Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Surprises & Miracles

I always get extra sentimental at this time of the year. This week is Kali's birthday. All of our children are special gifts but her birthday always takes me on a trip down memory lane...bear with me if you've heard this before.  
As a child and even as a teen when ever asked what I was going to be when I grew up, my heartfelt answer was always "I want to be a mom".  When Lowell and I got married we both assumed we would be married a year or so and then start having babies.  We soon found out it was much more complicated then that. Fertility testing and endless scrutiny medically left us wondering how anyone can get pregnant as there are so many endless factors that have to be in place before conception can happen.  When months turned into years and the pain of infertility slapped us in the face every where we turned we resigned ourselves to being a family of two, a fact so often mis spoken by many well meaning souls.  "So when are you two gonna have a family?"  AHEM, we are a family who happens to be unable to add children to the mix. We traveled on fun anniversary trips and did things we enjoyed.  Mean while our friends were having babies, some of them quite rapidly and moved on into the crazy child rearing years.  We weren't there and yet we weren't single anymore either.  Where did we fit. We considered adoption.  Lowell wasn't ready to commit to that so we went on with life.
I wrote then too.  I have a  journal full of devotionals I wrote meant to encourage women who were in the waiting game just like me.  I facilitated an infertility support group and wrote a newsletter for couples. Church was hard. Mother's day became a huge point of torment for my tired soul.  Baby dedications were huge joyous events that excluded me. When was God going to hear and answer my prayers?  

We tried all the herbs and potions and relaxed (which BTW is the most ridiculous advice ever to give to someone waiting).  We had every medical procedure we could afford and still we waited.
In 2005 we went out on a limb and bought a business we planned to do together till we were old and gray. About that time I was invited to a ladies meeting where much to my chagrin a very pregnant lady was  to be one of the guest speakers.  (yup, pregnant women were out to get me...)  I sat there holding back the tears and hoping I wouldn't have to be any where really close to her thru the whole long night.  Well, God in his infinite wisdom decided to put me into the evening prayer group with none other then HER!  I lost it. Being the blunt person I am I flat out told her how I felt.  The next moments are a blur, but I remember her laboring to get down on her knees in front of me, 8 month pregnant belly and all and began to pray for God to heal my deep pain and grant the desires of my heart.  The other women in the group were weeping with me and began to prophecy (yeah that was a bit freaky for a conservative Mennonite).  One of them saw a vision of a tree that had been cut off.  In each of the rings she saw green shoots coming forth.  She told me she felt God was going to have me be fruitful as that tree either physically or spiritually. At this point I was kind of skeptical of prayer really working for us as many well meaning people had prayed and spoken encouraging words over us over the years. I had often promised and bargained with God that if He granted my desire that I would share the story with the world.  However this time was different. I felt different.  I was free.  Mother's day was a few weeks later. I went to church and didn't feel like crying my eyes out.  My friend had a baby. I took her a meal AND a big gift basket (something I had not been able to do joyfully before!) and I enjoyed myself.
In the end of July I flew to Phoenix to spend a weekend with my siblings.  I vomited the whole flight.  I get car sick but this was over the top. The flight attendants finally brought me a black garbage bag.  As we were getting off the flight one of them sympathetically said "Honey are you sure you're not pregnant?" to which I emphatically responded, "There is NO way".   
When I got home my tummy was still not very happy so I decided to take yet another pregnancy test.  I could've owned stock in the company by this time and should have figured out a way to buy in bulk.  Low and behold as I waited, two pink lines showed up in the spot where there was always just the lone one.  I nearly fainted and quickly ran over to work to show Lowell.  We were in shock.  The pregnancy was amazing and scary and wonderful.  I ended up with major surgery in my seventh month due to a torsioned ovary which resulted in lots of preterm labor and frightening stays in the hospital afraid we would lose our precious miracle God was finally blessing us with.
Now it was really me getting to have a pregnant belly.

It was finally me feeling the growing life inside of me.  It was finally me getting to walk thru a process I had dreamed of so long.  The birth process was unlike anything I had imagined but we had our baby.  Lowell couldn't believe we really had a girl!  She was the first in his Miller family in over 70 years.

Our family had expanded in such a miraculous way!  At long last we were parents.  What a rush!

Then came life with a baby.  It was "our turn" at baby dedication.

I got flowers on Mother's day.

My dreams had become reality.  Most people with the condition I have (PCOS) do eventually go on to get pregnant. I am blessed to have been in that number.  I have friends however who did not get their prayers answered in the specific way I did. Some have gone on to adopt, which is such a wonderful calling and special gift to the many children in need of families.  Some got pregnant.  Some still have empty arms.  My heart aches because I remember their pain.  I  can close my eyes and remember exactly how I felt and honestly some days even tho I am in the hecticness called parenting I still have to pinch myself to make sure this is really happening to me. 
God does have a sense of humor and chose to surprise us 3 additional times making us parents to 4 miracles in a short span of 4 years.  This year marks Kali's 8th year of life and after the previous 8 years of infertility I remain in awe at the many miracles God does daily and am reminded of my promises to Him those many years ago...To HIM be the glory!  He alone is good and capable of granting the desires of our hearts!

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Epilogue....Healing

It has been one week since I wrote the heaviest material I have ever penned.
One amazing week. One beautiful week filled with healing that I didn't even know I needed. One week of take your breath away moments with my husband spent recovering, as it were, from the years of pain that had put up huge walls in our marriage, walls that I didn't even know existed.
It hasn't been all glorious.  There has been pain and lots of tears. There have definitely been a lot of moments of humbling and swallowing pride and fear.
I wish I could have been bold right away and sought out the healing help I so desparetly needed right then and there.  But that's how pain often works.  We hide.  We fear.  We suffer and so do all the relationships around us.
God is so amazing and is waiting to bring us healing and growth if we can only put aside ourselves and our inhibitions and fears of the what ifs. My story and the walk thru my personal healing is just beginning and I am not all that excited about the things yet to come, but I am confident that God will continue to walk beside me every step of the journey.
I want to thank each one of you who have been praying for me this week and  for the meaningful words and heartfelt encouragement.  Last week's blog was my most read ever.  That blows me away. Others have been expressing their hidden pain to me and are now starting their process too.  This is how Christ's body is supposed to work.  When someone is hurting, the others in the body hurt too. "Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ"
Thanks for not passing judgement and for helping to spear head the process of my first step in this painful journey. Thank you for continuing to pray for the steps I still have to take and that I may be able to pass along Christ's love to the ones who are expressing their own needs of healing.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart....

 This picture is not my work.  The title of it struck me.  It is simply entitled "Healing Peace"