Thursday, December 20, 2012
So on sunday I gave my testimony at church, I had really been feeling led to talk about how richly God had blessed us since the summer time. I kept telling Him that I was too chicken and that I wouldn't do a good job and that it would make people think that He wasn't good. I thought I would mumble and stutter and that it would be useless. What I had prayed and hoped would happen was that I would be a vessel that would encourage and uplift people. On sunday morning I woke up nauseous and totally anxious. I told God that I changed my mind and I couldn't do it. But He gently reminded me that it was HIM working through me and that He would be there right along beside me. So I got ready and when my pastor called me up I was already nearly in tears. But my wonderful Pastor offered to stay right next to me so I wouldn't feel so alone, so that was hugely helpful. The following is my testimony about how much God has blessed us in the last several years.... "As a child I had a dream of growing up and being just like my mom, a kind, compassionate loving mom who was ALWAYS there for us. As I grew that dream changed to become a nurse, a wife, and mother loving on whoever God placed in my path. I pictured being married and pregnant having easy healthy pregnancies and chubby full term babies. That my kids would be healthy and that I would be that soccer mom running all over the place from Kid's Church, to music practice, to soccer, to gymnastics etc. My dreams however weren't God's plan for me or my family. The last nearly seven years of my life have been tremendously challenging. I have lost a baby, and have had three complication filled pregnancies. I was told with both of my boys that there was a high likelihood that the babies wouldn't survive to birth. But God prevailed! My boys are a testimony to God's greatness. He has brought them through so much. Their health has been a near constant roller coaster ride since birth. I can't even tell you how many times I have held one of my children as they are put under general anesthesia. As their eyes roll back in their head and they go limp in my arms, my heart cries and I feel like my heart is being ripped out of my chest. In these moments God always comes to my rescue. Whether it is through the arms of a loved one, a stranger, a scripture verse God always sends to me, or a song that speaks to my heart, HE knows just what I need. The last two years have really been overwhelming and often scary. Towards the end of my pregnancy with preston things were incredibly stressful, finances were tight, Sam's health was not good, and emotions were high. But as always God revealed Himself in wonderful ways. So many people rallied around us. Prayers, phone calls, texts, emails and visits from those who loved us brought us through. When Preston was born the doctors were caught off guard by his inability to breath on his own, but God strengthened him and soon he was home with us. It wasn't long before Preston contracted meningitis. Again another very scary time, and again God's people rallied around us and helped us get through. This past year the needs were many, but God's provision is AMAZING!!! -our computor broke and someone showed up at our door and gave us another one. -I was stressing because I didn't have snacks for Sam for school, and I didn't have grocery money for another day. And then Matt came home with a bag of treast from wednesday night church! We weren't asking but God saw the need and provided, and has continued to provide these special treasts just at the most perfect times. -when I was so overwhelmed with Sam's new diagnosis and trying to cook appropriately for him, a friend started researching and making Sammy safe food and helped stock my freezer for him! - For the nearly two weeks when Preston was recently in the hospital the people that love us again surroudned us with love and support. Every need was met, Sam and Sophia were loved on and brought to and from school, meals were provided, hugs were given, prayers were said. When an encouraging word/hug, or shoulder to cry on was needed God always provided it. -with the finances being so tight obviously it is hard getting clothing for the kids as they grow so quickly. Three different families have given me clothes for Sam and Sophia! I can't even begin to say the blessing these clothes have been. -I have been so sad that my siblings have been moving away, that my kids wouldn't be surrounded by all their aunties and uncles that love them anymore, but God has provided many more "aunties" and "uncles" that are loving on my kids so wonderfully. We certainly have had many heartbreaking struggles through these last few years. And as I have held down one of my kids so they could be poked and prodded, I have cried out to God to allow me to take their place, to take their pain. But I can't and in the midst of the hurting times, there is beauty, joy, hope, and thankfulness. God always brings us through. An amazing friend has become a prayer warrior for me, a sister to me, an auntie to my kids, an encourager, a miraculous blessing. I can't even begin to say the blessing God has provided me with her. She has introduced me to some beautiful songs that speak to these moments in our lives... "How would I know you could deliver, how would I know you could set free, if there had never been a battle how would I know the victory. How would I know you could be faithful to meet all of my needs. Lord I appreciate the hard times otherwise how would I know?" (Kathy Troccoli How would I know) " Even if the healing doesn't come and life falls apart, and dreams are still undone. You are God and you are good forever faithful one, even if the healing doesn't come, even if the healing doesn't come" (Kutless Even If) "Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops, what if your healing comes through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know your near? What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?" (Laura Story Blessings) I don't know where your life is at or the struggles you face, but I do know without a doubt that God is with you, as He has been with us. We aren't promised that things will be easy, but that He will be with us. Do I wish that my boys weren't sick? YES!!! But if they were healthy, I wouldn't have had the blessing of knowing so deeply God's comfort and peace. I wouldn't have had the blessing that God has poured out on our family. God loves us through you, thank you for being His hands extended to us through this trial. The people that pray for us, that give that extra hug, and reach out in so many ways are what is getting us through. Be strong He is with you, no matter what you are going through!!!