Hello again! Thanks for returning to The Pampered Bird. I took a needed break but am excited to be back.
I contemplated returning about a month ago when we were in the midst of some crazy circumstances. But looking back now I think it’s good that I waited until we emerged from the chaos before sharing. It would have been too easy to use The Pampered Bird as a platform to say “poor me”… when now, in hindsight I would actually go through the last few months all over again. (You’ll think I’m nuts in a minute when I summarize the past 12 weeks or so). That said, I think it’s in all of our best interests that I am returning on the other side of things and can move forward with you with the right perspective.
So what am I alluding to?
Well, the good news is that I’m 19 weeks pregnant! We are very excited and will be expecting our second little girl to arrive right around Christmas.
We found out I was pregnant around 8 weeks when I woke up one morning incredibly sick. The next 6 weeks are a blur… All I know is that there were days I hardly made it out of bed, and that I wouldn'thave made it through, if my mother-in-law and my mom hadn't helped me so much with C. (and Mr. San Antonio too when he was home!). Oh… and if I hadn't gotten prescription meds. Those were veeeeeeeery helpful.
Just as I was emerging from my nauseous haze, we went in for a routine sonogram to determine an official due date and get early measurements of Baby #2. I left that appointment in tears when they said she had swelling around her neck and it could be bad and we needed to see a specialist pronto.
A week later, the specialist confirmed that the swelling could be serious…. Or that it might not be. Helpful right? He gave us a 40-50% chance of all being fine. And a 50-60% chance of something being wrong. “Wrong” being on a scale from a “minor” heart defect to life threatening chromosomal abnormality.
To top off all that… we didn't have maternity coverage and were paying specialist bills out of pocket. Oh and my car decided it was done with us, so we had to solve that problem too.
Fast forward a month or so…. we got word that the chromosome test came back normal; that the swelling was gone, that all her organs were forming normally, my sickness had ended and we had a new car.
[Insert sigh of relief here]
You can see how easily it would have been to have a giant pity party on here with y’all right?
Well, here’s the thing. I told you I’d go through it all again. And I mean that. Completely.
I believe with my whole heart in a God who loves us. I believe in Jesus – who came to earth to die for us, to pay for our sins so that he could redeem us and claim us as his forever.
And that God doesn't just sit back and watch the world beat on us. He has stepped in, and continues to step in every day. And that God was WITH us these last many weeks. I have faith that God is always with us even when I don’t see/feel/hear Him. But there have only been a few times in my life where I have FELT God with me, as a physical presence – speaking to me, carrying me, loving me in tangible real life ways that a person you could see would show love. I know it sounds totally nuts… unless you’ve experienced it too. But I’m telling you…. When you've experienced God like that, you don’t care what circumstances led you to that experience, you just want to experience it forever.
During this time we were asking God for some big things. We were asking him to provide for us financially. We were asking him to heal our daughter. We were asking him to make me well again. We were asking him to sustain us and not allow us to be swallowed up by fear. And in the midst of asking for big things… God told me to ask him for more.
My reaction was to say, “No – I don’t want to be greedy, we’re asking for a lot as it is, and I know you love me and all but I don’t want to be a bother.” And God would say, “Ask me for more”. And I would say, “I know you've made a lot of promises in scripture but those were to specific people at a specific time in history, so I don’t want to be presumptuous and try to claim those for myself.” And God would say, “those promises are for you, ask me for more.”
So I started asking for more. Little things on top of the big things.
I asked for a specific car, in a specific color, in a specific price range. Guess what He gave us?
I asked to feel Baby #2 moving around (even though it was a month before anyone should be able to feel there baby more… I was only 14 weeks). And guess what God did? Guess how many times he let me feel her? I’ve lost count.
I asked for moral support. He sent me people who prayed for me, sent me scriptures daily, who brought me meals, who watched C, who distracted me with outings, who hugged me and who cried with me.
I asked to have the Bible be relevant to me. I've lost track of the number of times I started bawling because I would open up my Bible and the words would knock me over with their relevance and truth.
God strengthened my marriage.
God strengthened my faith.
And I didn't even ask for those last two!
In John 1, Jesus calls Nathaniel to be His disciple. He meets Nathaniel and calls him by name without having been introduced. Nathaniel asks him how he knew who he was. And Jesus says he saw him under a fig tree. Nathaniel is bowled over and instantly calls Jesus the Messiah. Jesus responds in verse 50, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree’, do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” Folks, I can’t tell you how many times I cried over that one line.
Jesus was saying, Marissa, you are so amazed by these things I’m doing in your life, but they are miniscule compared to what I did on the cross, compared to what I can do, what I will do.
Friends, that is why I would do the last many weeks all over again.
Welcome back to The Pampered Bird. Thank you for reading and encouraging me. It’s good to be back.
The Pampered Bird