The Latest Happenings…

Hello dear people who still occasionally check my blog- even though I am awful at consistently posting! Life has been busy, but in a wonderful way. Bennett and I are thoroughly plugged in and enjoying our church-we have a great group of young adults that we love hanging out with and Bennett is working with the youth this summer which he loves. Crouton is still being an adorable, mischievous puppy and we think he has finally stopped growing at a strong 11lbs. He is the best cuddle buddy! Bennett is still working at a dental claims company (or something like that–I really have no idea what he does. Oops, does that make me a bad wife?) and I am still working part time at our local CSB and I love it!

 

This past year has been a time of great healing and spiritual restoration for me and Bennett. Struggling with vaginismus and having a miscarriage took its toll on me-to the point where I wasn’t sure if God was good or if He was even there- but He has lovingly held me by the right hand and restored the joy that I had lost during those difficult times. He has blessed me to be able to understand why I lost our baby and it has strengthened my trust in Him. I also bounced back from my small setback with vaginismus. It was a time where God renewed my desire to connect with women who are enduring this struggle and reminded me that this issue is not want to be hidden and pushed under the rug- which is exactly what Satan wants us to do! I am blessed to weekly receive emails from women who have come across my blog who are struggling with vaginismus. As much as going through trials are difficult- the purpose of them is so worth it!

I have also switched over to a complete vegetarian diet. No meat, poultry, seafood and minimal dairy. I may eventually switch to vegan which is NO dairy or eggs but I am taking it a step at a time 😉 Due to some annoying health issues the doctor recommended this lifestyle change and I have never felt better! Who knew that meat could tear up your body so bad? If you are not convinced, watch Forks Over Knives on Netflix- a documentary about the health benefits of a plant based diet and the detriments of a meat based diet-the results are astounding! I have also enjoyed some great new food such as quinoa and a wide variety of veggies that I had never tried before.

As for this summer- Bennett and I are excited to go to the beach with his family and then on a cruise later in the summer. We are both so ready for vacation and a time of relaxation! Just pray that our cruise doesn’t lose power and fill with sewer water- even though Bennett said it wouldn’t be that bad as we would get our money back and free cruise vouchers, but somehow I don’t know if its worth it! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Pandora Gems.

I have had my Pandora station set to ‘Jesus Culture’ as of late and have come across some beautiful songs that have encouraged me so much lately- some new ones I have never heard and some old ones but I thought I would share them with you and a few lines of the lyrics that stood out to me. Hope you enjoy- and I love it if you would share some of your favorite songs!

“Come to Me”-by Bethel Music

Come to Me (click link)

I am the Lord your God,
I go before you now.
I stand beside you
I’m all around you
And though you feel I’m far away
I’m closer than your breath
I am with you
More than you know

I am the Lord your peace
No evil will conquer you
Steady now your heart and mind
Come into my rest
And oh, let your faith arise
And lift up your weary head
I am with you
Wherever you go

Come to me, I’m all you need
Come to me, I’m everything
Come to me, I’m all you need
Come to me, I’m your everything

“One Thing Remains”- Jesus Culture

One Thing Remains

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing remains
 
Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me 

On and one and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never ever have to be afraid
One thing remains

In death and in life I’m confident and covered by the power of your great love
My debt is paid there’s nothing that can separate my heart from your great love

You Are My Vision-Rend Collective

You Are My Vision

*The traditional hymn, with slight word changes- such as the ‘thees’ to ‘you’ to feel more modern. Has an irish feel to it*

Strong God- Desperation Band

Strong God

 Father to the fatherless
Defender of the weak
Freedom for the  prisoner
We sing

This is God in His holy place
This is God clothed  in love and strength

Sing out, lift your voice and cry out
Awesome is  our strong God, mighty is our God

With us in the wilderness
Faithful  to provide
Every breath and every step
We see

This is God in His holy place
This  is God clothed in love and strength

Your Love- Shane and Shane

Your Love

I’m overcoming fear
With Your perfect love, Your perfect love
You’re opening my ears to hear
The sound of a lover’s voice
You’re calling out, You’re calling out
Let me see Your face, Your loving face

Your love tears me up
And when its done
Puts me together
Your love calls me out
Of my death and my failure
Love, Your love

Book Review- Never Alone Again by John Featherston

My mom and dad surprised me with a Kindle Fire this Christmas. It was a gift I secretly wanted but did not want to ask anyone for as I knew it cost quite a bit of money. I was super surprised when I opened it up Christmas morning at my parents house and I could tell my parents were so excited to see me so excited about my gift! It truly has been a gift I have used everyday and I am amazed at how many free Christian books I can download everyday on Amazon!

One of these books was Never Alone Again by John Featherston. This non-fiction autobiography was too good not to share. I even got Bennett’s interest peaked and he just finished reading it as well. The basic premise of the book is about a pastor of a very conservative church who falls into drug addiction. He receives the treatment he needs, but the elders of the church kick him out of the church anyway. Right off the bat I admire the man because he never once names the church or even the denomination of the church that kicked him out-or once spoke poorly of them. The book goes on to show how God restored him and his ministry and he is now pastoring a church called “Serenity Church” which is geared toward those who struggle with addictions and modeled after the 12 steps. There is SO much more to the story, but below I will tell some of my favorite quotes and what stood out to me.

The second chapter he is on his way to his first AA meeting, in his suit as he is working at the church office that day (the church did not yet know of his addiction at this point). As he headed into the meeting, he noticed the various demographic and cultural variety of people within the room. At first he was uncomfortable, but then person after person began sharing their stories and one man in particular described as a ‘yuppie’ was telling his story of his wife leaving him and his strong desire to use but then he called his AA sponsor, scary-looking-Harley buddy Bob. Bob came over to his home, sat with him all night long, prayed with him and cried with him so he wouldn’t use.

“Suddenly, I (John) understood Bob and the yuppie. This was something I’d been looking for my whole life and hadn’t even know how to ask for. I was born on a Sunday and was in church the next Sunday. I had been taught and trained at two Christian universities and a seminary. I was 34 years old and the Senior Pastor for one of the largest churches of my denomination in the world. I was witnessing ‘church’ for the first time in my life. These were the people who would save my life, rewrite my theology, and change me forever”. (pg. 7)

By the second chapter I was drawn in. Life is messy. But THIS is how church is done. Bearing each others burdens. Living in the light, not in the darkness.

In chapter Nine of the book, John tells the story of how AA groups came into existence. It all started with God bringing together two men. One a current alcoholic and one a recovering alcoholic and them bearing each others burdens. An amazing story and one I never knew, but too long to type out here so read the book!

Several chapters later, after he is kicked out and he starts to pastor again another church of the same denomination (after he himself has gone through treatment and has gotten some recovery time under his belt). Many of his friends from the AA meetings come to his church but he realizes that there is a disconnect in a way. “It’s not the job of the ‘lost’ to adapt to, and learn the language of, the ‘found’. It’s our job to speak Christ in their language. To come to them where they are.” (pg. 112) He prayed about starting two services so that he could speak the ‘language’ to his traditional congregation and then another service to speak the ‘language’ to the recovering addicts. I loved this concept and it opened my eyes to a whole new way to look at this. I guess I had (wrongly so) been almost a bit judgmental when churches had two different type of services (traditional/contempary) – almost as if they weren’t unified. But just as Jesus has made Bennett and me with very different love languages, perhaps this is the same.

Here are some of John’s points:

-Expecting them (the recovering community) to adapt to us, to wade through our traditions and eccentricities, to find Christ wasn’t working and wasn’t right. (Phil. 3:4-7) (pg. 137)

It was equally wrong to stop ministering to our established congregation in the way that they hear, speak, are touched, and understand. The only way to truly reach both is to provide two times, to venues, for fellowship and worship where each “language” is heard and understood. (pg 138)

I understand to some people this can be portrayed as not taking a strong ‘stand’ one way or the other- but John felt passionate about both. Eventually pastoring both became to much for him but God provided the staff so that he could be freed up to focus more on the recovering community but this segment of the book opened up my eyes that what ministers to me isn’t the one and only way and that’s okay as long as it aligns with scripture.

I also liked his ‘movement’ vs. ‘monument’ concept. “We constantly face the classic choice- are we a ‘movement’ or a ‘monument’? A monument is all about holding on to where we come from. Monument churches carefully tend ‘membership rosters’, build walls, and carefully hold what ‘belongs’ to them. There’s not even a whisper of a suggestion of our fiercely defended ‘local church membership’ principle in Scripture. Christ’s followers are by definition a movement…coming together to recharge and encourage each other…and then spreading out wherever He needs us to reproduce what He’s done for us.” (pg. 153)

The author is so respectful throughout the book. Like I said previously, he never bashes the elders that kicked him out of his church- even though he completed treatment and asked for forgiveness. He doesn’t even say what denomination he is from. He even says of his new church: “We’re not for everybody. Serenity Church is a very unique fellowship, given a very specific mission, to speak Christ to a very specific culture, in the language they speak and understand.” (pg. 184) This guy truly gets the we are all of One Body and that we each have a role. We aren’t competing as churches- we are in this together. I know it has challenged Bennett and me to pray and ask God what our ‘language’ is- both in receiving and speaking.

There is so much more in this book to read and be encouraged by- that God can use you in BIG ways even if you feel you have too far gone. I am so encouraged when I read stories such as these- because I know the story God is crafting of my life has its purpose. The tears and the pain, and the laughter and the joy. I can say today- I am grateful.

How Can God Allow Vaginismus?

So it has been four and half months since my last post, and you are probably staring at my post title wondering where am I headed with this, and why do I always bring up Vaginismus in every other post when that part of my life is supposedly behind me. Even though I haven’t posted in quite some time, in the past week alone I have received two emails and one Facebook message from women who are desperate for a cure from not just the physical- but the emotional, spiritual and relational drain that Vaginismus can cause. Each message that I receive, I long so badly to be able to get in a plane, fly to wherever they are located, hug them, hold their hand- and tell them that there is hope. So often, and rightfully so, their messages are filled with words such as confusion, doubt, defeat, tired, pain, frustration, loneliness. Oh the loneliness of this condition- it’s funny to me how sexualized our world is-how it is displayed all over the internet, television shows and in our shopping centers- yet as women we still feel shamed to discuss with our closest friends and family when we have a personal medical problem that needs to be addressed!

That is the main reason why I keep this blog going. My personal life isn’t really that interesting unless you want to hear the latest happenings of what we accidentally fed Crouton, or when Bennett got his latest haircut. I keep this blog up and going because I truly enjoy communicating and helping women who are enduring Vaginismus, and this blog by far as been the number one tool of connecting with women in the United States and around the World who have vaginismus.

So how did I get my title? Well, most people find my blog through a search engine, most often than not ‘Google’. WordPress, my blogging host, does not give me any information about the person viewing my blog (don’t worry- your identity is safe!) but does tell me the search words entered into the search engine site. The top vaginismus related search term is ‘Vaginismus blog’. When typed in, my blog pops up number two on the first page. I praise God for this and it makes total since why I receive anywhere from 5-10 emails/Facebook messages a month. I don’t know if this is the expanse of His ministry for me or if He desires it go further, but as much as I hate that women have this condition I don’t want them to hide in shame or fear anymore, or just simply resolve to live a sexless marriage. This is not His plan. Genesis 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” I believe this verse is not just speaking physically, but also spiritually, emotionally, mentally and relationally (is this even a word?). Vaginismus does not just halt the physical relationship of marriage but all dynamics of marriage. Therefore, I encourage and look forward to each email and message I receive and I pray that God continues to bless this ministry He has allowed me to have for this time and I pray it continues to grow in to whatever He desires.

Now, what do you think was my second most entered search term? You guessed it. “How Can God Allow Vaginismus”? When I was reading through all the search terms and saw how high up on the list this one was, it resonated with me and is what ultimately compelled me to write this post. Several years ago, it would have been me frustrated, angry and crying while typing in those words- too ashamed to voice them out loud but within the privacy of the internet I just wanted to know if someone else knew how I felt. Now I know it is other women, frustrated angry and crying doing the same thing and it saddens me that I physically cannot be in their presence to hug them and encourage them but I do what I can and trust the Lord to do the rest.

To answer this question, I really should let me husband- the brainiac, almost Masters accomplished in Religion who seems to know about everything in the Bible answer this question- and I might ask him to do so in a later post. But, I will answer it now, 3 and half years later after discovering I had Vaginismus.

This first part is hard to grasp, but it is the truth. Matthew 5:45 says “For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” I am just now coming to grips with this verse. Before marriage, I felt entitled to have the best sex life ever, due to my ‘pure life’. Through God’s love, especially within the past couple of months I have learned that I am entitled to nothing but everything that God has given me is a gift and I can praise Him for it- even this struggle of vaginismus and the loss of our first baby. God is still good-just because I am a Christian doesn’t exempt me from experiencing struggles- if anything they are the same or more so then those who do not know the Lord because we are targeted by Satan! “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” James 1:3-4

I lived a lot of the past year with bitterness toward God, asking Him why He took my baby and this very same question of why did He allow vaginismus in my life, and consequently back into my life. Yes, you heard me right. The all cured Carrie of last summer, once pregnant lady fell down hard when we lost our little one. I shut down completely. I shut out my husband intimately, therefore not having physical relations. I did not do the homework WTC told me to do. My anxiety returned in full force. Now before anyone gets any crazy ideas- let me get a few things straight. Was the treatment successful last summer at WTC? YES! (I’ll get to more of that in a minute, stay with me!) Then what happened??? I shut down my mind and body and all the former anxieties before WTC came back with a vengeance and I did nothing to stop it. I let my bitterness overtake me and I gave up.  I felt I deserved it and that I was a failure. I resolved to once again living a sexless marriage- our one chance at having a child was lost and I was done trying. I felt I deserved to have an ‘easy’ marriage and an ‘easy’ sex life and if it wasn’t going to be that way then I was going to throw myself a pity party and just sit in it. So I did that for awhile and of course nothing got better.

Again, and I praise God for our wonderful doctors at WTC. Their passion for their profession and for their patients is so evident. They check on me every so often and asked how I was doing a several months back. I explained what was going on and they quickly told me not to worry, that they would get me back on track. They sent me what I needed in the mail and I tried to do it on my own but I insisted I couldn’t and just gave up within two days. A few more months go by and God continues to work on my heart, continues to show His love as well as Bennett continuing to show His love regardless of my inability to fully express my love. I also share within a trusted circle of friends at our church small group- scared that I will fail again but knowing that I need the accountability- and start again on the treatment process at home. The WTC doctors have been working with me these past few months and I am confident that I will be good as new in no time. They didn’t give up on me-in their words it was just a bump in the road and I had to remind myself of what I already knew, like riding a bike. And this time, I have done it on my own, with Gods help, at my home.

I recently read a book called “The Devil in Pew Number Seven” by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo- quite an abrasive title but a solid read. One of the quotes that really challenged my thinking was this “I needed God more then I needed to blame God”. When I reached that point, that’s when I was broken and ready to quit blaming God and everyone else for my pain, and ready to handle my challenges and burdens just God and me. Nobody else can do it for me.

 

So Why Does God Allow Vaginismus? I think it will be a different answer for each individual and it may change as time goes on. Sorry if you wanted a more theological answer- I have my husband post for that. For me personally, it showed me that my sin is no different then anyone else’s. It broke down walls of bitterness, pride and judgemental thinking I didn’t even know I had. It caused me to realize I am entitled to nothing on this earth. It has shown me that I have a heart to help women who are suffering silently. It has shown me I have a passion to help those who feel they have no voice. It has shown me that my husband is truly the man God has for me- that Bennett is patient, loving and selfless and I should never take him for granted. It has shown me God’s love and grace and that He gives me chance after chance even after I get angry and frustrated and question His goodness.

Psalm 34:17, 18 “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them. He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in Spirit”.

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with Vaginismus, feel free to email me at carriewampler@yahoo.com

Also, feel free to watch our documentary video of our time spent at the Women’s Therapy Center.

 

Looking back…

Looking back isn’t always a bad thing.

Lately I have felt the need too as I have been questioning God alot lately. A dear woman in our church is struggling with cancer. She learned she had cancer a few years ago, God healed her and all was well with life in the cancer world. Then a few months ago it came back quietly, but with a venegance.

I don’t understand.

Why would God heal- then allow something so awful to return?

It just led me back to thinking of why God would allow me to have vaginismus, crippling my ability to be intimate with my husband and my ability to have kids? Then after almost two years of marriage decides to heal me, allows me to get pregnant, then allows my precious firstborn to die.

I don’t understand..

As you all may have noticed, I have taken a hiatus of sorts lately from this blog, wondering why I wrote in the first place. This is why. And it’s not because of me. I didn’t choose for vaginismus to happen. I didn’t choose for my baby to die. These things happened, and God has allowed me to help others because of it. I must remind myself that right now, the only thing that I can do with these situations is help others and point them to God with my stories. That is all- and that is the purpose of this blog.

So these are some excerpts of just a few writings I had some time to look through. I, of course, didn’t mention names to protect them, but remember them in your prayers. Remember their fragile marriages and empty hearts.

“I have been reading your blog for quite awhile now….I am just so thankful to find someone else who has vaginismus and is a Christian…. Your blog has been incredibly encouraging and comforting.”

“Thank you for posting your blog and videos about your struggle with vaginismus. It has given me hope and encouragement. You are so brave to share your story and the Lord has used you in my life to give me and my husband hope about our future. I’m scared yet hopeful about the future. I don’t have any specific questions right now to ask, but just wanted to email you and say thank you and to ask you to pray for me. I’m emotionally drained after struggling with this for the past 7 years. I love my husband more than anything in the world. He has been by my side through every step of this journey and I can not thank the Lord enough for giving me such a loving, patience, and compassionate husband. I want this so much for us as a couple. Thanks again for sharing your story and your email address to those of us who need encouragement.” (emphasis added)

“I found your blog through Google.  I’ve recently got married  and have been unable to consummate my marriage with my husband due to Vaginismus… I’m not sure what to do. My husband is so patient and understanding but I feel like such a failure. I think that perhaps God is teaching me to really trust Him right now (in other areas of my life He is showing me this also), but I just don’t know what to do…. Your blog has already helped me and I will definitely spend time dwelling on some of the scriptures that have really touched me.”

“We went to the doctor after our honeymoon and a few weeks later had this diagnosis. I just got done reading some of your blog, and I am still incredulous about your bravery and faithfulness and trying to process this all…. So, you writing back and  being willing to connect with me just a little is an answered prayer.  There are too many opportunities around me to share/treat/connect with  people who will not point me to the truth and not see this in a gospel  centered way, but it seems like you totally do! I’m still a relatively new  Christian so I just really appreciate you taking the time to write back and share your story and talk with me. When I read that one of your prayers was that God would use your experience to bless others, I cried….Its so discouraging sometimes, and sometimes I get complacent, or cynical, like so many things that you said. I really related to your posts…Oh my goodness Im tearing up again just thinking about someone understanding and trusting in Christ, too, it just seems like too much…!…”

“I have to tell you- you actually are the reason I decided to write this post. I have been keeping up with your blog and facebook statuses about your loss. I hadn’t really talked much about what happened to us and our baby or recognized it publicly. When I saw your posts and the link to some other blogs about loss, I realized that if I was to stay true to my passionate belief that life is life, no matter how early, that I needed to come out and recognize our loss as significant. I’m so sorry that you had to go through this, too. I am so familiar with the feelings and doubts it leaves behind. I’ll be praying for you, as well. I’m excited to see what God does in your lives. I KNOW God has used your transparency and openness to touch the lives of women all over who have experienced similar things. I know he did for me…”

Check It Out

Wow- it has been two months since I have posted. Still working through the grieving process but each day truly is getting better.

I also wanted to share why I haven’t posted as much-I have found a new hobby that tends to take up quite a bit of my time. An addicting, yet very rewarding, hobby. A hobby that I actually don’t have to pay a dime for- but I actually receive rewards, prizes and money!

What is it, you ask? Sweepstakes.

Okay- don’t write me off just yet. I was always skeptical about sweepstakes but I had seen a friend on facebook posting statuses of all these amazing trips and cash she was consistently winning and curiosity got the best of me. She was gracious enough to share with me how to get started and a few days after I started entering sweepstakes and giveaways I won my first prize- and I got hooked!

If you have any questions- feel free to ask! If it wasn’t for my friend- I wouldn’t have been winning some awesome prizes-my latest win being worth $500 dollars!

10 Steps

While I was pregnant, a friend of mine miscarried. I said all the wrong things to her. Of course, at the time, I didn’t realize what I was saying was inappropriate or hurtful- I was truly only trying to help. But then I experienced a miscarriage and realized how I should have acted much differently.

Below is a list of 10 things I found on theRproject.org (a Christian organize to support and bring awareness of miscarriage) that you can do or say to help someone if they have endured a miscarriage.

10 ways to support the person in your life who has just lost a baby:

1. Acknowledge their profound loss, right away. You may be afraid you’ll say something ‘stupid,’ but the worst thing you can say is nothing at all.

2. Don’t say, “let me know if I can help.” They are not in a place where they can give direction right now. Offer an idea instead. Say, “I am going to bring you dinner Thursday night,” and just do it.

3. Read this article here at http://www.glowinthewoods.com/how-to-help-a-friend/ on what not to say, and follow the advice. This includes:
-Give her opportunities to speak her truth.
-Keep your own motherhood and children at a distance
-Use your skills or artistry to contribute tribute to her lost baby
-Do make casseroles, don’t send flowers
-Be careful what you say. “Husbands, parents and other loved ones have a vested interest in the pain going away—it distresses them, and they want their sister/daughter/wife back in happy form as soon as possible. It’s meant well and it comes from love, but “Don’t dwell!” and “Don’t torture yourself!” lands on the grieving mother as criticism, as though her feelings are inappropriate, abnormal, unwelcome. To lose a baby is an isolating experience. To be rushed along the path of healing makes you feel even more lonely, makes you grip more tightly to the blackness.”

4. Send a card.

5. Drop off a care package. Include some junk food, a couple light-hearted movies, etc.

6. Buy them a memorial/remembrance gift. Perhaps a necklace, or donate to a charitable organization in honor of their baby.

7. If you’re close, ask if you can come over and just “be” with them.

8. When you see them, don’t be afraid to speak their child’s name. Saying you’ve been thinking about their baby means more than you’ll ever know.

9. Keep texting, calling, emailing and facebooking to let them know you are thinking about them, even after it’s been a few weeks or months. Even when they appear to be “over it” or back to their old self, they will still be hurting, and will still need to know people have not forgotten about their child.

10. Try to remember and acknowledge important dates, such as their due date, loss date, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day.”

I have been so lucky to have people in my life that have done a lot of these things for me.

Moving Forward.

As I type this post I can’t help but cry a little as I would rather my topic of this post be how happy I am to be in the second trimester, some pictures of a baby bump and the building excitement for an upcoming gender reveal.

Not the case. But I am moving forward. Perhaps too slowly for some- but I am trying to focus on the people who have been wonderfully supportive. My husband, my parents and a few but oh so needed friends and those ‘random unexpected’ people I talked about in my last post. I cry almost every day- but its not as debilitating as it was. I am slowly getting back into the swing of life.

I am working part time now back at Franklin County DSS. I just needed a break from working full time. Bennett is currently working at Starbucks, but hopes to find a more permanent career type job so that I can continue to work part time and hopefully, Lord willing, we can try again for a baby. This miscarriage truly reshaped my mindset. I am so tired of simply working with the sole mindset of earning money to live. Ever since high school I knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom- not a career mom. I applaud those mothers who can juggle working full time and having a family but that is not my goal or how I think God designed me to be. That being said- we have no clue when we will start trying again. For sure not in the near future as my body has yet to regulate since the miscarriage- and per doctors orders I must wait two cycles and I haven’t even been through one yet…

I said in my last post I would update a bit about our New York trip. As awful as it was to physically endure a miscarriage while being on vacation- I was almost glad it happened there then at home so I could leave some of those memories behind. It was also bittersweet that the same place I experienced one of my hardest trials (treatment for Vaginismus) I also endured another hard trial (losing Mizpah).

It was also SO extremely wonderful to be able to spend lots of time with the two couples who were there for Vaginismus treatment. One of the couples I had been talking to since September of 2011. The second couple I had spoken with a few weeks before treatment. She cried when she found out I was coming up to visit the same time that they would be there, as they had seen our documentary video which is what confirmed their decision to go to WTC. Both of these couples are Christian couples and the community we felt between the six of us was so so special. The first night when we arrived we went to one of their hotel rooms and had a wonderful time of praise and worship. A favorite of mine “How He Loves” was sung which was another beautiful tie in between my Vaginismus trial and this miscarriage trial.

Another absolutely wonderful blessing was being able to spend a lot of time with our doctors, especially Dr. Ross. I know I have said it before, but I’ll say it again, I LOVE these doctors. It just astounds me that I ‘paid’ them back in July yet they continue to love on us. As soon as I found out I was most likely miscarrying Dr. Ross called me. When we arrived in New York, before we even made it to our hotel, they asked us to stop by the office so they could see us. Dr. Ross showered us with gifts from a wonderful camera to beautiful mementos in honor of Mizpah. We saw them every day while we were there- and they gave us hugs and comfort during this difficult time- just like they did the last time. I will forever hold a special place in my heart for Dr. Ditza and Dr. Ross.

The couples were also so comforting to me and Bennett while we were there. They prayed with us and loved on us. I think it was good for both sides. We were able to focus on each other so we weren’t so focused on our own pain. Both girls were cured and are doing great. I am just so happy for the Womens Therapy Center and the ‘God Connections’ I have made with so many women who have endured this condition.

All that to say- just as I firmly believe I had vaginismus to help other women, I guess I am coming to the realization that is the same reason why I had a miscarriage. Sometimes I wonder why me…most women have sex and babies as easy as batting an eye- yet for me that isn’t the case. And the only thing that brings me comfort is that it happened so I can comfort others. Just as 2 Corinthians says “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

I get angry at God – to quit allowing this stuff to happen to me because I simply can’t take anymore and I just am not fit emotionally or spiritually to comfort others. I’ve done some pretty sinful things out of anger and emotion because of my circumstances- why would God use that? Yet He does. He uses our personal stories of trash and transformation to encourage others who are simply stuck in the trash and don’t see a way out.

As I have learned over and over again- there is a way out and it is only through Jesus. I have tried every which way to turn but with no avail. It’s only Jesus.

The Unexpected.

Not really sure what to post, I guess I feel some weird obligation to the blog world to post every now in then about some random crap and it’s been a while. So now I am awake at the wee hours of the morning unable to sleep- thinking about our ‘Mizpah’. One of our precious doctors in New York gave me a beautiful pin that said ‘Mizpah’ on it with the bible verse Genesis 31:49 “The Lord watches between you and me while we are apart from one another”. Ever since I received that pin from her, I knew in my heart that my lost little ones name would be ‘Mizpah’.

I had a dream the other night. I was fully pregnant and going into labor. My mom was so excited and was there holding my hand. The same doctor that gave me the Mizpah pin (and cured us of our vaginismus) delivered my baby. I had a baby boy. He was beautiful. Then I woke up and it wasn’t real. That’s what makes this ‘grieving process’ so hard. You think you are finally getting through it- then something as simple as a dream just knocks you back.

On a side note, Dr. Ross, if you are reading this- you now deliver babies on top of curing vaginismus! 🙂

It’s funny. I remember being in high school and some of my friends having migraines. I rarely had headaches so when my friends would go home sick with a migraine I remember thinking ‘its just a headache, it’s not that bad’. Then I got a migraine about a year and a half ago, wound up with half my vision gone for several hours, puking, head spinning, in the ER receiving IV drip for dehydration and medicine to stop the nausea, unable to open my eyes due to the piercing lights. I remember telling Bennett it seriously would have been okay if I had died because the pain was so unreal.

It’s kind of similar with a miscarriage. I knew of people who had them. I felt awful for them when I heard about it- but thought it wasn’t really so bad. They never saw the baby and in a week or two they’ll be fine. Boy was I wrong. The moment I saw that positive pregnancy test my heart was linked to this baby. While I was still pregnant one of my friends miscarried. I felt bad for her of course, and said all the wrong things of ‘at least you know you can get pregnant, and I hear you are really fertile after you miscarry’- never really understanding her pain. Now I do, and now this same friend is enduring her second miscarriage. I didn’t say those things this time.

I guess all that to say…yeah, could my life be worse? Yes, way way way worse- and I get that. I know I have a lot to be thankful for- but that doesn’t bring me my baby back and it doesn’t lessen my grief. Just like I didn’t know what it felt like to miscarry before it happened, its the same way how I don’t know what it would feel like if I got cancer or if my husband died. I can’t compare my grief to something I haven’t experienced. All I know is that I’m sad and it sucks.

Even in my anger and doubt, God has been present. It’s funny how He works. Some of the people I thought would be there for me during this time really weren’t, but He has provided unexpected people at just the right times that I never would have thought or imagined. A friend who had miscarried gave me a beautiful willow tree ‘remember’ angel. An old highschool friend I hadn’t seen in years and his wife I had never met before took us out for dinner shortly after we miscarried, bought me beautiful earrings in memory of Mizpah, and took me to get a manicure all because they simply wanted too. A random lady I didn’t even know was the first person to send me a card in the mail- to find out later she had suffered a miscarriage 17 years ago and her husband died in a tragic car accident 16 months ago. My best friend came over and got our dog for us so we could leave to go out-of-town a day early and she did my laundry. My best friends sister cleaned my filthy kitchen and bathrooms while I was gone. My best friends mom brought us over piles of food and shared with me about her two miscarriages. An old friend from my youth group days sent me a beautiful note with a beautiful necklace. One of my doctors who I long ago ‘paid my dues’ still calls and emails me to check on me, and gave me a beautiful pin and candle in remembrance of Mizpah.

And the list could go on. I am still weeding through why all this happened but one thing I have learned is that I want to be that unexpected person. When someone is grieving- to feel loved is so important and to have it come from a place you least expected makes it even more meaningful because you know it’s not out of requirement but out of genuine love and concern. Of course my husbands and my family’s support has been wonderful, but that’s kind of like a given with family members. It’s just those random acts that let me know that God has not forgotten me.

So I guess that’s where I am at right now. Still pretty angry, working through this whole grieving bit, but maybe thinking that one day I can be that ‘unexpected’ person for someone.

I meant to post about our New York trip, but this post was getting a bit lengthy so I will the next time- but I can say with everything that was going on at that time- going on that trip was perfect timing.

What makes a Mother?

I thought of you and closed my eyes
And prayed to God today
I asked “What makes a Mother?”
And I know I heard Him say.

“A Mother has a baby”
This we know is true
“But God can you be a Mother,
When your baby’s not with you?”

“Yes, you can,” He replied
With confidence in His voice
“I give many women babies,
When they leave is not their choice.

Some I send for a lifetime,
And others for the day.
And some I send to feel your womb,
But there’s no need to stay.”

“I just don’t understand this God
I want my baby to be here.”
He took a deep breath and cleared His throat,
And then I saw the tear.

“I wish I could show you,
What your child is doing today.
If you could see your child’s smile,
With all the other children and say…

‘We go to Earth to learn our lessons,
Of love and life and fear.
My Mommy loved me oh so much,
I got to come straight here.

I feel so lucky to have a Mom,
Who had so much love for me.
I learned my lessons very quickly,
My Mommy set me free.

I miss my Mommy oh so much,
But I visit her every day.
When she goes to sleep,
On her pillow’s where I lay

I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek,
And whisper in her ear.
Mommy don’t be sad today,
I’m your baby and I’m here.’

“So you see my dear sweet ones,
your children are okay.
Your babies are born here in My home,
And this is where they’ll stay.

They’ll wait for you with Me,
Until your lesson’s through.
And on the day that you come home
they’ll be at the gates for you.

So now you see what makes a Mother,
It’s the feeling in your heart
it’s the love you had so much of
Right from the very start

Though some on earth may not realize,
you are a Mother.
Until their time is done.
They’ll be up here with Me one day
and know that you are the best one!”
-Author Unknown.