Thursday, December 19, 2013
Only The Beginning...
3 years ago today I woke up to a normal day. By that night my world was crashing down as I found myself in a hospital room with my 2 1/2 month old baby girl clinging to life and the doctors looking at me for answers. It is never an experience I would have wished on anyone, nor would I have volunteered for it if I had the chance, but the lessons I have learned are invaluable. This blog is a healing process for me to continue to sort through the last 3 years. I invite you to join me through this journey as I release my journal entries. I have overcome many things with God's help and feel blessed to be able to share my story publicly, especially with those that have been such a huge support to me. If it reaches even one person that is in need of hope then it has served its purpose. Although I am not writing this blog for feedback (I have come to know that God is the only one whose opinion matters), if you feel inspired to leave a comment to a post it may also be an inspiration to someone else and I would encourage you to share. I plan to post a journal entry each Sunday.
I chose The Briar Effect for a couple reasons.
A briar is considered a thorny plant that grows in a thicket. You can imagine how you might feel getting caught up in one. The more you fight to get free, the more you get tangled and scratched up. In my story, there have been plenty of briars. I have learned that the best way not to get tangled and caught up in them is to remain calm and look for the good in the situation.
Let me tell you about the first, and most important briar in my story. Her name is actually spelled Bryer. She made her debut with a quick delivery and the only of our 5 kids not to be caught by my husband as a result. She came out banged up and black and blue from a quick ride into this world and low initial Apgar scores to show for it. I remember the nurses saying, "Just watch her tongue. If her tongue is pink then she's getting enough oxygen." They wrapped a hand-written identification tag around her ankle, as the staff didn't even have time to computer-generate one. She was the sweetest little thing and I was instantly smitten. I used to wonder how large families could have enough love to go around, but as we welcomed our 5th my heart grew in size immediately. I remember feeling a different connection to her, even in the hospital, then I did to my other kids. I couldn't put my finger on it at the time, but I would soon find out that she would be a key factor in the person I would become.
I prepared myself for our transition to a family of 7 with freezer meals, chore charts, and stocking up on groceries. I had lots of help from family, church members, and friends so I could enjoy the first precious weeks (and nurse a lot). Most of my babies have been colicky so I plan with each of them to sit on the couch and nurse for what seems like three months straight. Bryer was no exception. Not too long after she was born, I laid in bed next to my husband one night and made the comment,
"I guess I thought life with five kids was going to be harder than this."
Sometimes I catch myself going back to that comment. I wonder what God thought when He heard me say that. I wondered if He flinched at my pride or if He frowned at my smugness. What I believe now is that He smiled down on us, rubbed His hands together firmly and thought, "They have been prepared and are ready for a challenge."