Sunday, May 5, 2013

back from the pause

I don't know why but I sat today and recalled when I used to post on this blog as a opportunity to process out loud and share our journey with others. For whatever reason I stopped. Maybe life got busy. Saraiah started to do better. There was a pause. A pause in life. Or a pause from death. It almost seems a bit surreal that we went through everything we went through over 3 years ago. In a peculiar way I am envious of my faith life out in the open back then. If I was honest, and I don't know how to be anything but brutally honest, I would say that life almost seemed a bit normal. Our day to day got a bit easier, and Saraiah started making drastic changes for the better! She is now 3 as of January 4. Where has the time flown. Days pass so quickly. It is somewhat of a blur. I don't know whether to thank Jesus that it is now a blur, or to crave that moment when I was clinging so tightly to Jesus because of my suffering. Jesus was found in that desert. I don't want that desert back, but I do want more of Jesus. I am still daily learning the secret of being content in plenty. We are in a season of plenty. For those of you that don't yet know we got wonderful news that Saraiah could live decades. Decades! My initial response was disbelief. Really? Could this be true. Did God really do a miracle. God brought me to a passage of scripture when Peter and John ran to Jesus tomb after he resurrected. Peter inspected the tomb thoroughly, not quite sure what had taken place. John barely glanced and went on into town proclaiming him to those he saw. Knowing that I'm the half a glass full kind of girl, one would think my reaction would be to jump and dance and praise. That was my husbands reaction. He responded with a touching video that brought tears to so many people. But my heart wasn't there yet. Guilt flooded in like I can not explain. I was left with the feeling that I was letting people's expectations down of what my response should be. To back up a little bit, we were told over a week ago that Saraiahs patent ductus was now closed (which should have killed her instantly) but there was space in her heart now that was flowing blood as a normal heart should. She is no longer displaying signs of Hypo Plastic Left Heart but more accurately as Severe Ventricle Imbalance. Her heart is strong, her blood is pumping well, and she could live decades. My heart was light and burdened at the same time. Maybe many of you wouldn't understand this, so I put myself out there knowing I could be judged, but I know that God wants me to share this. It is my weakness. I pray that God can continue to change my heart and make me more like him, and praise him in all these victories that my heart hasn't accepted yet. I don't know how I will do this for a lifetime. Daily g-tube feedings, taking care of a girl that can't move or walk or sit up, possible nights of no sleep, more arguments in the house b/c we are stressed.....thats what my heart rested on. My faith is small. Smaller than a mustard seed. I forgot how good my God was. It was heartbreaking to feel this. Maybe my response was b/c I am going on 2 months without feeling God, really knowing he is there....I am unsure of why he is absent, but I press forward....trusting him despite my feelings. I am weak. I pray in this weakness he can be strong. I don't know if I am capable of making a impact on others right now. I want so badly for others to see Jesus in me. Not me. Just Jesus. But right now I feel like Paul. Like a desperate horrible sinner. The worst of sinners. This daily life with Saraiah, this pause, this life with her as a more healthy has me in a tough spot. My heart had processed and accepted death in some sense....but God has given us life. LIFE! Exactly what we asked for. I begged God to keep her. I didn't realize that his will may be to see himself glorified through a life of taking care of her in her helpless need. Washing her, bathing her, feeding a adult. It was and is a lot to take in and process. I am thankful for those precious family and friends in my life that understand this. There heart resonates with mine. They get it. You know who you are. Thank you. My prayer changes now. Is it too much to ask God....."can Riah sit up" "can you make her heart normal again" "can Riah say mommy" I don't think it is too much. I still ask......Look at everything he has done already. I want to praise him in this. I want to never forget his goodness to me. He loves me, even if I can't feel him. He loves Saraiah. He has a purpose and a plan for her. Praise HIM!~

PS. The newest edition is Israel Zion Mark Hamlet. A real blessing to this family. I feel badly I haven't blogged but Im back.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

If you are wondering why I am posting this funny picture on Saraiahs is a peak into what our daily life is like at you can see that: Yes, we now live in what we call our "new normal." We had the amazing blessing of having a live in nanny for the entire summer and it was a very eventful summer. Thank you Lacey for giving that gift to our family. It allowed us much needed time with our other 2 precious crazy ones :) We are now adjusting back to life as it is without all the help we had, and the 1st week was a bit of a adjustment for me with having Riah to myself entirely and back to every night shift! She is doing great and we will be posting pictures soon of her beautiful chubby self thanks to the NJ tube she has to give her constant feedings. She continues to be on breastmilk and we ask that if you know anyone that wants to donate bmilk, we are still in dire need. We need regular donors on a regular basis. She wouldn't be here without God and the gift of this liquid gold. She is happier than ever. We saw a smile for the 1st time in June, we see feet kicking, coos, laughs and the crazy part is some days you almost think she is a normal baby. But, then I realize that what may have become normal to us may not be to everyone else. I try to keep that into perspective so that I understand others. When we peer into someone else's chaos, we tend to think there is a better way to do it, or how do they do it, or wanting to help in some way to make it easier.....and I have to say that genuinely, aside from just wanting more along time with my Saviour that this family is doing great. God is so good to us. He has gifted us with Saraiah's life and given us a new hope. Hope that is sure in who he is, despite pain. We continue to want to grow more and know him more. Pray for us that despite all this busy life that is ours now, that we would really know God and be given opportunities to be in his presence everyday. Through all the NJ tube feedings, and middle of the night shifts, and physcial therapy and days of not being able to set her down, that "new normal, that really isn't normal to everyone else"........THAT WE WOULD KNOW HIM. I have to admit that when your life is this chaotic, I have to rest knowing that his presence and peace is with me through everything I do. We still crave your prayers and still ask God for full healing of sweet Saraiah. But, we are so in love with the fact that we still have her. What a gift. Love you all.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Here is our precious baby girl....who once had 2 days and now is 16 months old. Thank you God.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Today....I can't believe Saraiah is 15 months old. I felt I needed to write down all the "amazing things" GOD has done in her and through her. In the worlds eyes, our circumstances seem grim. But....praise my Lord Jesus Christ that Because I am HIS adopted heir, and I cry "Abba Father"....... my circumstances are not grim b/c they are reaping a harvest of righteousness. All this is to glorify him. Thats all I want. To glorify him, in whatever way he needs to do that....I'm his. I am not sure I have shared this with that many people, but prior to the birth of Saraiah, I was laying on my bed....crying. I was feeling empty, like God had turned his ear to me. I felt lukewarm, full of mundane tasks. I remember crying out to him, and telling him that all I wanted was the opportunity to tell others about HIM. NO matter what he had to do. I was broken. A few days later Saraiah was born. I can't tell you how many times I have been given the opportunity to share HIM with others. But, what is most amazing and a little nuts is that I didn't need to say a thing. Saraiah's life would speak, regardless of my words. She can't smile, she can't talk, she is sick a lot, and most of the time just wants to be held......The thought of all this brings me to a verse in 1 Corinthians. "Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were influential, not many were of noble birth. But, God chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise, God chose the WEAK things of this world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world, and the despised things-and the things that are not -to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. God chose Saraiah-the weak-to carry his message. AWESOME!

I haven't written in awhile, and part of that is b/c I process out loud, and sometimes our thoughts processed out loud for everyone to read, can be humbling. I also didn't feel that I had gotten to a place of victory. It wasn't until most recently that I feel set free. Set free to share more, set free to be me, and to be in a place of complete contentment in these circumstances. I wonder why it took 15 months :) But....God had all this in mind. HE chose to keep her here. To heal her beyond what was possible. It all seems a bit surreal, to have her here still! It doesn't mean it isn't hard, but God has given me the strength and the ability to not "survive" but "thrive".

The first thing that God has redeemed through Saraiah is...reconciliation w/ family. IN more than 1 relationship Saraiah opened the door to conversation and forgiveness between family members. Death puts everything into perspective. Our time here is short, and we were made for another place. We are foreigners here.

Contentment-"for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. Whether well fed, or hungry, whether living in plenty of living in want, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength". Philippians 4:11-13 Isn't this the goal? To be content. Content even in possible death? Content not knowing where your next check will come from? We are on our way there. Paul was a bit further along :)

God answers prayer-James 5:16 "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective"-When Saraiah was born I begged God for a miracle. To put this in perspective for you, Saraiah has a valve in her heart that should have closed within 2 days of life. This valve if closed would kill her instantly, b/c of the way her blood flows in her system. In a normal human being, this valve closes also in the first 2 days of life, but b/c their heart is normal, this helps them take in oxygen and blood to flow properly. The fact this valve stayed open is miraculous, and nothing short of it. I remember having at least 4 different groups of people coming to my mom and dads and praying for Saraiah. I asked and asked and asked. Shes still here :)

He is good- Romans 8:28-"and we know that in all things God works for the good of those that love him, who have been called according to his purpose." If we love him, we can expect all things to turn out for the good. He has worked good through her, she is still here, people have re-committed their lives to God and been impacted.

He comforts us-"who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort, we ourselves receive from God." 2 Cor. 1:4-5

"For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ."

I get to share in Christ's suffering. What a amazing thing. To understand suffering. You wouldn't think one could be thankful for suffering. But, if it helps us walk in deeper commune with God, then let it be accepted.

I met my best friend through Saraiah-Shelly Buck. She dropped a meal off at my house when she was born.

I can't believe that God brought me a kindred spirit through Saraiah. What a gift. And to see how much she has suffered, has really put my life into perspective. I love you Shelly. He also brought me Kelli and Allie, that through this have shown me that GIRLS need each other....and that we need to laugh, and give to each other.

My relationship with my husband has been deeply impacted. We are closer than I think lots of people never get. And I don't say that to think that I have it better...believe me this is said having gone through much strife and arguing, and selfishness in the past. the beginning, we went into a closet together and prayed together making decisions about Saraiah, and giving her back to God. God joined us through suffering, closer than one could imagine. He has given me my soul mate through her. Someone that I love deeply and look up to so much. Babe-we are dancing in the minefields. I only want to dance through them with you.

He showed me how to forgive- by showing me what really matters. Family. faith. love. hope.

Most of all God has shown me that life is a journey of the unexpected. May be the title of a book someday.

It is all so much more and less that what I imagined for myself. But.....I can truly say....I would not ask God to take it away from me now. It is a part of me that has drawn me to his heart. My love for God is so much deeper. My faith in him is deeper. My faith life was shoved into the open and brought to the light, and let me tell you, with much tears and sometimes anger it was forced to surrender. Broken again. Surrendering again. Its daily for me. I had to give myself up over and over.

And....whether we are suffering b/c the world suffers, or b/c of sin in the world, or b/c of choices we made, or b/c it comes from the sovereign hand of God.............DOESN'T MATTER. B/c the end result is me in the palm of his hand. And...he loved me enough to let me go through all this to be drawn back to him. And....his glory is what matters.

Sometimes we have to say it over and over......welling faith up inside of us......"God is good, I trust him"

We have to be reminded.

Saraiah is my daily reminder. That I am not in CONTROL. I tried to be. I still clean my house all the time, cuz it makes me feel clean inside. I know that is wierd :) But, the things we do to have control, when all God wants us to do is give it up. True joy comes when we give up.........I am still learning this. God is reminding me......everyday, by looking at Riah, and watching her defy all the odds.

I know some of you say that you could never go through hard things, and we lament for people that have to suffer so, but.....I can't begin to name the people i have met through this, that have become more beautiful b/c of suffering in their life. Christ in you gets you through it, and that is it. We don't get through it. We suck at getting through it on our own.

I am sooooo deeply thankful for my life, and for the plan God has me on....its not my plan...its better.

random bits of honesty-saraiah was about 4 months old at the time

1. Some days I look forward to when this is over, but then I think that if I hope for that, she will pass away.
2. I actually have gone a whole week without feeling God's presence near me, and that makes me so sad. Trying to trust him in spite of that, because our faith is not based on feelings.
3. I actually draw huge amount of strength from friends and family. So whether I thank them or not, they mean the world to me, and help me see God in my life.
4. I in no way feel obligated to have people over, so don't feel like you have to stay away.
5. My way of handling pain is to be funny, so please don't think I am strong. I am weak with jokes on hand to keep my heart light.
6. Saraiah is by far the biggest lesson I have ever had in my life. Of so many things: faith, impatience, unbelief, purpose, love.
7. I love her so much, I actually am considering adopting a downs. I adore them. They make my heart happy.
8. She makes my heart crush when she does her pouty lip and is in pain.
9. Saraiah Marie Louise Hamlet is her full name. Named after all her grandmas.
10. I am not as strong as you think. I have so many moments of weakness. They come out in anger and impatience with others. And, at the end of the day, I feel like a piece of poop on the ground.
11. I am thinking of possibly working as a nurse in neo-natal. To bless those families.
12. My biggest hearts desire is for others to come to know CHRIST because of this. I just ask God to mold me to be like him, despite my weakness and the ways I have messed up and had unbelief.
13. I don't want to live my life in fear anymore. Of anything. I just want to trust God, that he is good. He gives and he takes away. Blessed be his name.
14. I try to keep my mind busy, so that I don't have to feel.
15. I went on a anti-depressant to get me through. Praise the Lord for medicine.
16. Saraiah is the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. Because she is so special.
17. She had a 1 in 800 chance of being downs. A 1-2% chance of being mosaic downs of 3 kinds, 4 in 10,000 of having hypo-plastic left heart, 100% chance of dying after birth. That just tells me that God is soooooo much bigger then we think. He is sustaining her.
18. When I forget he is sustaining her, and I get negative. I BEG him to help me see the good stuff and protect my heart from bitterness
19. I will start counting the ways in which this child has blessed my life and others, because it is the only thing that gets me through sometimes.
20. Saraiah brought reconciliation to my family.
21. I want God to heal her. I know he heard me the first time, but I still ask him everyday, and I know in spite of everything that has happened. God is good.
22. I eat chocolate a lot. It helps me cope.
23. I say to God.....consider my affliction, and please deliver me, plead my cause and redeem me. Revive me. Revive my heart. Help me not to run from you. Help me to show you in my life. Forgive me for the days I don't show you are real.
24. I love you Saraiah. More than life itself. You have taught me so much. I fear to get close to you, because I don't want to suffer more.
25. I love you all, because YOUR strength has helped to sustain me.

waiting-a look back

This post may not be like the others I have posted.
When you are in a waiting period, time goes by so slowly, and with a fog.
Jeremiah and I have had to say goodbye so many times, and yet another day passes with our sweet baby in it. I have been discouraged. Hoping for a miracle, although so many have happened already. We sit, waiting in hope and anticipation for God to heal her. Constantly hovering over her to see if her vitals are good, and feeling discouraged with even a small sign of her condition. I find myself growing weary, and running out of hope. I desperately want this to bring blessings to so many, and to let God finish this work in us.....but also find myself crying out to God to let us keep her. desperation. I am thinking of all the people I know I could send over to shout out desperation with us. I feel numb tonight. SO many are strengthened by our strength, yet I feel so weak. Thanking God for every moment I get with her, but fearful of losing her at the same time.
Please pray for us today. For strength. For trust. For hope.
FOR PEACE. Knowing God is in control. That his plan is so much greater than mine.
I am reminded of my human condition. That the only strength in me is God. And that God's strength is shown in my weakness. I need God. More than I ever have. I ran. In fear. Fear that I can't handle the pain.

We are so thankful for the prayers and support around us.
Please continue to lift us up.
We need to be reminded that God is good today.
Today.....I am hurting.

Luv you all to pieces.
Saraiah Marie Louise is with us.
We would like to keep her longer!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Usually when I post, it is most likely done when things seem to be going OK for Saraiah, but I myself am struggling to push through. But, yesterday was a odd turn of events. As most of you know....Saraiah was rushed into the ER because she wasn't breathing. She was choking, she was very pale, and stopped breathing numerous times. IN the last year, it was by far the worse I have seen her....if that says how horrid it was. We were all thinking it would be because she had fluid on her lungs from the unofficial diagnosis of congestive heart failure. But....we quickly found out that her blood sugar was at a dangerous low of 15. They said if she didn't come in when she did, she would have died. My first thought was maybe a human one......but I thought....I am so glad we brought her in. I think I would blame myself if she died of something non-related to her condition. But....then I realized again that i am not in control of Saraiahs life. God is. Her days are numbered by HIM, and he Loves her more than I do. I feel today, a bit like a fly on the wall watching it all. I am unsure of God's presence around me, so please pray that we just get time today to be with God, and reflect. I want my life to bring glory to him, and sometimes we all get caught up in the worry of it all, and forget that God is right there, waiting for us to run to him. I want to run to him today. Love you all.