2010 was a big year in so many ways. There were plenty of trials and loss and yet we gained our biggest gift, Miss Penelope Jane. Through it all there was an underlying theme if you will, FAITH.
It was a year that started off with sadness after the loss of a much wanted and loved baby. I struggled for months, even into my pregnancy with Penny over the miscarriage. Panic attacks plagued me daily for months, at times my soul felt empty. I questioned, I cried, I read, I talked to people, I curled up into a ball and wanted to hide at times, I laughed, I cried some more, I prayed, I prayed, I prayed. Not to say that I still don't have moments of sadness and pain regarding this loss, but time has helped and the pain is not as raw as it once was. Really, time probably has little to do with it. I know that my healing has only come from my belief, my faith in God. I know that God had a plan for that baby and it wasn't to be held in my arms on this earth. I truly believe that that child was sent to us to bring me closer to my maker, to force me to my knees and to truly devote myself to Jesus. To realize that I am NOT in control, never have been nor will I ever be!
We rejoiced months later when we learned that my womb held another wee one. This time a girl. She was such a blessing, an answer to so many prayers. I vowed to enjoy that pregnancy as best I could, to try not to complain as much anyways :) and to be grateful for each day. I tried so badly to hold that mentality, to be grateful. I certainly was grateful for our sweet girl, never a day went by that I didn't thank God perfusely for allowing us to have another baby. I can't say that I was grateful for the Gestational Diabetes that came along with that pregnancy. Again, a huge trial was before me. Never before have I delt with a serious health issue and certainly not when I was pregnant. Doctors appointments now filled my weekly calendar, my Mom and dear friend Suzi stepped up and watched the boys for us. It was a very stressful time, the last month was the most difficult. My blood sugars were all over the place, dipping so low that I nearly passed out each day. I was scared for the boys saftety during these times as well as our unborn child. Would she be ok? This question plaqued my thoughts. Trent was an incredible source of support during that time. Nothing was to big for him to handle. He took such good care of all of us, picking up where I simply could not go any further. He loved me so much and made me feel so safe and secure. God carried us all during that time. Again my faith was challanged. Again the struggles of life drew me closer to God.
Then September came and with it brought much sadness to our family as our beloved Jane (Nie Nie/Grandma) went to be with our Heavenly Father. This loss is still fresh and I still have moments when I just can.not.believe that she is gone. I have seen many blessings come because of her passing, many tender mercies if you will. The pain of losing Jane was so intense at first that for weeks I would wake up from a deep sleep just stricken with panic. Panic that I had lost her. Yes, we no longer can see or touch her physical body but I can still feel her love, her soul, her goodness. God has showed me that I have not lost her, but have gained so much instead. The time that I did spend with Jane will forever be some of my most treasured memories. She taught me so much and was always there for me. In a lot of ways she was on of my biggest fans, always cheering me on and supporting me. I often called her up to run things by her, to get her opinion on something, to see how to do a certain project or to vent about my frustrations. Most of our talks ended with us talking about our faith. There have been moments that I have questioned "why Jane, why now?" and the answer is simple, because it was God's plan all along. And for me and my faith, that is all I need to know. I believe and trust in God's will. That doesn't mean though that I always understand it and I certainly struggle with accepting it at times. But yet again my faith has been strengthened and renewed.
In November our sweet Penelope Jane was born. We rejoiced that she was healthy and beautiful, perfect in every way. All the Glory goes to God, for He gave us this sweet baby. I know that she belongs to Him and that we are merely here to help her on her earthly journey. For a complete month I would wake up for middle of the night feedings and just whisper "Thank you God" as I held her close to me. She IS the answer to so many prayers and I know how truly blessed we are to have her. I felt as if God had felt our pain over the last year and wanted us to feel life, happiness, to show us that He was still there and that He did hear our prayers.
Now January is here, a full year has passed. This last week we have been faced with yet another struggle, more pain, far more fear. We have watched as our Penny has struggled with RSV. We have watched her be hooked up to monitors, given breathing treatments, hydrated by an IV. We have watched her stop breathing and go limp two times as she lay in my arms. I have to say that those 2 moments are by far the most difficult moments of my life thus far. I have never been faced with the very real reality that my child could die.right.now. As Trent and I clung to one another in that hospital room, all I could do was say "Please Jesus, please". My mom shared with me something that a minister had once said to her and it certainly applies to what we are dealing with right now. He said something to the effect that if we grasp and hold on to our children so tightly the pain will be unreal if God chooses to rip them from our hands. But if we can open our hands and raise them up to Him and trust Him, regardless of the outcome. Then our pain and suffering won't be as bad. I believe if we can do this then we can feel peace, regardless. I am struggling with this very thing this evening as I write this. Penny is not out of the woods yet. Yes, she is making some progress but it is very slow and small baby steps. I choose peace, I choose His will. I will continue to turn her over every day, with each breath, with each step.
This year my faith was tested as never before. It continues to grow. Sometimes I feel very close to God, at other times there is distance. But even in the moments were I am tormented by fear I have an understanding. I know where I can find peace and love and I know that for me it is a choice. Fear might gripe me at times, but my faith always prevail.