Entering into motherhood is a huge change and adjustment in of itself. If any other major life transitions or challenges are added into the mix, it can be really overwhelming to see clearly and find your way forward. Morgan vulnerably and beautifully shares her story of a challenging time in her life, and how God led her through to healing. I love following her stories about her little boy and family, but I especially love what she shares about how God’s working in her heart. Thank you for sharing with us, Morgan!
This is Morgan’s Freedom Story.
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Our most sought after, long-awaited dream was about to come true.
We were finally expecting our first baby: a little boy who was to arrive in the Spring of our fourth year of marriage. We had prayed and waited for this miracle for as long as we could remember.
As I juggled the responsibilities of being a full time special-education teacher and wife, I spent each day with great anticipation over the miracle that was growing inside of my belly.
Despite the fact that I had been perfectly healthy my entire life, I began to develop chronic ear infections. I merely attributed them to the strange ways that pregnancy can affect a woman’s body. After countless ENT appointments, tube insertions, and a few months of significant hearing loss, I determined to persevere until our baby arrived.
Surely, I thought, everything will be back to normal after he’s born.
Six weeks after our healthy, precious boy came into our lives, I was deeply entrenched in the joys and responsibilities of being a first-time mom. The nursing difficulties, the routines, the night-time feeding sessions with heavy eyelids and a tired body; I relished it all. And yet I felt more exhausted than I had in my entire life. At this point, my ear infections had not lessened and I had multiple ENT’s stumped.
It was as if I was smiling as I walked over quicksand. I rarely let my guard down, because I knew that every new mom had something they were dealing with. Why should my difficulties be any more significant? Little did I know that God was doing a mighty work inside of me, both spiritually and physically.
At my best friend’s house, there was a small set of stairs that led from the foyer down to her front door. I distinctly remember the realization that came over me as I slowly moved down the stairs, clutching the railing in order to lessen the pain radiating through my knees and ankles.
Nothing about that was normal, as much as I’d tried to convince myself otherwise.
I was determined not to let my joints, fatigue, or pain in my sinuses keep me from enjoying being a mother. My husband took tremendous care of me, but I was stubborn. I pried myself out of bed for every feeding, collapsing back under the covers as I tried to get enough rest to make it through the next day.
I finally saw my primary care doctor, who ran a series of tests. In the weeks that I waited for answers, I felt fear and uncertainty rise to the surface. My body felt as though it was falling apart, but the miracle of motherhood kept me going.
As my disease progressed, I began to have trouble with the simplest of daily tasks like walking and getting dressed. My husband and loved ones started to pull more weight with household tasks and in taking care of our baby. When I had to have help getting out of the bathtub or with turning over in bed, I felt a mixture of deep longing and of shame.
There was nothing I could do, no instant remedy. No way of outsmarting, out-working or ‘fixing’ it on my own.
At the surface, all of the unknowns were staring me in the face and making me feel as though the mountain I was facing was insurmountable. I had a deep longing just to be a ‘normal’ mother. But deep inside of me, God made Himself known. His peace held fast within the depths of my heart, even when everything I knew seemed to crumble around me.
In the midst of the pain, I graciously did my best to savor the small moments with my little one. The tiny breathing, the smiles, and the countless hours lying with him close to me.
It wasn’t long before a rheumatologist referral, more tests, chest scans, and lots of blood work finally revealed a diagnosis. Wegener’s disease. A very rare auto-immune vasculitis that causes inflammation of blood vessels and affects the sinuses, lungs and kidneys. By the provision of God alone, I now knew the name for the odd malady that had taken over me, thanks to a smart, compassionate person whose life purpose was to save people from rheumatological diseases.
I could now begin treatment and work toward my new normal.
Through the depths of struggle that made up that time period of my life, the Lord was gentle with me. He led me to exactly the right people, places and positions at exactly the right times.
Things would get worse, for a time, and then they would get better. Much better. Today, I live life pain-free. My new normal is not without its responsibilities, or extra routines to keep me healthy. I have worked to make changes in all areas of life to ensure that I stay on the path to healing.
Though I was held captive by a physical darkness, the spiritual light that had transformed me so long ago had won the day. I learned that life is not without its obstacles. Sometimes there are roadblocks that show up along your path, and other times a whole mountain is blocking your view. We need not despair, because our loving Father will never fail to gently lift us up and carry us all the way around to the other side.
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About Morgan: I am a former teacher, staying at home with our toddler while learning to embrace my love for writing. My family is currently waiting on our next baby through domestic adoption. When I’m not at home chasing around our little one, I am most likely reading, cooking, going on a walk or spending time at the lake.
P.S. Want to read more stories of hope, healing, and freedom? Check out the other 30+ brave women of faith who have shared their Freedom Stories here.