Its me, Melissa. I know I was a pretty crummy Christian before this whole experience....I accept and have been humbled to admit that I thought of myself first and foremost way too often. I hardly ever thanked you for the beautiful world around me. The only time I would talk to you was when I was making my list of "requests". I was the typical 'I believe its all about me, me, me...oh yeah and I believe in you too God'. I understand that although you don't make these trials for us to go through, you allow us to go through them to give us the opportunity to grow and show our faith to You. You use these trials to test all of us, the most faithless to the most faithful. And through my own trial here, this journey of faith, I have been to the lowest of lows. Over and over again. I have had to put someone else's life ahead of my own. I have had to make the hardest choices I have ever made in my life. I have had to accept that in the grand scheme of things, my own life isn't as important as I once thought. I mourn that I didn't live the first 29 years of my life in any especially fulfilling fashion...and I understand it may be too late to get another 29 years to make up for it. It's a LOT for someone to take in in only 8 months. I feel like I am ready to collapse from the sheer magnitude of so much info at once.
I know that my days have already been numbered by you, and that I can't beg or plead or pray myself another day, since you have a perfect plan for us all. Honestly though God, my biggest fear of losing my life is that I would lose my children, and possibly Doug, to this world. The world that for many revolves around me, me, me, and money, and material goods. And its so easy to get lost in it all. To think that you are living the way you should be living, all the while worshipping false idols on a daily basis. I know this so earnestly, bc I was there. It's just too easy to be lead astray, especially when Doug would need to count on the world to help him raise 6 children by himself-he just couldn't do it all, while still needing to work to support them all. It breaks my heart to think about. How lucky I would feel to wake up after this, and recover, and get that chance to live that joyful, fullfilling, giving lifestyle 24/7; to cotinue to surround my children with the true meaning of life. And although I know this doesn't guarantee their faithfulness to You, it still is a better start then I had.
In the end though, I know I have to trust in Your perfect plan....bc like so many other instances of my life, I have been hit by the reality that I know little to nothing when it comes to the big picture that You have created and see before You. I have to trust and have faith that *hopefully* I have laid enough good foundation still, just in case. And that You love my children as much as I do, that You love Doug as much as I do. And that You will be there for us all, every step of the way, every single day-no matter what outcome is in store for us.
Thank you God, for Doug. I adore him so much-he is my best friend, my life partner, and no one in the world (except You) knows me better then he does. He is selfless, and puts me and our children first and foremost. He is a hard worker, an amazing husband and a much more amazing Daddy. Every day still feels like our first date. And he is such a good, Godly influence. He may not do the Church/Bible reading thing much, but He talks to You often, and has such incredible faith. Many times, when the going gets tough, he stregthens my faith with his words of wisdom. I feel so blessed to have him in my life and as my husband. You have truly blessed me God.
Thank you God, for Kylie. My sweet first child. I wanted her to come years before her time, but you showed me the virtue of patience. And when it was her time to come, the happiness I felt! She is such a sweet and simple soul. She has little to ever complain about, and she loves and cares for You and this world and her family so much. Joy just pours out of her-she makes everyone happy. And she has wisdom beyond her years. You have truly blessed me God.
Thank you God, for Elise. My sneaky little surprise second child. I was afraid that I wouldn't love her as much as Kylie, when I had little time to even remember I was pregnant, with Kylie still being so young. But then Elise was born and in the NICU, and the love that poured out of me was amazing. She is so quirky and funny. She sees the world and has a million and one questions to ask. She is so motherly and loving-she reminds me exactly of ME at that age. You have truly blessed me God.
Thank you God, for Caden. My first little boy. Just when I thought I was one really good parent, Caden's colicky little self came into this world. And I still adored him. He tested me over and over and over again. He still tests me. But he also can't stop kissing and hugging me. He is and has always been a cuddler. And just today, I was thinking that having that little bit of opposition could help him one day when he has to make the hard choices and go against the grain-maybe take on his own journey of faith. He has taught me so much about the depths of love and patience. You have truly blessed me God.
Thank you God, for Gavin. My first born twin son. I always wanted twins-and when I found out I WAS having twins, I couldn't believe it. He was my first complete placenta previa baby. He was so close to not being here, but you helped him find a way to implant somewhere he could grow, even if it wasn't a great place at all. And he made it safely to delivery, although his placenta gave me a bit of grief. He has the sweetest little kewpie doll face, and a spitfire personality to oppose it. He never leaves my side-I am his mama. I see that he will teach me similar lessons about love and patience that Caden has-he is so determined and spirited and he just adores being coddled, all the while also being as indepdent as he can be. You have truly blessed me God.
Thank you God, for Rylan. My second born twin son. I thought one of the twins was a girl. I wanted a girl. And I was a little upset there was no girl. Rylan (and Gavin) showed me quickly that they were perfectly meant for our family. Rylan is another sweet soul. He loves to find a warm lap to cuddle into, or a warm arm to be wrapped in. And through all this struggles with asthma, he has shown me what strength is about. Throughout it all, he perseveres with a smile on his face. And a mermaid in his hand. He keeps me smiling and laughing. He is very protective of his twin, and he adores his siblings. He is joy and life and love. You have truly blessed me God.
Thank you God for Ansen. My last son-the one that opened my eyes to life itself. I thought I know what I needed, and Ansen taught me about what was truly missing in my life. And it wasn't about dressing a little girl in pink and tights and bows. I was fearful of going into this pregnancy, but I felt Ansen's strong little soul always on my mind. And I took a leap of faith. I have seen his strength, as he himself as endured so many trials. When I was told to terminate his life, I had to make the hardest choice of my life and choose this path....my journey of faith into the unknown. Bc I saw how he fought, and his fight for life gave me the strength to fight. He fought against impending miscarriage, and he beat the odds. He has fought every step of the way to be here, and to join our family. He, like Gavin, only find his way here through Your guidance God....he could find no place to implant, and last minute, he found somewhere...although certainly not the best spot at all. He could easily not be here, so many instances that he should't be here....but he IS here. Growing and kicking inside me. Almost ready to be born. He has taught me how to open my eyes to the true meaning of life-the joy I am/have been surrounded by on a daily basis. I will never be the same and I wholeheartedly embrace it. You have truly blessed me God.
And lastly God, thank you for the beautiful world around me. How could I be so blind before?? And the wonderful friends and family you have surrounded me by. My family might be a bit rough around the edges, and many have much to learn about You still, but they have made me who I am. Through thick and thin, my family is love and strength and togetherness. I love my mom and dad, my sister and my brother, their significant others....my mother in law, all my other sister/brother inlaws, and aunts and uncles and cousins and passed grandparents. And some have indeed made life challenging at times for us, but I am sure that one day, they will also See and FINALLY understand us...and our life, and maybe life itself We still love them though, bc You taught us the selfless act of genuine love. My friends are my rock. The ones that support me, even when they might not agree or understand....they have given me such deep strength every step of this journey. Everyone of them has almost been hand picked at times throughout my life, and they are all so incredibly special to me now...and always. I feel so lucky to have such an amazing extended family surrounding me at all times. I can't thank God enough for any and all of you. You have truly blessed me God.
All I ask God, is that You please help me find that extra bit of faith and strength in me to continue to walk bravely on, even when my fear tries to get the best of me. Facing this kind of fear head on has been paralyzing at times. Only with You, have I been able to get up and stumble forward. I trust in You and your perfect plan, and my faith remains strong, no matter how terrified I might be. But I won't lie. It's not been easy, and it certainly isn't any easier as the final leg of this journey draws near. I don't regret any of it, although at times, I curse putting myself in the situation I have...but then I am reminded of Ansen's little soul and life-he was truly MEANT to be here. I am certain that You don't appreciate watching us struggle with these great challenges we sometimes have to face, but that at times, you canoot make our life any easier bc we NEED to travel these life lessons so that we can truly learn and become these life lessons. My journey, albeit NOT FUN, has taught me more then the last 29 years of my life alltogether. And I truly appreciate the me that has been revealed. It's not been easy in the slightest way, but it's been beautiful and joyful nevertheless. And right now, I am just fighting to keep that joy in my heart...and not let it be pushed out by those dark fears, always sneaking in on me.
Thank You God for the past, and the present, and whatever future You have in store for me. I hope that I can make You happy and proud when all this is said and done; that I can share and spread Your love and the joy and gift of life itself to others, in some way or another.