Tag Archives: God

Ryley

6280857397_4eaa5ebac3_b 6280851279_bdf58a3873_bMy husband and I were married December 2002. I was a senior in high school and he was 22. I was highly mature for my age and we knew we were going to get married at some point so we decided not to wait. I graduated in June of 2003. I got pregnant around a year after we were married. We had wanted to wait a little while and settled on a year being long enough. We were babies barely paying bills but we figured that we would never be financially ready to have babies so we just had to go for it.

When I got that positive pregnancy test I was thrilled. We were thrilled. New life was growing. I was sick. It was a good feeling. We started talking about the baby, names, plans, hopes, dreams.

I was working as a hostess at a Chinese food restaurant. My coworker called in “sick” again. She just wanted to party. I was SLAMMED and was stressed to the max. Right as I was bagging up an order I felt a pop and a gush. I ran to the bathroom. I was bleeding. A lot. I had no pads, I was pregnant. I wasn’t supposed to need them. I shoved some toilet paper in my pants and finished my shift. It was the most horrible two hours ever.

After my shift was over my husband drove me to the emergency room. I had to get a horrible catheter and blow up my bladder so the ultrasound could see baby. I was only 9 weeks so he was pretty small still. I had resolved in my mind that he was gone. Why else did I bleed?

I looked up at that ultrasound screen with fear. What did I see? I saw a little bean looking baby with a perfect heartbeat!!

The doctor sent us home, told me to be in bed rest and to follow up with an OB. We went to her twice a week. She did an ultrasound every time. We watched in awe and wonder as this little human we created was growing and changing. We loved seeing him wiggling and moving. What hung over us was this fear of impending doom. I was still bleeding. Why? What was the cause?

I remember going to the doctor March 3rd 2004. I was 12 weeks 5 days pregnant. Still bleeding. Almost 4 weeks of scary horrible bleeding. We went in and Ryley had grown a lot. We got to see him swimming around. Got to see his sweet little hand wave. I remember her saying that some women bleed their whole pregnancy and that she was 99% sure that he would be ok.

We left that doctors office with more hope. We were still making a life for this guy in our heads. We were dreaming and planning and praying.

We got home and a few hours later my husbands new keyboard came in the mail. He was downstairs playing that when I started cramping. Not period cramps. These were something bad, something I had never felt before. I found out later that it was labor. The pain was hell. It would come and go until it was just back to back to back.

My sweet husband called the doctor and they sent over some pain medicine to the pharmacy. I made him go and get it. The pain was something fierce. I thought I was dying. For hours. As he was gone I went to the bathroom again. I looked down and instead of seeing what I thought was another large clot, I saw my baby. I caught him and then delivered the placenta.

I stood there, all the physical pain was gone. I looked at this tiny baby, perfect. Perfect eyes and ears. Perfect little fingers and toes. Perfect little baby butt. I just collapsed and screamed. I yelled and screamed again and again. I screamed “why God?” Too many times.

Matthew came home and I had to tell him our son was dead. He was gone. Our hopes and dreams were gone. All of the plans and the life we created for him in ours heads was gone. It was over.

We were crushed.

We placed our precious baby in a cup. A freaking cup. We made our way downstairs to go to the hospital. Matthew stopped at the piano and played Jesus Loves Me for Ryley. I cried my guts out. We called our pastor and told him and went to the hospital.

Upon arriving at the hospital I am asked what makes me think I am having a miscarriage. I told that woman that my son is in the freaking cup.

We get back to the room and the nurse asks me what makes me think I’m having a miscarriage. Oh my gosh. Really? For the second time I let them know my son is in the cup. Not my uterus. A cup. They checked and confirmed that he was gone (even though I was holding him)

They asked if we wanted the chaplain and we said yes. She came in and her and the nurse did hand and foot prints of Ryley. The hand print didn’t take because they were so small. We barely got his foot in the plaster mold. She prayed with us and gave us information of grief. We left Ryley there to go to the funeral home. We wanted him to be buried with the love and respect of any grown adult.

We went to Sharis pie place and got pie. We sat. Silent. Numb. I felt empty. Like a failure. My body was defective.

My follow up with the doctor was so hard. She had a medical student come in with her and I was a mess. She told me that she couldn’t tell me why he died but that I need to see a doctor about my thyroid. She said to make sure that it’s taken care of before I get pregnant again.

We went to the funeral home next and saw Ryley one last time. My heart was so broken. The funeral lady was amazing and kind. The cemetery donated a plot to us, the funeral home let us bury him in an urn which was under one hundred dollars, and the grave marker place gave us a brick size for the cheapest cost. They were all a huge blessing. You prepare for a baby. Not a funeral.

We had decided that we would bury him alone. I wasn’t sure if my family would find it weird or if they even counted him as a loss. It was just me and Matthew up on that hill laying out son into the ground. The funeral lady stayed with us and printed us some memorial cards with his name and a poem and things on it. She was so kind.

We went home different. Sad. I didn’t want to face people. I didn’t want the pity stares. If you hugged me I was likely to cry and not be able to stop. I joined message boards online that dealt with miscarriage. I bought books and read my bible. I tried to make sense of things. I tried to heal. It was hard. Scary. Sad. Beautiful. Awful. So many things all at once.

I went on to having 3/4 of my thyroid removed to test for cancer, thankfully no cancer! I do have an autoimmune thing called Hashimoto thyroiditis. Thankfully our rainbow baby was born in 2005 and our little sunshine baby was born in 2006.

Being pregnant after a loss is a whole different story of scary emotions! For now I will leave you with that.

The Well

So my church, The Church On MastersRoad is partnering with some great people to have a food pantry at the church. it will be this beautiful mesh of help and worship. Meeting physical needs and spiritual ones as well. Just one more way for us to be in the community. This ministry is going to be called “The Well” and should begin in March.

Food pantries were one of the few ways that we got food growing up as a kid. My parents divorced when I was a wee one, maybe 3 years old. We lived with my mom and went to my dads every other weekend. My dad paid child support to my mom to cover his half of raising us. The only problem was that my mom didn’t work to cover her half. So with that we ended up living on very little money. We relied heavily on food pantries, especially around the holidays. I stop and think about it now as an adult and we would not have survived if these food pantries did not helps us. I remember calling them and waiting in line with my sister as kids.

My hope is to volunteer and  minister to others the way that we were helped and ministered to as kids.

Gratitude gecko

This little green anole was my jump back onto the gratitude train. I got distracted with life for a bit. I’m back I hope. 
I was standing outside just looking at the sky and enjoying the cool breeze. I was kinda sad but the fresh air was helping. I looked over and he looked at me and almost smiled. I swear. All stretched out. Looking at the sky with me. Just chillin. So darn cute! Grateful that I saw him and got to stop and appreciate the moment. It’s always a good reminder to just slow down and be happy over the little things. 

Hopeless to Hopeful

In March of 2004 I experienced a miscarriage at 13 weeks into my pregnancy. We delivered a baby boy, born still at home. This loss led me to discover that I had a thyroid problem that required surgery and medicine. June of 2005 we had a healthy rainbow baby Trevor and in 2006 my little sunshine Hannah.

Five years later I was pregnant again and so sick! I was also struggling with high blood pressure. At about 16 weeks i felt like something wasn’t right anymore… i felt this sense of impending doom almost. At my big gender ultrasound at 19.5 weeks we found out that our baby, a boy had no heartbeat. Timothy George was born May 5th, 2012 and was buried Mothers day that year.

One year later we found out at 16 weeks pregnant that another son had gone to be with Jesus. May 16th 2013 we found out he died, May 17th my hope and faith went cold and May 18th we delivered and said hello goodbye to Daniel Timothy.

I quit praying.

I quit anything God related.

I was angry.

I could not wrap my mind around why God would allow me to get pregnant, the baby die and turn around and let me get pregnant and another baby die one year later. I did not get it and do not get it. I may never get it. I could not see God as good. I struggled so badly and I figured that just sticking God on the back burner was easier than facing my questions and struggles. Just forgetting that I ever had any kind of faith was easier.

I understood all of my non christian friends and why they don’t believe. I got it.

I was so mad I very rarely even muttered a half hearted prayer my whole pregnancy with Jace. Why. I prayed and begged God to keep Timothy and Daniel safe and they died so why even pray for Jace? If he was going to die it would happen with or without prayers.

My heart started to heal after Jace was born and healthy but my faith was still in the ditch.

It wasn’t until I met this rad pastor and his messages that peaked my interest in figuring out my faith again. Then Easter Sunday during the launch of The Church on Masters Road I was ready. Pastor Jason really knows how to preach Jesus in a way that gets you craving Him. I longed for that connection to Jesus again and being mad was just getting exhausting.

So upon wanting to come back to Jesus I needed to figure out why I ran away.

I needed to know WHY I had these losses. It was consuming me. I FINALLY realized that I can’t possibly begin to know why.

Ecclesiastes 11:5 says  “Just as you don’t know the path of the wind,  or how bones develop in the womb of a pregnant woman, so you don’t know the work of God who makes everything.”  I had to let go and I am finally ok with not understanding things sometimes. I can’t put God in a box, and I finally realized that not only do we live in a fallen world with death and sin but I can only see the now and God sees the future. I can’t possibly expect to know why my babies die, why did God allow it to happen twice, one year apart. Why He allowed this weight of grief to almost crush me completely… 

So realizing that the “why’s” of life will kill me and any chance of joy I decided to cling to 2 Corinthians 1:4 “He comforts us in all our affliction,  so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”  I have tried and always try to show love and grace to the hurting. I try to listen when I know people need an ear and when someone goes through a loss like mine I will move mountains to help them. 

In Romans it says “And not only that,  but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us,  because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  

Having buried 3 babies I have learned to be patient, I have learned to love deeper and give more. I have learned that life is short and you should not waste one second. I have learned that even if you lose sight of your faith, you CAN come back! You are never too far to come back to Jesus. I have learned to enjoy the little things in life.

Just remember “When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.”

God is with you, even in bleak moments of hopelessness….He is there even when you feel completely alone…He LOVES you even when a trial comes your way. Please don’t ever do what I did and turn your back on God!

My heaven babies left me forever changed. I am better because of them.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

So

a brief testimony if I can formulate my word effectively here.

My pastor said “Fear and faith take up the same place in your heart”

Think about that for a second. I had to draw it for a better visual.
Sept doodles_16

Well starting in 2012 fear started pouring into my “cup”. It started at the end of April actually, before we found out that our baby died. I just had a bad “feeling” that I couldn’t shake. May3rd I think was the ultrasound day in 2012 where we got the news that at 19 weeks pregnant our son was no longer living. We checked in to the hospital May 4th and delivered him May 5th. Fear was trickling in.

May 2013 after a year of steady fear trickling into my “cup” we were told that at 16 weeks pregnant we again had a son that was no longer living.

Fear came in and flooded my soul. Faith flooded over, poured out of the cup and didn’t want to return, because as you can see, fear and faith take up the same place in your heart.

I mean, how could I have faith when God let me walk through HELL twice. A year apart. Back to back. Despite my begging and pleading for my babies lives….they both died. Faith had no room in my heart.

I see how people can quit believing.

But here’s the thing. I never stopped believing. I questioned everything in existence but in the depths of my should I still believed…..but Satan believes… believing doesn’t mean a lot.

My heart was wounded and I didn’t know how to reconcile that.

I didn’t know how to begin to fill my cup with faith and let the fear wash out never to return… my heart was weary.

I asked God to reveal Himself to me again. I asked God to make Himself known. He had been there the whole time but I asked Him to help me see Him again.

I had emailed my Pastor family friend weeks prior with no response and after my prayer with God, the next day the pastor called me. I told him my struggles and he spoke exactly what I needed to hear. That night a lady reached out to me on Facebook and that following evening the pastor at church spoke exactly what my friend and I had touched on. It was like God was saying “Hello here I am”

I can’t dismiss that. The timing. The soul healing words from three different people who had no idea what I needed.

It was God.

Since then I had been reading my Bible more than normal. I have been doodling scripture to help write it on my soul. I have been praying. Like actually praying, which I haven’t done in a few years. I had figured “Why pray” I prayed and begged God to spare me the pain of facing another loss one year after the previous loss. I cried out to Him and He did not give me what I so selfishly asked for… why pray. My attitude about prayer has sure changed since then too and I am so thankful.

I am a HUGE work in progress and my faith is working itself out again…..but it feels amazing and scary and weird in a good way. I can officially say that I am here, ready…. re-committing my life to Jesus. Thankful that I can come to Him, a work in  progress, and He will love me anyways ❤

Questions and Conclusions

I think in loss you have so many questions. You wonder why. You ask God why.

If you are a good God and You care about me why let me be grief stricken so hard?
Why let my babies die?
Why pray?
I begged You God, to save my babies and you didn’t…why?

I could go on and on. When all of these questions rolled through my head i stopped praying and reading my Bible. Thats when i set God aside.

Ive been in my Bible again since March and I have slowly begun really praying and trying to be in a constant state of prayer….. and heres the conclusions I have come to.

God IS good.

I do not see the bigger picture.

I pray to align my will to His not for Him to give me what I want because I do not see the big picture and He does.

God CAN handle my anger. I have sure had a lot of it and I am thankful He still loves me.

I need to vocalize my junk so that I can work through it. Maybe I am weird but if I don’t voice it then it goes on the back burner and does not ever get addressed.

I see Joy again. I see Peace again. Ive got a journey ahead but I know God will use all of this stuff for something good. Someday. Im ready.

Head and Heart

So when i was a kid I was a big pot head partier. I guess I was a teen…. from about 12-15 years old.
I was living a double life and told my Pastor on new years eve 2001. I told him what I was doing and that I needed to quit and needed his help. I was super depressed and could not stop what I was doing. After telling him, I never went back to my old ways. Telling someone, vocalizing my inner struggle and asking for help instantly changed me inside and out.

So of course when I was struggling with getting that joy of the Lord back into my life, I called him to talk to him. I actually emailed him and he took a week to pray and get his words right and he called me.
He told me exactly what my heart needed. He told me that Jesus has got me and even though I may feel disconnected right now, even mad sometimes, whatever it is….He hasn’t left me. he told me to keep doing what I’m doing. Keep living, reading the bible, praying and serving. Keep raising my babies for Jesus and being the wife and mom i need to be and God will sort it out.
He reminded me that grief can’t be put on a timeline and there is no exact order. He told me it is ok, my heart was hurt, grief hurts, loss hurts and we all deal with it in our own way and our own time and I have seemed to shove the grief down for a while and because I put my faith on the back burner, the grief process kinda did the same.

So here I am.

I was in such an ugly place and now I feel like there is light at the end of the three year long dark tunnel.
I have always had the head knowledge that God is good, etc,etc but deep down I wasn’t sure i believed…. anything… My head and heart didn’t connect and I FINALLY feel like they are connecting. Now to just let me walls down with God again because there are still a few walls up.

Anyways it is hard. But its good. I hope some day I can look back and see that the last three years have molded me into something amazing and that hopefully i have helped people along the way.