trials

Blessings Wrapped Around My Unplanned Pregnancy – part 5

puzzleHave you ever gone though an extra tough time in your life while at the same time sensing a few extra nice things taking place as well? That’s what was happening to me years ago. I realized later that each situation was a peace of a puzzle God was slowing but perfectly putting together.  He wanted me to see that each piece was formed by Him, made to fit picture perfect together. I’ve been sharing a few of those pieces with you lately, showing what had taken place during my unplanned pregnancy at the tender age of nineteen. ( 1*2*3*4* )

Of course I could share week after week every piece by piece of that puzzle but, thankfully, it would take forever to finish. But I can’t help but share one or two more, knowing my soon to be published book, God and My Pillow, will show the rest. 

I’ll use an excerpt from my book to show another piece of that puzzle.

One week now until Greg would fly up from California. One week left to pretend there was no huge change about to happen in my life. An entire week to enjoy me, myself, and I. No one I had to hang around with. No one I had to force myself to be comfortable around. Only me, my pillow, and, of course, this child I was carrying. God was so helpful even in that area. No morning sickness at all. Yep. I repeat, no morning sickness. Sure, an occasional slightly nauseous feeling, but nothing like I had been warned about. Well, maybe once — I repeat — once. It, however, was ever so quick and simple that I never really considered it one. It was late in the afternoon after eating a can of fruit I was craving. Peaches, to be exact.

Peaches

Obviously I didn’t crave them anymore after that—how shall I say it?—quaint time leaning over the sink, letting those peaches pop back out. Seeing canned peaches in stores now always brings back that memory.

__________________________________

 

Shall I assume the words ‘NOT FARE’ are going through a majority of those who have experienced a pregnancy?  Finding anyone who only had one almost-morning sickness is hard to come by. I’m sure not complaining I was one of those few. That entire pregnancy was nothing close to what I was warned it could be like. I guess God just knew I couldn’t deal with everything like that while smack in the middle of a heart wrenching soap opera.

Next week’s story ties in with this weeks, showing how God used even food as a tool to show He was with me. Did you have any common unpleasant expectation you thought you’d have to endure that God spared you from? I’m curious what it is! Please oh please, share 🙂  

Next week you’ll  find out why only one certain Starbucks sign I occasionally see makes me giggle inside.

1*  –  2*   –  3*   –  4*   – Click to read the other signs God showed He was holding me.

 

 

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Blessings Wrapped Around My Unplanned Pregnancy – part 4

Doctor blue round web icon. Circle isolated internet button for webdesign and smartphone applications.

These last few weeks I’ve shared how God showed me true Fatherly love once I discovered I was pregnant, trusting Him more as those first few months went by.           (1*2*3*)

The next time He showed that to me was my first visit to my new doctor. Yep, time I see an OB/GYN. But being this took place thirty yeas ago, unable to just jump on the internet to see a long list of doctors to choose from, I just followed who our family doctor suggested.

Driving up to that hospital still feels like last week. I can picture what that building looked like, where I parked, and how it all looked at I walked in. But most of all I remember how nervous I was. How much of my story do I tell? Will she just consider me as one of those teens that messed up? Will I like her? Will she like me?

Thankfully, as soon as I walked in I was impressed. It was spacious and well kept. I had an instant comfort in a place I was uncomfortable to be in, if that makes any sense. After filling out the paper work and waiting a few minutes at this one table, in walked the Obstetrician. I realized right then she was the first stranger I had to tell my story to. A total stranger told me I was pregnant a few months before (4*) but this is the first stranger I had to share why and how I got to know I was pregnant.

Do I tell her more than she asks? Do I act all nonchalant and come across all happy-go-lucky, casually hearing all the pregnancy facts she passes my way? For all I know, I might cause her to dread each time I’d need to come in for a check-up, let alone the day of giving birth.

Doctor and patient are discussing

Once meeting her, looking to be in her early thirties, I was relieved to tell she had a nice, warm, personality. After I simplified my story as to why I was pregnant, and after her giving a little pregnancy information, she began telling me a bit about her plan to serve as an OB/GYN in a third-world country.

 

‘Wow!’ I replied.

That then began us sharing bits and pieces of our faith, seeing that we were both Christians. Talk about instant peace! Talk about instantly thanking God, feeling again that He gave me just what I needed.

“But being I’m still here, Marianne,” she said, “I’m glad I’m now here to help you.” 

God knew it best I go through this soap opera pregnancy with a doctor who I’d have support-filled encouraging conversations with as months went by. From then on, each time I left that office, God heard me say the same six words: Thank you, Lord, for my Doctor.

1 Thessalonians 5:18  – Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Numbers 6:24-25  – The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. 

Philippians 4:6 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

Why these verses? Because they are a few of many that describe how God cares, and if you need comfort, He’s there. It was obvious He was gracious, letting me feel He was carrying me on that road I was on. This time, His tool that let me know He was right there was a total stranger.

To be continued.

click 1* 2* – and 3*  to read past posts on different occasions God showed He was with me during my pregnancy.

click here – 4* to read who told me I was pregnant.

Blessings Wrapped Around My Unplanned Pregnancy

Pregnant

 

I know it’s been a while since I’ve shared stories about my unplanned pregnancy at the tender age of nineteen. That is why, before I get back to sharing what it was like for me going through that tough time, I’ll re-post my last writing, letting you see what my next few weekly writing are going to be about.

But before I do, I can’t help but share how it was obvious God, my Heavenly Father, proved He was holding me. As month after month went by, He made sure I could tell that, as long as I included Him in this tough time, He was there.


 

(First shared- May, 2017)

There are a few different ways ‘thank you’ is used.

Thank you – Noun – A conversational expression of gratitude. Telling someone you are grateful for something that they have said or done.

Who is this someone I’m referring too?

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 went 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, God’ 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. The following excerpt is from my book God and My Pillow – a memoir – (available first half of next year)

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. 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.

phone

Ring, ring. Ring, ring. Ring, ring. Ring, ring.
Hmmm. No answer. Darn it. I’ll try another one. I’ll flip back a bit and do more
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 read, 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.

A Mans Heart

More ‘Thank you God‘s to follow.

 

Marianne Petersen is a former volunteer at a local pregnancy help organization and is involved in her local pro-life community. She is also a member of Northwest Christian Writers Association and author of a forthcoming memoir in early 2017 called God and My Pillow. You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @7winnipoops7 and read more at her blog, http://www.MariMemiors7.wordpress.com.

A Clue to a Time I’ll Never Forget

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I bet most of you have a certain time in your life that you will never forget. I want to share the most important thing that happened to me. Why now? It took place in September of 1985, thirty-two years ago. Why share? Because of one not so simple fact: It changed my life.

To show how important it is, I must first have you read one of my older posts. I want to refresh your memory with what it was like for me with my brain affecting illness called encephalitis that took place a few years after this special occasion took place.

Three reasons why I want you to read this first.

1) I have quite a few more followers now who perhaps do not know what I went through. 

2) To show how important this certain time was because, well…I REMEMBER IT ! It’s only those extra special happening before my brain injury hit I can still ponder on. Heck, I can even still picture it! So much that took place years ago I can not recall. Sure, people say “I don’t remember stuff either that happened years ago.” I know that, but for me it’s much tougher.  I can’t find in my events-from-the-past safety box as easily as most others can. In many cases, it’s impossible for me to even find that key to unlock.

3) This last reason? Just for fun. See how good you are with clues.

So, before I share that extra special event next week, click to read this past post called…  How Sadness Showed Me God’s Presence.

Okay, I’ll give you a clue within a clue: WHERE to find that clue: Pay extra attention toward the end. (Aren’t YOU curious)

shadow figure

Feel free to jot down / reply what you think my next week’s post will reveal.

The Word ‘Thankful’ All Folded Up – part 2

back pocket

In my last post, (1*) I wrote about the word ‘thankful’ and how that word didn’t fit too well inside my heart as I underwent my two extremely tough afflictions. (2* & 3*) No one found me relaxed on a recliner, smiling ear to ear while thinking, “I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m so thankful God is having me go through this incredibly tough time.” Nope. Thankfulness was tightly folded up and hiding in the back pocket of my jeans.

After each ordeal took place, however, my mind knew God was in charge. I began realizing more and more that as things were getting better, I was actually thinking of pulling that Thankful sign out of my jeans and putting it on the table, but of course still folded up. As more positive things began to appear through each ordeal, I actually unfolded that paper. Sensing God’s help via family, friends, doctors, and the like, I finally decided to unfold the paper and read it each time I walked by. More thankful thoughts were growing in size and frequency. I finally got a magnet and —drumroll, please— stuck that Thankful sign up on my refrigerator!

I wasn’t becoming thankful I was pregnant, or for my month-long stay at a hospital. Not yet anyway. Thankfulness was there for feeling Christ was supporting me, caring for me, and letting me know He wasn’t just King, but my Father.

I was growing in the understanding that God is the One who puts us through what comes our way, good or bad. I was on the road that was planned by Him, whether smooth and serene, or unpaved, or one filled with countless sinkholes. I still felt a bit shattered and broken, not able to do what I had planned in life, but finally understanding that God’s plans are perfect, and that He was going to use me somehow, some way sure helped. 

Peace was growing inside as each year went by, and a few verses began to stand out.

bible

Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. 

Attached is a song – The Very Next Thing – by Casting Crowns, which shares how I had began to slowly feel as time went by, using words such as…

– With my very next step – be on the road that was planned by you

– Lord, wherever you’re leading me – that’s where I want to be

Even though I did not know which direction that path was going, thankfulness, tied with peace, permanently got pinned to my heart and I was eager to see how He might use what He put me through to serve Him.

Finally, doors were opening and I began to see what His plans were. 

– to be continued.

My ‘Thank You, Lord’ List Grows-part 1

Thank you, Lord

Thankyoulord1Three words that fit together perfectly throughout your life. I bet most of you can instantly think of a situation that stands out, your smile intertwining within those words, right?  Now, think of the toughest time you’ve ever gone through. I bet there wasn’t much smiling from ear to ear while thanking God when that story was taking place. My unplanned pregnancy is a perfect example of that. (1*)

Back then, nineteen years old and pregnant, a smile on my face was hard to find. Was I, in the midst of it all, thanking God? Far from it. My pillow got drenched with tears more often than I’d like to remember those first few months pregnant. Peace was growing, however, inch by inch, after the toughest load of uncertainty got lifted off my back. A new me began the day my almost-husband moved back to California. (2*)

It’s hard to describe the peace that was beginning to form inside: me, my baby, and God—a perfect threesome of what I needed to focus my energy on. Accepting that fact was helping this new reality of becoming a mother not so hard to face. Not peachy-keen, mind you, because there I was, not even twenty, pregnant, and believing my hope of going to college was history. I was living with my parents, drowning in an overflow of questions on how to even be a mom, far from thanking God for all I was going through. But at least all that had been uncertain now had a bit more peace surrounding it. I wasn’t saying “Thank you, God, that I’m pregnant,” mind you, but ‘being with child’ wasn’t bringing me down nearly as much.

I was feeling more positive, thanks to conversations with those from church, along with solid preaching and constant love and support shown by my family.

Verses like Ephesians 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. – began sinking in.

‘All things work together for good’… Did that mean I was going to have a picture-perfect pregnancy and delivery, have the cutest baby who, once home, would sleep seven hours every night, and after being discovered, become a Gerber’s model, thus make millions of dollars? Of course not.

Paul wrote ‘for good’ to mean that the Lord intends all our circumstances, both good and bad, to be tools to help us get closer to God and grow more and more into the likeness of Christ. I may not have grasped all that right then and there, but I did sense, like I said, more peace was beginning to form as time went by. I was realizing that God allows all things that happen to those who seek after Him. The circumstances sure did not seem best for me at the time, but God designed and used the circumstances to be for my good. A hard fact to accept sometimes, but still true.

And sure enough, I could sense God by my side more and more in my pregnancy, which caused my faith to grow. Faith-it-does-not-make-things-easy-it-makes-them-possible.-LukeI began clinging to His promises more, by faith, which led me to sense more of His help, which then caused more faith, had me see MORE of His help, then MORE faith, then, well… one of those snowball effects, in a way.

I’ll share in my next writing what practical blessings stood out as months passed. This list has stuck with me now for years, still amazed at all He obviously did for me during that pregnancy, and why my pillow began to hear me think ‘Thank you, Lord’ more often.

Roman 8-39

Romans 8:39 basically tells us that nothing big or small… “shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

To be continued.

Encephalitis – Time to Make Some Sense

Before continuing my story on the brain-affected illness called encephalitic that hit me hard inbrainpuzzleillo-worked 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.

I had an unexpected seizure on December 20, 1990,(*1)  causing me to spend over two weeks in the hospital. It took the doctors a few days to realize I had been hit with encephalitic, 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 I also lost the best part about eating—tasting – which I’m sure you can then understand why eating didn’t make it to the top of my list of things I wanted to get back to doing.

 2975f38df60b37e9d172ba700c2da448Remember 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 those fries with ketchup. 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.)

amazing-facts-about-your-sense-of-smell-722x406

If food—or anything, for that matter—was brought right up to my nose, giving it one strong sniff, I smelled nothing. 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 didn’t really miss the smelling of things if I wasn’t able to remember what I missed. 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 Marianne soon to be found.

To be continued.

1* Click here to read how my ‘E’story began.

2* Click to read how I started it all in that second hospital.

3* Click to read why I’ll never forget Mc D’s French Fries.