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God is My Reward!

I knew about Danielle before I ever met her in person. Her in-laws came to our house for dinner one night and through conversation, shared with us how excited they were to be welcoming their first grandbabies into their lives in the very future. Knowing that first-time parent's of twins would need lots of extra stuff, we passed along some of the baby things we no longer needed. It would be another year and a half before I would met Danielle and her family face-to-face.

When Danielle and I met, I felt a kindred spirit in her. She and I shared a love for the Lord and I just new we would be good friends. It has been a joy to get to know her "in real life" over the past few years. She is an inspiration and an encouragement to my soul. Her love for the Lord is evident in how she loves her husband, cares for her children, and serves the body of Christ. Please welcome Danielle today as she shares her story.

“You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.”
(Psalm 30:11-12)
God has done an amazing work in me and in my life. His Word has given me comfort through many trials, struggles, joys, tears, happiness and tribulations. I haven’t always had His Word, or even wanted it, but it is so precious to me now!

You see, I didn’t grow up in a Christian home. We floated in and out of church on the important holidays. Pleasing God wasn’t a priority in my life, having fun and doing the wrong things was my priority. He had been working on me for some time and after high school, during a broken time in my life, God took hold of me. But soon after, I began to be drawn back to what I used to love, and further away from the God who loved me.

God, in His great sovereignty, was still working in my life. He moved a young man from California all the way cross country to Kentucky. Within a few months of his move we met and began a friendship. We got involved in church and God continued to shape me into the woman that He was calling me to be. I began having quiet times with the Lord and finally understood what it meant to be child of the God. During this time our friendship slowly began to blossom and we were married year later.
God taught us many things that first year of marriage. Most importantly He taught us that we needed to trust in Him for the things that we had no control over. God was preparing us for the things we would go through in the near future.
After about a year of married bliss…..we began trying to get pregnant. In 2003, as God would have it, we moved to California and began seeing an infertility specialist because we had been unable to get pregnant on our own. We had months of tests with this doctor and a number of failed attempts at IUI (intrauterine insemination).
In November 2003, I went to my doctor because I was experiencing sharp pains in my stomach. I had been at work that morning and blacked out while making the coffee. The doctor was concerned that I had a tubal pregnancy. After tests and ultrasounds we found out that wasn’t the case. According to the ultrasound I had a cyst on my ovary the size of a golf ball. I was told I could go on birth control pills for a few months or I could have surgery. After a number of “second-opinions” we decided that with my medical history, surgery was the best option.
I wanted to be a mommy so bad and it was very hard for me to see that God meant good to come out of all that was happening. It was only through spending amazing quiet times with Him and through reading His word that I found comfort. I learned that even though we struggle in this life often times not knowing where God is or what He is doing or why He is doing it, He knows all and sees all, and that is enough! His Word became so alive to me. It seemed with each struggle and trial we went though, God opened up a scripture or chapter or even a book for me and I would be consumed with it instead of the circumstance.
The morning after my black out I went into surgery. When the surgery was over the doctor told my husband he had to work 2 extra hours and bring in another doctor, because I had Stage 4 endometriosis, and that golf ball sized cyst, was actually the size of a grapefruit. After recovering for 6 weeks, we began taking medicine again and having more procedures in hopes that we would get pregnant. The doctor finally told us the only way we would get pregnant would be through IVF (in-vitro fertilization.)
Once again we saw God’s hand on our situation. This doctor was best friends with the leading IVF doctor who was located only 2 hours from us in L.A. We were able to bypass his 2 year waiting list and got in the next week. We spent a lot of time in prayer. This was an expensive and emotional procedure that we would be going through and we wanted to make sure it was the right thing.
After one failed IVF procedure, we moved to North Carolina. We knew there would be plenty of medical facilities that could possibly help us once we settled in. We tried the procedure again and we got pregnant with twins. I remember calling my husband, who was moving his parents out to NC and just yelling over the phone, “IT WORKED!” It was such an amazing time, to see how, even though it wasn’t the way that I had planned it, God’s plan for us was so much better than what we'd imagined.

After having our twins, we decided to try another time with the embryos that had been frozen. After being on medicine and going through some procedures to make sure that my body was ready, the doctor found polyps on my uterus and I had to have another surgery. I recovered from the surgery and the embryos were implanted. In the end, we lost them all. It was very hard to loose 3 of my children. I didn’t know what to do or where to turn. I had no idea what God was doing.
I went to God’s Word and again He filled me up. He gave me Genesis 15:1 which says, “…Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” GOD IS MY REWARD! Through all I have gone through, the one thing God continues to show me is that HE is my reward, not anything else on this Earth, no matter how good or amazing those things may be. I still don’t know what God is up to, but I know that He is a great God, and He knows what He is doing, and that is enough for me.

1 Lovely Thoughts Shared:

Alicia, The Snowflake said...

OH wow! What an amazing testimony! I am so glad that GOd is our shield and reward. Thank you for that reminder today!

And Danielle, you have a very beautiful family!

Have a great weekend my friend!