Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Bad Days

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, 
When sorrows like sea billows roll; 
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, 
It is well, it is well with my soul. 

Refrain: 
It is well with my soul, 
It is well, it is well with my soul. 

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, 
Let this blest assurance control, 
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate, 
And hath shed His own blood for my soul. 

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!— 
My sin, not in part but the whole, 
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, 
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! 

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: 
If Jordan above me shall roll, 
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life 
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. 

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, 
The sky, not the grave, is our goal; 
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! 
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul! 

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, 
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; 
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, 
Even so, it is well with my soul.
- It Is Well With My Soul, Horatio G. Spafford

Recently, there have been quite a few people on social media tell me how strong I have been through all of this. 

And I just want to laugh. 

I have bad days more than what you think. 

I probably should talk about them more, but I don't necessarily want it to be all bad all the time. I realize that I have to give myself grace and let myself be sad. But I don't want the sadness, heartbreak, and anger to be my story, or Lily's story entirely. Typically, on my bad days, I try to stay off Facebook, and Twitter and Instagram. 

That being said, I think it would be a disservice to Christ not to talk about my bad days. Because when I have bad days filled with anxiety, worry and anger are the days that someone reaches out to let me know they're praying for us or they've seen some lilies and wanted us to know they're still thinking of the three of us. Or Brandon is having a good day and I can tell him and he can handle it. I also want people to know that the only reason we made it through this time was because of Jesus and the community around us. 

In my hometown church there are 6-7 babies from my high school youth group that have been born or will be born this year. My Lily is one of them. This past Thursday, one of those babies was born. Friday was pretty much an awful day. I didn't go to class because I knew it was going to be a hard day. I haven't had a full day where the sadness and heartbreak just overwhelms me since I started studying for the bar. Like I said, I could just tell this was going to be bad and I needed to give myself some time.

The thing is that while it is wonderful that this new life was here, it also was hard. It was an in-my-face reminder that isn't going to happen for us this time. We don't get to take Lily home. She doesn't get to grow up. Brandon doesn't get to take his little girl out for special dates. She won't have a wedding day. The list goes on. And on. And on. And on.

But the bigger issue I've dealt with lately is anxiety. It is crippling at times. I'm a very Type-A person. I like to be in control on a regular basis. This whole situation is out of my control. Parts of it, I've made my peace with...well at least the best I can. But what I'm struggling with most right now is child birth. I think it's because I am dealing with an inevitable infant loss that I'm scared of losing others in my life.

But mostly, I worry about and my anxiety consumes me regarding child birth.

We have made some decisions regarding child birth and one of those decisions includes an induction. (This is all based on the contingency that she doesn't pass away before then.) I'm not ready to share when that's going to happen, but the point is that I know emotionally, it is the best thing for me.

I'll be honest, Saturday through Sunday was HARD for me. Brandon and a friend of his were talking about child birth and how so many things can go wrong if not watched. I hadn't really told Brandon what I was struggling with and I asked him to change the subject. He didn't really think anything about it. They proceeded to continue the conversation. I later told Brandon that I had been having anxiety about it. He was super upset knowing what he knew afterwards.

The only time I felt a release in those two days was while we were at church on Sunday morning. I don't think that's a coincidence.

I don't tell you these things to feel sorry for me. I don't tell you these things to pity me. I just want you to know the ways you can pray for me.

This is where I am.

I'm not a quitter. Never have been. But I would be lying if I didn't say that I'm not struggling.

I will say I've found hope in the following verses for the days to come.

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." - Isaiah 40:28-31

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." - Psalm 34:18

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 
and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor." - Isaiah 61:1-3

I read them over and over again. And I don't give up my fight because if I do, I feel like Satan has won. And that can't happen. I refuse to let it be the story for Lily and I refuse to let it be the story for me. But most importantly, I refuse to let it be the story for Jesus' kingdom. 

In my weakness, Jesus is made strong and while I am hurting, I put my hope in Him. Some day, I'll be standing upright again. Until then, I have to be okay accepting His help and the help of our village of loved ones to stand up.

So just keep praying. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Maternity Update: Weeks 18-27

How Far Along: 27 Weeks today!

Size of Baby: Cucumber

Gender: Female

Name: Lily Faith

Weight Gain: Yes.

Maternity Clothes: Yes, but I'd kill for a good pair of sweats and a tshirt like a normal human being.

Movement: I feel her pretty regularly and especially at night. Her feet are on my right side.

Symptoms: Indigestion. Indigestion. Indigestion. See also: Lovely Sciatica.

Sleep: I haven't slept well since I found out I was pregnant because I'm a tummy sleeper. I do have an occasional good night of sleep.

Cravings: Mango Magic smoothies from Tropical Smoothies.

What I miss: I still miss alcohol and good sleep. But for now, I'm trying to focus on my time with her and being in the moment.

Best Moment of the Week: Had a doctor's appointment today. We got to hear her heartbeat and it's at 151. Doctor was pleased and said it was regular for now which was good. We also got to see her on ultrasound. She also has no fluid on her heart or lungs. She doesn't have a ton of room to move around and I can tell that. It's still wonderful to see her little hands and feet in there.

Looking forward to: Seeing her face. We have yet to see her face in all that is going on and today was no different. She's definitely stubborn. I'll give her that.

We have good days and bad days still, but the bad days don't seem to last all day anymore. Studying for the bar again has given me a focus and a drive to look forward to our future. Brandon is back at work and doing much better. I'll post about our new normal soon. Hope this finds you well.

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Pen Clicker and The Hulk

In my family, I have a slight reputation when I am hungry. Well, I should clarify and say HANGRY.

They call me The Hulk.

I'm not someone that can wait to eat meals. I have to eat on time at normal breakfast, lunch and dinner hours. If not, I get queasy, then tired and I have one final burst of energy before I feel like this...


I come by this honestly. My mom does the same thing. So do several members of her family as well, but I'll not name them. I mean I figure it's best not to throw everyone under the "I could probably hurt a small village when I'm HANGRY" bus today.

I do my best to avoid this situation. Being pregnant has only exacerbated the problem. Usually, when I have that last little burst of energy I have about an hour before things are Hulk like. But lately, I've got about 20 minutes.

Also, when I'm the Hulk, I do my best not to talk to other people, because well, it's not really nice and not myself. However, when I'm pregnant, it's harder for me to refrain from my opinions.

Enter the pen clicker.

Yesterday, I was running late and raced out of the house as quickly as I could. I forgot to grab my breakfast bar. I stopped at Sonic for a drink. Thankfully, I got something with carbs in it because halfway to the law school, I realized that I didn't have breakfast. I hoped and prayed that I would be okay until I got out of class.

An hour into the class, I heard my tummy grumble.

An hour and a half into the class, I felt queasy.

Two hours into the class I felt tired and I heard a pen click. I looked over and this guy had finished writing a not the professor just gave us. About 30 seconds later, he clicked his pen again because he needed to write another note. When he was done with that note, he clicked his pen again.

Pen clickers are a pet peeve of mine.

I immediately prayed for patience and for God to delay the inevitable.

About 20 minutes later, I felt a slight burst of energy and I was halfway happy.

Twenty minutes after that like clock work, I was not happy. Dude was still click click click click clicking away too.

I huffed. Click click.

I looked around to see if anyone else noticed. Click click.

I checked my phone for decent fodder on social media to find none. CLICK. CLICK.

I puffed. CLICK. FREAKING. CLICK.

I looked around again for some form of mercy in the form of someone sharing my misery.

CLICK. CLICK. CLICK. CLICK. CLICK. (We hadn't written in awhile and he was bored apparently.)

I worked through my planner for the next few days to get a head start. CLICKITY FREAKING CLACK.

I huffed one last time. I decided that if dude didn't stop his clicking I was going to stage a coup and take his pen so he couldn't click anymore and then mercy of mercies, I heard a faint whisper, "Dude needs to knock it off with the pen clicking before I hurt him." I looked behind me and nodded my head a little too ferociously.

This CLICK CLICKING went on for another 20 minutes.

I wish I could tell that this story has a happy ending, but it doesn't. Today, dude was back in there clicking again. I ate breakfast and brought a snack for the record to keep the green beast at bay, but it still made me nuts.

But today, there were more people complaining. That dude's days as a pen clicker are numbered, I can feel it.

If not, I'll email the class administrator so he can make an announcement. I feel like it's best for all parties involved.

If that doesn't work, I'm buying him a box of cheap ass Bic pens with no clicking abilities for as far as the eye can see.

Signed,

A Pregnant Woman Who is a Part-Time Hulk

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

On why the storms before the rainbow comes matters....

During tornado season, when Jessi and I were little girls - and I'm talking pre-Loren and Will here - my dad would tell us to set our shoes by our bedside in case we needed to get up and head to a shelter in the middle of the night.

I don't ever remember needing to get up in the middle of the night, but I do remember that I slept hard and didn't worry because my dad would make sure we'd get to safety if a storm got close. There were nights that the wind was fierce and we lost trees. Nevertheless, I put my faith and trust into my dad and his decision making. I believed that he knew better for me. And I slept well and easy knowing that he knew what to do in case trouble came. 

Even now when a storm comes, I sleep harder and rest easy because of all those nights when I was a kid. 

I've mentioned before that I am struggling with seeing how God's plans for Lily and for Brandon and I are better than mine. 

There have been so many times in Brandon and I's relationship where things didn't work out the way we wanted. And we would complain and be pissed off for awhile about it. Each time our plans failed, we always lamented, "Just one time, I wish things would come easily to us!" 

And we have said it a hundred times this time with Lily too. 

But you know what else happened during those harder times? We were drawn closer to God and to one another. His ways were ALWAYS so much better than ours. 

I feel like the storm we are in right now has been brewing since last summer. 

Brandon moved to Arkansas for work and while Jessi was with me, my husband was not. We both had very busy lives during those six months and we talked as much as we could, but it just wasn't the same. We reverted back to being independent without one another. Listen, while I'm a strong advocate for strong women, one of the ways that the Lord has grown and stretched me is letting myself be vulnerable to Brandon. 

Before I met Brandon, I was Miss Independent personified. I needed no help from anyone.
After I met Brandon, I learned that it was okay to still be strong, but that it was okay to ask for help. 

There wasn't any shame in being human. 

Last fall seems like a cake walk in comparison to now. But right before we found out about Lily, Brandon and I had a knock down drag out that was ugly. I was reeling from not passing the bar, missing Michigan, and questioning whether or not Arkansas was the right place for me. When truthfully, I hadn't given it a legitimate shot. We also were going through an adjustment period after being apart for a period of time. Like I said, it was ugly. 

Two weeks later, we found out that our daughter was very sick and that if she survived birth, she would go to meet our Maker shortly thereafter.

And that argument seemed insignificant and petty.

I don't know how many of you are familiar with the story of Noah. But here is the gist of it: God told Noah to build an ark and make sure that two of every kind of animal was with him. He also got to take his family with him which included his wife and his sons and their wives. And Noah obeyed God. Here's the kicker - he did all of this before the storm ever came and even after he finished building the ark, the storm didn't come right away. The storm eventually came for forty days and for forty nights. Noah and his family were safe. When God finally destroyed the Earth and all who lived in it, He told Noah and his family to come out. He promised that He would never destroy the Earth in that way again and to show Noah, He meant it, God showed the first rainbow. 

(For a full version of events, see Genesis 6:9-8:22)

I kind of think there are two storms here. There's the obvious one when Noah and his family are at sea, but there was storm before that. I think that Noah was facing a mental storm while he was building the ark for God. I just imagine him to face a ton of ridicule for building a boat so big with no water to put it in and also he must have been wondering if what God had for him with all of this. And yet, he obeyed God and loved God whole-heartedly.

The second storm was just as hard because they lost all their friends and everything they knew to be normal. Their whole world would never be the same.

I so identify with that.

I hate that this is my story and that things aren't fun. Pregnancy is supposed to be a happy thing. But this just isn't. It's a whole lot of sad and trying desperately to find good when there really isn't any.

I've waited a long time to post weekly updates and now it just hurts to think about them. I know I'll want them some day, but being in the moment of things, it just makes me mad.

And I guess that's what I feel most: anger.

We have done so many things that we are supposed to do. We got married first. We got our education. And I know there isn't anything in the Bible about education, but we both wanted to bring children in this world with the best conditions we could. We felt like we could honor God with our family by having good jobs and working hard. It's two ways of being good stewards of the Earth. I'm not saying we are perfect by any means, but we made our best efforts to be obedient to God. We fight for our marriage and take it seriously.

Could we have done better? Yes, we could have. And maybe that's the lesson. I don't know. I know God is faithful to those who obey Him. And obedience is like self-control. It is a life long journey. I've learned that in the past three years of law school and two years of taking care of my health. Fighting to make good decisions is an every day battle. It's one that never ends.

I thought I was making headway on that fight.

Yet here we are in this storm. We got picked for some reason and I'm not sleeping well because there isn't anything I can do to protect my little girl from harm like my dad did.

The Bible tells us that God does not always protect us from trouble or storms, but He cares for us in spite of them. There are a lot of ways He has cared for us in all of this, but there are also ways that it doesn't seem like He has. I know that's because I can't see into the future and I haven't been to heaven to ask the hard questions. It makes me mad.

And I guess that's what part of this is about: I have to truly trust Him and His will for our lives. Not just where I am comfortable with letting go, but where I'm not comfortable letting go too.

I know we will come out stronger as a couple.
I know that we will be more in love with one another that we already are.
I know that there are some things in my own faith that could use some adjusting.
I know that we have made some decisions for Lily that are in obedience to God.
I know that we will be able to help bring people to His kingdom because of this story that others cannot.
I know that we will grow in our faith.
I know that some day I will know why God needed Lily more than I did.

I know that our rainbow will come some day. I just wish I didn't have to go through this awful storm first.

But, then again rainbows can't come without the storms happening first.

And His promises for our family can't come without trusting God completely to make them happen.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

.

.
Hi y'all! The name's Samantha. You can call me Sam if you like. I am a lover to a boy I met at Falls Creek in the summer of 2005, that is a student of Jesus, a Sooner born and Sooner bred and when I die I'll be Sooner dead, Democrat by party, blonde to the core, and oldies but goodies kind of girl.
The Ruby Turtle Hippie Times
<div class="grab-button" margin: 0 auto;"><a href="http://www.therubyturtlehippie.com/" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac293/munchkin_land_designs/BlogDesigns/RubyTurtleTimes/Spring2015/RubyTurtleHippieTimesNewButton1.png" alt="The Ruby Turtle Hippie Times"></div>

Designed By:

Munchkin Land Designs
 
Designed by Munchkin Land Designs • Copyright 2015 • All Rights Reserved