I don't really know how or where to start, so I'm just going to sort of jump in in the middle and hope it doesn't sound too jumbled. I'm normally a very private person and have a hard time sharing the things that are closest to my heart or that I feel strongly about, but the Lord sort of gave me a push last week when he sent two sermons back to back that spoke to me personally about this very thing. One of these was specifically on how God uses hard times in your life and ways we can waste those experiences. (And one of those ways is by not sharing what He has been doing.)
Soooo...having said that let me start back in December or maybe even a little further back than that. (I was just realizing my last post was in Nov. =)
You may remember (or not=) in one of my last couple posts I mentioned coming down with the flu. This was back in Oct. and I had actually just found out that we were going to have another little Blakeman come join our family. We chose ...or maybe I should say, I chose...to not share this with more than just a couple people until I was further along and all danger of miscarriage was past. This coming from my dread of later having to deal with all the comments and/or expressions of sympathy on top of my own emotions.
Well, life, of course, continues to keep us on it's merry-go-round and while pregnancy wise I was feeling great, about two weeks later I start breaking out in this strange itchy rash that just kept spreading. Turns out my "flu" was a virus called pityriases rosea. Apparently it starts like flu and then develops a rash that lasts anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months. (It's been 3 months and it's not completely gone yet.) It's not contagious, so I could continue my life pretty much as usual but with the added annoyance of constant itching and an embarrassing rash everywhere. It's not supposed to be dangerous to pregnancy, but I still had my qualms especially with my past history. Still... life keeps spinning and us with it. The holidays came and preparations for them kept me pretty busy. Then 2 days before Christmas I started cramping and bleeding, very much out of the blue. If you've ever had a miscarriage you know that unmistakeable feeling. You just KNOW...it's over.
I spent the rest of that day in bed...ironically, Ed was at work but due home the next day. It was very "deja vue". We talked together and both of us had peace that whatever happened it was in God's hands. When I woke the next morning I felt fine...no cramping, and with Christmas a day away I still had alot to do to get ready...so I decided I wasn't going to sit around waiting for something to happen. I wasn't going to be stupid, but I would try to function as normally as possible and do what I could to finish getting ready. We hadn't even told the kids about the pregnancy so I wanted Christmas to be normal if at all possible. And it was. It was a super special day with just our family. (I keep saying Christmas although it was actually Christmas Eve as Ed had to go to work Christmas Day.) By Sat. morning even my bleeding had stopped and I found myself wondering "is God performing a miracle here?". We had already scheduled to go spend the next week with my great-aunt in Texas and so we went ahead with that and I spent the weekend packing and cleaning besides the normal busy Sunday routine. We were leaving early Monday morning as we wanted to stop in Houma on our way to Tx to see Ed's family for just a little bit. By the time we left, I was bleeding again...heavily. Even as we were pulling out Ed offered staying home, but I felt peace to go ahead with our plans. We ended up having a really good visit all the way around and I'm soooo glad we went. I wouldn't have traded that for anything. On our way home home we stopped and saw first Lauryn and then Aunt Bonise and then came on home.
All of this going on in our little family while at the same time I knew other parts of our family were struggling too. My Daddy has been in awful pain for months with his back...spending most of his time in a chair or in bed. And then there was Uncle Mike's family...and all that they have gone (and were going) through. And Peepaw and Meemaw. Those of you who know us, know what has been going on so I won't elaborate, but I trust you will understand when I say, by comparison, my own little trials seemed small and I hated to even mention them.
A week after we got back from Texas (that would make it 3 weeks ago) I lost our precious baby girls. It did end up being twins. I am always amazed anew at God's miraculous handiwork... I was 14.5 weeks, and yet, while one of the twins had not developed, the other one was a fully formed little human. The preciousness of life, from conception on, can never be fully expressed.
I have struggled with how, and even why, I should share this. I don't know why. I don't know how the Lord will use any of this. I just hope it will bring Him honor and glory. I have grieved privately for these sweet little ones that I have never gotten to meet. I know that someday, when I get to heaven, I now have 5 precious little ones I will get to meet. And, while I rejoice to know that I WILL get to see them some day...it also makes me sad that I can't know them now. I wish I could understand the why behind God's working, but it is enough for me that He loves me and is in control of every part of our lives. And He truly is so good to us. I can't get over all He has done and how He continually blesses us beyond measure.
Also in thinking of trials and how God uses them...Br Johnny was referencing his father, who has been diagnosed with Lymphoma, and it made me think of Uncle Mike and his family. I have grieved with and for all of them, and I was thinking how Uncle Mike didn't allow his trial to be wasted. (Actually, I have to say that it has been characteristic of God's working in ALL of my family's lives. I just initially thought of Uncle Mike because of the lymphoma.) In thinking of others' sufferings I have debated what to say...and I have ended with still not knowing what to say. We can only offer our love and then turn to our Eternal Comforter who has Words enough for us all.
Over the next little bit I will try to stay more updated and add more about our everyday happenings. Trust me, there are just as many as ever. =) But for now I'm out of words. I hope God can use this, even if I never find out how.