Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Can't Sleep!

Since I can't sleep, I thought I would write. The nights are the worst. When it is quiet and I close my eyes, everything starts over. I think of the night before all this began and I layed in bed crying because I was so nervous something was wrong with my baby. Unfortunately for me at that moment, my motherly instincts were in high gear.

Just now, as I was laying in bed I thought about my day and how much my emotional state changed throughout the day. This morning started out pretty rough for me as I talked with Lee about how hard it is emotionally but I also have continuous physical reminders all the time. Taking meds, cramping, my swollen stomach, bleeding (sorry I'm just being honest), headaches and recently some other things that probably wouldn't be the best to blog about. Yesterday, I tried to shop for clothes and I ended up crying and walking out empty handed. Buying them meant so much more, an end. I'm not ready to move on even if others feel the need for me to. I am trying to be strong, don't get me wrong but I'm also not Wonder Woman. So these were a lot of my thoughts going on this morning but then afternoon came. This is when more blessings started pouring and I want to share in the hopes it will give me so peaceful sleep.
Here is the list of some of the ways God has used strangers, friends & family to comfort us. I know some of these I've mentioned before but they are extremely worthy of repeating:
  • From the time we found out about sonogram results, our team mates were feeding our kids, the girls came up to the hospital to be with me and pretty much started a visiting vigil until we went home on Saturday.
  • Our Team dressed our kids, took them to school, picked them up, brought them up to see us at the hospital and so much more.
  • People in Abilene (Ryan and Holly Morris & Tom and Diane Rose) started the fastest money raising friendze you have ever seen. I don't even know who all contributed to this but you are all amazing! This will help pay for hospital bills, mom's flight and so much more.
  • The money raised got my mom here the day that they induced labor, there is nothing like having your mom with you during these times.
  • We have received hundreds of emails and comments on our post from people praying for us and hurting with us.
  • Our team, has been PRESENT, that's the best way I can describe them. When the whole procedure was happening on Friday morning, they were just in the waiting room praying, talking and taking turns in the room. I never felt alone. They contacted people for us while I was in surgery through their computers, got my mom and Lee food and since we've been home, they have been over here, they had cleaned up the house, bought us flowers, called us just to check in, brought homework by and even took me out to buy me a couple of shirts. This baby boy has bonded our team for life. Take THAT Satan!
  • So as I was earlier describing my morning (bad)... this is what happened in the afternoon- John Mark (our teammate) came by the house and made some DELIVERIES! The school had purchased an unbelievable bouquet of flowers that stood 4 feet tall, someone had made a beautiful chocolate cake with sprinkles, a family at the school had made a wonderful meal and he handed me an envelope that had more money in it that I could count. The card was from all the students and they passed a bucket in chapel for me to specifically go out and by clothes. This all happened this afternoon! Oh and lastly John Mark hands us another wad of money that is from a "donor" for us to go and get some R&R time together. John Mark, make sure and tell your donor thanks (ha ha). You two are unbelievable.
  • I know there's more but my sleeping pill is kicking in. We've been given cards, books on grieving (that I stayed up reading till I could finally go to sleep), notes to study from my classes and countless other things.
Thanks for taking the time to read how peoples actions have truly made me feel the love of God!

One more thing and then I'm done, I promise. I was talking to one of my best friends-Holly Morris yesterday and she told me about someone asking her if our spirits were OK, or if we were possibly going to have to come back. They were just so worried about our spirits being crushed. They weren't just talking about the baby but about the last 6 months of our lives. To re-cap: we have been attacked by Satan non-stop for about 6 months. From trying to find financial support to the mission field, hectic living situations cause we didn't know where we were going to live until one week before we had to leave the Friendship House, moving two more times that summer, being a very sick pregnant mama with two toddlers, finding out Sofia's hole is her heart needed repairing (possibly in Jan.), traveling everywhere for training, packing all of our stuff to Peru, Costa Rica and some in Abilene for when we move back there in Jan., my grandfather passing away two weeks before we had to depart, moving to another country and then losing a child.

Holly answered them in a great way, I thought (I'm paraphrasing here) "Obviously someone is trying to keep them from getting to their destination but you better watch out cause even though their spirits are crushed in some ways, they WILL come out stronger and they WILL do the work God has called them to do. I mean if they have been hit this hard, God must have an incredible plan for them."

Thanks Holly, I will keep telling myself that as I try to once again lay my head down.


Olivia said...

I love you Steph. I want to encourage you to keep writing and sharing your heart. It touches people, it touched me because I have been through something similar. I want to hear you and believe me I am praying for you. It is hard sometimes to think of such things as spiritual warfare. I know you are a fighter, but you are totally allowed to complain, be angry, and sad. Your son meant something to you and even Jesus wept for those He loved that were dead. Did you name him? I am thinking about you and crying with you as well. My other friend just had her baby today (30 weeks pregnant). She was a perfect little girl. It shouldn't happen. I wish there were explainations, but instead all I learned is that there is faith and a choice to believe God's love even when it doesn't and never will make sense. I send a HUGE hug to you.

The Fletcher Pandilla said...

I read your blog for the first time last night and boy did I need that. Thank you so much for your thoughts and words. Love you and miss you

Sara Holland said...

Lee and Stephanie,
I don't know if you remember me, but I'm Mark's friend, Sara. I live in Mexico now and also spent six months in Costa Rica learning spanish. Just wanted you to know that I've been praying for you all. It warms my heart so much to hear how your team and the school there is taking care of you. Isn't God's community amazing?
I just wanted to say one other thing about your R&R time. If you are looking to get out of the city and have enough money, I would HIGHLY recommend Tabacon. It's this amazing hotel and hot springs two or three hours outside of San José close to volcán Arenal. You can look it up online. It's the closest I've ever been to what I imagine the Garden of Eden being. I think it would be a great place for you to relax in God's creation. If you don't have enough to stay at the hotel, then stay somewhere close by and go to Tabacon for the day. That's what we did. : )
I pray the Lord's richest blessings on you, your family and your team during this time.

The Laws Family said...

Hi Lee and Stephanie. . .

I'm not sure if you remember Scott and I. We were in the Families Built on the Rock for a short time about 6 years ago. You and the class helped us raise money to adopt our son Kendon back in 2002. What a blessing you two were to us and to our family.

It's funny how I feel so connected to you and the work you are doing. My parents (Ken and Estelle Sinclair) are missionaries and actually worked closely with John Mark's family in Southeast Asia years ago (many years ago when I was a kid!). What a sweet family they are. Also, my brother and his family just left Costa Rica (I think the week before y'all got there) for Buenes Aires to be missionaries there. They were in Costa Rica for a year and what a blessing that time was for them.

Anyways, I have read off and on your blogs and have been excited, saddened and inspired by them. I was so excited to see that you are following God's calling in to mission work! WOW what a great calling!! I was so broken hearted to read about your sweet baby boy. Your words were heartfelt and incredibly touching. And I was inspired by the hold you have on your faith and knowing that there is a plan for you and your sweet family. God will honor you for your perseverance and faith in Him!!

Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers! Missionaries hold a special piece of my heart!!

Blessings on the both of you and precious children!!


The Laws Family said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I hate leaving a note here, but I have tried to find ways to reach you, but I have not had any luck. I also truly didn't know what to say. My eyes are stinging with tears as I read your blog and want so much to hug you and tell you I love you. We've walked thru so much together and now to have you so far away and in pain it breaks my heart. Yet, I know the plans God has for you there. Satan has attacked you every possible way and I know there must be an amazing plan He has for you there for Satan to be so determined to crush your spirits any avenue he can find. I love you Steph, and I want you to know that everyday I am praying..praying for your healing and His peace that passes all understanding. We love you guys and we are so sorry for your loss. The Word says friends laugh together and cry together....we may not be together in body, but in spirit Steph we are...and everyday since I heard news we have been crying with ya'll in spirit. I miss you and can't wait till the day we can hug again. I am thankful God has surrounded you with such and incredible team...What the devil intended for harm...God will intend it for good...I pray rest will come soon for you and Lee. Please e-mail me or we can Skype when you feel up for it.

Amber Groves

Lauren said...

Lee & Stephanie,

You are such a beautiful testimony to the power of Christ! Please know that the Cunningham family is carrying you in prayer. We know that your family will do something beyond our imaginations in Peru. Your lives teach us the love and mission of Christ.

In Christ,
Lauren Cunningham

Anonymous said...

Even as you grieve, you continue to inspire others. There are no words for what you are going through. Just remember that Good timber does not grow with ease. The stronger the wind, the stronger the trees.

Hope that's not dorky.

teri wenzel said...

stephanie and lee
i am so very sorry for your loss. God knows your pain, i know you know that, i just hope you may find comfort in that. i will keep you both in my prayers nightly, i promise! for now, i pray that you find pieces of joy daily to get you through, and by the sound of your letter you have!! you are loved by so very many people! that's a blessing. take care and God bless you both.

teri and allie

Lynn said...

Beautiful post......and God does have some awesome plans lined up for you guys. Bless you!

Amber said...

Not too sure if you remember me, I was one of the girls that watched Maddox last summer at RBS. I have been reading ya'lls blog and I am so encouraged by what you all are doing there. And I am so sorry about what has happened to you, I have never experienced it myself but have had friends that have. I will be praying for you and your family.


Anonymous said...

This was a BEAUTIFUL post. You don't know who I am. My name is Amanda and I went to A&M with with most of your mission team. I found your link through their blogs and I wanted you to know we were praying for you in Houston. I can't even imagine the range of emotions you are going through. I heard a song while on a weekend trip in college that really touched me. The message behind it really spoke to me. If you are able to download it, I think it is worth it. It is called Glory Baby by Watermark.
I was able to visit Costa Rica on a mission trip with the Aggies for Christ and absolutely loved it. We worked with a church in Cartago. They were wonderful! The beaches are gorgeous:) I will continue to keep you and your entire team in my thoughts and prayers!

Kyle said...

Without proper words to express to you know that we in Peru continue to pray for your health and for abundant peace. What a blessing your team has been to you. May you find peace today.


Anonymous said...

Stephanie and Lee,
We are praying for you! We lost several babies to misscarriages, and know a little about the pain you are experiencing now. I cannot imagine how hard it must be since you are so far from your family and friends, but I trust that your teammates are a source of strength right now. Thanks for sharing your heart and encouraging so many by this blog. You are in our prayers!!!

Sherri Roberts
A&M church of Christ