Needing Grace

Many of you have asked how this pregnancy is going. Those of you have known me over the years have seen me struggle with extreme sickness with each baby. Some have encouraged me and helped me survive. Others have told me how they would never have another child if they had to experience such degrees of sickness that I go through and how ridiculous I am to have more pregnancies.

I married a man who dreamed of having a large family. I had not. But choosing to become his wife, his mother to his children, his friend and partner through the best and worst of times, meant embracing this dream. I was 18 when we found out I was pregnant with Laura. Only married a month, and I went from a very active, healthy, passionate women to a lifeless, sick, ball, curled up in my bed trying to survive and not really sure what just overtook my body.

Every baby has taken me to this place. This place where I am so dependent on others to make it though each day. Eric has been my number one supporter and cheerleader every time. When I’m sure I can’t make it through another day, he assures me I’m doing great and that I’m beautiful and that it’s all worth it for this new life. My children are next on my support group list. They have always taken on the extra work as I crawl away to my bedroom and spend months there. They have learned to work really well together when Mom’s not there to demand that they do. They have learned to be responsible in ways that I haven’t taught them. They have served me and cared for me in the most beautiful ways, from the oldest to the youngest.

Rewind to four years ago. Julia was born in the summer of 2010. She was my baby. I wanted her to be. And she embraced the role. I got rid of most of the baby stuff. I told Eric I was done and that there would be no more babies. But his heart ached for another child. This brought us to the most difficult next 4 years of our marriage. This issue became the rawest topic of conversation. I had my reasons why I couldn’t and wouldn’t have anymore children and he had his reasons and convictions why he could not and would not agree with me. Added to this we decided to do the most ridiculously challenging remodel on our home that we possibly could think of, which exhausted both of us and added many layers of stress and tension.

Then came the selling of Eric’s practice and realizing we would be moving half way across the states and starting a new life. We worked with a new passion on finishing up the very end of the remodel, preparing our home to be sold. Searching for a new practice. Making decisions about location and business plans.

And then there was February. The month when our marriage took a miserable fall. The words that were said, the trusts that were broken. The pain and heart wrenching actions that fell on top of each other…

And somehow, God chose that month, that time of pain and hurt and betrayal to bring another child into this family.

And I thought I wouldn’t be able to go on.

Not this time. Not this year. I already have more than seems humanly possible to conquer in the months to come.

I wanted to run. Run away from everything. God, my marriage, my whole life. As I wretchedly threw up over and over. As the pounds started slipping away again. As I felt the horrible stomach pains of starving and convulsions of having nothing left to throw up. I wanted to quit.

I didn’t ask God for grace. I didn’t rejoice in times of suffering. I didn’t think of ALL the things I have to be thankful for. Instead I blamed God for not being in control of this whole situation. I blamed my husband for not seeing my needs and taking care of me. (meaning no more pregnancies)  I blamed myself for ending up in this situation.  I was angry, hurt, and so very sick.

But God is so very faithful. As I wrestled and agonized and cried through those days, He slowly, one by one, sent women into my life who spoke His truths to me. Who shared His promises. Who held me accountable for my actions and attitude and heart. Who loved me even in my most ugly state. They encouraged me and prayed for me. They checked in on me through texts, emails, and phone calls.

And my heart slowly heard the truths it already knew but I refused to acknowledge. As we slowly and quietly told close friends and family about this new life, each was so excited. Our children were beyond thrilled, immediately hoping for twins or triplets. From the first night of me being sick, Eric was there. Ever faithful in serving me and trying to comfort me. I watched God humble him in ways I never had imagined. I saw his heart soften towards me in a new light. Together we slowly picked up all the broken pieces and started working on putting them back together again. It hasn’t been easy or quick. It hasn’t been without pain or tears. We both need grace. We need to give each other grace. We both have been incredibly selfish and full of sin. And sometimes God makes us walk though the darkest valleys to bring us where he wants us because we are to stubborn to learn any other way.

I’m all most halfway though this pregnancy now. And it’s been one of the worst yet. Maybe because of all the added stress. Maybe because I’m just getting old. Maybe because that’s just how my body makes babies. I’ll never know.

I named this blog “Dazzling in Grace” when I started it a year ago. Today I’m not feeling so dazzled, I’m just desperatly in need of grace to make it though this pregnancy and this season of our lives.

~Cheryl

16 weeks

18 weeks

Julia wanted a picture with her heart on her tummy too!

Julia wanted a picture with a heart on her tummy too!

About dazzlingingrace

Hmm.. I love Jesus. I love my husband, Eric. I love my 8 beautiful children. I loved living in California. I love sunshine and the beach. Shopping at farmers market and the little stores downtown where I can bargin for the best deal. I love to sew and make things. I love spending time with girlfriends encouraging each other. Date nights with Eric are fabulous. I love ballroom dancing with him. The smell of my new little baby and the miracle of their existance. I love italian food- or just about all of Italy for that matter. I love art- paintings on my wall that I know personally who painted them.
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4 Responses to Needing Grace

  1. Katie says:

    I don’t get sick like you, yet I HATE pregnancy and the things it does to my body – BUT I love the blessings of children. I will be praying for you Cheryl that you will be able to rest in and hold on to God’s promises for you, and that you will be able to function as needed in this time of life. Hugs!

  2. Hannah Morse says:

    I LOVED seeing Laura and Ben at camp this week! Hope they had a great time! I am praying for u! Tell Laura Hi for me and hope to see u guys SOON! and before u leave.

  3. Lori Gant says:

    I’m proud of you, Cheryl. It takes a lot of courage to allow people to see our inner struggles. Your writing brings tears to my eyes. It is so easy in today’s age to paint an unrealistic picture of ourselves and our family on Facebook and/or blogs. There is something comforting, and in a way beautiful, in knowing that everyone faces challenges and we are not alone in our own daily struggles. Thank you for being transparent. Thank you for not giving up. I pray God’s richest blessings on you and your family.

  4. For some reason a lot of your FB posts never make it to my news feed. Because f that, I just read this for the first time. 😦 I’m continuing to pray for you! Thank you for your honesty, friend. It’s easy to think that everyone else has it all together while my life seems to be falling apart. Thank you for allowing God to use you to encourage others. We are all in need of so much grace. . .

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