The last time we got together I was telling you about Amber and I getting engaged. She had just come home after a rough night at work and I cheered her up with one of the biggest surprises ever! After our long embrace she immediately grabbed her cell phone. Still staring at her ring she notified her closest friends first. Me; well I just sat there and watched her stare at the ring. The look on her face, the excitement that radiated from her, was pure and awesome! That moment has most certainly been one of the highlights of my life so far.
So that was December of 2007. I don’t think we had a specific date for the wedding set at that time, but soon after the engagement, Amber decided on April 25 of 2009. That would allow plenty of time to get the funding together for a wedding. Not only would funding need to be figured out, but there is a lot involved in planning a wedding. Luckily for me, I’m the guy. All I had to do is remember when and where the wedding was, and show up, in my tux! Oh, and I had to figure out who I was going to ask to stand up on stage with me. Which was a problem for me, not because I didn’t know anyone, but because I didn’t want to ask my buddies to shell out money for tuxes. But, it was Amber’s day, so I sucked it up and asked them anyway.
Things were kind of crazy over the next several months. We kept busy with work and really just life in general. Doctor’s appointments were the norm now since Amber was pregnant with our son. Those were always pretty exciting, getting to see him on the ultrasound and hearing his little heartbeat. Quite the miracle when you think about it. A little person, growing inside another person!
After several doctors’ visits and a whole lot of waiting, it was finally time for Amber to have our son! It was really early one August morning in 2008 when Amber woke me up and said that we were going to have a baby that day. I asked her if she was sure, and she said she was pretty sure…she was having what she thought were contractions. She contacted the hospital and they wanted her to be having contractions for a specific length of time, over a course of a specific amount of time. (My apologies for the lack of details, I forget the numbers.) Anyway, Amber got her things ready for the trip to the hospital as I slowly rolled out of bed. I do remember the nurse saying she should wait for awhile before coming into the hospital, so I took my sweet time on the drive to Lebanon from Frankfort. I’m fairly certain it was the ONLY time I did the speed limit!
At the hospital now, Amber was checked in and we made our way up to her room. A lot of things happened; nurses, doctors, anesthesiologists and the like came in and out of the room. Amber had to have a couple of epidurals due to the first one wearing off on one side. That made it to where she had absolutely no control over her legs, which made it rather interesting when it came time to push little baby Rolen out! Fast forwarding a bit, Rolen was born. He scored really well on his Apgar tests which was a blessing considering what was going on with his Mommy. You see, this is the day, that specific point in time, where I can say I was compelled to revert back to my faith. Amber had some complications after giving birth to our son. She was losing a lot of blood and I got really worried about what would happen if they couldn’t stop the bleeding. I begged and pleaded with God to help Amber make it through this. The entire time the medical staff was working on her, I was in constant communication with Him. I know you’re not supposed to try bartering with God, that is to say “I’ll do this for you, if you do that for me.” But I could not help it at that point. I was begging him to let her make it through this. I told him I would do ANYTHING He wanted me to. Anything at all! I could NOT afford to lose her, not now, not like this!
A lot of our family was at the hospital while all of this was taking place. They weren’t in the room with us, but they were there at the hospital. They didn’t know exactly what was going on, but I’m fairly certain they knew something was up. They decided that we would all go get something to eat while Amber rested. I didn’t want to leave the hospital, but against my better judgment, I allowed them to talk me into going to dinner with them. The entire time at dinner all I could think about was Amber lying there in that hospital bed, with only God watching over her. I say “only God” as if He didn’t know what He was doing, but I felt like I should have been there with her through everything. After dinner we returned to the hospital. A couple of bags of blood later and Amber was starting to do better. Now it was my turn to keep my end of the deal with Him, you know, since I had made a deal with Him! Everything else went smoothly and Amber and Rolen were released from the hospital a couple days later.
We were still living in Frankfort at the time, so we made the trek back to Frankfort from Lebanon, back to our two bedroom apartment. We had Rolen’s room all ready for him. It had actually been done months prior to his arrival (Amber and I spent several nights in there just talking.) We decided we would stay at that apartment until our lease was up at which point we would move back to Lebanon. It wasn’t a perfect transition, but with the help of Amber’s parents, it was a really smooth one. They let us stay at their house until we were able to get a place of our own. Her parents were a vital key in us actually getting the financing we needed for our house too, so to them, I will always be very thankful!
We moved into our house just before my birthday, in March of 2009. Our wedding date was getting ever closer. In one short month Amber and I would vow to spend the rest of our lives together, through everything – good times and bad – and I couldn’t have been more excited! With the finishing touches being put on the wedding preparations, time seemed to just fly by. Before I knew it I was standing at the altar, and Amber was being escorted down the aisle by her dad – life was great!
Over the course of the next couple of years, a lot of mistakes were made. Mistakes by me. Mistakes by Amber. There were communication problems that ultimately led to other problems. I can’t put my finger on that one single moment where things went horribly wrong, but sitting here thinking about it, I don’t really care to. What’s done is done and ultimately I think we’ve both become better, stronger people because of what’s taken place. I’ve forgiven Amber of all her mistakes and I hope that she can forgive me of all of mine. Like I said in an earlier entry, there are definitely several good things that have come from all of this…and I wouldn’t want to change that for anything!
Today I want to leave you with these Bible verses from 1 Thessalonians. Chapter 5, verses 15-18:
“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18
Do we really know what is best for us? Even though I wouldn’t change anything that’s happened up to this point in my life, who am I to judge what is good and bad for me? I, as a human, only know how relative one is from the other; I can only judge “good” based on what I know to be “bad.” Ultimately God’s will will prevail, and though I might walk with my eyes closed sometimes, it is still by faith that I walk. I have learned to give thanks in all circumstances, as hard as it may be, because eventually, He will make good come of everything that happens to us. God is AWESOME!