Wednesday, June 4, 2008

He was there...

Heather over at Desperately Seeking Sanity is hosting a He Meets us Where We Are Carnival & Contest.   I was so touched reading her story and all the others who have signed the Mr. Linky on her site.  So I thought I'd join in on the fun!

God has met me so many times in my life.  I have been trying to figure out which story to share with you, so here's your warning...this may be LONG!

I was raised in a Lutheran church.  My mother was a Sunday School teacher and my dad (although he didn't go), made sure we went to church every Sunday (unless, of course we were sick).  I was a "good girl" growing up.  I wasn't really part of the popular crowd, but I was friends with everyone and included in all groups.  God was there.  I learned a lot in church.

When I was 15ish (sad, I can't remember), a friend asked me to go to a Chrysalis weekend.  I thought it would be a lot of fun, so I agreed!  I don't remember a lot about that weekend, but I do remember all those wonderful letters from friends, family, and people I didn't know.  People all stating how God loved me (something I knew) and that they did too...that struck me as odd.  How can people who don't even know me, love me...but I accepted it and moved on.  God was showing me his love.

During one of the nights there, I remember them having an alter call.  Being a Lutheran, I had no clue what that was all about, but something compelled me to go forward.  I cried...a lot!  I prayed with my table leader...I knew I was changed, somehow, but not exactly sure what had just happened.   God Showed up, and started working on my life.

After that weekend, I went on about my life...but I did something a bit different.  I actually started reading some of my bible.  That was short lived though.  Having no one to hold me accountable, I went back to not reading and just living life the way I had always lived.

I was your typical 16 year old who knew EVERYTHING.  I was grounded often for some reason or another.  I was asked to be my nephew's Godmother...I was so excited! My sister's niece is also his Godmother and we are the same age, so we hung out all day.  That afternoon, the church my sister went to (she left the Lutheran church to go to a non-denominational church after she got married), held a baby shower for her.

When we got home, a friend of mine asked me to go out driving with her.  I had my license, she had her permit, so I would be her licensed driver.  We went cruising in the town we lived in, however, being as it's only a mile square, we ventured out to neighboring cities.  Since I was grounded and it was a school night, I thought that I should be home around 9 pm.  Although, if I was obeying my parents in the first place, I wouldn't have left the house.  I left her house in my cute little sports car little red Chevette and headed back into town.

As I crossed the tracks and started slowing down to meet the speed limit (and yes, I was that type of driver...obeying the speed limits most of the time) at 35.  I see a car coming toward me and crossing over the middle line.  I slow down even more and get close to the cars parked on the side of the road.

In a split second, my car was spinning and the realization that my car was hit.  I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do, I tried getting my driver's door open so I could get out and look at the damage, but the door was jammed.  I looked at my passenger seat and was shocked to see the engine.  It took the EMTs quite some time to get me out of the car.  This was even after yelling at my dad who was trying to help.  God was there...most of the impact was in the passenger side of my car, if that guy would have hit me on the driver side, I wouldn't have been here to tell you about it.

Once I was at the hospital, they had discovered that my right femur bone was broke and the bone was laying on the main artery in my leg.  They had to get traction in my leg and put a rod in the next morning.  God was there...that bone could have punctured my vein and caused me to bleed to death.  You know God was there when the hospital I was brought to had just hired an Orthopedic Specialist and he was in his 1st week there.  I was one of his 1st surgeries at that hospital!  Had he not been there, I would have been transferred to another hospital.

Due to the extent of my injuries, I was told I probably wouldn't be able to have any children.  So, when I started dating my husband, I told him that I may not be able to have children.  He said "that's fine, we'll just adopt."  God was there...showing me that things were going to be alright.

While we were engaged, Kevin started going through the Lutheran classes and my dad joined him.  God was there, using Kevin to bring Dad to him.  Shortly after we were married, we started attending the church my sister attended.  We liked it so well, we decided to become members of this non-denominational church.  And if you thought God was there in my life before, let me tell you, he was about to alter my life forever!

Kevin and I were born again on the same day at our new church, and a few weeks later my parents started attending there too!  The time came to be baptized and I am so blessed to say that I got baptized on the same day as my husband, my mom, AND my dad!!  God showed up that day in a HUGE way!  It changed not only my life forever, but the lives of many in my family too!

A year went by and Kevin and I had talked more and more about wanting children.  I prayed and prayed for a child.  We prayed together for a child.

I was at our Praise and Worship practice and the Guest Hispanic Minister we had at the service was there.  However, his interpretor wasn't.  So in his very broken English, he began to pray over each of the members of our Worship team.  When he got to me, he asked about a baby.  I looked at him and said, "Yes, I want to have a baby"...he prayed, looked at me and said "It's not your fault"...he prayed, looked at me and said "boy"...he prayed and looked at me and laughed saying "boy".  God was there...he healed me that day!

A few months later, I was pregnant with my 1st child!  I knew from the beginning it was a boy, no doubt in my mind!  God showed up and answered my prayer!

3 years later, I got pregnant with my 2nd boy!  God showed up there as well.  We lived in another state and my mother was able to come out at the right moment to be there with me before I had him, during my labor, and after delivery.  Then got to see him 2 weeks later when we moved to yet another state.

Those moves across the country (from OH to CO and from CO to MN) God used those times for Kevin and I to become closer to each other.  We didn't have family to rely on, just God and each other.  Our marriage is solid, would it be if we hadn't moved?  I don't know, I would hope, but it's hard telling.  We grew so much living in CO and MN for those 6 years!

God answered my prayers when Kevin was asked if he wanted to be transferred to OH!  Oh how I had longed to be back in OH with my family, how I had prayed for it.  Shortly after we moved back (we are talking within a month here) I got pregnant again.  Something unexpected, because we thought we were done after having "M" & "N".  God had other plans for us.  The pregnancy caught us off guard, but we were happy.  We knew it wasn't going to be easy since we sold all of our baby items before moving back to OH (Praise God that "N" was still in the toddler bed, which was converted from the crib).  I specifically remember calling my sister telling her and crying because I wasn't sure how we were going to do this and start all over!  We just moved into a 3 bedroom duplex, how are we going to add another baby.  She calmed me down and said not to worry.  God will take care of you.

Fast forward 4 pregnancy was going well, I hadn't gained any weight (apparently since I was overweight before, the doctor's weren't concerned).  The only thing that was causing concern was I was getting bigger (or yet the baby was getting bigger) and I was measuring 4 weeks ahead of where I should be.  So I went in at 18 weeks to get an ultrasound to see if my dates were off.  I took my mom since she had never seen an ultrasound on a baby, and since I was going to be having her last grandchild.  We were shocked when they said twin boys!!  My doctor never once hinted at a multiple!

I would love to say I praised God at this point and it was such a wonderful day...but no!  I freaked out...cried...had a bit of an anxiety attack!  How could I have twins...we weren't even expecting to have 1 child and now I have to have 2!

After about a day or so to process this fact, we were excited.  I was still scared, but excited, nonetheless.  The next couple months I did start gaining weight (funny how I didn't gain an ounce until I knew it was twins) and things started getting a bit rocky.  My blood pressure started rising, I had Braxton Hicks contractions daily, it hurt to walk, I started getting sick some mornings...all normal pregnancy symptoms multiplied.

At 31 weeks, I went in and they couldn't get my blood pressure to go down, so they sent me to a hospital for observation.  Once there, I was informed that I had HELLP Syndrome and my liver and other organs were starting to shut down.  The only cure...Deliver the babies!  God was the midst of this.  He knew Kevin wouldn't make it through a c-section...Kevin had the flu and couldn't come back to the hospital until he was better.  My mom was able to take off work and be with me through the c-section.  God was there because my boys were early and so much could have been wrong with them...immature lungs, learning disabilities, even death, but they are 2 healthy happy boys.  God was with me throughout...God took care of all the little things too.  Our boys were cared for in the NICU for 4 weeks by wonderful caring nurses.  Our boys came home to a houseful of gifts, clothes, beds, etc. from people who cared.  Their mommy came home...God saved me from death yet again!

Want to read others' stories?  Click here and see how God met them!

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