Tuesday, June 24, 2014

3 Years!

Today marks 3 years with my wonderful husband! I am truly grateful to God for the man He has placed by my side. I couldn’t imagine this journey without his unconditional love and support.

Yet, the last three years have been anything but easy. We have faced opposite schedules more times that we would like. We have had to learn what it really means to be married. We have faced obstacles we never thought would become a part of our story. And we are not where we thought we would be after 3 years.

We are even stronger.

Our marriage has become much stronger from the journey God has placed us on. The Lord has taught us to depend fully on Him and each other. We have learned to be selfless and to put one another first. We have grown in our faith and pushed each other to strive to be better spouses. We have hit our breaking points and been there to catch each other’s fall.

But most of all our love for each other has grown deeper than I ever imagined possible. I can’t picture my life without my husband by my side.

Here’s to many more years of growing our love, our relationship with Him, and hopefully our family.


Friday, June 20, 2014

Serving the Best Way I Know How

Lately I have been spending many of my nights working in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit because of their exploding business, unfortunately. And it is here I find myself thinking often about the parents at the bedside. As a pediatric nurse I always strive to provide care to the whole family, but don’t always have this opportunity when there is no parent at the bedside.

I know many of you think, “how could a parent leave the bedside of their own chid?!” But let me tell you it happens more than you would think. I see it often as parents of children with life threatening illnesses choose not to be there. I like to think this is their coping mechanism. That the pain is less if they don’t have to see their child suffer. Or that they just detach themselves from someone they are afraid to lose. 

Either way, I still have no idea what these parents are experiencing so I try to stop and put myself in their shoes. A good friend of mine has a child with HLHS who has been hospitalized a few times and I appreciate hearing her opinions as well as stories of her experiences just so I can try to understand the other side. 

Meeting Baby Josiah in the hospital after being born at 32 weeks

I may not completely understand it, but this I do know: when a parent sees their child sitting there on a ventilator, when their child seems to face one obstacle after another, or when alarms let them know that their child is not maintaining, my heart just breaks for these parents. 

They sacrifice time with other children they must leave at home to focus on their baby who needs them most. 
They leave jobs they can’t maintain because they feel drawn to the bedside. 
Marriages suffer as there is no time to nourish them.
They face diagnosis after diagnosis with no idea what is in store for them next.
Their emotions run high and they get little to no sleep. 
They overcome one battle just to face another.
They go crazy just sitting there feeling helpless with no way to control the situation.

And I just have to watch as parents sit there scared and holding each other’s hands tight. I try to do everything possible to make it easier for them, to reassure their hearts. But the true control is in God’s hands. Only He knows what His plan is and when He will call these precious babies home. Only He can provide them with the comfort they need.

Baby Josiah and Mommy

We often pray for the patients, but the families need our prayers just as much, no matter how they choose to cope. Both the family who is there and those that are not. 

Though it may be hard at times, I feel blessed that God gave me to opportunity to serve my patients and their families. My job allows me to serve the population I love most in the way I know best. Nursing can be so stressful, both emotionally and physically, but God gives me moments like this to understand my purpose and the difference that I can make in one life. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Making Time for What is Most Important

This week marks one year since we received the first devastating news. And with the craziness this summer has brought, I was hoping the day would pass by without me thinking too much about it. 

Or at least that was my plan.

I always thought staying busy would help me keep my mind off of things and allow time to pass more quickly, but I’ve come to find that isn't always the case. The pain is always there for the children we have lost and staying busy does not mask it. The only thing that can truly help is really putting all my energy into the Lord.

But with so much going on it has been hard to find some quite time where I can really share my heart with the Lord. The busy plans of summer are exciting, but can also leave me feeling exhausted. Especially during this “waiting” period. 

The waiting period has been and always is very hard. There is an increased chance for miscarriage in the first three months after a miscarriage so the doctors usually recommend you wait until this period of time is over to try again. And with already having two miscarriages, our chance is doubled. 

The waiting period is relieving in that we don’t have to worry about the stresses of getting pregnant or being on fertility medications that make me somewhat emotional (or VERY emotional if you ask Marcus). But at the same time it is just as stressful not being able to do anything at all. I feel such a loss of control. And being content with God’s timing and letting Him be in control has been a constant struggle for me.

So in the midst of my weariness, how do I communicate my heart to the Lord? I feel like my prayers over the past year have essentially been the same day in and day out and sometimes I even feel too exhausted to figure out what I am really feeling. 

It is times like this when I am truly thankful for the gift of the Holy Spirit, which allows God a glimpse of my soul. He gave me this gift so that He could know me and I Him. He already knows what I am feeling or thinking. He knows the needs and wants of my heart before I even have it figured out. And in the midst of my weariness when I cannot form the words I want to say, I am comforted to know that my prayers don’t have to make sense and I don't have to know exactly what I need because He already does.

I am also thankful for His Word. I recently was reading in the book of Psalms and had to smile at the irony of David’s plea to the Lord in Psalm 13. It was almost as if David took the words I have been trying to find right out of my mouth. In verse 2 David says, 

“How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” 

Even when I can’t find the words myself, God is able to finish my thoughts and let me know that He is here when I spend time reading His Word.

Worship also helps strengthen my love with the Lord. I have heard many songs over the past year that help me speak my heart through the lyrics. Knowing that God can hear me lift up His name and hear my cry removes all the burden from me. A few have even described my feelings  so perfectly they bring tears to my eyes every time I hear them. Two in particular are Tenth Avenue North’s “Worn” and The After’s “Broken Hallelujah”. I always know when I can’t find the right words to say, God hears my prayers through my worship to Him. 

So if you too are feeling weary from a busy start to summer or the trials that are going on in your life, don’t forget to take time for the Lord. Whether it be through worship, prayer, or reading the Bible, know that you will find comfort in knowing He is near and He will give you the strength you need to get through.