We all know that life doesn’t always turn out like we planned. But it’s what we do with those unexpected events that define us . . . that shape us . . . that bring out our inner, sometimes hidden, bravery.
This is a true story shared with us of one lady who certainly had the unexpected thrown at her. There are those who would have pushed her to make a different decision with her life. But she is the very definition of bravery – looking for the good, holding tightly to what she knew was right, and getting help. And oh the help she got! She found a place that could help her stay brave, even when she felt anything but. Her story is inspiring. This is what brave looks like!
When I was a little girl I used to watch my mom anytime she did anything; from cooking and cleaning to helping a sister or brother of mine. I remember the day I looked at her and decided that that was what I wanted to be when I grew up: a mommy. I know for a fact that the thought of parenting a special needs child was not what I envisioned at that moment. Two years ago when my husband and I found out we were having a baby we instantly began to dream of what she’d look like, what she’d talk like, what her favorite color would be, whose smile she’d have. But never in our wildest dreams did we imagine a baby girl who couldn’t see. We had dreams and hopes for her. One year ago when we received the news that she would likely never see, I experienced pain that I never knew existed. I remember crying and begging God to change the circumstances. I felt robbed of not only my dreams, but hers. HOW would we get through life???
Through a lot of hurting and shedding tears, I finally worked up the strength and courage to change my view, my attitude, and my questions. I went from asking God, “Why did you punish her like this?” to “What are we going to gain, and how are we going to bless others with this?” From the very day my husband and I decided to share her diagnosis with Advice and Aid, NEVER – not even once – did anyone judge her or us. Advice and Aid staff were one of the first people I opened up to about our sweet baby girl’s medical diagnosis. What others see as them doing their job, I saw as an example of God’s timing. Listening to my broken heart and heavy spirit and lifting me up in spirit is beyond miraculous to me. They knew I needed an ear to be heard, a room to feel safe, and a person to hold my hand and pray strength over me and my family. I’ve never had a lot of friends or people to talk to. So when I showed up faithfully every week to Journeys or Bridges, and someone asked me how I was doing or simply reminded me that they’re praying for me, it made me feel special. The genuine love and care for my baby girl made me feel proud of her. To see how much people love her for who she is, not what she has. Advice and Aid was more than a weekly commitment. It was my safe place. My place to be open and honest. The place I turned to when I felt alone. The staff embraced our family with open arms and walked side by side with us in our journey down what at first looked like a dark road. The love and support, prayers and guidance, helped us see the light at the end of the tunnel.
About a year later, when my baby boy came at 29 ½ weeks gestation, I began to fall into a never-ending black hole of worrying and stress. I felt like I was in over my head for sure! Raising a visually impaired toddler, recovering from a C-section, and taking care of a fragile little premie for 2 months in a tiny little room were overwhelming. I felt the worst I had ever felt in my life. At moments, thoughts of suicide and other bad things flooded my mind. One day I received a card from Advice and Aid staff that simply said encouraging things, and what to others may seem like nothing at all, to me it meant the world to know that people were rooting for me! Advice and Aid was more than materialistic help to me and my family. For me personally it was often times one of the only things keeping me going. For my kids, now 1 year and 2 years old, it was a place to go and feel loved on. Not because they didn’t get that at home, but because even their tiny little hearts felt the warmth of many true hearts there. For my husband, it was a place to go when he could not feel comfortable with his own family. It was a group of people who, not only showed up and did their jobs, but showed up and made a difference in our lives. Through a phone call, an email, a hug, a smile, a small gift, an act of kindness, or – in my case – an angel from above.
I want to thank every single person who over the past two years took even a moment to pray for me and my family. Thank you for being such a Godly example. Thank you for every hug. Thank you for “the little things.” For accepting me and my family. For the friendships. Thank you for the generosity. For the time and effort put into every little moment. Thank you for believing in the purpose of every little heartbeat born. Thank you for helping me be the best mom I can be for my two little blessings. Thank you for the resources. Thank you for the motivation. Thank you for being the only strength we had some days. Thank you for showing us what a family is supposed to be. It’s not what we have or don’t have, it’s what we do with what we’ve been given. It’s about loving and caring, and giving. Giving a hug, a hand, an ear, or a smile. Thank you for allowing us to be part of the Advice and Aid family. I hope that sooner or later I can be as big of a blessing to someone like you all were to me.
If you have recently gotten some unexpected news dealing with pregnancy, you know how alone, scared and unsure life can leave you feeling. But the above story is one of hope. She found exactly what she needed at Advice & Aid, and you can, too!
This is what brave looks like. The good news is that we can help you find that inner brave. You aren’t alone!