Monday, November 7, 2011

Life's "Little" Surprises

I was inspired by something I read this morning. It was all about the surprise of a mom having twins... and it made me reminisce about some surprises that changed my life.

Surprise #1- I grew up in Southern California, and lived in the same house for 8 years. My whole family lived nearby, my mother taught at the school I attended, and we enjoyed being able to frequent Disneyland on a weekly basis. When I was 9, my Dad and Mom told us that we'd be moving. To IDAHO. I freaked out. I was going to lose all of my friends, my home, and my grandmother, who was currently battling cancer. One year after we moved, she lost her fight.

Blessing in disguise : Idaho was an incredible place to grow up. It humbled me in ways that I can't describe. I was able to live out a childhood dream. I have a garden, chickens and a house in the big woods. :) Although it was hard being away from my grandmother, I feel it may have been a blessing in disguise. Experiencing her daily deterioration may have been too much for me... I often wonder if God was in fact protecting me as a young girl. I was blessed by spending her last week with her, and being able to say goodbye the day before she died on Easter. It was a precious memory that lingers with me every time I think of her.

Surprise #2 - My husband deployed 5 days before our scheduled wedding. He joined the Army and was chosen to be a part of a non-deployable training unit in Louisiana, and three months after his arrival, they deployed for the first time since WWII with only 60 days notice. I found out on the day of my bridal shower! I lost out on all of my wedding deposits and we chose to be married by a justice of the peace in a hurry before he left.

Blessing in disguise: That was the first time I really learned to trust God above all else! I collapsed, cried and prayed like I've never prayed before. My adopted Mom took me into her arms and prayed with me right there. It was one of those moments you never, ever forget! It was a great indoctrination into the life of a military wife, that's for sure!

Surprise #3 - Finding out about my 2nd pregnancy, and then three days later finding out about my husband's infidelity. I was caring for him during an illness, and a picture of him kissing another woman popped up on his phone next to the nightstand. I collapsed, cried and became instantly sick myself.

Blessing in disguise: It gave me so much preparation for the journey I had ahead of me. I thought it was scary then, but what lay ahead paled in comparison to that moment! God was breaking it to me gently. I made a commitment to Him and working to fix my marriage. We went to counseling, talked things out we hadn't done in years, and began to heal. Unfortunately (at that point), it was too little, too late. I was blissfully unaware for a long time about the hurt my husband was experiencing from the war.

Surprise #4 - TWINS!

I can so vividly remember seeing this image on the screen. I thought for SURE this pregnancy was different because it was a GIRL..... but God had other surprises up his sleeve. When I saw the screen, it was a mess of limbs.  I instantly panicked. I thought my baby was deformed, and I lay paralyzed with fear. I dared not speak for fear what she'd say. I finally mustered the strength to speak, and I asked the technician if the baby was a boy or girl. She said, "Which one?" I wept. I had been afraid about the state of my marriage and how I was going to cope while he was deployed, not even knowing about the impending divorce. I worried about EVERYTHING.... whether or not they would be "cheaters" someday to how I was going to physically deliver these guys after the difficult delivery I had of my oldest son and almost lost my life. Just 4 weeks after I found out that I was having twins, it was my 22nd birthday. My husband told me he was tired of living a lie and that he didn't love me anymore when we drove to Panama City, FL for my birthday dinner. It was devastating.

Blessing in disguise: If it hadn't been for the twins being born, I would have stayed and endured the continued abuse and secrecy, and divorce would have been in the cards eventually, anyway, with the continuing womanizing. Nothing helped me survive the pain of my divorce more than taking care of these two precious little angels. They are the absolute highlight of my life so far. ALL THREE!!!! I would never have coped as well as I did unless I had stayed so busy caring for them. Not a single surprise in my life has blessed me MORE than having twins. They make my heart grow exponentially every day.

Those are just a few of the "biggies", but I hope that it encourages you to remember that God ALWAYS has a plan - even (and especially) in the difficult times!


  1. It's amazing to look back and see how God has worked in our lives, and to have that realization that He knew exactly what he was doing, even when we didn't understand. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story :)

  2. sniff*sniff* You are amazing Erin! Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

  3. Sara - AGREED! I loved that post this morning. Definitely inspired me to look at these surprises with more intensity! Linn - PERFECT verse. I had that verse on a notecard and looked at it almost every day during that time! ♥

  4. Erin, I have tears reading this one! I relate to so much you have written. It reminds me of Romans 8:28. He works ALL for the good! Even the most devastating events that happen to us. You are so right, even in the middle of our most difficult seasons, He has a plan. Each one of those seasons, gives us an opportunity to get closer to our Lord and Savior. Most of my most difficult seasons, I am so thankful for because I would not have the relationship that I have with Him today if it wasn't for them. We just can't see that in the middle to our storm, but when we get to the end and take a look back! What a work He can do in us, to make us more conformed to His image! I would never change anything to trade the relationship that I have today with my glorious King! I am so thankful for you, my beautiful friend!

  5. Wow your story makes me want to cry.I read blogs because they help you understand that your not alone in life and that god is watching over you no matter what. As long as you have faith in him and his power things will get better.The crazy this is we are around the same age and I cant believe you have stories for two life times. But understand that god loves you and keep doing what your doing, seeing the positive in everything.Sometimes we get so raped up in life we forget the important stuff. Family and self empowerment.<3

    1. That's exactly why I write it. I feel so convicted to "boast about my weaknesses", because it makes us all feel less alone. <3

  6. You are amazing. I've been in awe "watching" you go through surprise #3. The way you handled yourself, your marriage & your boys were a complete testimony of God in your life. Thank you for continuously being such an amazing example in my life. Thank you for your brutal honesty, your transparency & your constant push to Jesus. <3