus filling and leading in my life.