Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Very Blessed Birthday

It is hard to find words when the place you find yourself in is one of humility. 

I feel as though God has poured out His love and shown me His grace so greatly in the past year that I cannot begin to explain how deeply thankful I am.  I have been on the mountain and felt such peace, yet I have experienced the terrifying walk through the valley.  I have faced some of my deepest fears, and I have been given the opportunity to love and do so deeply. 

Last year, as I celebrated my birthday, I did so with a growing belly and a little one learning to walk.  I knew life would be different in the coming year.  The following month, my life literally flashed before my eyes as Brian and I were in a car wreck on the interstate, hitting the concrete median twice going 70 mph.  I remember holding my husband's hand as the car was spinning...  I wanted him to KNOW I loved him.  I recall seeing the excitement in Daniel Benjamin's face as he tore into his birthday cupcake.  I was filled with such joy that day as so many friends and family came to celebrate our first born's big day with us.  Yet, joy quickly turned to fear on Daniel's actual birthday three days later when I began bleeding.  I was only 33 weeks along in this 3rd pregnancy, and as we raced to the hospital, I knew the outcome wouldn't be good.

I can still see the concern in my doctor's eyes as he monitored my condition.  It was too early...  I needed to be moved to a hospital where there was a NICU.  I was rushed in an ambulance to Baptist where I spent the next 7 days away from Daniel, in pre-term labor, imagining what it'd be like to have two children born in the same month, only one year apart.  I couldn't wait to see the child's face!  I remember praying in that hospital room, burning up from the medication to prevent the contractions, asking God to let the baby come.  After a few more visits to the OB and 10 days of bedrest, Samuel Levi was born healthy in my 38th week on May 23rd after a quick twelve minutes of "delivery". 

I still do not know how we made it through those first few months with two babies in the house.  We were both so exhausted and frustrated over constant cries.  I suppose we couldn't have done it without the help of our family; God supplied our every need.  When summer came and went, both boys had grown so much.  I was painting as much as I could, and I was struggling to find time for everyone that needed me.  As the fall came, we took our first vacation as a family of four, and upon returning from that trip, we learned we were pregnant a fourth time.  I was certain the baby was a girl, almost immediately, but with very few symptoms and a disappointing ultrasound, December ended with the pain of losing Elisabeth Joy.

The final month of my 27th year has been both heartbreaking and filled with happiness.  I struggled in the first few days following the miscarriage.  I wanted my child's life to be validated.  I was not angry; I was simply saddened by the fact that I would never hold this baby.  Oh, but how the Lord has filled my arms!  Daniel became so loving, giving hugs and his special "muah" kisses at the most perfect times.  Samuel needed me as he became more mobile and began solid foods; he loved being held, even when I felt that I didn't have time to do so.  The snow fell more often (as it usually does around my birthdays), and I was filled with happiness watching Daniel and his Daddy enjoy trampling through the cold.  We ate snow cream like it was going out of style, and we loved a little bit deeper. 

I don't know how, but I continue to be reminded of how much God must care for me.  I look around my home and see all these things I do not deserve.  I had such pride as Samuel crawled on his hands and knees for the first time today.  I watched in amazement as Daniel laughed until he was out of breath playing hide and seek with me tonight.  I was completely thrilled seeing the number 2 and 8 candles hidden on the microwave by my sweet husband tonight (he knows how much I love cake).  I have so much more than I ever wished for!

As a blanket of snow covers the ground outside my window in the early hours of this day, my 28th birthday, I am humbled by God's unfailing love.  He has forgiven me of all my sins and was willing to make this day possible for me by giving His life.  He was able to sacrifice Himself so that I might have this day, this very minute even, to share the story of His redemption in my life.  It's unfathomable to me to think of myself that highly, yet He thought of me in that moment...  and He knew I'd be His all these years later. 


Becca said...

Happy happy birthday Jenna! Hope you have a wonderful day celebrating with your boys!

Brandy said...

Happy Birthday! I'm glad you had such a good one :).

Brandy said...

Happy Birthday! I'm glad you had such a good one :).