I wanted nothing more in life than to be a wife and a mother. My wish came true on October 1, 2005 when I married my love. Our story was like no other. God’s hand was truly on our lives. As time went on, the Dr. gave us some bad news. The chances of me getting pregnant were slim; we were devastated at that report. The one thing we knew is that we served a big God and that is where HOPE first stepped in.
I spoke scriptures over my circumstances daily. I would take both the medical medicine and the spiritual medicine. One of my favorite scriptures was written all over my house:
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you all the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 (NIV)
I read this over and over. It was the cry of my heart.
We hoped for a child and prayed countless nights. And finally, fourteen months after saying “I do” and ten months after hearing those doctor’s fateful words, we welcomed a nine pound, beautiful baby girl into our world. I loved everything about being a mother, especially the bond that I found with my new little bundle of joy. I was truly blessed. I was happy.
“I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request.” 1 Samuel 1:27 (NIV)
Then three years later, another blessing entered into this world! How lucky was I? Two baby girls in three years? My life was full! Play dates, dresses, and bows! Girls were fun!
But it wasn’t all sparkles and glitter all of the time. Motherhood had its challenges too. There were plenty of ups and downs, but I knew this was what I was called to do. No matter how hard times got, I knew I could get through it. I had HOPE. I had FAITH. The good times outweighed the bad. (Thank GOD!) The love I had for those babies was unimaginable. With God’s grace I was going to be the best mom I could be. I was determined. Then, out of the blue, we were surprised with a baby boy! Three kids! I was geared up and excited to take on the world with three! But only to find out life had other ideas....
The first month of my baby boy’s life was far from dreamy. Life was hard! It consisted of doctor appointments, fevers, and an unknown illness for this mama. What?! This was not the motherhood I imagined. Where were my precious moments with my new baby? Where were the moments where my new family would just be in awe of our new addition? Where were the deep stares into his eyes, the late-night feedings, the coos and his first sounds. Instead I was tired and sick and sick and tired! All I did was sleep and pray. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired! I longed to be the mother I dreamt of. I wanted my life back. I had three kids under five and I could barely get out of bed. This wasn’t what I signed up for. Where was my fantasy? Where was my dream life? Where was my fairy tale?
After eight long months of the “unknown illness,” the cries of my heart and the prayers of loved ones and strangers, we finally got an answer: Hodgkin's Lymphoma! Cancer?! Me?! This young mom of three? Not me!!! No way!! This was NOT the life I had signed up for. BUT...
But this diagnosis was an answered prayer! Yes, cancer was an answer to so many prayers. It was the answer to MY prayers. MY tears. MY struggles. MY many nights crying out to the Lord!
“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.” Psalm 107:6 (NIV)
Sure, it’s not the answer most would be happy about, but now we had an answer, we could fight, and I could become all that I was made to be. This is where HOPE came in again. This is where FAITH came in. This is where PRAYERS came in.
Of course there were plenty of tears and lots of questions of why, but there was never a doubt of the healing. Faith got us through. God’s Word got us through. Family got us through. And most importantly HOPE got us through!
HOPE flooded me! I knew that I would be healed because I knew my Savior! My family never lost HOPE. We felt the power of God like never before during that time. We were literally carried through by the prayers. The prayers of strangers and loved ones saturated us and surged over us. We were drowning in prayers and it felt amazing! We were covered with love and HOPE.
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12 (ESV)
Now fast forward eight years... we have two beautiful daughters and an amazing son. Our HOPE in Jesus Christ saved us and made us who we are as a family. I am a mom, a wife, and I am constantly learning who I am in Christ. Sure, life has its moments, but with Jesus by my side and HOPE in my heart, I can accomplish anything. I can get through anything!
The devil tried hard to take me out. That just means he is scared of what I can accomplish. I will persevere and finish my race! Don’t let the hard times in life knock you down. Instead, know who your Savior is and have HOPE in Jesus to get you through.
“Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT)
According to the dictionary, HOPE is a feeling of expectation and a desire for a certain thing to happen. Hang on to that expectation and that desire that lives deep in your heart and persevere. Never give up and never lose the HOPE that was given to you.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NIV)