Monday, February 22, 2010

Story Of God's Faithfulness

*This post is a bit long, for this I apologize. I think you will understand why I couldn't make it into more than one post. I hope you find time to read it. Thank you.*

Today is my Sarah Grace's birthday. She is a beautiful nine year old, and to use another line from one of my favorite movies, 'there's a story there' (said with southern drawl). It is a beautiful story of God's love and faithfulness that I want to share with you today.






A few days more than a year before Sarah Grace was born, we experienced the most devastating of all our miscarriages. I was 17 weeks pregnant and, once again, just like the February before, I was lying on an exam table with my midwife unable to find the heartbeat. I was shocked. How could this happen again? Just one year ago we had lost another baby at 17 weeks! How could this be

My midwife sent us to the hospital for an ultrasound, as the office didn't have one back then. The drive to the hospital was so intense. I was terrified it was true, that my baby had died, but I was also trying to muster all the faith I could to believe that maybe she was wrong or that God could bring my baby back to life! This could be an amazing testimony, I thought. The battle in my mind and heart raged for the whole drive. I was fighting the tears, trying to hope.


While on the table I thought 'this guy is going to see a miracle, I just know it'. When we saw the screen with my lifeless baby just floating I screamed. I was so angry. This couldn't be! The ultrasound tech remained quiet, doing the exam while I cried and fumed.



I think this loss was so much harder than the one just a short year earlier because I really believed it wouldn't happen again. I mean, what are the chances? Exactly 17 weeks? One year to almost the date? I was inconsolable. Brian was hurting too, but I didn't notice, I was so wrapped up in my anger and grief. I remember one night, February 13, Brian tried to console me, but after a long and fruitless attempt, he prayed for me and rolled over and went to sleep, entrusting me to my Father. I remember that night like it was yesterday. I wept and wept. I could feel a physical ache in my arms. I can almost feel it now. I was done with God, in my mind. How could He let this happen again? We trusted Him with our family size and this was the reward? I didn't want anymore of this. If following and obeying Him was going to cause me this much pain, well, I didn't want it. This went on for a couple of hours. I believe it was the battle of my life.

Little did I know that across town a sweet friend, who had four little children at the time and wondered what she ever did for the Lord, was on her kitchen floor praying for me. Not just praying, but actually travailing. She had never experienced this before. At one point she said she just felt a release and went to sleep.

Back over at my house, in the dark, through the tears I heard in my heart my Father singing over me. It was a song that I love by Dennis Jernigan called, Daddy's Song. The words were switched around as God singing to me. I heard, "here in My arms, you'll always be, at rest in the precious love I have for you. I love you, oh how I love you" Over and over these words washed over me until the sobs stopped and tears began to dry. My breathing slowed and I fell fast asleep with my Daddy singing over me.



Sarah Grace's first reading lesson.

The next day was Valentine's day and Brian had made a fire for me, made my tea, and positioned my chair right in front of the fireplace for me to have my quiet time. I can tell you that the Lord speaks to my heart every day, and I adore Him, but I have never, ever experienced His healing word going into my very soul and speaking to me in the way I did that morning. Verse after verse washed over me, healing my hurt deeper and deeper with each verse. I wept and read and journaled. It was the most incredible experience. I walked away from that chair completely and utterly healed of all my sorrow. I mean it was GONE!



Later that morning I was sitting at the counter writing my grocery list and I felt the Spirit welling up in me and decided to go sit at my computer and just type what I felt like He was saying to me. I began to type, 'you will have another child' . . .'oh, Lord, is this You or just my emotions' . . .'you will have another child'. I was scared to believe it because, come on, surely it could be my own thoughts. I shared with Brian and we 'tucked it away'.

I was still carrying the body of our precious baby. We decided we would let God determine when I delivered. It was so hard still having a swollen belly and needing maternity clothes while my baby was no longer alive. So many awkward moments when people would ask about my pregnancy. Finally, about eight days later we were checking into the hospital to induce labor, as my midwife was concerned about infection. I wasn't worried, but I think I just wanted this done.


Sarah Grace with her nephew, Levi.

We immediately requested one more ultrasound because we serve a miracle working God. It confirmed, yes, the baby was still dead. We were so okay, emotionally. I am telling you God had done the miracle, it was just in my heart, not the baby. Our nurse was so sympathetic, we kept telling her we were fine. I was inquiring about the other women on the floor. I wanted to get out of bed and go pray with them. I knew the hurt they were feeling, but I didn't know if the knew the Healer like I did. Our nurse was quite taken aback by us.

Several hours later I finally delivered our precious Ephraim. (We didn't look at him, as I didn't want my mind to mess with me later. My heart was healed, this was just his little body, my real Ephraim was already with Jesus.) I started weeping, loudly. The nurse kept trying to comfort me and I was trying to tell her I was fine, I was not crying because of grief. I was crying because the grace (for lack of a better word) was so thick in that room that if you were there, I bet you could have physically felt it! It was the most incredible feeling. Such love, such grace!





Fast forward to a year later. February again. I was due with my Sarah Grace. I think my due date was actually around the 14th. As the days passed I was getting very anxious. It had been a difficult pregnancy due to fear. I battled it so intensely due to the previous losses. There were times that I would shake trying to battle the fears. I would hold my head and make it think right thoughts. I was impatient with God, wondering when would this baby be born?! I couldn't take it any longer. I was dilated to 5-6 for about two weeks before she was born. Finally, labor started and I delivered her safe and sound and perfect! As you can imagine, we were overjoyed and in awe of the faithfulness of our God.
It wasn't until weeks later when I was cleaning out a desk drawer that I realized just how faithful God is to keep His word. I 'stumbled' on the little birth card the hospital gave us with Ephraim's weight and length. I replayed everything that had happened in the last year, and was on my knees crying when I noticed the date of his delivery. It was February 22, 2000! I had given birth to our precious Sarah Grace exactly one year to the day that I had delivered Ephraim. I had not been 'overdue', for God had her exact birth date planned! I would not be surprised, if I could get my hands on both records, that Sarah Grace may have been born at the exact time of day as well.

So, that's the story I wanted to share with you. Our sweet Sarah Grace is such a precious reminder of the FAITHFUL GOD we serve! Today our baby girl turns nine! She has always had a special gift to memorize scripture. When she was younger, she couldn't wait to learn to read so she could read God's word like the rest of us. Each morning she can be found curled up in a chair with her bible in hand, and often times, her journal too. Such a hunger for God at such a young age. Praise the Lord.


Great, GREAT is His Faithfulness!!

18 comments:

Camille said...

What a beautiful post Michelle! How precious! AND how Great our God is...such a wonderful testimony to His goodness in your life! Happy birthday to your lovely Sarah Grace ~ enjoy your special day together.

May the Lord bless you this week my friend!
Love,
Camille

S Jill said...

What a good story to share, to encourage others who struggle with why God allows such painful experiences. I appreciate your candidness, admitting anger and giving up on God for a time. But then, how He worked in you. Powerful stuff, that!

Paz Kallah said...

thanks for making me cry first thing in the morning! :p she is beautiful, and HE is so faithful and His love is unmeasurable!

Lynnette Kraft said...

Michelle,
That was a beautiful and inspiring story. I felt myself relating SO MANY TIMES! I related to the words of a song coming as from the Lord (when I began to sing Oh how he loves you and me... in the shower after Josiah was born), related to the feeling of "it's not fair!", I even related to being blessed with another baby - although not quite the same, very much the same emotion.

We have suffered, haven't we? Yes, but God used the suffering to increase our love for him and give us compassion for others... he USED the heartache for good!

Psalm 119:75 "I know O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me."

I'm so glad you shared this today.
Love,
Lynnette

J said...

Happy Happy Birthday sweet Sarah Grace! May your heart always yearn for the Lord and may He hold you fast.

Michelle,
Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. God is so good. His faithfulness, His mercies...I am in awe. You are precious. Again, I thank God for you!

Connie said...

So many reasons to celebrate today! God has been so faithful to you and your family. So many downs, but so many more UPS!

Peggy said...

Blessings Michelle... What a beautiful testimony of God with you
through the difficult to the grace filled birth of Sarah Grace! Glory to God! Truly HE is FAITHFUL! Great is God's faithfulness!

Such a beautiful light you were at Ephraim's birth time. How very precious! Such tears of joy and knowing Immanuel, Comforter, the LORD, our Healer. What courage and miraculous strength in you despite your grief and pain. Now 9 yrs. later celebrating still the miracle...

Happy Birthday Sarah Grace!!!

Thanks for sharing such an awesome, inspiring life testimony! Praising God for you & Sarah Grace!

Kerri-Mommy 4 Him said...

Thank you for sharing and for allowing me to cry and heal a little more!! I have felt the pain of loss as well, and for me,(I was not a Christian at the time)the pain was unbearable, but since becoming a Christian, I know that one day I will hold my 'little one'. I may never understand why he was taken from me, but I know that he is safe in the arms of Jesus. Our God truly is a Great Great God and His timing is impeccable...we found out that we were pregnant with our daughter (who is now almost 4)around the same time our 'little one' was due. It sure made that time a lot easier.

Happy Birthday Grace!!!

Amanda Sikes said...

Great post! Happy Birthday Sarah Grace! Thank you for sharing a vivid example of God's timing and faithfulness. I need this reminder as I am waiting on God's timing to increase our family again. My arms ache for another baby but I am trying to PATIENTLY wait on God. It is hard at times isn't it!

Have a blessed day!

Homemaker Ang said...

she is so beautiful. YES GOD is faithful!

Farmgirl Cyn said...

Michelle...thank you for sharing this intimate piece of yourself. Only God knows how many people will be touched by this testimony of His faithfulness.
xoxo,
Cindy

Jenifer said...

Michelle,

Wow...just wow!! What an awesome story of God's faithfulness- His faithfulness to heal, to comfort, to love, to rain down grace, to provide, to keep His promises.

Happy birthday to your precious Sarah Grace!!!

May God continue to rain down His grace upon you as you seek after Him this week.

((HUGS))

By His Grace,
Jenifer

Camie said...

Wow, wow, wow! Truly we have the most amazing father ever! He is so incredibly faithful! Thank-you for sharing your story! I'm glad I found it.

Many blessings to you!

Camie

Casey said...

Wow, this was amazing to read. Thank you for sharing it. I also wanted to say thank you for your kind words on my blog and for the prayers. I can't tell you how much the prayers from others mean to me! Thank you

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

What a wonderful story of God's grace. Thank you for sharing it.

As far as the blog button. I have a homeschool child that is going to try to figure it out for me. Thanks anyway! My email is at the top of my blog under "welcome" if you ever need to get a hold of me.

Michelle, thank you for your prayers. I had a really rough week and I was struggling with some internal issues. The Lord won yesterday, as I sought Him, praised Him and confessed my sin. Today is fresh and new. Thank you for being a part of that.

Lots of Love!
Stacie

Jenn @ A Country Girl's Ramblings said...

Michelle,

This touched my heart so deeply. Thank you so much for sharing about your journey in faithfulness. It was absolutely breath taking.

Happy birthday to Sarah Grace!

Joy said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I have 3 boys here and 7 children above. I am currently pregnant(18 weeks today)after having 2 second trimester losses last year. Last Autumn God showed me that these lost little ones of mine are truly a blessing, not the blessing I wanted, but a blessing none the less. I am blessed to know beyond a shadow of a doubt where those children are and what they are doing, at any given moment. I am blessed to know their salvation is secure (something I must pray and work towards for my earthly children)I am blessed to trust I will see them again.
I experienced much of what you expressed, and must discipline my self to dwell on things above and not on the anxiousness which comes so easily. Thank you again, it was the encouragment I needed today.

Suburban Simplicity said...

What a beautiful story. It brought tears to my eyes.

Thanks for sharing.

Sandy