Sometimes the pain is so deep, so profuse, it seems like nothing could ever heal that hole. And while you gasp for air, or reach for the top of the water...it just feels like the weight is crushing you. I know that feeling. The feeling that it's all over, and if you make it through it, just maybe you wish you hadn't. The idea of life forever changed by one distinct moment, one simple choice, one breath that no matter how hard you try cannot be taken back. For it is in motion, it is out of your control now. And however this plays out, you only can revolve yourself around that moment....for some reason it won't let go of you. I had to find something else to hold onto.....and this is that story.
The Real Miracle
Sharing this story, my story, will hopefully change just one person...Lead them directly to the real Miracle. Show anyone willing to read how tragedy molded me.
In the beginning....
It says that God created in the world in 6 days.... It's a good thing that task was not given to me. For a long time, I broke everything I touched. It was to be expected, a broke thing walking around breaking things. Maybe not intentionally, not maliciously, but yes definitely.
I had a rough childhood. I know everyone says that. It's cliche. In fact, I'm sure my children will someday grow up and blame me for the things that didn't pan out in their "rough childhood". Mostly I can say, that without a doubt, mine was different. I couldn't find a good starting point, so I'll just dive in where the Good Lord leads me. I hope for all of you reading you this, believers or not, whether you stopped in because of the gripping opener or just by mistake, that you will close this browser upon stories end finding something more than you were looking for.
When I was kid there were few things I could count on. To name a few, I knew the cops would come to my house at least once a week. I knew I would get in trouble and would be entitled to all that entails. And I knew without a doubt, someone would cry before the end of the day. This story is not meant to blast my parents, so I am not going to. I'll just say, they must have had rough childhoods too. (And I can happily say, they are dead to the people they once were.)
By the time I was in the fifth grade, I was your average awkward introvert child. I didn't make friends easily and the ones I did have were bullies. I remember my first failing grade in math that year. It devastated me. I think that's when a lot of things changed for me. I entered junior high still that awkward scared kid, and things went about normal for a few years. My disruptive home life, my parents divorced, and I ended up with a lot of weight on my shoulders. I was responsible for my younger siblings and the duties expected of a parent. Though I was happy to oblige. My father was in the construction field , and a normal day consisted of him working 12 hours and then coming home to sleep. Moving forward, in the eighth grade I left my dads to go live with my mom. She had been out of the picture now for three years. I didn't know anything about finances, and raising kids, and that extra mouth to feed. So when she couldn't keep me for more than a few days, I just didn't understand why. I'll add that she had other priorities, ones I'm not willing to share. Well just say they weren't me. And much to my surprise, my dad wouldn't take me back. Said I made my bed ..... And at 13 I became responsible for me. That's a bad combo. An immature kid trying to make her way. I ended up staying with a friend that eighth grade summer, and into ninth grade. All the way through to tenth grade. With no contact from either parents I might add. I was angry inside. I was ready to explode and didn't know it. When I went into high school I dropped that shy introvert little girl off at the gate, and the young woman I became was head strong, vain, and looking for trouble. Everything I learned and seen throughout my childhood came into effect. I began getting into fights. I started smoking. I tried drugs, and alcohol and partied until it was all I wanted to do. I found boys. And I found out that boys liked me....but not for me. That saying about "buying the cow when the milk is free", very true. By the age sixteen I was popping pills, drinking alcohol my grand father would buy me, smoking cigarettes, cutting my skin, getting tattoos, having sex, and everything I between. Seventeen was a big year. I became engaged to a navy sailor. Not because I loved him. But because he was going to take me out of there. I dropped out of high school in my junior year. I continued on my spiraling path to no where. And then I met a new man. He was beautiful. He was appealing to me because he was mysterious, and charming, and I had to have him. I was sure he hung the moon, and the stars, and made the planet orbit...and he did it all for me. So, I broke off my engagement. I broke someone's heart, and I didn't care.
Like I said seventeen was a big year, I'll spare most of the details as not to bore you. I was still doing all the things I shouldn't have, and it was ok because this new man did some of that to. I don't think I ever really had a plan with this guy, I never really sat down and rationally thought out where it would lead, or what my plans were. I continued to listen to his, which were to marry this Blonde girl that showed up at his house one day, and that was ok with me. Marriage meant nothing. It was just a sure fire way to finally be home. To have a home, have a man, have a family, to make decisions and be taken care of, and to be where no one could hurt me anymore. And so that's what I did. At seventeen I got pregnant with the handsome man. This is where I would insert wedding bells, mortgages, dogs, and babies....but it would all be a lie. This is where life really plummeted.
I was an unstable teenager, pregnant with a baby. I guess I hadn't really thought that one through, however I knew I wanted a family. I wanted it so bad I could taste it. And it was for that reason I dove head first into shallow water. When I found out I was pregnant, I gave up everything that could hurt the baby. And my handsome future husband mostly supported me in that. However sometimes his friends helped him sway the vote. I was 9 weeks pregnant and God spoke to me.
If I hadn't mentioned yet, I didn't know God, or believe in God. And at the time I didn't even know it was God talking to me. Just this awful urge to get up at two am and go with my boyfriend. Thankfully I followed that urge, and within two hours time I watched my boyfriend fall 75 feet from a steel power line after it electrocuted him with 169,000 volts. I remember the images vividly. And the smells. There is no smell on earth quite like charred flesh. He flat lined three times, and the hospital told me to say my goodbyes. With most of his body badly burned and his insides fried, it was evident he would not make it. And here I was, tied down with a human growing in me. And now I'd be Alone to raise it, and he would look just like his father, and I would be horribly reminded of the mysterious stranger I fell in love with so quickly.....and....I knew I had to have an abortion. He was immediately transferred from that hospital to a bigger hospital that specialized in burns. And though they gave him limited time, they thought it to be longer than a day. They promised to fight, and he promised to fight. And when I started to spot from the stress of the events, I ran to the emergency room, and I promised to fight. And then I prayed. I prayed for him and for me and for our child, which I promised I would never consider aborting again, if this God would just hear me. I debated, and made bargains, and that loving God of ours, He led me through....all the way to the birth of our healthy little girl.
He lived. God gave us our very own little miracle. (Two actually.) My boyfriend made it, a long journey of surgeries and therapies, and miracles. And that's what it was, plain and simple. The doctors could not figure out how every burned organ healed itself. How every broken bone on the original scans, were no longer broken by the second scans. And how a Man knocking on deaths door, could be very much alive. By the time our daughter was born, he had enough use of his hands to cut the cord. I cried, he cried....God smiled. And even though God had reached out to us, I turned my back. The miracle was done, therefore I no longer needed a God I could not see. life continued on. When our girl was 6 months old, we were married. (That in itself is a crazy story, Vegas wedding. Enough said.)
We were both heavy into drinking, and partying with friends. And when baby was 9 months old, I found out I was pregnant....again. I gave up the partying temporarily and did what I could to ensure a healthy baby. About the same time, my now husband went for a ride on a street bike, inebriated and as he dodged on coming traffic, he slammed into a boulder hanging out of a rock wall. Again God told me that something was wrong. My fears were met when a mutual friend ran up to me covered in blood. He yelled at me to get in the car. I did. And then it clicked. What I found laying on a deserted road in the middle of the night was horrific. I ran,barefooted, as fast as I could to the crumpled pile of husband and fell on the ground. I screamed. He was covered in blood. Bones were protruding flesh, and he was screaming for someone to end his life. His brain was .3 centimeters away from vegetation when he arrived at the hospital. And something I didn't know until later, Only one lug nut held on both of the back tires as we sped down the highway to the hospital. Again, I prayed. And again, God showed up. He gave us another miracle. For weeks my husband had no idea who I was. It was devastating. And when he finally came back around mentally, we had some issues. Like the fact that another baby was on the way, and he was injured, and finances, and rehabilitation, and life. And it wore us down. Our marriage had already been rocky. If two people could set each other off, it was us. I knew his buttons, he knew mine... And how about all that other stuff, like the sanctity of marriage, and loving each other til death, and forgiveness.....nah. We were two head strong, crazy people who were heading down different roads and trying to drag the other along. Don't get me wrong, we loved each other fiercely. But we didn't know what love really was, or a healthy love.
Baby number two eventually came. Daddy jr. My precious boy. And things got back to normal. Our normal anyways. We stepped back into the social party scene. And ventured into some bad decisions. Ones which gave me my first encounter with county jail, lucky my last too. The state became involved with our family, and our whole life changed. For one bad decision. I thought I would die. That was truly the first time my heart shattered. And I hated him for it. I blamed him for it. And I was angry with God. We had started attending church occasionally and I fell hard on them. It was all I could do to remain hopeful. And guess what, I found out I was pregnant again. We eventually got through the situation and soon after, welcomed our second daughter. We went through changes. He became sober, and I fought to have the right to drink occasionally. He tried to tighten the reigns on me, and I had an affair. He became controlling, I became bitter, and I filed for divorce twice in two years. Every time we got on that path to God, one of us pulled the other backwards. Usually me, and I never could understand why. Things would get good and then get crazy. We tried everything we could think to hold us together. Job changes, address changes, new friends, more church, counseling, but nothing really worked. Not until the last miracle...
We were leaving a friends house one night. Things were going well for us mostly. We had bought our first home, the kids were growing up beautifully, ages 4,6,& 8. We had just found a new church in our new hometown and we were getting on by. I remember every second of that night like it was today. It had just rained for the first time that spring. The roads were slick. Our truck was weighed down in the back with ten bales of hay. The tires weren't grabbing the road enough. We came around a corner of the road that we weren't quite familiar with. We hadnt anticipated the length of it, and when the back wheels spun, we over corrected, and hit a tree..............
My God. My God. How great thou art.
After the truck slammed between two trees and finally came to a stop...i turned to see our youngest child not breathing. Bleeding from the face. Not breathing.
If you ever thought anything in your life was hard, trust me...there is no moment that compares to one involving your children. We ripped her from the carseat, he gave her mouth to mouth. I fumbled to call 911. The service was horrible and finding a signal was not going to happen. She gasped. She cried. It was faint and she was barely hanging in there. We assessed the other kids. Minor bumps and bruises. I screamed. I begged for someone to help us. I called out to God. And he sent someone. They raced home to call 911 and I cradled my baby. I held her tight and sang to her through tears and tried to keep her awake. As I held her, I noticed the side of her skull was caved in.
It started to rain. And I started to panic. And I prayed. It was all I could do. I felt my heart breaking. I felt it shattering into a million little pieces and I couldn't breathe and I wanted to wake up from this nightmare, and if God took her, I wanted Him to take me...but the guilt of wanting it killed me because the other two needed me. And my husband needed me and where was the ambulance! It took them 45 minutes to find us. They strapped her down, the other ambulance took the older kids, and I road with my baby. Then they strapped me down. Evidently I was in a serious state of shock, and they feared I could die, which really was the least of my worries. They told me her skull was not caved in, they told me she was fine, that she would be ok...they lied. And they did it to save me. My heart and my blood pressure had dropped so low. I had to have oxygen, and all the while I'm yelling at the medic to attend to her, and she is faintly calling me.
The ride to the hospital took forever. I remember begging them to release me to be with her. When they finally did I went behind the curtain. My baby girl, my fighter, was fighting. Fighting the I.V. Fighting the doctors, and fighting for her life, which was hanging in the balance. I'm told they lost her on that table in that tiny room. They kept her sedated. They had to inject her every 3 minutes on the dot because it was burning off so fast...and then they transferred her. We released our other babies to their grandparent, and we prepared to follow the ambulance to the children's hospital. It was three hours away, and it was raining. I begged the people in the waiting room to pray for my daughter. And then I shared what the dr told us. She has a fractured skull, there is swelling, she will have to have surgery, and she may not make it.
I believe in God. With my whole heart. I know He loves me. I may not understand why He allows things, but I have faith that His plan is much greater than mine. That he knew our pain that night. God watched His son be murdered. He watched Him suffer, and cry out. He knew my heart, He knew what we could handle....and I had to trust him. Both as a parent and as a Mighty Physician.
The ride to the hospital was made in silence....the only words spoken were to send prayer requests. I think we both had finally been hit with the reality of this world, and what was important to us. I love my husband. I loved him then and now and in the beginning when I didn't know what love was. He was and is my rock, and he held me up that night. Never asking me to hold him up. Never showing that he was dying inside. Never letting me know I should fear anything.
The doctors came out, and after hours of anticipation, after waiting and knowing that they were going to tell us she died, they told us she was ok. They told us the scans from the other hospital were no longer correct. They told us God was taking care of her. The swelling was gone, the CSF in her ears had stopped. The skull was not pushing on her precious little brain anymore. And she would not need surgery. She would remain in the PICU until she was healed, but the chances were much better. That night a Facebook page was made for her, called Prayers for Cheyenne. She reached hundreds and hundreds of people in just hours. Churches acrossed the country were praying, strangers, friends, family....and God was listening.
As the days went on, we barely slept, barely ate.....we tried to remain hopeful. By day three they took her off the ventilator and took her out of the coma. They warned us that she would not have use of her facial muscles. No more smiling. No more wiggling her eyebrows,or scrunching her forehead...and that broke our heart. They warned us she may not know who we are, and she could have garbled speech. But we were just thankful she would be alive. When they let her out of the coma, she would not wake up. She would not open her eyes, or speakrush rushed to her side after waking up from a cat nap, and whispered to her.
Did I mention how great my God is,.....
As soon as she heard my voice, she opened her eyes. And the first thing she did was smile at me. My baby girl smiled. It was the most beautiful thing she had every done, besides her birth. And the Glory went to God. I so badly wanted to scoop her frail little body up and hug her, but I couldn't. All I could do was cry, And my husband cried, and we thanked God for His miracle. She left the hospital on day 6. And it has been three years since that day. She Is perfectly fine and our life is good.
We found our miracles. We found our way through the storms. I found a life worth living and that God loves us. I'm proud to say, this year we will celebrate 13 years together. And several years sober. And that crazy girl is long gone. I learned what it meant to be blessed....I can honestly say that no problem is too big for God. I urge you to let him lead you through the craziness. He is bigger then us. And only He can fulfill us. Thank you for sharing this time with me. Romans 12:12