Asking For Your Prayers…

Today we planned to announce our pregnancy with joy and excitement, but instead we are announcing with fear, love for our child and a plea for prayers.

We found out in September that we were pregnant and we were ecstatic! It was such a direct answer to our prayers and started to fill my longing to become a mother. Ever since I can remember I never desired a career or any other occupation. I want to be a mother. We went to our first ultrasound two weeks after we found out, only to be told that we most likely would lose this baby. All the fears of my previous loss came running back, yet I asked God to work a miracle and that we would see a precious heartbeat at our next appointment. A week later, we returned and we saw a beautiful heartbeat-Β yet we were told once again we would lose this baby. The heart rate was too slow (109bpm) and the baby was measuring too small. I began to pray again and ask God that at our next appointment the heart rate be 150pm. The next week we showed up, the baby doubled in size and the heart rate was between 148-150bpm. I was thrilled and the doctor told me my miscarriage rate was down to 5%. I began praying again that at our next appointment that the baby would measure at least nine weeks as it was still on the small size. Today was that appointment and the heart rate was even better at 186bpmΒ and measured at 9 weeks and 2 days! I was so happy- but yet I could tell the ultrasound tech was being quiet and something wasn’t quite right.

The doctor told us that there is abnormal fluid in the baby’s neck and abdomen, known as Cystic Hygroma. She told me that my chances of losing this baby went from 5% to 70% and if I do carry this baby to term it is at high risk of birth defects, heart defects and other conditions such as Down Syndrome, Turner Syndrome and several other conditions.

I am asking for your prayers. God has been faithful and has answered specific prayers already and I am asking for more. First, I am asking when we go back next week that there will be no abnormal fluid and we will see a perfectly healthy baby. Second, I am asking that if there is still fluid around the baby- that God will protect this little one and either heal later in the pregnancy or give us the strength to help this child the best we can with whatever conditions he may have.

Third, and the most difficult is that if we lose this child that I will not become angry or bitter. That I will praise God no matter what. As I type these words, it is so hard because I love this child and no matter what difficulties the child faces medically- it will never change my love and desire to have this child, yet I must understand and accept that losing this baby is a very real possibility. I know my God is big enough to overcome these 70% odds, but I also know that things happen-chromosomal abnormalities that can cause issues such as these.

Here is a picture of our little one to keep in your prayers (we saw him wiggling around and his little arms and legs–never doubt that life begins at conception- proof right here!)-

photo (2)

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Another Bulleted List.

I’ve been such a bad blogger so here id the most recent update:

-I recently left my job at Franklin County DSS to work for Carilion with their Eligibility Assistance Services Program. It was such a tough decision for me to leave Franklin County DSS as I love my co-workers and my job there, but with Bennett losing his job and us living in Roanoke we both felt God leading us in this direction. I completed my first week of the new job this week and I can already tell I am really going to like it!
It should be a little more fast paced which I am excited about. I will be working at Roanoke Memorial Hospital assisting clients with getting financial help (such as Medicaid). Having a background in Medicaid from Franklin County DSS is a huge help to me- but I still have alot to learn!

-We booked our trip to New York for March 14-18! Bennett and I are SO excited! We get to meet up with our friends–we’ll call them the “G’s”– who have Vaginismus. “Wife G” has become one of my closest friends over the past several months. We have had several emails, phone conversations and skype dates sharing about what the Lord is doing in our lives, what struggles we are facing and of course our similar issue of Vaginismus. Another amazing answer to prayer is that we only thought we had enough Marriott reward points to get one hotel night free- we have enough points to get all four nights free! God is so faithful to provide for us and I must not forget this simple truth.

-I am starting a new book called Wholly Jesus by Mark Foreman. Mark Foreman is the father of Jon Foreman, who is the lead singer of one of my favorite bands Switchfoot. My friend Laryssa recommended the book for me to read, so I thought I would read it and post my thoughts on here and hope to get some feedback from you guys. Mark Foreman is currently a pastor at North Coast Calvary in Carlsbad, CA.

-The holidays were busy, but wonderful. We spent time with both sides of the family and found out that we are going to have a little neice or nephew by this time next year which we are super excited about. Congrats Thomas and Courtney!

-Crouton continues to grow. He is a full 5.1 pounds.

-Bennett is still searching for a job. He has put in countless amounts of applications. I am really proud of him for how hard he is trying. Even with just my income, we are not in need or want of anything. It truly is incredible.

-Random, but so thankful for having my closest friend Jess Walker so much closer to me. I see her several times a week which usually consist of at least one sleepover and plenty of good chats and it has just been such an encouragement to me to have her back in my everyday life. God is good to provide those people when we need them.

I think that is about it for now. I will try my best to blog more. With pictures. Because pictures always make it so much more interesting.

Puppies and Mistletoe and Unexpected Blessings.

Isn’t he the cutest?

We have adjusted to having a puppy in the house. If puppies are this much work I can’t even imagine what having a baby is like! I therefore think that every married couple should get a puppy before having a baby.

It’s been awhile since I have posted- yet even though I am not consistent I am thankful that the Lord is. He answered a HUGE prayer today as we have been hit with some financial issues between a car breaking down and Bennett losing his job- God provided us with $1,000 dollars today. Praise. The. Lord. $400 of it came form our landlord for Bennett painting our apartment several months ago and the other $600 came was our security deposit form our previous apartment. We had forgotten about them both (or just assumed that we weren’t getting our deposit back) and they came at just the right time. Bennett’s parents also helped us out with letting us use a spare car while we are trying to figure out what is going on with Bennett’s car, if we need to purchase a new vehicle or wait it out.

God is so good and faithful in spite of ourselves.

On a side note: if anyone knows of any work for Bennett please let us know! He is searching diligently and has applied for several places but has yet to hear anything.

As cliche as it sounds, He will provide!

God continues to bring ‘V girls’ (vaginismus women) into our lives. Bennett and I are super excited for March to arrive as we are going to return to Long Island/Womens Therapy Center for a few days to met up with one of the couples we have been talking to for several months. They will be going to the same treatment center that we went to and we are excited to go be a part of their journey. They are both believers, and I have become especially close to ‘S’ (as I want to protect her confidentiality) and thankful for God putting her in my life. They will be married exactly one year while they are participating in the treatment program and I KNOW the Lord is going to heal them by that special one year anniversary date. Keep them in your prayers!

Goodbye New York.

I can’t believe we have already been here for two weeks- and what an incredible two week it has been. God has answered so many prayers and we give Him all the glory!

“Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion.” (Psalms 103:1-4).

We are super sad to be leaving tomorrow. We have grown to love our doctors- Dr. Ross and Dr. Ditza- and we will miss them greatly. I can honestly say I have NEVER had doctors come even close to these ladies concerning their expertise, bedside manor, tour guiding skills (haha), kindness and generosity. They will forever be a part of the story of our lives and we praise God for leading us to them.

So thankful for my husband who has stuck out these past two rough years. He has truly shown the love of Christ- selfless, unconditional and a true servant. I know that there will always be difficult trials to come- but I praise God for blessing me with such a husband to go through these trials with.

Our last session is at 9 tomorrow morning- then we should be on the road by 10 to head home. I have mixed feelings about coming home- this really has been like a vacation for us and I have enjoyed the extra rest and time off of work and away from our routine life- but at the same time, I am a routine person and I am ready to get back in the swing of things. Ready to move forward- not forgetting Vaginismus- but not letting it dictate who I am but allowing God to use it through us and for Him to continue to lead us to do what He wants us to do.

Week Two!

What a fabulous weekend we had! Just what the doctor ordered πŸ˜‰ Laura and Daniel came in about midnight on Friday evening and we stayed up for a little bit catching up with each other. We then slept in on Saturday, ate a good breakfast and headed out into the city. It was a flippin’ 100+ degrees in the city so we packed a backpack full of frozen water bottles and headed on our way. We took the train into the city- then a subway and went to central park. I did not realize how HUGE it is and we only saw a small portion of it. We also saw the Plaza hotel, FAO Swartz, Ferrari store (for the boys, Laura and I just wanted some A.C.!), Grand Central Station, Time Square, etc. We also went on a circle line boat which is a two hour tour of part of Manhattan. It was relaxing, much cooler and we could see the sights without having to walk in the heat πŸ™‚

We then headed back to Long Island and ate at this AMAZING pizza place-best pizza I have ever eaten (sorry Pyramid Pizza-but you are a close second!) and later watched a movie at the hotel and conked out from all the heat and walking. Sunday morning we swam a little bit in the hotel pool then our friends headed on their way. SO thankful for them and that they came up to visit us. It was exactly what Bennett and I needed and we are blessed to have them as friends.

Week two of treatment started yesterday and it is going much better then week one. I can not believe how quickly women can progress in this two week program. Bennett and I did have a freak out moment Saturday evening when the homework was particularly difficult for me and we wondered if we would be the couple that it wouldn’t work for. But Monday rolled around and I could tell people were praying and Monday was a GREAT day! So thankful for everyones prayers and support- and for our wonderful doctors- Dr. Ditza and Dr. Ross. They are amazing and I am so glad the Lord lead us to them!

We are about to head out to our first session of the day- then Bennett is going into the city again by himself to explore πŸ™‚ Pray for his safety πŸ™‚

“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing”

The above quote is by Helen Keller that was texted to me by a friend today- and I can say this past week has sure been some adventure. Day four of treatment is complete and I cannot believe how far I have come (not to brag on myself–but it’s pretty exciting!). These doctors for sure know what they are doing, they are SO loving and caring and I truly will have a difficult time leaving them next week–but I am not going to think about that as that is a full week away and I am looking forward to this weekend!

Our friends Laura and Daniel B. are coming up to visit us. They will be in tomorrow evening and will spend all day Saturday with us exploring the city and then leave mid morning on Sunday. I am SO thankful for them and it means alot that they are coming up! I am for sure ready for a break from treatment and to have some time with some great friends.

Today’s treatment went well. Emotionally it has been trying- but physically today was probably the easiest day thus far. Bennett took the day to explore the city while I was in treatment so he could plan out our site seeing day on Saturday. I enjoyed some down time and did laundry, watched some tv, etc. I also met a wonderful woman at dinner who I found out is also a believer. She is from Scotland and is here with her family so her 14 year old autistic son could receive some medical treatment. I didn’t share a whole lot about my issue- but enough for her to get the jist and she shared that she had fertility issues and how God has blessed her with four children. She had SUCH a positive outlook on life- even though one of her kids is struggling with his own condition. She told me that she prayed for 8 years that God would heal her son- and then started to pray differently. We do serve a God that CAN do miracles- but she stated that sometimes that isn’t His plan and He has a different purpose. She said she has met so many people through her son and God has used it greatly. It was encouraging to me as there have been many times I have been angry at God and wishing I never had to deal with this condition- but God has a reason. He has taught me SO much already and for that I am grateful and I know He is going to use this to bring glory to Him.

I hope this post all makes sense–it is late and I am pretty wiped out but it helps me to post some and process the day. I appreciate your prayers–I have never in my life felt so loved and supported and prayed over. We both have been extrememly humbled and challenged to look at our own lives in how we can do better to support our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Day 2!

What a day! We woke up around 8:30 and had a fantastic breakfast! I have never had a complimentary hotel breakfast like this one. There were eggs, home fries, sausage, bagels, toast, cereal, waffle machines, pancakes, fruit, juice, soda, muffins, etc. etc. Unfortunately I was a tad bit anxious to eat much but I am hoping after a good nights rest I will be able to enjoy it! That’s a small prayer request–I am having some trouble sleeping. I don’t actively feel ‘anxious’ but I have been restless, stomach pains, etc. So apparently my body knows what is coming these next two weeks and isn’t happy about it…but it’s all in God’s hands. That has been a passage that has been in my mind today- that the Lord holds me in His right hand.

Anyways- we ate some breakfast then we had to switch hotel rooms as we booked a night earlier at the last minute. We unpacked and then head to New York City. The doctor’s from the treatment center have been super helpful as I spoke with one last night who gave us great directions to the nearest train station. We had such a time trying to figure out how to buy a train ticket, shocked at the price and then trying to find the right train as we pull out this huge map to try to figure it out. We were screaming tourist. We did well and made it Penn Station. We spent a few hours in the city- but I am not a huge ‘crowd’ person to begin with and the city was ALOT to take in on little sleep and treatment looming ahead- so we only stayed for a few hours and headed back. We stopped that the grocery store to pick up some items we can keep in our room so we don’t have to eat out for every meal. I got my two favorites right now- roasted red pepper humus with original sun chips and buitoni pasta (all of which I was introduced to by my co-worker Lauren- yum!).
After the grocery store we headed back to our hotel. We have never had this much free time as a married couple and we are thoroughly enjoying it! I grabbed a book (the Prodigal God by Tim Keller, summer reading book for Citylight) and sat by the pool. The weather has been wonderful and it was so relaxing. I have read through the first 40 pages or so–I am working on processing it but it is very eye opening. I am sure I will post more about that later.
While I was reading, Bennett was sitting by the pool with his Mac making videos of our trip. He is quite talented in the media category and as much as I really don’t like a camera in my face- I will be grateful for the capture of memories. He also will have TONS of free time sitting in the waiting room of the treatment center while I am being treated so who knows what he will create. πŸ™‚
So our first two days have been good–seeing Jess W., seeing some sights and relaxing. Tomorrow starts our first day of treatment. Our first session is at 10AM and it is just a consultation. I am not sure if we start the actual treatment procedures tomorrow afternoon or Tuesday- but I appreciate your prayers for those!

NY Bound!

This will be a quick post as I have yet to start packing…and it’s 6:30pm and we are leaving at 7:00am tomorrow morning…but I am almost done with a weeks worth of laundry πŸ™‚

I can’t believe it is already time for our treatment–it has been a whirlwind the last four months–meeting the Hatters, going to Citylight, making the decision to go to the Women’s Therapy Center–but the awesome part is seeing God’s hand in it all. He has been so faithful and I know he will continue to be.

People have been SO generous–I will do a post more about that later but it has overwhelmed Bennett and I. Our church family has been AMAZING, the Hatters, friends, parents (Thanks to mom and dad for an early birthday present of a GPS!!), etc. etc. It has really challenged Bennett and I to give more of ourselves, our time and our money. We have been living so ‘comfortably’ and that has got to change.

Please pray that we can both get a good night’s sleep. Pray for my anxiety level (ha) as I have been somewhat anxious the past few days and need to continually remember to cast my cares upon the Lord. Pray for ministry opportunities while we are there. Pray for safe travel. Pray for God’s healing in all aspects of our personal lives and maritial life-physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Pray that God will use this situation to bring glory to HIM as it has already and I know it will continue.

Also, pray for a fellow blogger friend of mine. I have not met her in person yet but many of you may know her. She JUST now had triplets–as far as facebook says they are doing well but they are tiny so please keep them in your prayers πŸ™‚

Sweet Summertime.

So I have been MIA on the blog front and figured it was about time for an update! Tonight is one of those nights that I need to organize my thoughts with a list so that’s what you’ll be getting.

Update on our New York Treatment Trip:
-God is SO faithful, even when we are not. I was really struggling a few weekends ago, still wrestling with the idea of going to New York. Bennett and I had kept talking about how we needed to go to the bank and get a medical loan but we both just kept putting it off and a few of our friends really didn’t think that God would let us be indebted to a financial institution over this matter. So that particular weekend I was quite frankly upset with God. I had no real reason, just was in a funk and was tired of this battle of Vaginismus and the strain it has caused over our past two years of marriage. I told God the Friday of that weekend if the money was not provided by Monday I was not going. First off, it is NEVER okay to do that to God- ‘if you don’t do this, I won’t do that’. Wrong, wrong, wrong. But how incredibly humbled I was when Bennett came home from church that Sunday saying that a couple from our church came up to him and said they wanted to loan us the money- and the amount they quoted to him was the exact amount left that we had figured up that we needed! I had not told Bennett about my angry prayer to God so I was completely broken and embarrassed by my prayer but in awe of our God. Praise be to GOD who cares for us- even when we are filthy, dirty sinners. But then again- aren’t we always filthy, dirty sinners?

-‘How He Loves’ (made popular by David Crowder) has been a song resounding in my heart ever since we left Furnace Creek. It was played at our first Sunday in city light, it was play twice on a particular day that I was really struggling with doubt over going to New York and as soon as I started to pray about going, it popped up on Spirit FM and then later in the day on Pandora. Sometimes I view God as this mean Shrek like figure who stands from afar off and casts judgement on everyone. God is really breaking me of that view lately- showing me how judgmental I am personally and how loving HE is in spite of ourselves.

-I have written in my journal many more ways God has confirmed His leading in our decision to go to New York which I don’t have the time and energy to post right now- but will share soon. I will have lots of time to blog during our two week treatment! It is less then a month away and I can honestly say now for the first time I am actually more excited then anxious and I know that this is all part of the story that God has designed for my life so it can bring glory to him.

Other random musings:

-One of my best friends, Natalie, is getting married. We had an awesome bachelorette weekend a few weekends back and her big day is THIS weekend! So excited for you Nat and I love you and am honored to be a part of it πŸ™‚

-The Biggest Loser finale was a few weeks ago. I made it through without crying.

-I have started to pick up the hobbie of making jewelry. Bennett works alot of evenings and I often just go home and sit on my butt and watch Hulu. Not productive at all! So far I am enjoying it and am also hoping it’ll be something good to fill time during our treatment trip.

-One of my best friends, Kari, is pregnant! I am SO excited for her as we have been praying for this for over a year. Even though it is a different situation for both of us- we both understood the struggle of emotions that comes with wanting something that we both didn’t have- something that should come naturally to women. We have shared many conversations and prayers with each other over pregnancy and Vaginismus and I praise God for answering our prayers!

-My little Ella is 7 years old. I love her so much and am blessed to have her as my little sister. Ella is coming to stay with us next weekend and I am looking forward to a fun weekend of sister time!

-Bennett continues to be an incredible husband- I can’t even adequately put it into words. He has hung curtains all around our house, often cleans ands cooks me meals, and is currently working on a big ‘secret’ project which he has told me will completely make our bedroom look different then it does now. He wants the project to be complete by the time we leave for New York. He does all this while working full time- often six days of week and when he isn’t working at Lowes he is painting with a friend on his days off to earn some extra cash. I am so completely and totally blessed.

-We both have fallen in love with our church family at Citylight. It is like no other church we have ever been to before- but in an exceptional way. We have both learned so many valuable lessons in the short three months we have been there and the time of rest from ministry has been excellent for our relationship and has continued to put more into focus what the Lord wants us to do after this break period of vocational ministry- as for a Christian ‘ministry’ should be a daily thing- but we both do not feel that Bennett will not be working at Lowes forever πŸ™‚

Bennett will be home soon from work so that is all for now–sleep is calling my name! Oh, and if you will, pray for my friend Jess. She is currently serving at a ministry called Youthworks in Philly, PA. It is in the middle of the ghetto (in her words ;)) and she is the head leader of that particular site. She has had a trying three weeks thus far and she needs prayer as well as her team and the individuals she will be ministering too! Thanks πŸ™‚

Answered Prayer.

God. is. so. good.

This month has been a radical month for me and Bennett- God showing himself time and time again. Since my last post- Bennett has gotten a job. His last day of work was on Thursday, March 31st. He found out Wednesday March 30th he was hired at Lowes and he began working on Tuesday, April 5th. Bennett typically had Fridays and Mondays off so it was as if there was no gap at all between jobs.

We went to our first service at Citylight this past Sunday. We were overwhelmed by the kindness and love of the congregation and the leadership. This particular church takes communion every Sunday. The partaking in communion had such a huge impact on me. As I dipped the bread in the juice and reflected on God giving his only child to die for me- just completely overtook me. It was because of His pure love that He did that- and that is what Bennett and I have truly felt this month. Yes- we always have known that God loves us- but we have felt it SO strongly this month that it is unexplainable. Communion was followed with the song “Oh, How He Loves Us” and we both just sat and drank in the love of the Lord. So often, Bennett especially, we had gotten so wrapped up in ‘working’ at the church and focusing on what needed to be done that we forgot to simply bask in the love the Lord lavishly gives to us.

Bennett loved being a youth pastor and he loved being in ministry. We want to make it clear that we will be going back into ministry but are taking this time to rest and learn. But in the meantime- Bennett really loves to teach. We met some friends, a young couple about our age, a few weeks ago who are new to the county. We often go with them to the gym and had begun to know each other better. A few weeks ago Bennett was reading in his quiet time about discipleship and felt burdened to connect with this new couple on a deeper level. The exact same day, at the gym, the husband of the couple asked Bennett if he would be interested leading a bible study for them, us and a few of our other couple friends we have in franklin county. It was another God thing. We began the bible study last Sunday night and it was a night full of candid, genuine open questions and discussion. Bennett is still learning and teaching but God is showing us that it doesn’t have to be inside of the church doors. More often then not it is much more effective outside of the church doors. This Bible study is also helping us stay connected in Franklin County as our church is in Roanoke but we live here- and God has called us to minister here as well.

So that is just a few more exciting things going on in the lives of the Wamplers. πŸ™‚