If you're just joining in, you'll want to take a moment and read my previous posts, or this post won't make much sense! Just click on the links below:
OK - now you are ready to read the surprising conclusion to Our Thanksgiving Miracle of 2003!
In the stressful days and weeks following our accident, I was so busy caring for the physical and emotional needs of my husband and nine children, that I didn't have time to think much about myself. I knew I had to stay strong for everyone else, and really didn't allow myself to cry or think about how close we came to being a much smaller family . . . I just kept going.
Eventually, I had to face up to the fact that something was wrong with me. I was exhausted and nauseous and feeling horrible! The more I considered all of my symptoms, the more I realized I had seen this unique set of symptoms before -- nine times before, to be exact! Yet, I simply could not believe that God would allow me to get pregnant at such a time as this!!
After my usual mode of operation -- "ignore it and hope it goes away" -- didn't work, I finally took a pregnancy test. With my suspicions confirmed, I not only had to deal with this new twist to the plot of my life, but I had to break the news to my husband! Poor guy! When I told him that he was about to be a father for the tenth time, he just stared at me in disbelief and asked for more pain medicine! ;)
This was a huge test of my faith! Did I still believe that God was in control?? I mean, couldn't He see that this was a terrible time to bring a new baby into our family? Didn't He notice that I was totally overwhelmed?? Did I still believe that children were a blessing from the Lord, even if they were born at a terribly inconvenient and stressful time???
It took me quite awhile to wrestle with these questions, and to come to peace with my circumstances and to accept this as God's perfect will for my life! For awhile, I cried every single day!
As I began to accept and embrace the fact that I carried a new life, worry set in. Since I was actually pregnant at the time of the accident, and had had abdominal x-rays to rule out any internal injuries in the ER, I was terrified that the baby would be born with major birth defects. Thankfully, an ultrasound put my fears to rest.
Even though it was such an extremely difficult thing to accept the news of a new baby back in December and January . . . by the time August rolled around, our lives looked totally different! Injuries were healed and life was pretty much back to normal. You can see how nicely Joe's face had healed by this time in this picture:
By this time, we were all truly excited to be welcoming a precious little girl into our lives! After all, we needed another "rose" in our garden with six "thorns!" :)
Bethany, our little "rosebud" brought much joy into our lives when she was born in August of 2004! She was a cute, cuddly, and content little baby! :)
In our eyes, Bethany was nothing short of a miracle, surviving a traumatic rollover accident, my abdominal x-rays, and a highly stress-filled first trimester! She was a living reminder that God brings good out of bad, life out of death, and hope even in the darkest of times! She was our gold at the end of the rainbow!!!
It may seem that my story is over, but there was one more little surprise that lay in store for us! It happened either on Thanksgiving or Christmas the year after the accident. (Alan thinks it was Thanksgiving, and I think it was Christmas!) ;)
We had a surprise visit from a man who was a truck driver and had witnessed our accident the year before! He had somehow managed to learn our names and locate us. He came bearing gifts and all kinds of food from his Sunday School class!!!! He loved getting to meet the family and was relieved to discover that everyone had survived and recovered . . . and was amazed that God had actually protected not just nine, but ten children that day!!! :)
He was able to provide a missing detail that had always puzzled my husband. Alan had always marveled that no other cars had plowed into us after the accident, knowing how busy the interstate was the day before Thanksgiving. Now, we learned in amazement that this man had positioned his tractor trailer in such a way that it blocked all the southbound lanes, so that no one would hit into us after the wreck! He too, had been so shook up by our accident, that he was unable to sleep that night, and spent the night praying for us! He also asked his church to pray for our family in the days that followed!!
We were once again blown away by God's amazing protection over us, by His provision of our every need, and by His positioning of other Christians around us that day to actively help us and pray for us in our time of need!! How could we ever doubt His goodness and His sovereignty in our lives???
I don't remember exactly when it happened, but at some point after the accident the Lord caused this verse to jump off the page of my Bible and into my heart:
"But for this very purpose have I let you live, that I might show you my power, and that my Name may be declared throughout all the earth."
~ Exodus 9:16, Amplified Bible
Thank you for reading my story and allowing me to declare His Great Name throughout all the earth, or at least as far as the world wide web takes this blog post! :)