The Refiner’s Fire – Our Story

My husband and I met on a blind date – and the rest is History!
Engaged after three months, and married after one year, 1989 – we were on the road to marital bliss! Or, so we thought!
Young and full of an eager desire to start a family, we were excited to find out we were expecting a few months after we were married.

This pregnancy ended with a miscarriage after 6 weeks, and the pain that a young mothers heart endures at this stage was something new to me, and it was raw.
Our marriage was built on a Biblical Foundation, and so the Lord gave me comfort thru this time of loss.

Hope renewed, we discovered we were expecting again 6 months later, and the excitement turned to severe morning sickness, that lasted all day, with severe hydration. The Dr,’s prescribed medicine to combat the sickness, and at 16 weeks, we returned to the Dr. for the scheduled ultrasound.
It was here that we were told to come back 4 weeks later to follow up on a few things.
My husband was not able to return with me to this appt. and so a close friend of mine came along for support. She sat patiently in the waiting room, not knowing that just down the hall, the worst news a mommy could hear were being given to me.
The Dr. asked me to sit down in his office while he told me that our baby had no kidneys, that they could see, and that she would not be born alive, if she made it far into the pregnancy at all.
He referred us to a specialist, and that was all he had to say.

I remember walking out of the office, completely drowning in sadness, and not even able to speak to my friend, or look at the rest of the expecting moms in the waiting room.
They gave us a choice – jump start labor, and “save ourselves” from unnecessary grief,, OR, carry her to term and “hope” for the best.
The drive home was as if I was outside of my body. I can remember looking at all of the people in the cars driving past me,, with what seemed that had no care in the world, and I was alone – mentally checking out of this pregnancy.

We chose to carry our little girl to term. We had many prayers surrounding us the entire time. I received numerous cards of encouragement, and phone calls from many that said they were praying.
But, the grief was deep. Deeper than I ever thought I could feel,, far away from God’s love and comfort. I was keeping Him at arm’s length.
As her birth drew near, a particular Hymn became dear to my Heart – Nearer, Still Nearer.
She was born on October 10, 1990, after a long and painful labor. Breech position, no fluid – but a perfectly formed, beautiful little baby girl,, who spent 30minutes alive in our arms – granting me the largest blessing for that day. She was perfect. We felt the Lord’s presence,, the Holy Spirit standing there beside us every bit of those 30 minutes. I was at such peace. We took sweet pictures of her,,prayed, and sang, and will always thank the Lord for those precious moments with our Elisabeth.

Her funeral came shortly after, and I will never forget that day. There was such an outpouring of love from those we knew,, and even strangers we had never met.
The song, Nearer Still Nearer became a larger part of who I am today.
That day, as we buried our little baby girl to rest, my heart broke into a million pieces. I could not walk away from her grave. I felt as if I was abandoning her – it was all so wrong. A mommy is suppose to comfort and nurture her baby. How can this be?

The Lord had His plans.. and I was being molded into a new creation.

Then, why did we again, after this, experience another miscarriage? Only He has the answers, and I have learned His plans are best. He only wants what is good for me. Did I find it through these times?

It is now 1992, and a healthy baby boy was born into our arms. This pregnancy brought its own set of complications, but our Benjamin came home with us. Vibrant, and bringing a JOY that I can never explain. Every moment with a long awaited baby seems to be tri-fold emotion. Thank you Lord.
In 1993, we were again given another baby, a healthy baby girl.
And then in 1995 – another healthy baby boy.

It was in 1996, that we were surprised to find out that we were expecting identical twin boys. My nervousness quickly gave way to excitement. It was strange to me though, that after 16 weeks, my measurements were way off, and I was growing faster than normal. We quickly found out that I was experiencing something called Twin to Twin Transfusion, and our lives were in danger. The twins and mine. I was measuring 40 weeks at 16 weeks, and had to make the trip to the Dr. 2 -3 times a week for quarts of fluid to be drawn off ( amniocentesis).
This was so painful. Physically and emotionally. The pain of every day was almost unbearable. The extra ultrasounds gave us a rare view of our babies growing daily. What a hidden blessing to see them so often. The Dr. informed us that if we were able to carry them to 26 weeks, we would do an early C-Section, and hopefully stabilize them in ICU. Each of our baby boys had their own personality. The little window we had to see them grow allowed us to bond, beyond the movement in the womb. They were so active. The Dr.’s defined them as Baby A and Baby B.. but we named them Luke and Aaron.

Why do I fight the Will of God , when I KNOW He loves me beyond compare? I “fought” this plan daily , as I carried the twins each day. I knew that if my life was in danger, then I might leave my three precious babies without a mommy,, and then if I was ok, then the twins might not make it? Where did my Faith go?
He was refining me.

At week 24, I awoke in the middle of the night to the twins movement, and a battle raged within my heart. “God,, WHY?” I surrendered on my knees that night, asking Him to Have His Will, and give Him the Glory. I love you Lord,, please give me the strength to endure this.”
The next night, something different woke me up. The twins had stopped moving. I knew. I would never see my babies alive. They were resting in His arms. Safe.

After a long and emotionally trying birth, our baby boys were placed in our hands, and we bathed them and gave them our good-byes. It was an exceptionally difficult moment ,, handing them over to be taken from us. So unnatural.
Their funeral was numbing. We were treading water,, waiting for a rescue of time alone.
The healing came slow. Very slow. We both felt as if we had just been through a storm and were weathered beyond repair.
But it came.. by His Grace,, and Mercy.
He had never left us,, and if we didn’t know His love personally, then would have completely drowned in waves of grief.
He carried us through.

After the twins were born, we had three little girls,, one year apart each.
And then we experienced another miscarriage.
There is something about a loss after such grief – it is almost as if you know what your heart is going to feel, and because we knew that God had never left us before, and so we were able to rest on His promises.

Our baby boy , Sam was born after this miscarriage. Beautiful, and healthy.
Then another Miscarriage.
And then 2 more girls. Oh,, how precious they are to us. Sweet. They bring us so much Joy.

The Lord refined me through the 20 years that we have shared in marriage, and I know he will continue to.
But, I wouldn’t have it any other way. And I never thought that I would say that.
I am only the person that I am today, because of what He brought us through, and How I could find Hope in the Midst of the Storm.

Praise Him with me! ? He is a Mighty Saving God, and Loves us enough to have the very best.

September

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Comments

  1. Lynnette Kraft says:

    September, I knew your story – but I had forgotten the details of it through the years…so I was grateful to have the opportunity to read it like this. I forgot that Elisabeth was your first baby.

    The most beautiful part of your story is that you depended on the Lord for his peace, healing and hope. What does a person do through times like this without the Savior? It breaks my heart to think of it.

    Thanks for sharing your story.
    Love,
    Lynnette

  2. September, wow – what an amazing story of dependence on God and faith in Him, knowing that He has a plan for everything. I found your blog through MckMama’s, and reading it has touched me. Thank you for sharing your story.

  3. Anonymous says:

    wow, this is a very emotional, and touching blog. My heart breaks for your losses, but your strength in God to overcome such loss is heartwarming. Your story brings tear to my eye and joy to my heart, thank you so much. THIS IS FAITH! -DP101#1FAN

  4. September,
    I’m just now reading your story. I got pregnant only a few months after getting married and suffered a miscarriage at 8 weeks. It was devastating. I can’t imagine dealing with that over and over and the losses of your other children. What a blessing that you were able to lean on your faith and praise God!

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  5. Thank you for sharing this. It touched me. Bless you!

  6. Jenilee says:

    I stopped over today to read your story. Isn’t God amazing? He can carry us through. Thanks for encouraging me today with your words. God Bless your precious family.

  7. You stopped by my blog and I appreciate it.

    So I hopped on over to read your story. My heart goes out to you.
    But we serve an awesome God. And tho we cannot always know why he does things the way he does, he is always right there by our side.

    Have a wonderful Mother’s Day.!

  8. My Goodness. I am glad to have read your story. I am in awe at the trials you and your family have experienced. I know it was God who pulled you through over the years – you have experience so much pain and heartache and yet you are standing up today! My heart breaks to learn your story. My mother lost a baby to CDH in 1988 and I only recent was able to open up with her about how she made it through. I just had my own little boy 6 months ago and becoming a mother opened my eyes to many things. You inspire me to know that we ARE able – with the help of God alone. Thank you for visiting my blog.

    Something else we have in common – met our husbands on a blind date :)

  9. Melissa says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. It is evident how strong your faith is. I have lost two babies and it’s truly something you never get over. However, it does make me appreciate and love on the four precious boys I do have here with me.
    P.S. My husband and I were also engaged within months after meeting… and nineteen years later, still madly in love!

  10. Raisingarrows says:

    September,
    I don't think I've ever been here before, which is why I read "your story." It is beautiful. I am always heartbroken to read about others in this "club" that no one really wants to be a part of, but I rejoice in what the Lord has done through your sorrow.
    Blessings,
    Amy

  11. Mom Putnam says:

    My oh my, you have endured more than any one woman should but in the midst of it all what strength and faith you have shown. This is something that I long to have and work at it every day and you have given me hope and something to cling too. Thank you. We never know how much we touch others lives.
    Linda (Holly's mom and Carleigh's grandma)

  12. Wow! I am an awe! Thanks for sharing your story. I will be thankful for the trials I have gone through that have refined me to the person I am today. Thanks for that reminder.

  13. Your blog is so incredibly encouraging! Please keep writing!!

  14. Wow. I had to stop reading this often…just to get through. And this IS your life. Oh my oh my. What an amazing woman, mother, child of God you truly are. I don't know how you could ever have kept on…except that I know you gave it all to God. There is special place in Heaven for people like you…I'd like to think it's right in the midst of all the little ones….It was very nice to visit your blog and see the beautiful faces on it…I will definitely keep coming back!

  15. busymomof10 says:

    Wow! I was so moved by your story. You have been through so much! Only God's grace could have carried you through all of this! I realize anew how blessed I have been to have TEN healthy children!

    I am really looking forward to reading more of your blog!!

    blessings,
    Elizabeth

  16. inadvertent farmer says:

    Thanks you for sharing…you are an inspiration for what God can do to heal our hearts. I lost twin girls to TTTS and have never had to lean on God as much as I have concerning faith, forgiveness, and healing…

    Again, thank you. Kim

  17. mylifebyfaith says:

    Oh September, what a lot to go through. Where would we be without our awesome God!

    Blessings,
    Lisa

  18. Thank you for sharing your story with others and reminding us that God will carry us through any storm that comes our way.

  19. Teresa @ ♥ TOO MANY HEARTBEATS ♥ says:

    Hi, September! (What a beautiful name!)

    I happened upon the link to your blog over on Blog Frog and I have spent A LOT of time reading your posts, including this one that tells your story. What an amazing testimony and incredible strength you have! I can not begin to imagine the depth of pain that you (and your husband) have been through. I think it is so amazing how you have continued to stand firm in your faith and trust in the Lord. I honestly don't know how people get through great trials and tribulation without leaning on Him.

    I really love your blog and I can't wait to read more. I just became your newest Follower. I love meeting new bloggers, especially fellow sisters in Christ. I would be really honored if you would take a minute to come check out my blog, too.

    I hope you and your precious family have a really wonderful week!

    Many blessings,

    Teresa <><

    ♥ Too Many Heartbeats ♥

  20. JillAileenJones says:

    I am visiting from Lynette's blog-and all I can say is wow what an amazing story you have to share.
    I have not walked through the grief of losing a baby after it was born just two in the womb to miscarriages and that was hard enough. I shouldn't be but I am always amazed at God-His plans-what He uses to refine us into gold. My heart ache while reading this as a mama one of the hardest things to endure I think is the lose of a child-even that God knows and understands our pain-He himself has been there too.
    Thank you for sharing your story and for blessing so many through it-for helping reach so many struggling with a loss of a child and for bringing Him glory through it all. I can't wait to read more and to follow your blog.
    Blessings
    Jill

  21. What an emotional roller coaster. I now know why you an Lynette have found friendship. I am a little over half your age and have only been married for 4 yrs, but our stories are similar. Through it all I have learned to praise Him through the storm.

  22. cooperkelly4 says:

    What a bittersweet story. so much loss and yet so much love. I too had a miscarriage and I cannot imagine the pain of carrying full-term only to say goodbye. Your story of trust and love is inspiring and not only are you changed, but so are the people you share your story with. Rejoicing with you for His blessings. Kelly

  23. Hannah's Wings says:

    September, I just stumbled across your blog, and I have to say it was a definate God thing!!! You have encouraged me so much today!!! Sometimes, I feel as if I'm of a select few that know the heartache of God rocking my children to sleep at night instead of me. Thank you for your beautiful story!!!

  24. Mary Kaisand says:

    Thank you for sharing. I found your blog from someone else. Your story is incredible. To God be the glory! Wow, your story will be able to touch so many lives. Thank you!

  25. I just found your blog from Lynette Kraft's. Thank you for sharing your story. I have experienced the loss of our son almost 2 years ago so I know a little of what you have gone through. But to have lost 3 children plus the ones from your miscarriages…I cannot imagine. Your story and testimony has helped so many I am sure. You are a blessing…I'm so glad I found your blog.

  26. What an incredible testimony of God's goodness in your lives!! I appreciate it that you continue to point your reader to the LORD all throughout it…so precious!! How much you have suffered and how deep your faith must be because of it. May the LORD continue to give you grace and strength to follow HIM no matter what…for HIS glory! It's lovely to *meet* you.

    Many blessings,
    Camille

  27. You have an amazing story! Thank you for sharing it! I look forward to returning to your blog in the future!

    Madeleine Bonin
    Boninfamilyadventures.blogspot.com

  28. September,

    I "stumbled" upon your blog this morning but we both know there aren't any "stumbles" in His Kingdom :) I read your story and was touched so deeply by your perseverance. God is so amazing! He takes all our broken pieces and creates magnificent beauty. Thank you for being so open about your loss and struggle. I was blessed today because of it. My faith has been renewed and my heart is full. Blessings!

    Barb

  29. so glad i "stumbled" upon your blog….God is good like that ;)

    I really enjoyed reading what our mighty Lord has done in your life.

    now following….

    angela

  30. September, I just heard your interview regarding Random Acts of Kindness on FLN. I couldn’t resist connecting with another mommy blogger from our area.
    What an amazing journey you’ve been on – thank you for sharing honestly and authentically.
    I’m curious whether we have ‘nearly’ met – were you at a Selah Concert at FLN in Bath sometime last year? A young man at that concert had bought his mom tickets to the concert and she (you?) went up to sing during the African song Selah always does. I tried to meet the lady after the concert but it was too crowded…
    Would love to connect with you – I’m a mommy blogger with three kids in the fingerlakes area. http://www.trinaholden.com

    • Trina,

      Thank you so much for leaving a comment! You guessed right! That was my son, daughter and I at the Selah concert! And…. I am excited to be in contact with you! Hope you will be able to join in the 12 Days of Random Acts of Kindness!
      Blessings,,,
      September
      (I am emailing you now also. ) :)

      • September, that is so cool! I had such an urge to meet you that day, and now the Lord has connected us again. Looking forward to getting to know you better through your blog. :)

  31. This is my first visit – and I am astounded at your story. It is so encouraging to hear about the comfort that the Lord gave you during so many, and such difficult trials. I just can’t imagine….and frankly, don’t want to imagine – but your story reminds me that no matter what I may face, He is there. And He is enough. But still…..wow. God bless you and your family.

  32. Hi September,
    I found you today through the Mod Squad Blog. Wow, what a story. I am amazed and inspired by the perseverance you and your husband carried through your journey. What a blessing to have 10 beautiful children and what peace to know the babies that you are not able to hold today are in heaven with Jesus. I’ve lost 4 babies to miscarriage and I rest in knowing they are with their creator. So good to have discovered your blog and read your story. Blessings!

  33. September, I have never known the grief you speak of in this post, I have never been in your shoes, but I am so thankful to have stumbled upon your blog via (in)courage, because today, as I read your story, I was reminded that there isn’t anything He can’t bring us through as long as we lay it all at His feet and trust in His will for us. Thank you for sharing a very personal part of your lives with us. I know you are an inspiration to many who visit here. God bless you!

  34. oh my september i did not know any of those detailes that i just read about you and your family. i am so thankful for you and your willness to bare your heart and soul. i am going through a refineing period right now myself and you have encouraged me greatly. you are right He never leaves me, He loves and care enough about me to want the very best. His arms are holding me right now as i struggle. i love you lady and like i said i am thankful for you.

  35. I’m finally getting around to perusing your blog.  Thank you for sharing this story. I recently watched dear friends go through the birth of their stillborn son at 8 1/2 months. And I have experienced my own taste of loss. It’s so wonderful to be reminded, again, that God uses everything to mold and refine us. 

    Blessings. 

  36. September, I never knew the full story until now. Oh my, God is an ever present help in time of trouble. You bless me.

  37. WOW ! God is good isnt He September? I dont know how anyone could go through something like this without Christ. Thank you for sharing your story it truly has blessed me in seeing Gods hands through it all! Blessings

  38. Such a beautiful and touching retelling of your story.  Thank you for sharing it so openly.  What beautiful faith that you could still glorify God after enduring so much pain.  Your life is a beautiful reflection of Him.

  39. September, we smiled at each other this past weekend.  We spoke in the elevator, but we didn’t really “connect.”  It wasn’t until Saturday night when Jacque Watkins briefly mentioned that you have lost several children that I knew we had that in common.

    I can relate to so much of this story, especially this line: “But, I wouldn’t have it any other way. And I never thought that I would say that.”  It is exactly how I feel.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Mary
    http://www.marybonner.net/

  40. Thank you for sharing your story. It helps. And I cried for you, for me, and all the women who have walked this road with different stories and a common thread. God is sovereign and He loves us and walks with us every step of the way.

  41. I needed to read this tonight.   We have experienced so much loss in the last 2 years, dear friends have lost children to cancer, stillbirth, miscarriage and sudden illness. It is so hard to comprehend the “why” but so comforting  to read: “because we knew that God had never left us before, and so we were able to rest on His promises.”

  42. September, the joy in your voice is a true testimony of the grace of God upon your life and the beauty that comes from a full surrender to His will.  Yes, I will praise Him through…the storms…with you!

  43. I cried when I read your story, I experienced miscarriage last December and I was just searching on how to cope up during this times, when the Lord lead me to your blog. Very inspiring and heartwarming. Truly the Lord heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wound. God bless you and more power!

  44. i read this to my family! what a testimony!!!!
    amazing god! amazing grace!!!

  45. Your testimony is such a strong reminder of how faithful God is, even in the darkest storms of our lives!!

  46. i have shared this story- your story- with so many moms because it inspires me so much!

  47. Melissa D. SC says:

    Thank you for sharing. I have 9 babies in heaven, one is my stillborn son Corban, one was a twin to my oldest son, the others are miscarriages that I cannot wait to see the day of my Homecoming. The Lord is indeed with us through each and every trial. God Bless~~

  48. September thank you for sharing your story….The first thing that popped into my mind after reading your story was Romans 8:28, my life verse. That must have been a very emotional / thought provoking time while you were writing everything down….
    After my husband and I were married we had 2 babies right off the bat, then after struggling for 4 years we had a beautiful baby boy. From after his birth till now (he is 2) We have lost 5 Babies due to miscarriage, and its VERY emotional to me, even to think about it…. (those are the ones that they know of, they think we might have lost some very early pregnancies between Rodney and Jed but they are not 100%) I can not imagine what life must have been like with burying your babies…. My heart goes out to you and your husband esp on their blessed birthdays :)

    I am so glad God planned for us to bump into each other in target over the Christmas break. If we hadn’t we would have never of found out about co-op or had the chance to get to talk on co-op Fridays, that was a HUGE encouragement esp w the last miscarriage this past spring! Thank you for being so open and sharing your story!!!

  49. Catalina says:

    Thank you, September, for sharing your testimony! Just found your website. I am going thru my first miscarriage at the moment and I am heartbroken. Praise the Lord, He is in control and He is such a comfort to us! Thank you again for sharing and may the Lord bless you and keep you and your family in His loving care. With love in Him, Catalina x

  50. You are beautiful…and your story of God’s faithfulness and grace is beautiful…and all of your children are beautiful! Love, Momma Linda

  51. What a bitter sweet story you have to tell but a wonderful testimony. So thankful that we worship a wonderful Lord that does not allow us to go through our trials alone.

  52. Thank you so much for sharing your heart-wrenching story. To come through so much with the faith you have is amazing! I’ve just popped over after reading your ebook, “hula hoop girl,” and I found it quite helpful. My husband and I have decided I am putting all my hula hoops down (except for him and the kids) for the next few months to regroup and rest. I am excited to follow your website in the future!

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