My Story

Below is a post that I wrote on May 11, 2009. Maybe sometime I'll update it, but this is the heart of my story.

God is Good

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I've faced a great tragedy,
But have seen the works of what you bring
A display of faith that you give,
I don't know if I will ever understand
The depth of what you've done inside
But I know I won't find any worth apart from you.

I know that I've been
Given more than beyond measure
I come alive when
I see beyond my fears
I know that I've been
Given more than earthly treasure
I come alive
When I've broken down and given You control."
~"Beyond Measure," Jeremy Camp
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We're moving and life is changing.  My mother will tell you that I don't do change well.  Let me rephrase that.  I love the new adventure.  It's the transition I hate.  The feeling of life out of control.  Stuck somewhere between your old life and your new life.  And completely surrounded by boxes.  Awful, awful boxes.

I feel compelled to write my story.  I'm not sure who will care to read it.  It is not written for my pity or praise.  I want to write this because God is good.  I have seen the works of God.  And I just can't be silent.  Like Peter and John said in Acts 4:20 "For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Almost three years ago, on May 20th 2006, I married my college sweetheart, Adam.  Two days later we moved to Iowa; Adam had an internship for the summer.  Three months later we moved back to River Falls, WI to finish school.

During the winter of 2007, Adam felt called to worship ministry.  He found a school in Florida and applied.  I started looking for teaching jobs for after graduation.  He was devastated when he was not accepted.  Then came Visible School in Memphis, TN.  Adam got accepted and off we went.
I'll tell you that we both cried that first day after the family had caught their flights home.  We felt so alone.  We felt alone for a while.  Adam had plenty of people that he knew from school, but just didn't connect with any of them.  Same with me at work.

Then we found Living Hope.

I grew up in the Catholic Church.  I grew up in an authentic and real Catholic Church.  I loved it.  I knew God.  We had a relationship. 

Adam grew up in an Evangelical Free church.  Just a little different.  We struggled with where to go to church since we started dating.  We always went to church together.  Sometimes his church, sometimes mine, sometimes both.

In Tennessee we tried a few churches.  The Catholic church down there was more...old...outdated...not alive.  I just couldn't connect.  Through a classmate of Adam's we found Living Hope.  It is a non-denominational church that was real and alive for Christ.

We joined a small group (about 6-10 people who meet once a week to study the sermon, engage in fellowship and be there for each other).  Adam and I didn't start meeting with them until November of 2007, but by the time we left the following February I knew that I could call them anytime, anywhere, no matter how long we had been separated.

During Adam's winter break from school, he started to feel called away from full time ministry and back to agriculture.  We planned  to finish out the school year in TN and then hopefully move back home.  Adam started applying for jobs in January of 2008. 

An email was sent to Adam's old university advisor, asking him to be a reference on the applications.  Just over a week later, Adam had been offered, taken and started a job teaching at the university for the semester.  Didn't see that coming.

Since we knew that it would be short term, we stayed with my parents in MN (they lived 1/2 hour away from the university).  I was able to get a teaching job at the same preschool I worked at all through college.  Then I peed on a stick.

We were pregnant!!

It would be the first grandchild for both of our parents.  I was thrilled!  I started seriously considering becoming a stay at home mom.  My teaching job demanded so much from me that I was exhausted every night.  I knew that I couldn't be a mom and a teacher at  the same time to the level that would make me happy.

We had lived in MN for two moths.  I was about 10 weeks pregnant.  Adam and I were at church and the sermon was about giving your troubles and hardships to God.  Laying them at the foot of the cross.  As we wrote down our biggest struggles, we looked at each other and prayed that God would be with us if anything big did happen.  Our lives had been fairly bland.  We hadn't been tested.  We prayed that we could still be as devoted to God if something awful happened.  We prayed that we would continue to trust him.

Easter 2008 was a great day.  It would be my last healthy day for months.  March 23rd.

I went home sick from work the next day with flu like symptoms.  Went to urgent care and told to stay home the next day.  Probably a virus.  The next night I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance with severe stomach pains.  I was sent home because there was no found cause for the pain, but with strict orders to return if the pain localized.

We went back at 3:30am, Wednesday, March 26th.

I had an laproscopic (sp?) appendectomy later that morning.  We stayed in the hospital that night to monitor the baby.  I went home for three days.  Sunday, March 30th, I was back in the hospital with severe pain.  I spent a week in pain.  By Saturday the doctors had decided to do exploratory surgery.
That night we lost our little boy. 

Our little angel was 13 weeks old and was beautiful.  Aaron.  10 fingers, 10 toes, eyes, ears, nose, mouth.  God's miracle.

Later that day my OB doctor, who had observed the surgery, told us that there was a massive pool of infection sitting right over my uterus.

The week following Aaron's death I seemed to be getting better.  I was allowed to leave the hospital to attend the funeral.  April 11th, 2008.  The same day that Adam and I started dating five years before.  When I returned to the hospital I went downhill fast.  God had kept me strong enough to be able to bury my son.  But I was not healing.

The next day I was transferred to a much larger hospital in the Twin Cities where I would spend the next three weeks with JP drains, NG tubes, wound vacs, PIC lines, lots of CT scans.  By the time I was sent home, it was May 2nd.  5 weeks in the hospital.  Every single night was spent with my wonderful husband sleeping on an awful hospital cot next to me.

I spent almost two months more at my parents' house recovering.  By the time we moved for Adam's new job in July, I was feeling much better but was still easily exhausted and my muscles were very weak.

Adam's new job brought us to Central WI.  I found a job and we started going to Edgewood Community Church.  Our transient livestyle compelled us to jump in and make connections right away.  We taught Sunday school, helped with the high school youth group and joined another small group.

As we've moved along in life this past year, we've found that God was the only place to turn.  We have faced great tragedy but know that God has a plan.  I know without a shadow of doubt that God has a reason for taking my little boy to Heaven so soon.  I don't know if I will ever understand why, but I trust God. 

As Christmas approached, I started to get sad.  There was no little stocking on our tree.  No little one to bundle up and take to church with us.  Then I remembered where Aaron is.  He is in Heaven.  He got to celebrate Christmas in Heaven with Jesus.  I continued to think about my boy in Heaven.  He never had to suffer pain or heartache.  He never had to deal with the troubles that sin creates in our life.  My son is in the safest, most perfect place that a mother could ever hope for her son to be.
Do  I miss my son?  Sure.  Do I wish that I could have seen him grow to be a man?  With every breath I take.  But that is my plan.  God's plan is better.  God's plan is what's best for us.  He knew us before we were born.

Sometime in the past year I also let go of some of my fear of death.  Despite how wonderful Heaven is, I am still human and am attached to worldly things.  But when I die I get to meet my son.  I'm not rushing into traffic to speed up death, but I'm not as worried about what I am going to leave behind.  Aaron is already in Heaven, just waiting for me.  Waiting for his mom.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So here we are, May 11th, 2009.  About to move again.  And God is all over this move.  Adam had interviewed with John Deere in December for a position that would take us to Iowa and close to some of his family.  After almost three months of waiting, Adam is told that they wanted to offer him the job, but a hiring freeze was put in place and they needed to hire internally.

During the waiting, Adam had applied for another job in the same area of Iowa, but we never heard anything back.  He called to check on the job.  It had just been filled.

Early in March, that company calls Adam, out of the blue, and invites him to apply for another job.  In this economy, who has an employer call you with a job??  Needless to say, Adam ended up getting the job.

I told you the story about my new job already. (Read THIS post.)

So here Adam and I sit in transition.  11 days until we move.  17 days until we are homeowners.  20 days until we start our new jobs.  Surrounded by boxes.  But also surrounded by God's grace.  His plan has brought us through the valleys and pushed us to the mountain tops.  We have learned to wait for His directions.  They have not always been easy directions.  They have been painful at times, but they have always been right.  His directions have always brought us to a place in our lives that we would have never thought possible before.  Each turn in the road has brought us closer to Him.  My complete and absolute trust is in Him.  I'll continue to wait for directions.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I've faced a great tragedy,
But have seen the works of what you bring
A display of faith that you give,
I don't know if I will ever understand
The depth of what you've done inside
But I know I won't find any worth apart from you.
I know that I've been
Given more than beyond measure
I come alive when
I see beyond my fears
I know that I've been
Given more than earthly treasure
I come alive
When I've broken down and given You control."
~"Beyond Measure," Jeremy Camp
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~