This is going to be long. And there aren't pictures. Just a bunch of rambled words, most written with tears streaming down. Have a made you want to grab a coffee and pull up your chair? Haha.
So here goes.
Do you ever watch a movie you've seen a hundred times and hope something different happens to change it somehow? Like the hard stuff when something goes wrong or unexpected and I think to myself, what if it didn't. I know in my head the plot will continue the way it always does and maybe I'm weird for hoping that it might change but I can't help it. But then, if there wasn't a twist, turn or some crazy surprise, not many movies would be made.
And I guess that's how I feel about this post. I know the ending. Well, maybe not the ending but I do know the couple of plot twists that I'd kind of like to change so "my" movie is more of how I imagined it to go.
Sorry I'm being cryptic. I'll stop. I guess I have to get it out at some point. So bear with me as I try to sort through this. This is a very hard post for me to write. One because it's just hard but two because I would normally not share something so personal across the interwebs for all to see.
So where do I start?
Well, my last post was about the Ghana auction I hosted on instagram to help raise money to pay for my trip. You can read more about it here and how God led me to say yes here.
I was blown away by the support and generous bids. Totally blown away. My entire trip was funded and then some! God is so much bigger than I could dream up. The final numbers were still being worked out as far as air fair and some travel stuff but I knew I was going and that we were going to be able to provide some other funding for the people over there. I was so excited.
The "Oceans" lyrics have been running through my head for a while,
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
Especially the trust without borders part. So good.
Am actually supposed to be packing today because the plane leaves for Ghana tomorrow. But I'm not.
I scheduled my vaccinations, made a doctor appointment to check my records to see what I needed and the day of the appointment found out I was pregnant!
We were so excited. I'd never had terrible morning sickness and I'd had pretty easy pregnancies so I wasn't too concerned with being pregnant in Africa. I thought it would be so much fun to tell my little one on the way how we went to Ghana when it was just a tiny little thing.
Then my doctor told me I couldn't get my vaccines for the trip because I was pregnant.
Huh? I did not see that coming and it never crossed my mind. Turns out yellow fever is a major no no shot to have when you're pregnant because it could cause birth defects and all sorts of other problems.
No vaccines meant no Africa.
I was crushed.
I cried many tears over not being able to go to Africa. I knew I was supposed to go. How did this happen. I mean, I know how it happened... but the timing!? What?
I felt irresponsible for not knowing about the shots and what it meant for my trip. I worried about the money that was already given so that I could go. A lot of money was raised. Deposits were made. The air fair was bought. What would happen to it? And the rest of it? What would people think about me not being able to go? I was a mess.
Thankfully my friend, Denise, the founder of EverDay Ministry, was very understanding and enthusiastic about the baby. She assured me that everything would work out and was able to get the flight money refunded. I felt so much relief. Since the money was given directly to the ministry, we had options. She could hold the money for when I would be able to go again although it wouldn't be for another year or more or we could fund a pole barn. Since I didn't know when I'd be able to make the trip and I didn't want the money just sitting for a couple of years, I thought it would best be used to give kids an education and place to worship by funding a pole barn.
Instead of being worried about the money raised, I was happy to now be able to give children hope. They were going to get an education and have a place to worship. How great is that? And I'll be able to go to Ghana one day, see that pole barn and smile about this crazy time.
With the relief of knowing the money from the fundraiser would be used for amazing things and the acceptance that I was not going on the trip - I was able to focus on the baby again.
We were having a baby! The name game began as did the questions of if were would find out the gender of this one or wait. I was back to taking those horse-pill-sized prenatal vitamins. And let's be honest, I was already enjoying a little more ice cream than usual because of the baby and all. And it's a shocker I gained 50 lbs. with my first! haha
We were headed to Montana for a family reunion and I was planning different ideas on how to tell our family. I was just over five weeks along and typically wouldn't tell people until after the first ultrasound at 8 weeks but my family would need to know why I wasn't going to Ghana so what better place to tell everyone than when they're all together?!
And then there were some complications. Nothing major but I talked to my doctor and they wanted me to get additional blood work over the next week. The counts came back and weren't as high as they'd like to see but it could have been for a number of reasons so they wanted to check them in two days. Those counts came back better, not optimal but things were moving in the right direction. We were full of hope. But just to make sure things were happening the way they should, they wanted me to do one more round of blood work to check those levels. We were going to be somewhere near Colorado on the way to Montana so the nurse (amazing and so helpful by the way) found a spot along our trip for me to stop and get tests done.
We stopped, had some donuts, waited for the lab to open and had more blood drawn. Later that day I got the call from the nurse telling me things did not look good. My levels had dropped a lot. Instead of doubling, they were falling. And given the other complications, the pregnancy would not last and I would soon miscarry.
We were devastated. We were hurting and on the road. I just wanted to be home in my bed and cry it all out.
And then my thoughts went back to Africa but it was too late to get those vaccines as you have to have them 10 days before you leave the country. So that's where we are right now.
No trip to Africa.
No baby on the way.
No details I can change or outcome I can alter.
There has been a lot of hurting. There will be a lot of healing. We've been down this road before with losing a baby and it doesn't get easier.
But I do know that I have faith and hope in things to come. My family and I will pull through this with the strength from God. The children of Africa are getting a pole barn so that's something to excited about.
And you know, none of this may ever make sense and that's okay. I don't need to know the ending or be able to change the story even though I really wish I could sometimes. Avoid the hurt. Avoid the pain and wondering why.
But it's not my story after all.
It's always been His and always will be. His plans are far better than anything I could ever imagine. And though I'm not saying He planned this, I am saying He will bring glory out of it and bring peace so that I don't even need to try to understand the whys. I'm just trusting that His ending will be worth the twists and turns because His endings are usually pretty epic.
So now I hear that Oceans song differently and have new lyrics running through my head,
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now
He's never failed and He won't stop now.