Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Thanksgiving Story

This is a story of thanksgiving.

In July of last year at a huge conference a friend of mine prayed a prayer of faith that one day we would have a baby. We had been married for 10 years and had tried with no success before. 4 weeks later I peed on a stick and got 2 pink lines.

A year ago this week my body began trying to miscarry the baby. I was 4 months pregnant at the time, still in Australia with our tickets purchased to come home in December to have the baby the following spring. I didn't know what was happening and nearly convinced myself that it must be fine and normal. Something was wrong, I just knew it in my spirit, I called the Dr. They got me in right away and let me listen to her heartbeat. What a relief. She sent me on my way with orders to take it easy and keep watch. So I did. I got a call from her a couple hours later saying I needed to come for an ultrasound. As the ultrasound tech did her job, I could see the concern on her face. She left the room quickly and returned with a man in a lab coat. They asked me if there was someone they could call for me. I didn't understand. "Is there someone nearby we can call to come and be with you?" she said. I told her my husband was just right up the road and that I would be glad to go get him. We only had one car, Miss Bianca. She said emphatically "No no honey, you need to lie flat." She proceeded to explain to me why. That my body with its misshapen uterus was trying to let the baby out. It hit me like a ton of bricks. It was sinking in. This baby that was a gift might be taken away.

Brooks came as quick as he could and the decision was made to take me by ambulance to the hospital. There was a lot of wheeling and covering with blankets and changing of gurneys, paperwork, name tags, wrist bands for allergies and the like. Bypassing all the desks I was taken straight to the labor ward and laid on a bed that was tilted with my head down to the ground. Literally keeping this baby in by gravity. The surgeon whom I had never met came in and gave me an IV and some important medicines. He was polish and barely understandable. The decision was made to have surgery first thing the next morning, a Saturday. That night alone in the dark room, amped on meds, having just received word of how much money we were going to have to front and the looming question of our baby's survival - I wept - so very alone in one moment and in the next so comforted and held by God. "Hold me" being the only words I could muster. Only Him and His truth to trust and cling to.

First thing the next morning I was taken to surgery with my Polish doctor, 1 asian anesthesiologist, and 2 Aussie nurses. It was full on surrender. These people I could barely understand were about to put me out and do stuff to my body. I just had to trust and pray.

I came out of the surgery fine. Lots of pain but everything went well, the baby was healthy. Brooks was right by my side helping me through all the way. Now I had a week and a half to recover and get packed to make the long journey home. Letting me fly home became the big question. I got the answer I wanted.

On December first we flew over the Pacific, the Rocky Mountains and plains of Kansas as I sang "America the Beautiful." My patriotic heart was bursting with pride and joy. The first sight of our parents and those first hugs in the airport are ones not easily forgettable.

The remainder of the pregnancy was taking it easy, laying or sitting around to keep from having too many contractions. Keep that baby in there. Cook a little bit longer.

She came on April 14th of this year as another bit of a surprise. She is a "dandy" as her Grandma rightly puts it.

In a couple of weeks we will gather around our tables and eat great food together to give thanks. This year I know that...
God is good. He is faithful. He saw me through. He held me.
I couldn't see how but I trusted that He could see something else and I am thankful.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
pieces of Psalm 46

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Father Knows Best

I have a certain friend who says "There is no better way to cultivate joy than to live life a grateful person."

We moved back to the US after our stint in Australia and found life to be less than what we anticipated or expected. Apparently I had the notion that everything was somehow going to fall smoothly into place, better than ever, roses would bloom as we walked by, there would be dancing and doors opening for us and tra la la la. I've since learned some lessons about hopes and disappointments, entitlement and humility, gratefulness and joy.

We had a baby 6 months ago. A perfect, happy, beautiful, very bouncy baby girl. We named her Aspen and she is pure joy. At times we have to do things for her that she does not approve of. Things like clipping her nails, wiping her nose, changing her pants, cleaning her ears and putting her socks on. It ends up like the scene from that TV show "Up All Night." The parents are wrangling the baby and they shout "we are just trying to help you! We're on your side." It would be so much easier if she would cooperate, just hold still for 2 seconds. If she could understand that she might not like what we are trying to do and it may hurt a little, but in the end it will be for her benefit. So much better than long scratchy nails, a crusty nose, dirty pants, waxy ears or cold feet. Really, it will be better if you just hold still.

At some point through the moving process and transition I decided to give up and quit fighting, to give in and accept what God is working out. To hold still. I choose to be grateful and find the positive, to be thankful for the smallest of things. I couldn't be happier because I quit being a baby and joy was cultivated when I realized my Father knows best.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. 9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. 12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtlewill grow. This will be for the LORD's renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed." Isaiah 55:8-13

(12 & 13 are the verses we chose for Aspen's life blessing)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Declare

All of my life
in every season
you are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship
I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

~Brooke Fraser