In the book of Joshua in the Old Testament (Joshua chapter 4), you can read a story about God being faithful in delivering His people, the Isrealites. The Isrealites wanted generations to know how great their God was and about the awesome way that He delivered them into their promised land. To do that, the Isrealites built a stone memorial so that everytime someone looked upon that memorial, they would be reminded of the way their grandfathers crossed the Jordan River.
Some could argue that blogs could be used the same way that that stone memorial was used. By posting a blog you are allowing everyone to know the mighty way God has worked in your life. And that is exactly what this blog post is all about!
If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, then you have heard me refer to my best friend of 20 years many times. Some of you might remember her from here, or here, or here :) The rest of this blog is Taylor's story. She has a story. A hard to read story. A tear jerking story. But a story worth reading....
Take it away Taylor.......
I recently heard a message in church that focused on taking joy in your trials that prompted me to want to tell my story. I hesitate because I hate attention, but I think that we often need to be reminded that good things come out of bad situations and that God is faithful. Often, we ask and receive. It may not be exactly what we asked for, but it's most likely better than what we could have imagined.
So my story starts in March 2011 or so. I called my best friend Danielle and said, "I think I am pregnant, get over here and bring me some pregnancy tests!" You readers out there know Danielle and know she came running with my preggo tests. My husband was out of town and I couldn't wait, had to know. So I was pregnant and Danielle and I were giddy and making plans. She was planning my baby shower and how Harper and my little one would either be best friends, like us, or they could date :)
I told my family and some close friends and was on cloud nine. I was monitoring my little one's size and sending texts to my family, "little bits is the size of a lima bean, yay!" At the first check up, I was so excited to share this moment of hearing our child's heartbeat with my husband and then I saw the Doctor's face. I knew there was a problem and immediately started begging God, who I hadn't talked to in quite awhile, not to do this to me. But, my little one didn't have a heartbeat and through my tears I was scheduling my D&C for the next week. I was broken in a way I didn't know was possible and my husband of just a few months, Mike, had a look of pain I had never seen on his face in six years of dating. We went home and sat on our couch and sat in silence most of the day. It was too much to put into words. But all I knew to do was to talk to God about it. I cried to God and I knew better than to question things...if I know anything, it's that there is always a reason for every trial.
We waded through the pain and were told this was a fluke and to try again. Pregnant again in June. We kept this one close to us, didn't tell anyone (except for Matt and Danielle) and waited for blood work. I wanted to know right away this time. Again, no heartbeat, blood work showed a failed pregnancy AND I had a large cyst that was growing at a rapid rate and had to be taken out that week. This miscarriage didn't break me like the first one. I think I knew going in and was wary this time from the first one. It was scary, because there was (and still is) an obvious problem. So on June 27th I went in to have a cyst removed and came out of the surgery without a left fallopian tube and being diagnosed with endometriosis. I mourned that tube and was scared of what it meant for our future family, but clung to still having a 50% chance since my right side was "healthy."
In this time, my husband and I decided we needed more. We couldn't do this on our own. We started attending a church that has meant the world to us these last few months. So here's where I talk about the good coming out of the bad. For the first time, Mike felt comfortable exploring Christianity and talking to people without being judged for not being a Christian. He took his time, he took a foundations class and then one day in church he walked over and gave his life to Christ. I stood in the aisle and thought, "ok God, you're awesome. We came here out of pain, searching...and now we've found you and been found." Mike was baptized and two days later he lost his job. The awesome thing is that he had a faith in God's plan for him and he stayed strong during this time. He ended up getting his job back 5 weeks later, right when severance ran out...but I digress.
So I recovered from my June surgery and was feeling really great. I was working on getting my body as healthy as possible and then some crazy things started happening in September. Back to the doctor. Endometriosis and cysts were back. Time to see a specialist, I had some crazy aggressive case that my doctor wasn't prepared for. The specialist (who has turned out to be amazing) tells my the endo is spreading to the right side and I am going to lose my right fallopian tube. of course, I was not okay with this. I know conceiving will be hard with one tube, but I want that opportunity!
And this is when it gets really good. My church rallied around me and I had more people praying for me than ever and as someone said, they were standing in the gap for me. On days when I just wanted to break and I had this giant red countdown clock in my brain that was counting down to my infertility, I had women and men crying out to God for healing, strength and above all else, peace. And that's what I got. I had a great peace the week prior to the surgery. My community group fasted and prayed for that right fallopian tube. I had people coming to my house to pray with me. My prayer was that no matter what happened, I could have peace and understanding. I didn't want to wake up from that surgery an angry, resentful, infertile shell of myself (this was my fear) .
So on Friday, January 13, 2012 I am on the way to the hospital and Mike and I are feeling the nerves. We get a call from a friend who wants to pray with us as we are driving. We get of the phone and Mike says, "this year has been so hard on us and it's been painful, but then something like that happens and I think of the new friends we have made and all I can think about is how blessed we are." We were good to go. I then get a call that my anesthesiologist is a family friend...we called this a wink from heaven. That week I found out that the fact that THE Dr. Nakajima (top specialist in our region) was doing my surgery was a big deal. I didn't realize what a blessing this was. Then I heard other doctors that were prepping me for my surgery calling my doctor "The Man." And I knew I was in good hands. So they rolled me back to surgery and I got to see the robot, Da Vinci, that would be used for the surgery. Intimidating, but very cool. This is where I go under and wake up to my doctor saying, " You did great. Your right fallopian tube is healthy and we saved it. You get to go home." THANK YOU JESUS! What a faithful God we have.
Is this to say we won't have challenges? Not at all. Is conceiving still going to be a challenge? Most likely. But God has showed us so much through all of this. His peace really does pass all understanding and when you ask for it, He gives it. Having a group of people praying and coming together and crying out to God is amazing and is a kind of love I can't express and is so powerful. And my marriage has grown in ways I never thought possible. I never thought I would be in a hospital bed sitting next to my husband saying a prayer of thanks in front of nurses and doctors and anyone else walking by...I used to avoid people who did that! I was down with Christianity, but was not a public display of affection kind of gal. And the love and respect I feel for my husband, who has taken care of me A LOT this year and seen me through five procedures in one year, is something I don't know would have been this strong without these trials. I knew Mike was great when I married him, but man, I didn't know. I don't have the words for how blessed I am to have him.
So our journey to becoming a family of more than two is still a long one. But we are so rejuvenated by God's love and blessings that for the first time in awhile, we're excited to see what's going to happen. We know we will have a family and honestly, we will be better parents having been through this time. We're stronger as a couple and are now ready to raise our children to love others and love the Lord unconditionally. We're excited to have a family and we may not know how it's going to happen yet, but we know it will happen, because God is faithful and we have trust in His plan for us.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
1. Her genuine heart for people. This is to a fault, as she overcommits herself all the time. But she really just wants to help everyone and hates to say no.
2. Her ability to successfully stay home and raise Harrison and Harper. I love my kids, but I'm exhausted after a couple hours with them.
3. Three words: skinnytaste dot com.
4. This blog. Although I don't always show it, I really appreciate this because it will be something we can hold on to forever. Harrison and Harper will love it when they're older.
5. Her support for me with opening my own law practice.
6. That she falls asleep every night on the couch right next to me while I'm watching TV (probably ESPN). And yes, she is asleep there as I type this.
7. On a related note, her inability to comprehend what in the world is going on when I try to wake her up to get her to bed. It's a crap shoot whether or not I can even get her off the couch. She is a DEEP sleeper.
8. That she takes care of feeding Harper in the middle of the night so I don't have to get up :)
9. Ice cream trips
10. Her ecclectic taste in music. Taylor Swift, the Wicked soundtrack, Blink 182, Gospel, The Killers, Mariah Carey... all makes perfect sense together.
11. Her taste in decor. She really is a good decorater.
12. Her ability to balance multiple responsibilities. Raising kids, holding the house together, helping to watch another kid, working a part-time job from home, putting up with me...
13. Her love of animals. We would have 20 dogs right now if I didn't say no.
14. Her overambition. She's constantly dreaming big, but in a good way.
15. Letting me win all the time in Backgammon. Thinking that I cheat at Yahtzee.
16. Our mutual love for a good steak. We can only do it a couple times a year, but we absolutely LOVE Jeff Ruby's.
17. Her creative ideas throughout our house. Cork board inside the cabinets. Chalkboard in Harrison's room...
18. That she has a season pass to the zoo. Although I get jealous that I'm not there with them, I love it when she calls me and she's there with the kids.
19. Her relationship with my family. I think they like her more than me, but I probably would too.
20. Her family. I love the Lovejoy gang and happily call them my family as well, even though there is a TON of extended family I probably still haven't met.
21. Her ability to sleep anywhere. It's incredible.
22. The fact that she can sit in the sun all day and not burn. Lucky Harper. Poor Harrison. Got dad's genes.
23. Her devotion and involvement in our church. Christ Community shoutout!
24. That we've practically grown up together and pretty much have the same friends.
25. That she lets me act like an idiot while watching UK. Not saying she doesn't make fun of me, but she at least seems to tolerate it.
26. That she calls me multiple times throughout the day to just talk to me or let Harrison or Harper "talk" to me. That will never get old.
27. That she's managed to put up with me for almost half of her life. We met when she was 15. Crazy.
28. That she is the absolute perfect wife in every way, shape and form. I'm so blessed that she was born into this world and to be the one lucky enough to call her my wife. We've been together for 13 years and have so many memories together. I look forward to the next 13 and beyond and am so happy I get to spend my life with her and with our family.
Happy Birthday, Love.