beauty from ashes

its funny how time and distance can finally allow you to share the hard parts of your journey that have made you who you are ….when i started this blog i told my friend i was only doing it with the intent to encourage or inspire someone or cause them to laugh….otherwise there was no point.

so tonight i am writing to encourage anyone out there who is on the brink of loosing everything they have ever loved and a life they thought they wanted…..

tonight i give you the real and raw story of the day and proceeding few days i found out about Zoey’s diagnosis at 20 weeks pregnant,  i saved emails that i sent friends because i hoped one day i could re-read them without feeling like i was dying but knowing i was finally truly living..

so these will just be emails to friends..unedited and only dates to separate the events  i only told 5 friends the day i found out and it would be a very long time before i told anyone else  i just didn’t know trust anyone with such pain.   i didn’t want someones sympathy i wanted someone to not flinch and the 5 friends i chose did just that.  i am forever grateful for these people …my best friend ( one of the 5 ) is in heaven now but she is smiling at this blog post i know.

JUNE 25th 2009  ( the email to the 5)

For those of you who don’t know, our little girl was diagnosed with Down Syndrome last night.  I can’t even begin to tell you the horror and shock that has gone through me as a mother.  When you first find out you are pregnant everything in you lights up and an excitement sweeps over you and you start planning, way into the days ahead you start planning.  Your husband gets giddy because he is about to have ” daddy’s little girl”.  He laughs and jokes about telling all her future boyfriends that ” he isn’t afraid to go back to jail” when they want to take her on a date.

And then you get the call that you couldn’t have seen coming in all your life.  And suddenly in a 2 minute phone call nothing will ever be the same.

I laid in bed thinking last night that surely, surely if your heart hurts this bad you will just die from grief and utter sorrow.  I laid there praying that the sun would just come out again and save me from this claustrophobic darkness.  And it seemed like the harder i prayed the more God kept silent.  I know all of you I am writing to are Jesus followers.  I feel so very alone.  I am watching the most beautiful and wonderful man i have ever known fall completely apart.  He has hit a state of shock where he is sure he can not do this.  I don’t fault him for that feeling, i alone keep having panic attack after panic attack that i will not be able to do this, how do i keep my sons life normal, how do i save my marriage, will there be any happiness surrounding this upcoming baby.  How will people treat her, will she experience any happiness in her life, how sick will she be, what if i lose it all.  It isn’t like it is something they can cure, or give you hope for a cure.  I know there really isn’t anything anyone can say, just being there is what i have realized i need most.

JUNE 25th ( reply to one of the 5)

I told my dad on the phone today,  during the darkness of the night last night,  you really feel like the pain that has come and grief you are bearing will certainly make your heart stop, and i just lay there all night feeling isolated and shut in by overwhelming darkness just praying that daylight would come and that i would survive.  My husband and I are still not on the same page.  I truly don’t fault him for this.  It is a devastation that only people like you and others who have heard news like this can fully appreciate.  He is a perfectionist and problem solver and this situation fits neither of those criteria.  It is a hard thing for him to wrap himself around.  I am just praying for him because right now it is so hard to watch him hurt so bad and for me to feel lie i am the cause of his pain since i just can not get rid of this baby, and one day i would like to feel like he still thinks this baby i going to be a blessing to him.  I just hurt intensely for him.  I feel like i need to have the strength for the both of us right now and i just keep having panic attacks that maybe i won’t.  Maybe i can’t do this, maybe i will lose everything.  I don’t feel i have a choice though, life doesn’t just stop because your own little world is falling apart.  THis is what has been given to me and i am just going to have to keep moving forward.  I am so encouraged by your words of ” you wouldn’t change gracie for all the normal babies in the world” …since this is all so new to me ( we are like 18 hours into this news) i had never stopped to even consider that i might have that attitude one day.  i am praying more than anything that she is just what you said ” daddies little girl” ..that is what steve wanted so bad, and he sees his dreams and i do to at the moment of just being crushed  RIght now i feel like i am in automatic mode, i feel so numb and cry at the drop of a hat, i just keep doing the daily routines you do because i have to and they keep a normalcy going.  I will probably call you at some point, right now i am doing good to just email.  The words don’t come out of my mouth well, they just get jumbled up in tears.  Thank you for sharing what i wrote to you earlier, because now i need those words, she really is either going to be a miracle, or God is going to use her in ways we could never dream or see right now.  I just have to hold onto that and hold onto friends and family who are so encouraging.  I am so thankful that you have been down this road because God knew i would need someone like you to throw me a life line and assure me that the dark is going to pass, it doesn’t look that way now but if i just keep breathing, and connecting the dots….one day..

JUNE 26th ( email to one of the 5)

if you only knew how comforting your words are, it is truly something i needed this morning.  I felt last night that i had hit the depths of the low that i could ever go to.  Steve got home early from work and I could tell in his eyes that he was so very angry.  I put Cristos down for a nap and the doctor called.  Steve came in and wanted to know what we had been discussing and then asked ” have you made up your mind” i said ” yes i am keeping her” ….i had decided that from the beginning but i think he really thought i would change my mind.  he looked at me with such disdain and said ” you  know this will ruin us” ..grabbed his keys..stormed out and said ” i will be back later” ….i thought ” it has really happened…i am loosing everything”

I started to think, that maybe i would be raising this child on my own, and i tried to figure out how, ….how in 15 years you can go from having the man of your dreams who has never shown anything but love and respect and provided for us and just been my very best friend…to all the sudden in 24 hours, decide that it just isn’t worth it and it just wasn’t going to work anymore.

after he left i called my parents in shell shock and somehow managed to drive to their house 45 minutes away.  while there i got a text from steve who said he was home and sorry he left me and he would not leave me alone again and that we were in this together and he was sorry if he had forgotten that.  i was comforted by his words but when i got home i just found him crying on our back porch swing, he cried all night and we didn’t really speak except the necessaries.  he is still in bed now.  i know he is ” here” but i feel like a HUGE piece of him has died and i wonder if it will ever come back.  i wonder if we will ever just be ” in love” and not consumed by all this.

i prayed for a healthy baby i kept thinking and i too kept thinking about God saying ” He would give you the desires of your heart” and make all your plans succeed.  And then we found out she could have downs, i prayed that GOd would just give us a healthy baby and that He would just intervene and then we got the positive ultrasound that all 30 points showed no signs of down syndrome, and for a few days i felt so good and so did steve and then the results came in from the amneo, and at that exact moment i felt like i was watching my entire world slip away.

i felt every plan that Steve and I had come up with and all the places we wanted to go and see in this world we would never be able to anymore because this little girl would need us her entire life, and what about MY LIFE and MY MARRIAGE am i just supposed to sacrifice EVERYTHING.

I guess more than anything right now, I just miss my marriage.  I think i could almost handle any and all of this if i felt i would still have Steve when it is all said and done.  For me right now the down is one thing, i am one minute feeling confident that we will survive ( she and i ) and the next feeling so scared that it will be much more than i can handle.  But that aside, i walk around our house and look at all the pictures of a life time steve and i have built together and the hurt and loss i feel from  realizing i may never get that back is more than i can bear right now.  i just need him to say , it will be ok, we will make it through, i need to see light in his eyes again and not such hurt and anger.  It is horrible to feel so alone in a marriage when you  know how it used to be.

I too have just stopped reading all the things the internet says on down, i know there are levels , i know all of it comes with some degree of learning disability and right now that is as much as i can handle.  If you start reading all the stuff they do say on it i start to feel like i can’t breathe.  We wont even know what degree or level of downs she has until she is actually here.  I am just going to try to do this one day at a time and keep planning and putting her room together.  I guess that is something I will do without Steve.  I wish there was excitement around this pregnancy again like there was in the beginning. He was happy and excited at one time and now that is gone.

JUNE 28th ( an email to one of the 5)

I come and go in waves.  yesterday i had a day that was lighter and where for a while i felt like i could just breathe enjoying little mindless things.  today has not been so good, we are at the beach and i see all these cute little girls running in their little tiny cute bathing suits and playing up adn down the beach and it makes me sad because i realize that those were the dreams i had for our little girl.

i have in this journey felt what it really means to have others praying for you, because there have been moments where i knew the ONLY thing getting me through was being lifted up by others and placed on the altar of God adn trusting that He would take care of me.  I have had moments when i can’t sleep and all the sudden have encouraging thoughts run through my head that i know only God can send.   I am sincerely humbled by all the people who have taken my case nad the case of my family before God.   I like the way my dad’s secretary said it after my dad told her she said ” she was going to put me on her church prayer list because we had ” the medical report, but we were going to wait and see what God’s report was going to be”

When i feel i can i am going to pray for a “miracle baby”  i realize people may think i am crazy for doing that but i am still going to do just that , i am going to pray for that and if it isn’t Gods plan i will still love her because i know she is a ” miracle baby” in a way that i just don’t  know yet, but i am going to pray for her complete healing between now and birth.  I am going to pray that the desires of my heart for her could be a reality.

I am going to pray for Steve, this has been the hardest test of our marriage we have ever had to walk through , and in all honesty i don’t see us making it through this.  that was more devastating to me than anything but God sent me a ray of light in that respect and we are working through this together, it is going to take work, but anything worth having always comes at a cost.

i am hanging on to devotions that i am reading

right now 5 days into it, i am just living off other people’s positive words and the prayers they say they are praying for me and my family.  you all are my life line right now.  as my friend told me yesterday ” God sent you a good day yesterday, He will send more…”

He keeps promising that His strength will equal my days, that He has his way in the flood.  I keep reading these devotionals again and again , and i keep reading Angela Thomas ” When wall flowers Dance where she says in the book ” In my darkest hour it was like God said …well angela….what do you think you can do today…and she says…i think i could turn the washing machine on..and GOd says…Good…that is good and enough for today”  that i show i feel right now…like today i can put my feet on the floor in the morning and maybe shower and breath…and God says..good pk…that is enough for today

DEVOTIONAL THAT KEPT ME GOING 

Never dread any consequences resulting from absolute obedience to His command.  Never fear the rough waters ahead, which through their proud contempt impede your progress.  God is greater than the roar of raging water and the mighty waves of the sea.  THE LORD SITS ENTHRONED OVER THE FLOOD, the Lord is enthroned as King Forever.  ( ps 29;10) A STORM IS SIMPLY THE HEM OF HIS ROBE, THE SIGN OF HIS COMING, AND THE EVIDENCE OF HIS PRESENCE!

Dare to trust Him dare to follow him then discover that the forces that blocked your progress and threatened your life become at His command the very materials He uses to build your streets of freedom.

Have you come to the Red Sea in your life, where in spite of al you can do …there i NOW WAY OUT there is NO WAY BACK, there is no other way BUT THROUGH

THen wait on the Lord with a trust serene Till the night of your fear is gone..He will send the wind, He will heap the floods, When He says to your soul, MOVE ON

And His hand will ead you through-clear through…ere the watery walls roll down..No foe can reach you, no wave can touch, no mightiest sea can drown…The tossing billows may rear their crests their foam at your feet may break…but oer the seabed you will dry groung..in teh path that your Lord will make

In the morning watch, neath the lifted cloud..You will see but the Lord alone…When He leads you on from IMG_7518the place of the sea to a land that you have not known…and your fears will pass as your foes have passed ..you will be no more afraid..You will sing His praise in a better place…

A place that His hand has made

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8 thoughts on “beauty from ashes

    1. thank you!! that is the only reason i finally relented and started writing i just want to encourage people or make them laugh or let them know they are not alone in their struggles …thanks so much for taking the time to respond with such affirming words 🙂

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  1. Oh goodness. This brought back all the emotions from those first days. You know I saved all the emails I originally sent out when we found out about Grace, and then my computer crashed. But not before I was able to send you your very own words of encouragement to me. Funny how it seems that it was meant for you. God works in amazingly mysterious ways. What a journey! As I was reading your post, I thought of Elijah and how he encountered the Lord – there was a great mighty wind yet the Lord was not in the wind, there was an earthquake and a fire, yet He was not in the fire. But after….there was a small whisper…Isn’t that how our encounters are? Its always the storms of life that seem to get us ready to hear from God. AW Tozer says that “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply.” When we come to the realization that our plans cannot stand apart from God, when life falls apart, it is then that we are emptied of all expectations and pride that the calm comes. And that is when we can hear God speak.

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    1. What a beautiful response!! It would seem God has always intended us to be together obviously not locationally but joined at the heart.
      You were one of God’s chosen 5 to see me through and prove to me He was still with me. Thank you for surrounding me with so much love and for every word God spoke through you to me ♥️♥️😱

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  2. Oh goodness. This brought back all the emotions from those first days. You know I saved all the emails I originally sent out when we found out about Grace, and then my computer crashed. But not before I was able to send you your very own words of encouragement to me. Funny how it seems that it was meant for you. God works in amazingly mysterious ways. What a journey! As I was reading your post, I thought of Elijah and how he encountered the Lord – there was a great mighty wind yet the Lord was not in the wind, there was an earthquake and a fire, yet He was not in the fire. But after….there was a small whisper…Isn’t that how our encounters are? Its always the storms of life that seem to get us ready to hear from God. AW Tozer says that “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply.” When we come to the realization that our plans cannot stand apart from God, when life falls apart, it is then that we are emptied of all expectations and pride that the calm comes. And that is when we can hear God speak.

    Like

  3. God has made you His instrument for sharing with others. Your story is of true love, faith and healing. It shows God’s purpose is greater than our own.

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