Monday, February 09, 2009

Motivate Me Monday {He gives and He takes away}

I was reading last week about the strength of God; read about Sarah’s optional prompt for MMM posts; and last night decided to share a story with ya'll when Christ’s strength was very evident and prominent in a real life situation. It differs a bit from the theme of the prompt, but still, I was feeling conflicted on whether or not to share {which usually means I should}, so here we are.

When I walked into L&D I came face to face with a beautiful nurse who attended our church. We were attending a large church at the time so aside from names, I didn’t really know this lady, nor did I realize she worked at the hospital. She was exceptionally kind and I was immediately put into a room. Turns out my assigned room nurse was also another sweet lady from our church – I don’t for a second believe any of that was a coincidence.

{Photo, about 1 month prior to delivery} I had a lot of back labor and I remember when I felt my first strong contraction. Family & friends were standing in a circle praying when it came & I made eye contact with both my mom and friend to signal my “what in the world? This flippin’ hurts!” – I think they understood. I always gave my head a fierce no shake when epidural talk occurred, I was more fearful of a needle in my back then the pain. Says the girl who wants a tattoo. Then, at some point I recall begging for the anastegologist – what a nice man he was. I was starving, and all they would offer me was red jello that tasted like it had been frozen in the 1920’s, but it was treated like it had been specially thawed out for me, and maybe the screaming girl in room 12B.

That was an amazing night. I was given immense peace during those 24 hours, and strength that was nothing short of miraculous. I recall being awed at how God created the woman’s body to FEEL their children. I remember feeling such purpose in the whole thing, like maybe I was made for that very moment. I was proud and awed and amazed at the miracles of the night.

When I am in a group of women talking about the ups and downs of labor and childbirth, I can relate. But I rarely chime in. Because my babies died, and well, that fact tends to ruin the story for most.

Within 20 minutes of being at the hospital we were told that without an extremely huge miracle, our babies were not likely to survive birth. I knew that the process we were in was that of parents handing their children over to Jesus. And while people around me seemed to be frantic, I had peace. And a wee bit of morphine, maybe some shock, but I’d like to believe that the strength came from Christ alone.

In my moments of horrifying weakness, our Father stepped in and stepped up to the plate. He became the strength in an awful situation and made it something full of purpose and hope. I don’t want you to walk away from this story sad. Admittedly, there are moments I leave out of my memory, but those 24 hours were ones I will treasure. I recall after our 2nd daughter was born, about 15 minutes after her twin, the only sound that could really be heard was the baby across the hall that had just flew out screaming. My nurse, with tears in her eyes, grabbed my hand and apologized over and over and I kept telling her it was okay, I was okay. There was such purpose in this.

I probably sounded crazy to the people around me. I might sound crazy now. But what I want the focus on here is the fact that in awful, horrid moments, there is a greater strength we have access too. There is Someone who can walk you down paths you're not sure you can even fathom.

I also don’t want to make it sound like life has been a piece of cake since. The grief following this has been very real and a very long process. However there is so much to learn and loss is a great teacher. But that, friends, is a different story for a different time.

On that June night almost 4 years ago, His strength prevailed. The fingerprints of our Father are all over the night. And they are here in what has transpired in the years that followed. The boy that we are hoping to adopt this summer was conceived at the same time as our girls. 3 babies, being crafted together by our Lord. Two of them you read about above, all of their days were ordained. The third walked into my bedroom on Saturday and said “Momma, I was thinfing, and I thinf that Jesus does love me. And I thinf I love him. SO much.”

So do I, sweet one, so do I.

He takes away. And He gives.

*** For more Motivate Me Mondays, visit Like A Warm Cup Coffee.


  1. Thank you for sharing your heart. While I was reading, I thought of the song, Blessed Be Your Name by Matt Redman. There are parts of this song that have struck my heart:

    Blessed Be Your name
    When I'm found in the desert place
    Though I walk through the wilderness
    Blessed Be Your name

    Every blessing you pour out
    I'll turn back to praise
    When the darkness closes in
    Still I will say

    Blessed be the name of the Lord
    Blessed be Your name
    Blessed be the name of the Lord
    Blessed be Your glorious name

    Blessed be Your name
    On the road marked with suffering
    Though there's pain in the offering
    Blessed be Your name

    You give and take away
    You give and take away
    My heart will choose to say
    Lord Blessed be your name

  2. Every time I read about your girls, I get tears in my eyes and so it happens again with this post. But I got even more teary eyed reading about your little boy telling you he loves Jesus, because without Jesus there is no strength. And so He does take away, but oh how wonderful when He gives.

  3. I love you sister! I love your strength, your humility, your candor, your humor, and your faith. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  4. I know I'm not supposed to read that story and walk away sad, but for so many reasons, I do. My Sarah was born on February 25, 2005, but was due in June, when your girls were born. Because I can remember the apologies of the labor and delivery nurses when I heard or saw another baby, or when I held Sarah in my arms. And because when I look at that picture of you, I can see the 13 year old girl I knew years ago, and I'm so sorry that you had to endure that kind of pain.

    I also know that God has a plan for us. A purpose. I know how much I learned about depending on him, sometimes for just the strength to get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other.

    I'm so glad you had them, even for so short a time, glad that we will see our children in heaven one day, sorry that they're not here with us, and so grateful that His fingerprints are all over every day, and that you've seen His plans bear fruit.

    Peace to you, Traci, and Jason too. I'm so amazed by the woman you've become.