The story of a Girl who is, and has always been, a little quiet, a little perfectionistic, a little bit of a dreamer. A Girl who refused to sing with the group the little ditty her preschool teacher wrote for the class to perform on preschool graduation day because said teacher mixed up the first line and so the Girl, obviously very upset by this blunder, stood in front of the whole auditorium screaming her teacher's name and, upon realizing the teacher would not acknowledge her irateness, promptly furrowed her brow and defiantly crossed her arms for the duration of the performance. True story.
Despite what you might believe from those opening lines, the Girl really always tried to be good. She tried to be a good daughter and a good big sister and a good friend. She spent her childhood delved into the imaginary world of Ken and Barbie and Skipper, Barbie's little sister (anyone else remember Skipper?), Disney Princesses, and drippy, gluey, construction paper art projects.
One Christmas afternoon, shortly after her eleventh birthday, the Girl was listening to her dad read the Christmas story. The Holy Spirit moved in her heart and she realized her need for Jesus. Just a few minutes later, the Girl prayed the very important prayer that made Jesus her Savior. Good day.
About a year later, the Girl and her family started attending a new church. They were invited to the Pastor's house for dessert and games one Friday night. And it was on that winter night back in 1998 that the Girl met a Boy. A very important Boy. A Boy the girl thought was so cute and really funny and dreamed, as every tween girl does, that she would one day marry that Boy and have a family with him.
At the very least, she knew she liked the Boy. And he liked her. And they became the best of friends. They spent as much time together as possible and their relationship grew and blossomed into something very special. Somehow, even as young as they were, the Lord revealed to their hearts the importance of this relationship. Years went by and milestones were achieved - drivers' licenses, later curfews, proms, high school graduations. The college years came and they enjoyed being together everyday and making friends together. And then, under the bursting colors of a Fourth of July sky, the Boy asked the Girl to marry him.
They were married just over one year later, on July 22, 2006, in a lovely church ceremony surrounded by loved ones. The Girl absolutely could not believe that she was finally the Boy's wife. You know the expression, on cloud nine? Well, she was like, on cloud forty-nine. For real.
And so the Boy and the Girl started their life together. And they had a plan. Finish undergrad (they both had one year left), the Boy would get a job in the Intensive Care Unit at a local hospital, the Girl would also find a job. The Boy would work for two years and then apply for the Master's program to become a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist). The Girl would work to support him through CRNA school and once he graduated, they would start a family. It was a pretty decent plan, if they did say so themselves.
After graduating with their undergrad degrees, the Boy and the Girl moved back to their hometown and set the plan into action. But it didn't take long for the Girl to realize that carrying out the plan would be more difficult than she originally anticipated. You see, she felt very out of place because, out of all of their local friends, she was the only one working and with no children. And it wasn't long before the loneliness and longing set in. She often begged the Boy to reconsider the plan and could they please, puh-lease, just have a baby!? One night, out of sheer desire for her to drop the subject, the Boy consented to change the plan. The Girl was so happy. Or at least, she thought she should be. But really, deep down inside, she knew she hadn't gone about this in the right way and the Holy Spirit began to work in her heart.
After much soul-wrestling, the Lord finally convinced the Girl that she needed to stick to the original plan, however difficult it might be. And she determined, from that day forward, to purpose her heart and mind to be content to wait for motherhood until the appointed time. A Bible verse (John 10:10) and a song became her anthem and a reminder to view each day in the waiting period as an important day to accomplish God's will. And that year, 2009, held greater peace than she'd experienced in a long time. And it also held a lot of material blessings - the Boy and the Girl paid off their student loans, she received a promotion at her job, they purchased their first car, went on a Caribbean cruise, and took a road trip down south to visit friends and family. The Girl's heart was still looking very forward to motherhood, but she was truly happy where she was. And she had no idea the huge blessings the Lord would heap on her the very next year.
The Boy applied for the CRNA program in December 2009 and awaited a reply the following Spring. The Girl came home from work one Monday evening in January to the Boy holding an envelope. "I got a letter from ODU" he told her, a mischievous grin beginning to turn up the corners of his mouth. "Oh!?" She said, "... aaaand ...???" "And ... the pogram is cancelled. They're not accepting a class for 2010". His answer stunned her. This was certainly not in the plan. Her mind immediately jumped to thoughts of motherhood and the implications this news would have on her maternal dream.
The Boy was on the same page. "You know," he said, "I don't think we should wait anymore to start a family. We're not even sure at this point if ODU will ever have an anesthesia program and I'm not willing to move." He suggested they pray about it separately and come together at the end of the week to discuss the decision. But it didn't take that long. That following Wednesday the Boy and the Girl decided God was telling them to go ahead and start a family, even in spite of their original plan and his uncertain future education. The Girl was pretty ecstatic.
At the very beginning of April, the Boy and the Girl found out they were expecting their first baby. They were so excited, and so was their family (you can watch the "big news" announcement here). In late summer the Boy and the Girl found out they were expecting a Baby Boy, and he came that winter, just six days before Christmas 2010. The Boy and the Girl could not have been more in love with the Baby Boy and took more photos of him than have ever been taken of any child in the history of ever. That's probably true, you know.
Life with the Baby Boy was pure bliss for the Girl. Oh sure, he thought eating was a bother and sleeping was optional, but he was everything she'd ever dreamed of. And more.
Around the time the Baby Boy was turning one, the Boy and the Girl started thinking about adding to their family. The Lord had given them a very definitive "yes" when deciding about the Baby Boy. When deciding to have Baby #2, the Lord gave them more of a "why not". And so, in late March 2012, the Girl told the Boy they were expecting their second baby. The thought of being outnumbered by little people made the Girl slightly nervous, and she wondered if she could possibly love another baby the same as she did the Baby Boy, but she knew this was her passion and her purpose and she couldn't wait to spend her days caring for two little loves.
In Mid-July 2012, the Boy and the Girl had an ultrasound appointment to find out the gender of Baby #2. The Girl heard these words, "It's a girl ..." but something in the tone that delivered those words put a ceiling on her ecstasy. Later that afternoon, the Boy and the Girl learned that their, now Baby Girl, was very, very broken and would go home to Jesus shortly after she was born. They were absolutely heartbroken.
The next four months were a struggle for the Girl. To live everyday feeling a special Baby Girl wiggling around in her belly, knowing that she wasn't well and meeting her would also mean saying goodbye was unbelievably difficult. But the Lord was faithful to reveal Himself to her as her Refuge and Hope.
The Baby Girl was born early in November 2012. The Boy and the Girl had the privilege of snuggling the Baby Girl up until the end, when her soul passed into eternity. And then they wept, deep, pain-filled tears.
Life after losing the Baby Girl has been a struggle for the Girl. She has had to relearn so many things about life that she thought were under control. And she is still learning how to carry her grief in a functional way.
But the Lord has still been faithful to carry her. She is blessed to have a small ministry for other hurting hearts. She is grateful to have a deeper understanding of partaking in Christ's sufferings. And she looks forward, much more than ever before, to her Heavenly home where she will be reunited with the Baby Girl one sweet day, and meet their Savior face to face.
And her future? She hopes very much there will be more babies to love. She hopes for continued opportunities to reach out to others. But, no matter the case, she knows the Lord holds her in the palm of His hand and has an amazing story written for her.
So, this is the story of a Girl. But, more appropriately, this is the story of God working in the life of a Girl, an amazing God who will never give His children more than they can handle or one thing more than it takes to mold them into His image. And you know what? All things, all things, work together for His good plan.