Tuesday, October 9, 2007
8 years ago today, I married my beloved, my best friend, the man whom God had chosen for my life long companion. I woke up that morning filled with the promise of the future. As I walked down that aisle, adorned in my white gown, my bouquet shook. I was shaking with anticipation and also with nervousness at being in front of all those people but not in fear. I gazed into the eyes of love as my bridegroom waited and watched me come down the aisle. We had eyes only for one another. We stood before God, the preacher and the witnesses and we read the vows we had written for one another. We vowed to serve God together for our lifetime. We vowed to be faithful, honest and true and love each other no matter what life brought us. When we were introduced as Mr and Mrs. It was beyond wonderful. Our lives together had begun. The next morning when I woke up, at first I was startled because I was so groggy and disoriented I could not figure out why someone was in bed with me. Then as I looked at my sweet husband I knew all my dreams had come true. Our first year was filled with adjustments and hardships that are beyond explanation. I had surgery in December 1999 for severe endometriosis and we were told we needed to either get pregnant right away or I would have to go into medically induced menopause. That choice was easy. So we set out to have our first child. Thus in October 2000 our first child was born. And life as we knew it changed forever. During the pregnancy I had severe morning sickness, and there was my husband helping me through it all. He would leave in the morning as I got ready for work, and help me while I tossed my cookies. When we both arrived home at night, he often would have to help with dinner prep becaus I was simply to sick. Then at 32 weeks I went into labor. My husband's face turned ghostly white as he watched my pain. We prayed so hard and rushed to the hospital praying my labor could be stopped. Thankfully it was, and our son was born on his due date. The first years of our son's life was again hardship and trials. We faced things that year that could have easily torn us asunder but we refused to let it. We chose to love through the storms. We chose to love through things that could have easily caused us to seperate. Our son battled illness after illness. We had a child who was ill and doctors would not listen. Finally when he was diagnosed at age 1 with severe allergies and asthma we had answers. We almost lost our son several times in those first years. We watched as the life force began to fade from our precious child's eyes and we prayed. We watched as his little chest struggled for air, his wee little eyes begging for help and doctors searching for just the right medication to help him. That event changed us. We realized that some of the things we had faced were not as important as this. Everything came down to surrender. So we surrendered our child to the Father's hands to do with as He willed. We let our son go and told him to follow God's call, whatever that call was. We knew that our son might leave us, but his suffering was so great and so severe our hearts were breaking. So we surrendered our son to the Father. From that moment on, our son began to rally. We held each other and wept the day we brought our son home, whole and his mental capacity intact. There was no brain damage from lack of oxygen and our little boy was with us. We still struggle with his asthma and we have almost lost him on several occasions, but he has stayed surrendered to the Father's will. That day we also learned to surrender our selves more completely to each other. Our way, our own desires, our own ideas, we learned to lean on each other instead of trying to prove whatever it was, we were trying to prove. We knew God had called us to ministry and we were planning in 2003 to go to Bible College. In Feb 2003 Christopher had tubes put in and that weekend we all came down with the Norwalk flu. We were all sick and Christopher ended up in the hospital with dehydration. Unknown to us the course of events that were about to take place were going to drastically change our plans and lives and set us up for a miracle. A week later we noticed a lump, a large lump on my husband's neck at the front. It was growing. At first he thought, oh just a lymph node from being sick. A week later he had it checked and was sent for ultrasound and told it had to come out. We had planned to leave for Bible school in March, so everything was put on hold. The first part of March he went into surgery and I waited in the waiting room. The dr called down from surgery and I heard those horrid words, words that sear into your brain "It's CANCER". My God, my God I cried out in my heart, please God, please God, NO! We had wait several weeks before they could do the next step. They told us "if you are going to have cancer this is the best kind to have cause it is easily taken care of". That being said, it was still so scary. The miracle was that it was caught at the point it was because it was fast growing and from Feburary to March it had gotten so large and grown so fast it was already in 1 percent of his lymph nodes, so they took all of his thyroid out and part of the surrounding lymph nodes. We met with cancer doctors and were told he would need one radioactive iodine treament to irradicate his body of any possible cancer. The day we met with the doctors we were suspicious we had another possibility in the making. So that night I took a pregnancy test, yep, we had a little miracle on the way. A surprise child we were not expecting. By finding out we were pregnant, it changed the whole way the recovery from radioactive treatment would be done. Because I was in early pregnancy and the fact my husband would be literally radioactive our unborn baby would be in danger. So for 7-10 days after his treatment he would have to stay away from me by several feet. He could give me a quick peck on the mouth but pretty much we had to live seperately. He stayed with his parents and had special protocols to handle trash, bathroom cleaning, dishes etc. The day they gave him the treatment was surreal. I was able to stay in the room long enough for him to swallow the pill, give him a kiss and walk out. It was surreal when the technician brought the pill in a special container and special gloves. This stuff they handled so carefully was going in my husband's body! Okay to make a really LONG story shorter, he breezed Miracalously through treatment and by the middle of May we were given the go ahead to travel to Florida for school. So we moved and the next adventure of our lives began. My husband started school in August and on November 14 of 2003 our little suprise package was born, our daughter Hannah. The next few years were hard, with two young children, Mike working full time and going to school full time and little money. But God was ever present and ever providing. God was drawing us closer and closer together. In 2005 we decided to try for one more child. In October 2005 I found out I was pregnant and we were so very excited. 1 week later we lost our baby. We were devastated. The horror of the miscarriage even as early as it was took our breath away. The doctor said we could try again as soon as I had 1 regular cyle. That happened quickly and within a month and a half we were pregnant again. We honestly did not expect it to happen so fast. Needless to say, our little miracle was born July 8th 2006. Mike graduated from Bible college and we took our first position. We learned so much those months at that church. When we left, it was a hard thing because of events that took place. My husband was asked to leave because "things just were not working out" between him and the pastor. My husband was unaware of this. But in the long run, even though we didn't want to leave it was a God thing. God used those events to help us grow in the Lord and for my husband to recieve a healing from hurts stemming from his past. God is awesome. We grew stronger in our love together and what tears some couples in the ministry apart, helped us grow. So now we are here and God is preparing us for the next step. 8 years of love, 8 years of struggle, triumph, sorrow, joy all mixed together. Ups and downs like you would not believe. But through it all our Lord has been our constant source and the reason we could choose to love when we didn't feel like it. Love is choosing to love when you don't "feel" love. Love is hanging on when the storms raging, threaten to overturn you. Thus life becomes a beautiful woven tapestry. It takes the rain and storms as well as the sunshine and rainbows to grow. I love my husband, even when he forgets to put his dishes in the sink. And he loves me, even when because of sick kids or whatever, I haven't had a shower in 2 days. That is love, when your husband helps clean up puking kids and doesnt mind that you albeit a little smelly, give him a kiss. Love is working together through the trials and sorrows as well as the joy and triumph. Our vows said, in sickness and in health, in rich and poor times. We have yet to see to many rich times financially, but spiritually and emotionally.......oh how rich we are. God is faithful and I praise God for my husband. He is cancer free and our son is seeing strides in his health and God is doing great and mighty things in our lives and the lives of our children.
If you got this far, thanks for reading.
and Happy Anniversary to my beloved, for my beloved is mine and I am His(Song of Solomon). (just not real sure what chapter and verse and after all it is very early in the morning).
Posted by Thelma Strobl at 5:55 AM