One year after exchanging our wedding vows, one miscarriage, and another long - painful pregnancy, we held our beautiful baby girl - alive. One hour later, she was in the Arms of Jesus.
Her name - Elisabeth Jayne.
6 #'s 6 oz. 21 1/2 inches long.
Light brown hair, Dark blue eyes, Looked Just like her daddy.
Perfect. In every way.
Today, 19 years later, my husband and I had a long - overdue outing. We went and ordered the Memorial Stone for the cemetery, with her name, and the names of her twin brothers.
Why we waited for so long, we don't know. It wasn't as if we weren't emotionally ready, nor did we not think about it.
It just wasn't time.
Our Elisabeth's life was a real living testament of how believers rally together in prayer, encouragement, and sustaining one another in burdens.
I was 4 months along in my pregnancy with this little baby girl, and a Dr. ran an ultrasound determining that she was missing her kidneys. He said, "you're baby will not live."
I had a dear friend with me that day, and all I remember is seeing her face, and hearing nothing as she kindly led me to her car, and drove me home. I can remember like it was yesterday, driving along, looking at the other people in their cars, and thinking.. This isn't real. This cannot be real. Everyone is still moving along... and my baby is going to die.
***Learned...When others experience trials in their lives.. life isn't seen thru the same eyes as we are moving about our days with. Still the same truths, the same God, and the same daily tasks,, just seen thru different eyes.
Remembering to treat others in trials with understanding, and not judgement.
I had very little amniotic fluid while carrying Elisabeth. ( the kidneys make the fluid, and she had no kidneys.) The Dr.'s wanted us to induce labor at 4 months. She was incompatible with life.
We chose to carry her. Carry her with knowing that she would not be with us forever.
Each movement was a little more painful as she grew. She was growing and moving, and the lack of fluid caused her movements to feel like I was being bruised.
Did I question my ability to carry this baby till term - emotionally, physically?
Yes. I did.
***Learned- When others are experiencing trials, and they make decisions, or are struggling with answers - do not judge this process. It takes time, it takes prayer, and it takes God's strength to come to His plan. CLINGING onto His Hands is the only way to make these hard decisions. Give people time. Let them work thru their decisions.
At night, I would lay next to my husband, and after he fell asleep, I would get up, and walk and sing, and pray. Many, many nights. I would pray and pray that God would let her know how much I loved this little baby girl moving inside of me.
She was so restless at night.
After singing, and praying she would sleep. She slept, and I prayed.
God gave me this time with her. Forever imprinted on my heart.
As I worshiped in church, I can remember feeling loneliness and despair/anger at times. I remember standing there singing, and Elisabeth would move, and remind of the life that I carried. No one else around me felt that. Did any one really care? Why did I have to be the one to feel this pain? And why were the people I thought cared, shying away?
Were these things really happening?
No. Maybe a little. Maybe a lot.
***Learned- When others are experiencing trials- they can make one of two choices... to let God's strength and love be the ONLY thing that sustains them, and the ONLY thing that really truly matters. Because man will fail them. Not all man, but, as a rule, we do fail others, we fall short.
OR,, they can wait on friends, family , and others to fill a spot that they cannot. These expectations will only allow for anger, and bitterness to fill those spots saved.
Sometimes we do not know were are making the second choice. We may be making a fine balance of both.
Problem.. There is no room for bitterness when it comes to healing.
***Give others unconditional love. They may not see your actions, attempts, and love, and they may never see it. God knows.
Love with expecting nothing in return. Because it may not happen.
A very special friend of mine offered to help me shop for a special blanket, gown, and pretty cap for our Elisabeth. I put her off, and put her off. She gently pushed me to make these decisions.
Being my first baby, I had no idea what to expect.
These offers were so helpful to me. I had another friend who drove me to appointments, and she sat with me and even asked all of the important questions that I didn't/couldn't think to ask.
There were prayer chains set up all over the country for this little baby of ours.
God's people were doing there work. I was numb to much of it.
That's how it is sometimes.
***Learned- Practice what God allows others to minister to you. When God brings you through a difficult time, ALWAYS remember what HE has done. HELP those that come to you in the future, and do not turn them away. Feeling as if you cannot bare to remember those moments, or thinking you do not know what to tell people because there is so much to tell, is turning your back on a gift that God gave you. Ministering to others.
Almost every morning that I wake up - I think this:
"To Whom much is given, Much will be expected!!"
God not only has since blessed me with many children, but more importantly, He carried me thru those trials. THAT was what HE gave ME!"
Elisabeth's birth was very, very difficult. I delivered her breech, with no fluid, and as she was placed in my arms I remember saying, "Oh, thank you Jesus!"
My husband and I spent that precious hour with her. Together. With family. With His Angels around us.
I knew the Holy Spirit's presence that day. Real. By my side. With Comfort and Peace.
A Peace that I could never explain.
A Peace that Passes all understanding.
It was the days to come that were painful. Recovery. Emptiness. Struggling to trust.
***Learned- Let people heal. Don't force the issue. Give them God's Words. Let them know you are there. At all times. Remember that they may shun you. Be there.
Talk. Visit. Be there. Do not turn away from them. We do not always see the healing process as it is that- healing. It is usually felt as a survival mode.
That's ok. The body of believers are meant to uphold one another.
Today was a good day. How can I say that? Because I am able to look back on all that I learned.
A memorial Stone is important to me 19 years later. But, more importantly is the place in my life that she was meant to fill.
That place is filled with grace, mercy, and love- for My Heavenly Father - Who NEVER failed me, and Who Kept me in His Grip- even when I wasn't paying attention.