Monday, March 17, 2014

The Gift


March is such a special month in our family because we celebrate a number of birthdays. But there is one birthday in March that is very special to me, this week I celebrate the 43rd birthday of my only son, James.

 Forty three years ago, I was a very young mother of a rambunctious three year old and a nursing three month old. My husband and I had a cute little house in the suburbs of Mpls. and he worked the night shift. I was a busy stay at home mom, raising our family and active in my fathers church. 

At my 6 week check up after the birth of my second daughter Kerri, the doctor told me about a new birth control he thought I should try called an IUD. He said nothing else about this device other then, "I would be a good candidate for it because birth control pills didn't agree with me". At the time I did not know it sloughed off the fertilized egg, at the time I did not know what questions to ask, at the time one did not question the advice of your doctor, it was a different time and I was a naive twenty year old. And so with much pain he inserted the IUD, it took me almost a week to be able to function normally and at the time I did not know that this was not normal. 

As I mentioned, I was nursing Kerri and by her third month I was having trouble keeping my milk up and I was feeling tired and nauseated.  I remembered the doctor telling me if the IUD slipped out of place I could have pregnancy like symptoms, so I made an appointment while dreading the pain I might have to go through again.
As I lay on the table waiting for the doctor to return, I wasn't prepared for what he was about to tell me, "everything looks good, the IUD is in place but... you are pregnant". I started to cry. "We cannot remove the IUD or the baby will abort, but don't worry the IUD will just float along side the baby and it will come out with the afterbirth".
 As I got into the car where my mother was waiting to pick me up, I burst into another flood of tears and told her the news. She looked at me and without a blink she said, "Well, the way I see it you have two choices... you can cry and feel sorry for yourself and make this pregnancy hard on you and the baby or you can accept this baby as a gift and start thanking the Lord for it now. 
There in the car, at that moment I chose to thank God for my new gift.

Me pregnant in my eighth month holding Kerri.

 I am not going to tell you the next few months were easy, I was tired and had morning sickness while trying to keep up with a three year old and a new baby. During that time my husband got laid off his job, we sold our house and moved to a farm farther north, which is another story in itself. The house was later condemned because of rats and we moved again before the end of my pregnancy... but I am getting off my story. 

Around my sixth month, I was having what I thought were Braxton Hicks pains, it was slight and I ignored it thinking nothing of it. During this time we were having a series of meetings at our church with a visiting speaker, who was well known for his prophetic gift. We were a Charismatic church believing in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. During one of the services the speaker called me up to the front of the church and told me the Lord had a word for me, to this day I wished I could have recorded the prophecy. What I do  remember is vivid, he said that I carried a son and the Lord has His hand on him, he will be blessed. That the Lord has set him apart for His glory and He will be used by the Lord. The Lord has a work for him.

I carried my baby full term without anymore problems. I gave birth to a healthy seven pound, 19" boy named James after his father, the Hebrew name means, One who follows.
After James was taken away by the nurses, the doctor was having trouble finding the IUD. I was aware that there was a problem and we joked about the baby not handing him the IUD... I was not a fan of the anesthetic at the time, so I had a natural childbirth without anything. I was Aware. Not finding the IUD he scheduled me for a D and C the next morning and I signed the papers. 
I woke up from the D and C with great pain in my abdomen and also a large incision. The head of obstetrics came in and explained to me exactly what they found. The IUD was initially inserted wrong and perforated my cervix, thus my pregnancy... it never worked (a relief for me after finding out how it functioned). But it also tore a hole in the uterine wall, traveled through it and eventually lodged in my intestines. I carried this baby full term with a hole in my uterus. The doctor was quite excited over all this, he said they also found my appendix swollen twice it's size and removed it (hmmm a two for, I thought).
 He went on to give me the statistics of this birth and the healthy condition of the baby and ended by saying... he was a miracle baby.

 For the next 5 days, I met doctors from various floors of the hospital coming down to examine "the miracle baby". They all said the same thing concerning his condition, he was one of the healthiest babies they have seen, in all aspects and especially in his muscle tone without taking in the circumstances in which he was born. God was true to His word.
The pre and post natal care, hospital bill and surgery was all taken care of by my attending physician. No, I did not sue, Yes, I had a case but does one bring allegations for an unwanted pregnancy against someone... when that pregnancy is from the hand of God... not this person nor my husband.

I later had three more beautiful baby girls, each one a blessing and all my five daughters a story for another time. 

James my only son blessed by God in health throughout his life with hardly even colds or flu, favored with a successful career and above all a generous heart now celebrates his 43rd birthday.
 One of the greatest joys of my heart and a blessing to my soul.
Happy Birthday to my son, my gift and my blessing. 

Sometimes life gives you a challenge that you didn't ask for or you thought was not wanted or needed. At the time it seemed to look like a mountain of a burden.
 In my life, I believe all things come from God or is allowed by God, I am His child. Whatever comes my way He has already  prepared a way for me, when I seek Him first. He only has good things for me, just as a loving father has for his child, even though sometimes we do not understand the gifts. Even though we do not perceive them as gifts but trials or mountains or insurmountable problems.
 And we know that all things work together for good, for those that love God and are called according to His purpose. 
Romans 8:28
I wonder if while sitting in that car 43 years ago listening to my mother's words and the choice I had before me... what if I had chosen not to be thankful, what if I had chosen to just go with my selfish feelings and let the circumstances of what I thought them to be overwhelm me... I wonder if the outcome would have been the same.
In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of Christ Jesus concerning you. 1Thess. 5:18  
 I believe our choices allow God to work and we see His glory in our lives the more we choose to just trust him.
We all have choices, sometimes we don't always make the right ones and I am the first in line for bad choices but I believe God's grace is sufficient for those also. And as we become more aware of our choices and choose to be thankful and trust Him, the more we will see the hand of God clearly.
Today if you are facing a mountain you seem to think is impassable I encourage you to give it over to God, start thanking Him for the gift that He has in this challenge. Trust Him, He will not fail you.
Every good gift and every perfect gift comes down from the father of lights, with whom there is no variation, neither shadow cast by turning. James 1:17