I'm a nosy rosy. I love to know people, to understand their stories and why they are who they are. I want to what they've struggled with and how it changed them. I want to know what they dream of and what scares them.
So...I'll go first.
My job that pays the bills is middle school social studies teacher. I've taught high school and have tried two different "out of the classroom" jobs but settled in where I'm at because my hometown school has a daycare on campus and I had babies. Two of them. At the same time. And I wanted to be close to them when I went back to work.
My husband is a high school band director and, personality-wise, the complete opposite of me. He'd never willingly put personal details out there for any-old-one to see and probably doesn't like that I do. Sorry, honey.
Like most moms, a good bit of my "story" centers on my children. Specifically, my adult, married life has been dominated by infertility and the aftermath of the preemie experience. I have PCOS and it took three rounds of IVF to get, and stay, pregnant. Thirty thousand dollars and three years of trying to make my body cooperate left me battered and bruised, physically, mentally and spiritually. I wish I could say it made me rely on God more. But that's not my story.
The absolute joy of finding out our last attempt at fertility treatments had resulted in a twin pregnancy was soon overshadowed by fear, doubt and ultimately hospital bedrest. Logan and Leigh Allyn were born twelve weeks early in spite of my best efforts to lay perfectly still in that hospital bed. The body that had failed me when I wanted to get pregnant also failed to carry them safely to term.
Ten weeks of living alone in someone else's apartment in Nashville, an hour and a half away from home, while the babies were in the NICU was the loneliest time of my life. I saw my husband once, maybe twice, a week and spent my days sitting in the hospital, waiting for them to grow. Again, I wish I could say I relied on God and prayed continuously. I did not. Instead, I floated along, buoyed by the prayers of others. I felt them. I knew God was there. And yet I kept the wall up.
In spite of the fact that L&LA are healthy, happy, developmentally normal three year olds, the NICU experience lingers just under the surface and busts out, usually in the form of tears, at the most inconvenient times. PTSD isn't something that just affects soldiers. It's real and I work constantly to keep it from stealing the joy out of motherhood.
Draw Near is the anecdote to to the things that I allow to create distance between me and Christ. It's the balm that heals my soul and helps me find ways God can use the struggles of my motherhood story to reach out to others. It's the way I have found my way back to active church membership. It's the way I connect with the Word. It has been my revival.