Monday, February 3, 2014

Beauty for Ashes: Five

I have never been a person to have a "lucky number" but this one, it seemed to be the one that I used as my guide. 

My shield, my gauge.

"In 5 years, we can financially breathe."
"In 5 years, you will have a real grown up career."
"In 5 years maybe I can really start pursing my design dreams."

You see back in March, it was 5 years that had passed since I saw 2 pink lines for the first time. 

Then I thought, no.... that was only one. 

After nine seperate tests I knew it was true.

I felt the lord whisper to me. "Give me five years, allow me to mold you, transform you, and make you and Casey into the people I want and need you to be."

What did I learn in that amount of time?
Humbling is a process, and this one simple phrase.

"Sin will make you go farther than you wanted to go, and make you pay more than you wanted to pay." 

(I have to be delicate with the words I choose to write on this matter because one day, my little girl will read them. I never want her to think I didn't love her. 
It IS because of my love for her that she is here today; so bear with me... I have also chosen to write her a special book through pictures and prayer and love notes and share with her how much we have loved her and how thankful we are that Jesus decided to make us her parents. I want this to be something for her only so she can work through the emotions privately with us, satan will use this enough to attack her so I feel that is probably the best way for us to share with her)

The drive to planned parenthood to confirm the pregnancy was the scariest drive of my life. 
I wavered back and forth between wanting an abortion, and not.... after prayer I knew the lord had instilled me with this little one.

And who was I? Who was I to stand in the way of the life he intended.
It was my responsibility to carry her and nurture her and bring her up!!

Two sweet friends daily walked those first few weeks with Casey and I. 
I went through every array of emotion possible.
Denial, excitement.... followed by denial. A whirlwind of how would we provide... back to thoughts of an abortion, thoughts of an adoption, then denial again. 
(People, I convinced myself I had a mild form of the flu for 9 weeks straight.) 

I eventually accepted the pregnancy and we proceeded to tell our parents.
That day I remembering not wanting to breathe.
Things were said, feelings were hurt, but the silence was the hardest.

Again... time.
Originally, before those pink lines; our plan was to get engaged in the summer and hopefully wed in the fall or coming spring.

Instead we got engaged in April and were married 5 weeks later.

We wed when I was 24 weeks pregnant.

Anna Caroline looks at our wedding photos now and asks where she is.
I don't lie to her, I tell her that she was with us in my tummy.

It pains me to say that, but I don't personally feel it is right to lie to her.

We had a very simple ceremony, where dear friends sang, the blazing sun almost suffocated us, 
and simple vows were exchanged.

That day we made a commitment, no matter what, no matter how hot of a fire, to tough it out. 

Those 7 months I was pregnant (that I knew about) I was well... a nomad of sorts.
We were in Tuscaloosa when we were engaged, moved home in June to marry and in July I returned to Tuscaloosa to take 2 final classes to graduate from Alabama.

I had several friends who offered to let me sleep on their couch. 
Abbie, Kara, Lauren, Heather, Christina, and Emily. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

I would send my morning text to see what people had going on that day, I spent my day at the library, or walking target, would wait for them to return from class or work for us to eat, shower, and study before bed and sleep. 
In the am I would grab my pillow, blanket and bag of clothes and head out for my next adventure for the day.
Just me and baby girl growing in my tummy.

Having her was not exciting for me like it was with the boys, it was relief that the nightmare of my previous months was over. 

Maybe that people would stop talking about me, and stop feeling sorry for me, the rumors and facebook friend requests, from the nosey, would stop.

I just wanted her here, and for time to heal what all had transpired.
In the moment I finally got to hold her I just remembering holding so tight, crying tears of joy, breathing a sigh of relief. 

Thinking how perfectly she was knit together in my womb.

And how long I had waited for this day. 
I remember no excitement in the room when the family came in to meet her. 

I only remember a slight lift of the tension felt.

I had named her Rebekah Caroline.

Casey named her Anna Claire.

Only minutes before trying to be discharged from the hospital did we settle on the name Anna Caroline.

Anna means gracious and merciful 
and Caroline means joy and song of happiness.

On November 12, 2008 she became the merciful song of happiness to our lives.

to be continued.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing part of your story. People often get so caught up in THE BIG NEWS that they forget that, by God's grace, life goes on. However upset or distraught or surprised or whatever people were in the did not change the fact that your sweet daughter was on the way and you got married. We are all acquainted with sin, so let's do the best we can with where we are (again, by God's grace) and move on. We did things out of order (divorce for me leaving w/2 kids, *surprise baby*, 2nd marriage, being broke, finishing law school), but, almost 15 years later, God and I are square and life is as it should be. It wasn't all pretty, but it's our story, and I no longer apologize for any of it. My Thing 3 knows he was on the way when his father and I married. I have never lied about it. All I say during our teenager/mom talks is that things can be easier if you do them in a certain order, but in the end if all the pieces are there, it's all good. Thank you for sharing. JeanaB

Charity said...

Love sweet friend and I am proud of you for having the courage to share. You story is going to bring God glory, He is bigger than every mistake we have ever made. You willingness to share will be used by Him to change lives!!

Memphis Mama said...

Sweet, sweet Jenny Beth... Your brave decision to choose LIFE for your beautiful daughter says more about your character than anything else. It was an honor to sing at your wedding and I, for one, never felt anything other than absolutely thrilled for you and Casey :) AC and the boys are lucky to have such loving, committed parents, and I pray that God will continue to bless your beautiful family abundantly. Love you!

Jessica Welzel said...

This is the most amazingly sweet story I have read in a long time. It made me cry sitting here at work because it describes how I came to be so well.

My mom was a freshman in college when she got pregnant with me she was dating my dad long distance while going to UT Martin. She got pregnant,decided to have me, and got married in 6 months time. She describes that time of her life as the most challenging and scary. And the 27 years after I was born as the most clear and purposeful, she was made to be a mommy. I admire you and Casey so much for sharing your story. I know Anna Caroline will read it one day and understand how lucky she is to have yall for parents. It is rare to be so honest,graceful and humble all at once and this post is all those things.

Thank you for your post it helped heal my heart and strengthen my spirit in a very real way.

God Bless you and your sweet family

Jessica Welzel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lauren Cash said...

Jenny Beth you have me in tears over here! Such an amazing story of God bringing beauty from brokenness. Thank you for sharing your heart...reading your blog is a blessing to me!

Dixie Delights said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful peek into your heart, soul and struggle. She is beautiful and a blessing, just like her mama. Much love for you, my virtual friend!! xo

Stacy Heckman said...

As I said on IG, this post was so beautifully written and so openly honest. Thank you so much for sharing. You have a beautiful family and God is definitely smiling upon you!! :)