Thank you, Lord, that I am going through an unplanned pregnancy. What? That doesn’t sound right, being I was only nineteen, living with my parents, no school, no job, a dramatic soap-opera-like relationship that ended, and to top that off, already a bit overweight. Where does thanking God fit in?
My older posts explain what took place leading me to where I am now. And with all that’s been covered, how in the world does thanking God fit in? (1*)
The main reason is because about a year before all this mess took place, God had graciously saved me, causing me to feel the true, deeper guilt for what I allowed to occur. Because of that, I knew I was forgiven. God saw my repentance, and showed me, in noticeable ways, He was my Father. Even though I still felt uncertainty about what was ahead, ‘Thank you, God’ began to grow. I could tell He was the one behind a few things that were happening. The first one I’m most thankful for was shared in my last posting, explaining, thankfully, why an abortion did not take place.
Second on my ‘Thank you, God’ list has to do with what most pregnant women know too well: morning sickness. I know, I know. Not the best subject.
I was gaining more knowledge on what to expect the first few months of pregnancy, and so day after day I waited for that nauseous feeling to hit. Happy to say, I didn’t feel very much discomfort. I was so wrapped up in all that was going on, deciding to cut off the relationship that caused this ordeal to occur, I probably didn’t pay much attention to whatever else was, or wasn’t, going on. (2*)
Day after day, week after week, and month after month, I – drumroll, please – did NOT have morning sickness! You read that right. No throwing up at all. One or two times I had this tiny feeling inside that I might get sick, but nothing ever came of it. Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not like when I woke up every day I felt I could tap dance or do somersaults. Far from it.
There was this one time, mid-afternoon, when a little bite of canned peaches, as soon as I swallowed them, showed they just didn’t want to stay down. But to me that didn’t count. You should have seen the look on my doctor’s face when I told her how it had been going. She knew this type news was rare. As weeks went by, I began to feel a bit guilty when, after telling other moms, ‘That’s not fair!’ was their first response.
When what was supposed to be my morning-sickness phase had passed, my ‘Thank you, Lord’ thoughts began to form a bit differently. By this point, God had often heard thanks for making things happen, like showing me love through family and friends. But something changed a bit. Thanks to God had begun for Him making sure things did NOT happen.
I couldn’t help but share this in hopes to encourage all to not just be glad something did or didn’t happen but, instead, think ‘Thank you, Lord ‘
There are a few different ways ‘thank you’ is used. Here’s one.
Thank you – Noun –
A conversational expression of gratitude. Telling someone you are grateful for something that they have said or done
Who is that someone I’m referring to? God.
In the midst of my unplanned pregnancy at the tender age of nineteen, I couldn’t help but feel more of a need to cling to God. It was a must. My heart, soul, and mind would have overflowed with guilt if I did not feel His forgiveness of my mess up. Thankfully, as months were going by, peace began to form inside me as I soaked up the fact that God isn’t just my Lord and King, but my Father. It was impossible not to have ‘Thank you, Lord’ thoughts as I saw His hand here and there while my tummy grew.
Full love and support from many was noticeably expressed, and I never took that for granted. But a few other things were showing up that I gave God credit for. I’ll share a different one on each post for a while, being that they’re worth more than a few sentences to describe.
I’ve already shared in one of my first posts what the first one was, but at the time, it was far from being listed in any ‘Thank you, God’ category. (1*) The following excerpt is from my book. See if you can guess why I’m thankful to God for what took place.
During all the page flipping, it felt like I was a spy who was taking forever to find an important number. I can’t believe I’m doing this. I can’t believe I’m doing this. I guess I’ll look under ‘Pregnancy Test.’ Okay, let’s see. Oh, there’s one. Planned Parenthood. This sure wasn’t ‘planned,’ but I guess I have to ‘plan’ something if I am.
That was the first one I noticed. After all, that’s what the bold wording is supposed to do, right? Make you notice. Well, it worked. I was so nervous pressing those numbers.
Ring, ring. Ring, ring. Ring, ring. Ring, ring.
Hmmm. No answer. Darn it. They must be closed. I’ll try another one. I’ll flip back a bit and do it more in alphabetical order. Let’s see, Crisis Pregnancy Center. This sure is a crisis for me if I’m pregnant. I have to try this one.
Ring, ring. Ring, ring.
Oh, please. Oh, please be open! PLEASE be op…
“Hello. Crisis Pregnancy Center. How can I help you?”
Please tell me I’m not pregnant. “Just seeing if you are open today. Really? Right now? Thank you.” Click.
I still thank God, thirty years later, for having that first place I called be closed. Why? Click here to find out. I encourage you to, for It explains why having an abortion wasn’t far from my thoughts. By reading it, you will discover why I thank God, to this day, for not allowing anyone to answer that first phone call. If someone did, well…I don’t even want to think about it.
More ‘Thank you God’s to follow.
Before continuing my story on the brain-affected illness called encephalitis that hit me hard in my early twenties, some twenty-six years ago, I want to give a brief overview of what I have covered in my posts thus far. (*1)
I had an unexpected seizure on December 20, 1990, causing me to spend over two weeks in the hospital. It took the doctors a few days to realize I had been hit with encephalitis, an illness that affects the brain and, often, other parts of the body.
After being there eight days, I showed the first sign that there was hope, hope that my brain was on the long road of improving, hoping to get as close to normal as possible. However, it wasn’t going to be easy.
After two weeks, I was physically almost back to normal and ready to finally leave that hospital. But because I still needed much work to improve the function of my brain, I was not able to go home. Uncertain what most things around me were used for, let alone what they were called, it was obvious I could not yet go back home and be a wife and mother of two small children. After all, how could I if I wasn’t even sure what being a wife or mother even meant. That second hospital, to focus on my brain’s ability to remember the many necessities in life, was a must.
But, before I get into explaining what took place after getting to that second hospital (*2), I first will share a bit more about my illness. With encephalitic, it depends where in the brain this illness hits to what effects will show, and to what extent. Thankfully, because of where it hit, it didn’t affect me as hard as it could have if it had taken place elsewhere. Because of where it did hit my brain, two of my senses were noticeably lost: my sense of taste and my sense of smell.
So there I was, not only forgetting what food was called, where and how in the world food even came to be, but not being able to smell it either. Even if food—or anything, for that matter—was brought right up to my nose, giving it one strong sniff, I smelled nothing. Add all that to losing the best part about eating—tasting—you then can understand why I lost some weight, being eating didn’t make it to the top of my list of things I wanted to do.
Remember my story a few posts back about me getting excited about McD’s french fries and ketchup?
Read it if you haven’t (*3), because as you read, you’ll notice I loved them because I remembered them! I did not say I loved them because of the taste. How could I if I was unable to taste them. I loved them because I remembered those long things with red stuff on them.
Losing my sense of smell also made no sense to me (no pun intended.)
Food, no. Soap, no. Perfume, no. Flowers a few people brought me, no. My then seven-month-old daughter’s dirty diaper, no. But it wasn’t really that bad. I mean, why would I miss the smelling of things if I wasn’t able to remember what I missed or what they had smelt like before. Make sense? (Pun intended.)
But, overall, that part of life in that hospital wasn’t all that bad. I was still like a little kid, trusting all those doctors who told me what to do. But I was also an adult who was doing my darndest to show improvement, knowing there was a normal-thinking twenty-three year old wife and mother named Marianne, soon to be found.
To be continued.
Being that today is Labor Day, I Can’t help but share one of my favorite verses.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NIV)
This Bible verse stood out to me many years ago and has influenced my greatly in even my daily doings. As years went by, I saw that verse show up more in my journal.
Sure, it might take me considerable time, sweat, thought, and a soar back, but it’s usually worth it. Yes, I have to remind myself not to just do enough to get by (Okay, I admit it. I occasionally for lunch just grab a granola bar and a banana when I’m feeling a bit too lazy to actually MAKE something) but to do it with all my might. The benefits have helped me overcome my fears for the unknown and become motivated to work hard.
Let me encourage you all to fit this verse in with your daily tasks, small or big. It sure makes you appreciate when you see God’s help, and sure helps you… love that pillow even more when your day comes to an end.
Do you ever read something from your past that now causes you to roll your eyes while you think, ‘Was I really that way?’ Time to share a bit from my journal, but what? I know. This one in particular being it causes my eyes to roll each time I read it a bit more than most.
August 22, 1983 (sixteen years old) Summer’s almost over and starting my junior year is at hand. I don’t wanna go! Oh, God, why is growing up so confusing? Why do ages matter? Why do I feel if I were eighteen, everything would be easier and better? Why do men play such a ridiculously important part in my life? Why are all my writings about the male persuasion? Why don’t I write about my run to the beach., or how important friendships are, or, better yet, how much I love Spyro Gyra (jazz band) and why I dread the school year? Why? I guess I’m just frustrated because my hair’s too short, my body’s too big, and my bank account is too small.
If you read a few entries before this date, you would surely see what was too important to me during those teen years, causing me to feel this way. I’ll give you some clues with a few other writings.
May 29, 1980 (thirteen years old -7th grade) – – – Diary, today went so good. Edgar and I had fun. Tracy and I think the guys will love being around us at the class picnic. (I hope so.) I hope it goes good because today Edgar and I were talking, looking in each other’s eyes, jump rope couples and more.
(I’m giggling as I’m reading this.)
July 6, 1980 – – – Today I told Robert that I wanted Jeff to call me. Then tonight on the phone Sue told Robert I didn’t like Edgar that much anymore.
Those are only two from twenty-million others like that my last few years before high school.
Then high school – LOOK OUT
October 22, 1981 (fourteen years old – 9th grade. Excuse me. I mean freshman) Things between Mike and me went okay today…sort of. Marvin told me not to break up with Mike and if I do, don’t go with Greg. Greg says to break up with Mike. I felt some waves between Greg and me starting right then.
November 18, 1981 – – – I’m so happy. Today I found out from Beth that Tom wishes I would like him. There is no holding me back now.
You get the gist of what I’m talking about. (I can’t help but laugh whenever I read these.) If I was at my current age, forty-nine, talking to me when I was thirteen, I would certainly say a few things like…
Me, now listen to Me. I look at what you are going through and want to pass on a few words of advice. Don’t waste your time! Focus on what really matters. But that means you must first learn what really matters. Focusing on who likes you and who you think you like should not be at the top of your list.
So far, God has sheltered you from so much of what other girls your age are doing with guys. Keep it that way and don’t get onto the road so many are on, putting a relationship with some guy in front of everything else. Actually, I take that back. There is one relationship which does need to come at the top of your list. That relationship with Christ. He should be your focus. If you, Marianne, could cling earlier to Him than when I, the older Me actually did, then you would write about your run to the beach, or how important friendships are, how much you love Spyro Gyra. And I bet if you did that, then you wouldn’t dread your senior year as much.
You are still young, Me. Too young to feel you are ready for a serious relationship. Now I know, Marianne, that we ladies may feel we’re ready for serious relationships early on, but no. Wait. Your mind and body are not ready. Instead, focus on talents you have. Learn now because later on, believe me, I know you’ll wish you did. Work on those weaknesses you sense you have in school. Yep, Me, I know what they are. Study more, and heck, work even harder playing that saxophone before you sell it like I know you’ll do right after you graduate.
And let me tell ya, your mom and dad need to know you are there. Not just physically there, but your heart and soul as well. They need that. Spend more time talking with them about your days. Don’t just answer ‘fine’ when they ask ‘So, how was school?’ then wander off thinking about this guy or that guy, or gossiping on the phone with friends. Spend time on what’s valuable and not just wondering if Todd, Greg, or whoever thinks you’re cute.
So, Me, I couldn’t help but pass you a little bit of mental-floss I wish I was given when I was your age. Put God first, seek to please Him, and put your efforts into what matters now. Your time to start a relationship isn’t quite here yet, Marianne, but it’s the perfect time to start one with Christ.
And, Me, one more thing I want to say. Remember what I wrote when I was sixteen?
Why do ages matter? Who do I feel if I were eighteen, everything would be easier and better?
Here is a short piece from my very next writing, close to two years later:
May 14, 1985 – – – Well, it’s the annual look back at the journal. A quick update. I graduate from Highline High School in twenty-nine days. I’m eighteen now and no, life is not easier at eighteen.