For some reason I used to think that if I was good, life would be good. That if I said my prayers and tried to be a good girl that I would get the things that I wanted in life. I knew that there would still be hard times but that my faith would sustain me during those times.
These last couple of years have been . . . crushing. My husband has been suffering from debilitating chronic nerve pain. The back sugery didn't offer much relief. I was happy with our four girls and honestly, I cried when I realized I was pregnant again. I have never been a bubbly happy pregnant lady and knew that the gestational diabetes would probably come back again. I dreaded the long nine months and selfishly did not want to give up my body again. Ginny's birth story is covered in another post so I will not go into all those details here.
My husband lost his job a couple months before the baby was due. We were scared and not sure what to do. The pain had gotten so bad that my husband struggled to make it through a full work day. Still we were thankful that the insurance would cover us for a few more months. When Ginny was born and diagnosed with Down syndrome I was not prepared for the flood of emotions. Numbness, shock, denial, anger, shame and fear.
It was just too much all at once. I felt as if someone had come up behind me, pushed me into the deep end of the pool and was holding me under. Thrashing, gasping for air, darkness surrounded me.
My intial reaction was, "What is going on? What did I do wrong? Am I being punished? What do I need to change to make this all stop?" It all seemed so unfair. I didn't feel we deserved all this, especially not all at once. I tried to pray and trust that everything would be okay. Seeing my husband struggle each day to even get out of bed was more than I could stand. I had several times when I wanted to leave, to run away.
I spent many evenings in the car crying in the church parking lot. I started to have feelings of anger toward God. "How could be do this to me, to my husband, to my family?" I kept going to church but most of the time I was numb, just going through the motions.
Still, we were able to see God's hand in our lives. Through disability insurance we recieved an income and it was enough to live on, financially we were okay for a while. My family and friends rallied around us and supported us during this time. We would often recieve anonymous gifts on the doorstep or in the mail. Some people brought us meals, some helped with rides for the girls and many prayers were offered in our behalf. Ginny was such a sweet baby and I loved to hold her close. Yet, the fear of her uncertain future haunted me.
In time I came to see that the timing of Ginny's birth was a tender mercy from God. That He sent her to our family to bring us joy, peace and hope. There is a kind of comfort that only comes from holding a baby. God knew I would need that comfort.
My husband continued to search for relief from the nerve pain. He tried so many different doctors and medications. Some seemed to help but the drugs dulled his mind and made his sleepy. He fought to have power over the pain. There were days I felt I was going to lose him. Sometimes it all felt like a never ending nightmare. No one could offer him a diagnosis or even hope for the future. One doctor even told him that he would probably end up alone, unemployed and dependant on pain killers for the rest of his life. Nice. Despite this it seemed that things were getting a little better. Then his appendix ruptured. He had to have emergency surgery to remove his appendix and part of his damaged colon. His recovery was long and painful but it was a miracle that he did not die. It almost seemed comical that we couldn't get a break. Once friend even joked that she half-expected to see a plague of locust engulfing our home when she came over.
But life continued as it always does. You wake up, you breath in, you breath out. We had some good days, not so good days and bad days. I had a hard time controlling my temper with the girls and felt that I was always at the end of my rope.
I didn't sign up for things or to offer help to others. I felt I needed all my energy to support my own family. I didn't realize it at the time but in doing this I was further isolating myself and even started to feel jealous of other people's trails. "At least they know what to expect." I thought. I came to my ultimate lowest when I felt that it just didn't matter what I did anymore. What was the point of trying anymore? I became angry at God, again. I didn't want to go to church anymore and became despondant. At the point the Holy Spirit was no longer able to stay with me. I was left to myself. It was a horrible dark time and I felt so alone. I began to realize that I had been recieving help, that God had been sustaining me each day. I repented of my sin of pride and my lack of faith. I began to feel that I could and would completly submit my will to the will of the Father. It was then that I began to feel forgiveness. He washed away my sins. He loved me, even though I was so unworthy, he forgave me. I could feel the Holy Spirit in my life again. I feel joy when I read the scriptures again.
We experienced another miracle when my husband was offered full-time employement. How will he work while still being in pain? I don't know but God has not and will not forsake us. He will give us peace, he will not leave us comfortless. I have seen the hand of God in my life and know that He is mindful of us and our struggles. He has a plan for us, He knows the end from the beginning and He loves us!