One Year

For the LORD your God will bless you as He has promised.  –Deuteronomy 15:6

Nothing I write beyond this point will fully capture the overwhelming emotions I feel as Caitlin Grace turns one year old this week.  Her birth is not only a precious memory for me because of the simple miracle of life, but her birth is my reminder to always, always put my full faith and trust in God.  My life completely changed over the course of my pregnancy with her.  The moment she was born I saw God’s fulfillment of His promises to me, it was His response to all of the prayers for her health.  God used Caitlin to bring me home to Him, and the past year I’ve advanced and stumbled in my walk with Him…but my faith in Him has not been shaken.

I also believe in my heart that Caitlin reached so many other people before she even took her first breath.  People from so many states and cities prayed for Caitlin, people who were strong in their faith and people who maybe didn’t have much of a relationship with God.  I felt those prayers and knew how loved Caitlin was, and saw first hand how God can move mountains for His beloved.

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. –Psalm 119:105

When I think how perfectly orchestrated God’s plan is, and think about how much He loves me, I am just in awe.  God knew exactly how this would play out, and for me I simply had to trust in Him.  His word guided my path, and I followed faithfully not knowing what was to come.  Our whole lives are like that: His word simply guides us along the path, and we don’t know where we will end…but He does.  And it’s a good place, even if it doesn’t feel that way now.  When I first received the call from my doctor that something could be wrong, for a moment my mind went to a dark place.  I feared that I would lose her.  As soon as I dropped to my knees and put my full faith in Him, peace started creeping in and taking over.  Never again during the remainder of my pregnancy did I doubt I would meet Caitlin.  Even after the worst fears subsided, we still faced the possibility of health issues that wouldn’t be answered until her birth.  We had no idea what would happen once she arrived.  Would she go to NICU?  Would she require immediate surgery?  I remember once mentioning to my doctor that at least my fears of a serious medical condition were abated, and she quickly reminded me that we wouldn’t know anything for certain until she arrived.  My husband recently reminded me that a year ago, we were praying for poopy diapers.

On July 23, 2014 she arrived quickly (to my doctor’s surprise) and completely healthy.  I do feel sad that much of that day is a blur to me.  I remember seeing her crying, I remember them taking her to the nursery, I remember being told Troy had to stay with me and couldn’t go with her because things weren’t going well with me…I remember struggling all day, unable to hold her much or take care of her.  I remember in the evening crying out to God again for help, to heal me so I could take care of her.  And again, he was faithful.  After that prayer, I stopped passing out and started gaining enough strength to walk.  The next day, I was able to hold her and change poopy diapers.  He is ALWAYS faithful.

Throughout my pregnancy, not only did my relationship with God get stronger but I felt a sense of community that I had never felt before in my life.  Friends and strangers brought us meals throughout my bedrest and recovery.  People I don’t know prayed for us.  Friends came and kept me company.  Family came in and helped me.  My community stepped in and embraced us, loved us.  That was God’s handiwork.  He used each and every person who messaged, called or texted us; brought us meals; watched our kids; kept me company; did grocery shopping for us; put aside their busy schedules to assist us.  Since then, friendships have flourished.  Godly friendships.  Friendships I know will last a lifetime.

All this because as a result of an unexpectedly difficult pregnancy, which led to one of the greatest blessings I have ever received in my life…one of three to be exact.  Caitlin’s first year has been such a blessing.  God continues to work in her life, and in mine.  Sometimes just looking at her sweet face is enough to bring me to tears and reminds me to praise God.  Even though our days aren’t always easy, they are always a blessing and I would not trade any of the rough days in this new world I live in for a lifetime of easy days in my old world.

God is good, always.  I will always praise Him and always rejoice in how perfectly He executes His plans.

Happy First Birthday, sweet Caitlin Grace!  You are a true miracle, an answered prayer, and proof in my life of how amazing God is.  You are so loved: by your Heavenly Father; by your earthly parents, sister, and brother; by your extended family here on earth; by our amazing community.  We adore you, and we are excited to see what joys God gives us over the next year.

**Her birthday isn’t until Thursday, but I imagine I will be an emotional wreck that day…and also celebrating…so I decided to post early.**

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