History (from Greek - historia, meaning “inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation”) is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. (I just love Wikipedia!). So we know history…what is HERstory??? For now I am waiting for the stories to be told, but on this page, I hope to share the lives of some of the amazing women I know or know of: their journey and the lessons they can share with us. Pray that God will bring Girls who are willing and able to share their stories!
This is the continuation of my dear friend’s journey to motherhood. You can read the first part here. In her life I see her mothering with gratitude and love. Read on and see how God prepared her heart to mother in that way:
When you have struggled with infertility, you think that once you get pregnant the worst is over. But that is not always the case. The day my pregnancy was confirmed, I started to spot. My doctor said not to worry, that this happens often during pregnancy. By the seventh week of my pregnancy (I know many women do not even know they are pregnant at that time), I was put on modified bed rest at home. I had to take it easy. We knew my cervix was not what it should be, but we hoped that, as long as I stayed off my feet, all would be fine.
At 16 weeks, I was admitted to the hospital. My husband was traveling. I was having lots of bleeding and I need to have a procedure to sew my cervix closed. The hospital gave me the best chance for keeping my babies. I was blessed to be in a hospital across the street from my church, so I had frequent visits from my Sunday school class and my pastor, as well as co-workers, friends and neighbors. Unfortunately my family was 5 1/2 hours away.
I had to stay in bed 24/7. It was probably the scariest time of my life. I had prayed so hard for these babies for years. Now I was pregnant and very afraid that I was going to lose them. When I had imagined getting pregnant, I had all these great fantasies of shopping for fun baby items, wearing maternity clothes, planning and decorating the nursery…well, my situation was not what I’d had thought it would be, but once again as I did during the fertility treatments, I claimed Jeremiah 29:11. I knew God had a plan for us; I just had to believe that these sweet babies I was carrying were going to be part of it.
As days turned into weeks, my sweet husband made me a count down calendar to reach our different goals in the pregnancy. And each week a NICU team came into my room to explain what would be wrong with my children, if they were born that week. First they told us our first goal was to reach viability, as they would not try to save them if they had not reached that point. Then we worked toward 28 weeks, then 31 weeks, etc. On each day of the calendar, there was a verse that gave one of God’s promises. Each morning, my nurses came in to my room to open my blinds and tear off a sheet on my calendar. I believe those nurses were just as blessed by the verses as I was. One of the scriptures our pastor reminded me of often during his visits was from Psalm 139.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mothers womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13-14).
It reminded me that God had created these children. I knew that He had a plan for them too.
At twenty two weeks, I had to have a second procedure to sew my cervix closed once again, and it was really scary. I just never felt like I could relax. I had a scrap book, and a pregnancy journal, but I was too afraid to write in both. In my heart, I knew God had brought us this far and I felt He wouldn’t possibly let us lose them now. Yet, while I was there, there were other women in the hospital who had lost twins or triplets pretty far into their pregnancy, so I still struggled with fear.
As the days went on throughout my pregnancy, I passed my time by crocheting baby blankets for my babies. I made a green one, a blue one, and a pink one. I was so nervous when I finished the last one. I was 31 weeks along in my pregnancy. My goal was 33 weeks. A friend of mine had triplets at 33 weeks and they were healthy – so I was praying for the same.
During week 31, I was on the telephone with a friend and I noticed my face didn’t look right quite right. I got very worried. Thankfully my friend was a physician’s assistant and told me that I must have had Bell’s Palsy. Bell’s palsy is a form of facial paralysis resulting from a dysfunction of the facial nerve that results in the inability to control facial muscles on the affected side. I pressed my nurse call button, and within minutes my doctor was in my room, and I was seeing a neurologist. I have to say it was not fun having Bell’s Palsy! My food fell out of my mouth, I looked different etc.; however I wouldn’t change it for the world. One of the treatments the doctor gave me was steroids. I had been given steroid shots earlier in my pregnancy, at 25 weeks, to develop the babies’ lungs if born early, but they had worn off by that point.
I had an emergency c-section 1 week and 6 days later, and I delivered a 4lb 6oz. boy, 3 lb 14oz. girl, and a 3lb 9 oz baby boy. They were alive! I didn’t realize how scared I had been all those months in the hospital, until I heard the medical staff say, “They are alive!” God’s plan for me was at work the whole time. Even my Bell’s Palsy was a blessing. As a result of the steroid shots, my babies’ lungs were basically healthy. They were preemies but my daughter was on a ventilator for just five days, one of my boys was on room air, and my other son was on a c-pap machine for only 10 hours. Praise the Lord I had healthy children.
And finally after four months in the hospital for mommy and five weeks for my precious babies, our family was together, and home from the hospital, for good.
Eight and a half years later, do I have stressful days as a Mommy? Of course! Do I spend so much time on my knees praying that I need knee pads? Absolutely! However, I will never stop thanking God for the precious gifts we were given. Do I wish my story were normal, easier, maybe with less drama? Sometimes yes, but mostly no, because through all the impossibilities, God showed Himself to be the Maker of Miracles we read about it the Bible. I am so thankful for my three miracle babies. I just think back 12 years ago, to where this story began, to realize how special their beginning was and how full of purpose their lives are – and because of them I have come to know God in a very personal way.
That Triplet Mom, the lady with the triplets, that busy mommy…those are the names people give me, but that doesn’t bother me. I am not a mom who fears I have “lost my identity” after becoming a stay-at-home mom. I craved those names. I have always wanted children. When I got married, we thought it would be just a couple of years until we would start our family. I married my husband 14 years ago; however it took almost 6 years for me to become a mom.
It never occurred to me that I might not be a mom. That was always just the plan: get married, have kids. When I imagined being a mom, for some reason I always felt like I would have twins. I can’t explain why, but I just saw myself with twins. One thing that never occurred to me was that I wouldn’t have children at all.
Once my sweet husband and I had been married a couple of years, and I had completed graduate school and started working a bit, we decided it was time to have kids. So we started trying, knowing that it could take us a few months to conceive. According to our timetable, I would get an extra year or so of work under my belt, before I began to stay at home with our children. Lucky us! We got an extra three years of me working. Hah, that was our first indication that we were not the ones making the plans!
Each month, I eagerly anticipated the day that I could take “the test”. I have never been the most patient person. I would take the test on the earliest day possible. Month after month it was the same result: not pregnant. I began to get really discouraged; I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t happening for us. I would mentally go through all the reasons why it should…we were happily married; we loved the Lord; we both had jobs and a stable income; we loved children… What was missing? Why couldn’t we conceive? Why could a sixteen-year-old high schooler get pregnant by accident but I, a late twenty-something married lady, couldn’t get pregnant on purpose? Why?
My sweet husband just kept telling me, “Relax, it will happen. These things take time.” But I knew he was starting to get frustrated as well. Finally after over a year of trying to have children with no success, I went to see my doctor. He suggested I have surgery to take care of my endometriosis. I had the endometriosis surgery and a few more procedures that followed, but months later, we were still not pregnant.
We finally decided it was time to seek the help of a fertility specialist. We met with a wonderful doctor, and decided to start with a procedure called IUI. IUI is intrauterine insemination, which is also known as artificial insemination. This is an in-office procedure, whereby sperm is placed directly into a woman’s uterus to aid in conception (justmommies.com). I had this procedure and we were very excited about the possible success. Sadly, the IUI did not work. I was “not pregnant” once again. We met with our doctor and he recommended IVF, In-Vitro-Fertilization, which involves combining eggs and sperm outside the body in a laboratory. Once an embryo or embryos form, they are then placed in the uterus (WebMD.com).
Fertility treatments are very expensive and we were so blessed that I was working for a company that completely covered all of my procedures. This allowed us to be free of financial strain though we were still under stress from the treatments. So many couples are faced with both, and it makes the process that much more difficult. At this time, I started going to an infertility support group. It was very helpful to have women who understood my plight, but also very scary to hear the other women’s stories of failed attempts at various fertility treatments. I tried not to get discouraged. During the entire process, I felt frustrated and often sad, many times I asked God, “Why me, why can’t I have a child? What could possibly be the reason?” I just really didn’t understand.
I have to share with you that during the time when we were trying so desperately to have children, many of my friends were having babies of their own. I have always been told I have the gift of hospitality and so, you guessed it! When my friends were having babies, I was the one hosting and planning their baby showers. It was really tough to pull up my big girl panties and put on a happy face, but I knew that I could just not be that person, you know, the bitter girl in the corner. However, if my true feelings during that time were known, I probably was that bitter girl on the inside. I remember once, after a baby shower at my house, I was cleaning up and chatting with the mom-to-be. She thanked me for the shower. But before she left, she asked me if it was hard for me to give a baby shower when I was struggling to have children of my own? She was not trying to hurt my feelings, she was just concerned. I remember that night crying to my husband, “Is this really how it is going to be? Will we really not ever have any children?” I spent many hours on my knees, in prayer, during that time.
We started the injections to prepare for IVF and I turned into a very crazy person at that time. God bless my sweet husband, I’m certain that I was driving him crazy too! We had the retrieval procedure on the day before Thanksgiving and the transfer three days later. When our embryos were transferred, our doctor was concerned that they were not of “good quality”. Because of this, he recommended that we have three embryos transferred. The doctor thought we would have been lucky if just one of them implanted.
Two weeks later I had the blood test to confirm my pregnancy in my doctor’s office. Patience-challenged me, I had already taken 12 home pregnancy tests with positive results. But it wasn’t until the doctor confirmed the pregnancy, that I could believe it was true! We were ecstatic! The most exciting part was our doctor told us that he had a feeling there were twins given our extremely high blood values of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone is produced by the placenta shortly after the embryo attaches to the uterine lining and builds up rapidly in your body in the first few days of pregnancy (americanpregnancy.org).
The day before Christmas Eve, we had our ultrasound. As our doctor was looking at our baby on the screen, he informed us we were having, not one, but two babies. It was twins! We were ecstatic. A few minutes later, his nurse asked him to look again. To the surprise of us all, I was carrying TRIPLETS! That was the best Christmas present we could have ever received! We were thrilled! We couldn’t wait to tell our families! We were so thankful. Somehow, I had always believed I was meant to be a “mother of multiples”, and I was thrilled that it was three. The Lord had answered my prayers above and beyond what I had asked. I am three times blessed! While we were going through our time of infertility, I couldn’t understand why could not have a child. But during my prayers, I claimed Jeremiah 29:11. I had to trust in God’s plan. I just didn’t realize what an amazing plan it was!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
After all of our struggles, we thought we were in the clear, but that was when my pregnancy got a little tricky. More on that next week…
The WEBlog…A blog (a portmanteau of the term web log) is a personal journal published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first. Blogs are usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often are themed on a single subject. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. (Wikipedia strikes again!).
There are thousands and thousands of blogs. Fashion blogs. Food Blogs. Political Blogs. Hobby Blogs. And lots of mommy-blogs…mothers blogging about their children, families, faith, the list goes on. I only follow a few blogs regularly and four of them are bee-u-tiful blogs by mommies just sharing their lives and hearts. They tell their own HERstories. They all have neat photos and posts. Coincidentally, they all homeschool – like me! But that is not why I follow them. I have enjoyed getting to know about the hearts and lives of these special women. I think you will too!
Ree Drummond shares the Confessions of a Pioneer Woman. She lives on a ranch in Oklahoma now, but she was a city girl right up until she married “Marlboro Man” (name not so much about the cigarettes, really about the icon from the advertising campaign). Ree, a.k.a. “Pioneer Woman” a.k.a. “PW” a.k.a. “P-Dub” a.k.a. “P-Widdy-Dub-Diddy”…and the list goes on…is an awesome cook (has TWO cookbooks published, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from and Accidental Country Girl and The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier), an “amateur” photographer (the photos look professional to me!), star of a Food Network Show, a big-hearted momma, a loving wife and a wonderful writer. She is hilarious, colorful, imaginative, and humble. She loves her animals and her people too. Did I mention she is hilarious? I think the thing I love best about reading her posts is she is really, really, real. And SO hilarious (you HAVE to click the link to read my all-time favorite).
Ann Voskamp…I ran across her name so many times on (in)courage. It is a Christian blog network and website that seeks to build community between christian women, bloggers and readers alike. I saw her book everywhere One Thousand Gifts…it is a smashing success. It still sits on my nightstand, so close, waiting for me to carve some time out of my schedule. I plan to bring it with me on the girls retreat next month (I am making good on my goal to get over my fear of traveling alone). The only thing am worried about is all the crying on the airplane – from the book I mean. Then I decided to read her “journal”. Every post she writes tears at my heart. She is vulnerable and wounded, yet triumphant and grateful all at once. She shares her deepest hurts, composing word-pictures and poetry along the way. Her posts are…lyrical, I guess is the best term. Here is how she describes herself: I’m Ann Voskamp, a plain Ann without even the fanciful “e”, wife to The Farmer, mama to six, and honestly, I’m a bit of a mess. It’s okay, really. Grace is the most amazing of all. She blogs at a holy experience. And lately she seems to be everywhere! Oh and she takes amazing photographs too – now I don’t know anything about the technical aspect. Just the tug at your heart part. Funny, though she is an overnight success in the publishing world, at home she lives a quiet life (if you can ever call being a mother to six “quiet”), on a farm, in Mennonite country in Canada. It looks like a beautifully wild place to live.
I stumbled across We are THAT Family…you know the ones. I loved reading how she came to realize that SHE, Kristen Welch, had become a mother to “THAT Family” – the ones making all the mistakes. She shares about how all of her aspirations to be the “perfect” mothers were shattered when, well, when she actually had kids! I SOOOO get that! She was always a supporter of Compassion International and so she was asked to visit Africa and blog about it, to share the personal stories with her readers. It changed her life and she has never looked back. She met Maureen in Kenya, a phenomenal young girl rescued from poverty by Compassion International on behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that relationship launched a ministry. They opened The Mercy House to save young Kenyan girls from back-alley abortions. These girls are very often rape victims. They are castoffs in a society full of castoffs. Mercy House is making a difference. Spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially, educationally and financially - these girls are cared for during their pregnancies, during their time at Mercy House. They are taught life skills, heart skills, soul skills, and they learn to earn an honorable income by creating jewelry and art, which is sold at The Mercy Shop. Kristen’s hope and Maureen’s story compelled my husband and I to sponsor two boys through Compassion and support the Mercy House monthly. God is making a difference, through big time operations like Compassion and small mom and pop (Kristen’s husband Terrell is behind her 100%) ministries. God is working in the lives of those in need and those of us who have been blessed so that we may be a blessing to others. Oh, and Kristen also has a book! Don’t Make Me Come Up There: Quiet Moments for Busy Moms.
Finally, I have an old friend. Ok she is NOT old…unless I am, which come to think of it… Anyway, we were friends when we were chasing after the wrong kind of approval, searching for our self-esteem, thinking we knew who we were, but totally off track. And God worked mightily in both of us, separately. And when He brought us back together, almost twenty years later, we were amazed at how our different journeys led us to the same place – at the feet of Jesus. She is Grateful for Grace, GFG. Like me, she does not use her name when she blogs. She is a passionate homeschooler to six funny, loving, incredible kids. Unlike me, yet like all my favorite blogs, she posts TONS of pictures of her family doing all sorts of creative and amazing things. Like making bread, the homemade-grind-your-own-flour-kind, and salsa, the homemade-cut-up you-own-homegrown-peppers-and-tomotoes-kind…and those are just two of her KIDS! She has her own skill-set. Or should I say skillet-set? She stunned her small town community when she, on her first try, ran away with the skillet-throwing trophy from the country fair! The action photos are the beeest! I really need to get some more time with my camera! But what I really love about GFG is her heart. She is painfully honest about her own journey and full of grace and compassion for others. She also has an unflinching, uncompromising faith. She is unabashedly loyal to her husband (like all of my favorite bloggers). But my most favorite posts (I know y’all, that is sooo southern), other than the skillet-throwing (which is better for me because I can totally imagine her doing that!!), are about her dear mom, who she lost a few years ago to ALS,Lou Gehrig’s disease, and the step-father who walked her mom home. GFG is a fun blog about real life and how God can make miracles out of everyday life – I think all the blogs have that in common too!
And so, I hope you might find something here that you did not know about…because if you do, you’ll see how much you’ve been missing! I am inspired and encouraged regularly by these Christian women. We do not live close to one another, attend the same church, or even homeschool the same way, and except for GFG, I have never met any of them. But we all have a mutual friend, Jesus. And God has helped me through a bit of a lonely spot this year, as I have learned to find my own writing voice and have loved to listen to theirs. WEBlog? WeBLOG…
justAgirl…just like you! a.k.a. “britta” :) a.k.a “I need photography lessons!”
This is the HERstory of an incredible young lady. When I was her age, I was a prodigal daughter to my Heavenly Father…I am thankful that God is compassionate and merciful and will use the choices we make (good and bad) to build us up into the people He planned for us to be. Hallie’s choices are so different from those of many people her age (and beyond); and in sowing obedience to God, she has reaped a harvest of faith and love. She is a credit to her church (of which I am a member), her earthly parents, and her Heavenly Father. I know you will enjoy meeting her!
Hi! I’m Hallie. I’m 20 years old, a junior at Mississippi College, and I just got back from a semester of a lifetime. Over the past year and a half God has done incredible things to bring me from belief in Him to a relationship, walking day by day, with Him. I was so excited when Britta asked if I would share my story because it’s one that couldn’t have possibly happened without God’s hand in every step of the way, and I love sharing it with the hope of inspiring others to step beyond their comfort zones.
My sophomore year was one of a lot of growth and change in my life. I had gotten super involved on my small college campus at the beginning of college, signing up to do anything and everything that was offered. By the middle of sophomore year, I was burned out. I remember hearing God whispering to pray for something bigger, and as I began to pray, almost immediately, He began to show Himself in my life in incredible ways.
I now realize that I had been giving all of my commitments a place that was actually God’s, and He wanted to take the place that was rightfully His. The first weekend back from Christmas break, I prayed for God to change my heart to reflect His will instead of simply giving me the things that my human heart wanted right then. The next weekend, my roommate Kristen came back from a weekend away with the news that she was going to Africa for two weeks this summer. I was thrilled for her but impatiently wanted God to reveal His plans to me like I saw Him doing in Kristen’s life. My small mind couldn’t see past the immediate present to what He was preparing me for.
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him. 1 Cor 2:9
In late February, my mom sent me a link to a blog that God has since used in incredible ways to focus my heart as well as change my parents’ hearts. KissesFromKatie.blogspot.com –if you haven’t read her story, stop now and go read it. This girl has faith…and thirteen daughters…in Uganda…at the age of 22. After reading her blog, my heart wanted nothing more than to jump on a plane and head to Uganda, so I asked my parents if I could take a semester off. My dad said a resounding “No” to Africa at first, and asked me to pray some more about even leaving school in the first place. The one thing we agreed on was that God would have to do something incredible to make him change his mind and allow me to go to Africa, and God did. Less than a month later, I had permission from my dad to explore the options of going to Africa for a semester.
Through another divine appointment involving my parents and our associate pastor, the Rafiki Foundation was brought to my attention. This was the same organization that my roommate was going to Ghana with. I knew almost immediately that this was probably the organization that God had in mind for me. My parents wanted a stable and reputable foundation that we had connections with. Rafiki had all of the above. I got accepted to be a mini-missionary and attended training in May.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
After training, I got the final approval from my parents, only after convincing my mom to come with me for the first two weeks. We left for Uganda on September 7th, and it was an experience that will continue to shape my life for the rest of my life.
Rafiki is not what you think of when you think of orphans in Africa. There are no starving kids here. These children are thriving. Children that were once orphans now have a home and a mother and knowledge of Jesus, their Savior. Rafiki’s goal is not to feed thousands, but to take in and educate and raise up a few in each country (101 in Uganda) to improve the future of Africa. They are beautiful. They love to play and laugh and love. Each child lives in a “cottage” with a Ugandan woman who they consider to be their mom and eight to ten other girls or boys. They function as a family, eating dinner, doing laundry, studying the Bible and playing together.
While at Rafiki, I basically lived life with the missionaries. I taught Kindergarten, coached P.E., organized the library, read to children, tutored sixth grade math (which is ironic because I probably would fail sixth grade math), went to doctor’s appointments and spent hours in Ugandan hospitals, and fell in love with each and every smiling face. The poverty is incredible, but the people are beautiful and have more joy than most Americans. It was incredible to see such faith in the Lord when I have found myself doubting in much less severe situations.
I saw God do miracles in Uganda. While I was there, the propane that is used to make almost 700 meals a day at Rafiki got impossibly low, and there was no propane to be found. For weeks, the kitchen ran on what should have lasted a very short amount of time in a modern day version of 1st Kings 17 story of Elijah and the widow. At another point, one of the guards was saved from illness through modern medicine that he wouldn’t have been able to access without Rafiki. Those are just two of many examples of the ways God worked in just the short time I was at Rafiki.
More than anything, God taught me to depend fully on Him in my three months in Uganda. When He is truly the only thing you have, you realize that He is the only thing you truly ever need.
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. Matt 19:29
If you’d like to read more, visit my blog where I updated the world (and mostly my mom) during my trip at dotheyhavesweetteainafrica.wordpress.com. And just in case you’re wondering, no sweet tea in Africa, but I did bring my own Lipton!
Mom grew up on a farm in the Deep South with crops, over 600 acres, and 250 head of cattle, horses, a herd of pigs, some chickens, and dogs lying under and on the porch. She loved t0 ride the tractor with her Daddy, George. She had a soft spot for him (still does). He was a dimpled, blue-eyed farmer who had been a pilot instructor in WWII. Her Momma, Mary, had served as a nurse in “The War” too. Then she served cornbread and collard greens to her family. Mom’s baby sister was just 3 years behind her in school and she liked to tag along behind her like little sisters do. Her name was Peggy and she loved to laugh – still does. Mom loved school, and her family, and softball. She was a pitcher – she was THE pitcher. This was because, yes, she was that good and, did I mention the town was really small? One time in the schoolyard, her arm came forward to deliver the ball and caught her skirt (yes, they wore skirts most of the time back then) and she heard a boy laughing as the hem flew up in the air. She decked him. When she was in high school she attended a summer program for math and science at a nearby university – she really enjoyed science best. After graduating with a class of 18 others, she left the farm and went to a small state university 90 miles away and majored in Medical Technology. That’s where she met my Dad. He was a “Yankee” from Staten Island, New York. His roommate set them up on a date and the rest is history.
My Daddy served in Vietnam as a Marine Corps Tank officer. After that, he was hooked. He loved the Corps (still does). He retired in the 80′s after 21 years; but you know the saying, “once a Marine always a Marine”. Marine Corps life for him meant Marine Corps life for her as well. They started out with no furniture, no money, and she was married in a borrowed wedding dress. She lost her own dear daddy to heart disease not long after she was married; and oh how they all grieved. He was an honorable, hard-working man with a sense of humor who left his mark on that small town and that small family. My Momma has the most beautiful blue-gray eyes; but she had two little brown-eyed girls before she left the world she had always known and set out on the great adventure that became her life. My family was stationed in several places throughout the South and lived in Spain for three years too. In time Mom returned to her work as a Med Tech. She was 35. She was older than the others who were just starting out, and her resume was filled with cooked meals and folded laundry, but her first boss saw something in her that made him take a chance on her. He was not disappointed. She worked for over 20 years in that field. She worked in a hospital at first, managed a small satellite lab for a time, and worked in various departments in a major national laboratory. She wrote procedure manuals and passed inspections. Along the way she prayed for (and with) the patients she cared for and her co-workers too. She learned new procedures and tests, while more and more computers and machines were incorporated into her job. She worked day shift, swing shift, night shift. All the while, she prayed for us and encouraged us with scripture and loved us. She was not perfect but she did the best she could. My Dad and sister and I are all the people we are today because of how the Lord used her in our family.
I heard about her cancer about two months ago, on my son’s 7th birthday. We were eating dinner when I got the call, and I could tell she had been crying, but she was upbeat, as usual. She’d had surgery two weeks before, a hernia repair, and they took some fatty tissue from the area – it turned out to be ovarian cancer. It was surreal and seemingly impossible: she…a non-smoker, non-drinker, with no “female” cancers in her medical history? It was a shock. But the most amazing thing was the story she told me. The week before, when we were all oblivious, Momma couldn’t sleep. So she was praying. She heard her name and she thought of Samuel, who heard from the Lord in a dream, and answered, “Yes Lord, your servant is listening”. She keeps a pad of paper by the bed and she wrote down what she heard: I am about to do something BIG in your life so that you will be starting a new ministry and have a great opportunity to glorify Me. So be ready. What we saw, when we talked about it, was how kind the Lord was to administer comfort and assurance to her before she got “the news”. It was the promise that we already knew; that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).
Not long afterward, during my devotional time, God gave me a scripture. When I shared it with her – she told me that had been standing on the same Words! I had run across the story of Mary and Martha and Lazarus. When Lazarus was sick, and things looked bleak, Mary and Martha called for Jesus…the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” When He heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” (John 11:3-4). By the way, we don’t believe in coincidences in my family. In fact, this happened around the same time that God used my daily devotional time with my two kiddos to encourage the three of us to bring Momma to Him in prayer. God’s Word has been such a strong encouragement to all of us. It reminds us that the medicine, the doctors, and the prognosis all belong to Him. Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You (Jer 32:17). The story of my Mom’s life, HERstory, is not finished yet. But I will keep you all updated as it continues to be written…by the Author of Life (Acts 3:15).
JustaGirl…just like you