Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fear Ends Where Faith Begins

Today's sermon was entitled Fear Ends Where Faith Begins.  The devotional that Brian and I are currently reading is entitled Fearless.  The devotional says, "What if faith, not fear, was our default reaction to threats."  Enough hints?  I think so but still fear is relentless.  It wants to follow me everywhere I go. 

As I sat in church today, I thought about how, when pregnant with the girls, I could not make it through a whole service without a snack.  I was constantly hungry.  I would race to (well walk very quickly) to the donuts after church because I was so famished.  Memories like that bring tears to my eyes.  Will I ever be that hungry again? 

Or how about earlier today when my mom called and said that my sister had gone to Metro's ER because she was having such intense pain on her left side (due to another kidney stone).  When I walked into Metro's ER it was like deja vu.  When I was 11 weeks pregnant my sister went with me to the same ER.  I had been having some spotting so my OB told me to go get an ultrasound to calm my fears.  I was so scared walking into that ER not knowing what I would hear.  But it was what I saw that calmed my fears...both my girls moving around on that ultrasound screen.  I was overjoyed!!!  My sister was just one room down from where I was back in April and she had the same doctor that I had on that awful turned joyous day.  Memories...they are everywhere.

Or how about this afternoon when I sat outside to read my Glamour magazine and one of the articles was entitled "The Baby I Lost...and the Life She Gave Me."  As I read the article, I thought about the days I lost my girls.  Oh what heart wrenching days they were.  But you know what?  I would go back to those days in a heartbeat.  Back to the moments they were each born.  The moments I became a mother to each of them.  The moments I held my precious babies in my arms.  I would go back and relive it again if only I could hold my babies once more.  But I cannot.  All I am left with are the memories.  The author said it best when she simply stated, "My pain will never fully go away." 

I remember the moment Ella was born.  What my first feelings were.  It was quite similar to what the author (from Glamour magazine) stated which is written below...

I asked Chad, "Did the baby make it?"  He whispered, "No."  Somehow I already knew.  "Do I have my uterus?"  "Yes."  Then I'm going to be OK.  Choking back tears, Chad said, "I need you to have babies with."  Then we're going to be OK.  Then that feeling passed and was replaced by crushing grief.

When we were told we had to induce our sweet Baby B (unnamed at the time) we were devastated.  We asked for a second opinion and were told the same thing.  We had to induce for my life. For my uterus. For our future children. Our sweet Baby B was already too sick to survive. We had to say goodbye almost before hello.  Utter sadness swept over me.  But I said to the doctor, "Will I be able to have more children?  I just want to be a mommy.  It's all I've ever wanted. They told me that yes someday I would be a mother again. After I delivered Ella I asked if my uterus was still 'okay.'  And the doctor said it's perfect.  We got everything out and there is no scaring.  Then my attention turned to Ella.  She was just as perfect as her big sister.  She blessed us with 1 hour and 15 minutes.  And then reality set in.  We were no longer expecting parents of two but parents of two angel babies.

Below are what three angel daddy's had to share (again from the Glamour article)...

"We lost our twins at 23 weeks, when my wife developed preeclampsia.  They died in the palms of my hands, and there was nothing I could do.  The feeling of helplessness was the most painful part.  I found myself feeling guilty at the torture my wife was going through, and selfish for just wanting it to all be over.  You never get back to normal; with some time and distance you just find a different place" (Jesse McBryan)

"My daughter Destiny suffered heart failure during delivery and was stillborn.  I felt I had to be the strong one for my wife.  Even though I wasn't the person carrying our baby, I was still connected.  Saying goodbye without seeing her cry or laugh; never being able to play with her; burying her; and having no friends to talk to who'd gone through the same thing--it was devastating." (Shamond Brooks)

"My son Ezra died of placental abruption at 34 weeks.  It felt as if all the wind had been knocked out of me.  I'm glad I was there for my wife, and we have been there for each other.  At the same time, it feels like men are expected to suck it up and get over it.  We found a community of 'baby lost' parents, as we're called, and shared our thoughts, and that has helped us heal.  There is support out there--such as glowinthewoods.com and missfoundation.org--if you need it." (David Love)

Someone who was passing through the deep water of affliction wrote a friend:
Isn't it glorious to know that no matter how unjust something may be, even when it seems to have come from Satan himself, by the time it reaches us it is God's will for us and will ultimately work to our good?

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him" (Romans 8:28)  Think of what Christ said even as he was betrayed: "Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?"  We live fascinating lives if we are living in the center of God's will.  All the attacks that Satan hurls at us through the sins of others are not only powerless to harm us but are transformed into blessings along the way (Hannah Whitall Smith)

"It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." (Deuteronomy 31:8) 

 I will not fear for the Lord is with me!

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1)

God is in control of my life!

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