Amazing Grace

I had lost faith in God almost 11 years ago in November.   I watched my grandmother die a horrible death.  I didn’t understand how God could take a humbling, beautiful, Godly, extraordinary, terrific woman in such a horrific manner.  10 months later her husband, my grandfather, was taken from this world very sudden.  This left my life in shambles.  Two people I loved so dearly died within  10 months of each other- my heart was ripped to shreds.

Todd and I married 2 months prior to my grandmother’s passing.  After we returned from our honeymoon my grandmother entered the hospital – then the nursing home.  I spent every moment I could with her.  As I explained in my previous post “Wind Beneath My Wings” – I witnessed her dying days – I was with her when she passed.

After her passing Todd and I wanted to start a family. I found out that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – which makes getting pregnant very difficult. I was put on all kinds of medicines to help us conceive.   That February my grandfather had a heart-attack – but pulled through after heart surgery.  Todd and I continued to try to conceive – no success.  My sister, Robyn, got married that summer… she was the lucky one that got to have the last dance with my grandfather – a precious and beautiful memory that she cherishes.   That September on Labor Day – my grandfather was at my parents home.  He was outside with my dad.  My dad had went to the garage to get lawn chairs for them to sit in.  When he turned around my grandfather was on the ground.  My dad ran to him and held him in his arms while he screamed for my mother.  My father was torn to pieces thinking that my grandfather was going to die in his arms.  My grandfather was rushed to St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville – where we learned he had a massive stroke.   My family and I stayed in the hospital hotel taking turns staying with him.  My father and uncle told us grandchildren to go home and rest.  A few days later my grandfather passed.  It was devastating to lose him so unexpectedly.  I had a wall that went up when my grandmother died – a larger wall was built the day my grandfather died – God was the enemy in my eyes and heart.

After my grandfather passed Todd and I started back trying to conceive.  I had given up.  All my friends were announcing their pregnancy’s.  A day in January – my husband was playing golf with some of his buddies (I know golf in January – boys and their games) and he called me to let me know that one of our sweet couple friends were pregnant.  I vividly remember this day like it was yesterday.  I remember being very aggravated with my husband and replied after he told me of their pregnancy “Well, good for them!!!”  –  I told him I loved him and I hung up the phone.  I was doing laundry and I picked up some of the laundry and started throwing it and screaming at God.  I told Him I hoped He was having a good laugh – He had taken both of my grandparents in horrible ways and now He was taking one of the most important things away from me – becoming a mother.  How could I love a God that was so mean?  How could I have FAITH?  How???  I was so ugly talking to Him… simply ugly.

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Photo By Martene Hatfield

Well – two weeks later I found out I was pregnant with Will.  Did I thank God?  No – I did not.   Was my faith restored?  No – it was not. I was still very cold and very distant from Him.  I went to church – just the motions – because it was something I “had” to do.  I was still very cold and very bitter towards Him… even though I had gotten what I had longed for – becoming a mother.

When I gave birth to Will and held him in my arms for the first time… I saw a light… a beautiful light… something beautiful… something so amazing that I had never seen before… I saw LIFE… I was holding a gift, a glorious gift… from God.  A little bit of that cruel wall I put up started crumbling.  Just a little…

Two and a half years later – Carter was brought into this world.  Again, when I held him for the first time – I saw the same light… a beautiful light… something beautiful… something so amazing… something I had seen just one time before… I saw Life…  I was holding another gift, a glorious gift… from God.  A little more of that cruel wall came crumbling down…

When Carter was diagnosed with Autism… so many people told me that God doesn’t give a child with autism to just any parents.  He gives them to the chosen ones that He knows will love, care and be their number one supporter – who can help them grow.  I really didn’t understand this “phrasing” of encouragement –  at first.

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When I hold Carter and sing to him and his eyes are looking into mine – I see God.  I see love… I see something so special.  I can’t explain it.  When that child smiles or laughs – I feel God.  When he cries – I see God’s tears.  When I have conversations with him – I hear God.   I get it now…

I finally understand what God’s plan was/is for my life… Will and Carter… to guide them… to cherish them… to give them a life that no one else can give them… to love them unconditionally… to help them with all of their struggles… to experience their happy times in life…  to help them in their path of spirituality… I now know…

Autism is not a gift – it is a journey that He has chosen for us to walk and He knew we would walk it because we love our child that much – we will never give up – we will never surrender.

For the past 11 years I have struggled in my faith and with God.  Each year, each month, each day, each hour – bits of that wall I put up crumbles.

When days are so trying and when I am down in the dumps – I look at my gifts from Him… Will and Carter…

Through all of this – I know that even though I gave up on God – He has never and will never give up on me.

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see. ~ Amazing Grace – John Newton

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