Our family is so much fuller because he's here and it makes it seem silly to talk about anything else...but onto the surgery and what I learned:
We need the church- I felt so overwhelmed by fear at just the thought of going into surgery and yet God so covered me with His grace and strength through the love of friends and family. So many sent Scripture to encourage me, blog posts to help prep me, and lots of hugs, prayers, and kind words. It reminded me that we need each other. In a time of really weak faith, I had an army of faith-filled friends and family fighting with me to hold me strong towards God. It was Ephesians 6 (armor of God) lived out in community and it was an incredible (and humbling) experience.
Sometimes the things you fear DO happen- When I started prepping, the anesthetist couldn't find the space in my back for the epidural. It took many painful attempts (some that sent my leg springing up involuntarily) and finally she had to call the doctor to do it. I was in pain, shaking, and could not calm my body physically. When they finally got my epidural in, they had to give me medication to calm me. Throughout the surgery I repeatedly started to "vasal down"- my blood pressure would drop and heart race and i would struggle to breathe. Similar to fainting. They had to rub alcohol under my nose give me epinephrine shots to bring me back up. It was not the smooth experience I longed for by any means.
Jesus is the Answer and He is Near- In the midst of fear and challenge, I sensed God's nearness. Scripture came in my heart that brought such comfort. It was Jesus. I just kept flashing to bits of His story- an Isaiah passage about Him being wounded for my sin, His humble dedication in the temple with the "poor man" dove offerings, Judas' betrayal, him crying in the garden to God, his death, and many times I thought of Him standing in the room with the disciples after rising from the dead. He beat death! He beat death! I kept sensing that all the "strength" and "trust God" verses I memorized and planned to recite weren't the answer. They were meant to point me to Jesus! HE was the answer. JESUS is my comfort, strength, salvation, and peace. In HIM alone do I rest and trust and live and move and breathe. It was Jesus. And in those moments as his painful life and death, but ultimate victory ran through my mind, I knew He knew. And I knew that He was so very near. It was a sweet time of truly leaning on God in the midst of intense fear and finding Him so very present and real.
God Takes Us Through- I didn't die. I could have and that would have been a good outcome. I trust that not because it is easy, but because I know God is always good and His ways really are perfect. I'm thankful for His nearness and that He brought me through to an end of the scary experience with His presence fully known to me throughout.
"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen." - 1 Peter 5:10-11 ESVIn the end, He rewarded me with another sweet little boy to raise to know Him. It was an incredible gift and Andy and I tearfully pray with thankful hearts for how God gifts us so lavishly. We are so very rich. Not only did He give us Baby Boy #3, but He revealed Himself so much more fully through this birth and I'm thankful.