I am second
This morning I shared my testimony at church. It has been a wonderful journey. This sermon series has been one of the most challenging and exciting for me. I wanted to share what I shared with my church family. If you are looking for some inspiring videos check out iamsecond.com Because of this series, I’ve gotten back to my blog and I am willing to put myself out there even more. Here is a video of me speaking this morning: i am second video
And here is my story:
I’ve always believed that God was there. From the time I was a young girl, despite the fact that we didn’t go to church regularly. I prayed and listened to Bible stories at bedtime, but I always just knew He was there. I remember being about 5 years old and wanting a baby brother. I told my parents that I wanted a brother, and they laughed at me. But, I prayed about it and I wrote letters to God. Since I didn’t know His address, I put them in my top drawer knowing that he would know my thoughts and that I’d written to Him.
I knew He was present when my grandma was terminally ill, but He gave us those little moments of laughter. When she started seeing angels and telling us not to look yet because it wasn’t our time. I knew He was there the day she died by the peace in the house and listening to my 4 year old cousins discuss what happened to Grandma. They knew immediately as they caressed her bed that she was with Jesus, all the while the adults and older kids sat and mourned our loss.
As a high school student, I knew He was there when I met Cooper. Cooper and I had bonded over our faith. We both believed in serving others, praying and just trying to follow Christ in our daily lives. Cooper was so willing to help others, and it was inspiring. I knew there was a reason that he and I were together. I even knew He was present the day I received the news that Cooper had been killed in a car accident. After the initial shock, I just began to pray. Prayer and my church family got me through dealing with that loss.
As I went to college, I began to question, but in my heart I knew He had a plan for me. I met my now husband that year. Miles was not as open about his faith, but, then I felt as though maybe God would use me to reach out to him. While Miles was deployed in Iraq, I prayed and I knew that he would return safely home.
Just before Miles and I got married, we were asked to take a premarital counseling session. I took many of those tips from the pastor to heart, and it was nice to see that Miles did too. As newly weds, we prayed over each meal. We would pray before bed each night. Prayer is what got us through our first year, as Miles left for a new job, I moved back to my parents’ house, and we worked in separate states. After only a few months, Miles was able to come home to work again. We then found out we were unexpectedly expecting. I prayed for guidance, strength, and courage. But, the day we found out that our sweet baby hadn’t developed kidneys and wouldn’t be able to live, I cried out to Him, “How can You do this? Why won’t You fix this? We need You to fix this.” Because of the severity of the condition and the hazards to me, we decided to terminate the pregnancy.
At this point, I very seriously began to question what I really believed. He is Lord of all, and yet, He will not “fix” this. Am I being punished? Where are You when I need You? I was angry, but trying hard to cling to the fact that God had a plan for us. I mourned the loss of my baby as well as the loss of my innate faith. A few months passed, and we found out we were pregnant again. I began praying immediately. Lord, please be with us. Thank you for this blessing. Make this baby okay. Help us, we need You…
And then, yet again, our baby was not healthy. Our baby wouldn’t make it to live life on this earth. I felt such guilt for doing this to my family and friends again. A baby is supposed to be a celebration, a natural event in the course of life, not a nightmare. Why would He do this to me AGAIN? I felt guilt for terminating the pregnancy. I felt angry for God taking these babies from me. Miles and I stopped praying together. I prayed, but only halfheartedly. I felt betrayed, alone, forgotten.
I started having nightmare about my pregnancies. I started resenting babies and anything that had to do with babies. I couldn’t hold a baby without aching for my losses. I was noticing that I was so unhappy in my everyday life. I needed help, but who do you turn to when you feel like your world is spinning out of control? He was supposed to be there. He was supposed to help. Where was He?
Eventually, I sought counseling. I started a blog about my journey with my faith and my child loss. I started reading a book that was filled with scripture and talked about a woman that lost her 4th child, and how she coped. Slowly, I began to open myself up to the idea that maybe I wasn’t forgotten. Perhaps, this was a moment for me to really give myself to Him, and not just rely on the innate sense that He was always there that I’d had since I was a little girl. And so, one night in the tub as I read this book, and poured over the pieces of scripture, I began to cry. These were not angry tears, or tears of mourning. These were tears of letting go. I called out “Lord, I can’t be angry any more. I don’t like feeling this. I need You. I need Your help. I need You in my life. Take this pain away. Help me to let go of this hurt and heartache and be overcome by You.” I sat, and I meditated a moment on this event, and I went to bed.
When I woke the next morning, I felt refreshed. This was a feeling I hadn’t felt in such a long time. I knew that something was happening to me. I continued to blog about my faith and my journey for a family. I started volunteering. I sought out scripture and books about prayer. I offered to be a listening ear for others going through a similar journey. And one day, while blogging, I realized it was never about me. It was not a test of my faith; these trials were not meant to hurt me, but to invite me to be a part of this awesome gift that has been offered to all of us. So, when Mel approached me to ask me to speak today, I wasn’t hesitant. While I am not a fan of public speaking, when I put things in perspective… of all Jesus has given for me, I gladly accepted.
Now, this is a journey for certain, but I know that I am never alone. I know that God is greater than any trials that may come about. When we found out we were pregnant this time, I was nervous, but I knew that God had a plan. When we went to meet with a genetic counselor, and she gave us statistics and numbers, I remembered a friends’ words,” medicine and doctors are good, but our God is so much greater. He is the ultimate Healer.” And because of that, I rest easy knowing that He is all the Healing I need. I don’t have to walk this or anything alone. I am Amber Adkins and I am second.
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