James 1:2-4, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
Have you ever been going along just fine in life, and then you were hit with life's unexpected?
For Nathan and me, this is exactly how our last week and and a half has been.
It all started on October 5th when Nathan's car battery died. He got in his car to come home from work when he discovered that his lights were left on all day. Triple A (AAA) came out and jumped his car, but then it was discovered that his battery was extremely low and needed to be replaced.
He switched out his car battery, and then we went on about life.
Three days later, I was about to head home for my lunch break when I discovered that my car wouldn't turn on. I tried a handful of times to start the car, but although it sounded like it wanted to start, nothing happened. I already was feeling sick that morning, and now my car was acting up. So, I headed to the nearest place I could grab a bite to eat... Target's food court. Oh yes! I got myself a wonderful grilled cheese sandwich and Sprite. It's a wonderful combination when you already feel like your stomach is upset. Anyway, this story gets better. As I'm sitting in the food court, an older gentleman sitting at a table near me decides that he needs to spend the whole time I'm trying to eat talking to me. Not only was he wanting to talk. He wanted to talk about serious topics. He told me he was some kind of Jew... the Christian kind, and when I told him that I am a Christian and go to a Baptist church, he decided to proceed to tell me how the Baptists like to switch things around to make it convenient for themselves. Oh goodie. My already frustrating afternoon has now been heightened by a stranger's opinion.
I ended up cutting the conversation short. Not feeling well, dead car, and stranger who wants to have a debate over lunch = I can't handle this. I went back to my dead car and tried to start it once more. Still not cooperating, I text Nathan about what was going on and then went back to work.
When I got off work Saturday night, Nathan text me to let me know he was on his way over. While I waited for Nathan, I tried starting the car one more time. Still nothing. When Nathan arrived, I told him how it still wouldn't start, so he called AAA again to have them meet us in the parking lot. While we waited for AAA to arrive, Nathan asked if he could give it a shot. He got in the driver's seat, tried to start the engine, and sure enough, it turned on right away. We were shocked! I felt crazy. What was going on? So, we canceled having AAA come out and went home. I drove the car for a few more days. Everything seemed to be normal. We decided it must've been something random and went on about life.
Then Tuesday came. On Tuesday, when I got off work, I got in my car to go home only to discover that once again the car wouldn't start.
Ugh! We just did this!
After my previous experience, I decided that I'd wait for Nathan to get off work and we could deal with the car together. My friend Hannah came and picked me up. While waiting for her to arrive, my manager came out to try to jump-start my car. Sadly, it wasn't the battery. It wouldn't start even with it being jumped.
Clearly, it's been a week of it!
Anyway, when Nathan got off work Tuesday night, we both went together to try to take care of the vehicle. This time it wouldn't start for Nathan either. We called AAA (AGAIN) and hoped they could give us some answers. The man who came told us after being there only 5 minutes that it was our fuel pump. We got the car towed to our apartment and decided we'd call around and see who could fix our car for a good price.
Bakersfield was OUTRAGEOUS!!! So, we called Tehachapi, and they quoted us an amazing price. My parents had a free 100 mile tow that they offered for us to use. Things were looking up.
There's more to this car story, but I'll come back to it after I share what happened in the midst of our car catastrophe.
On Thursday, we had our 20 week ultrasound to check on baby Levi. This ultrasound was to make sure everything is developing right and that he is healthy and on track with where he should be at 20 weeks. We haven't had any complications with Levi's pregnancy. Every time we go to the doctor, we leave with a good report. His heartbeat is fast. He looks absolutely adorable (I know, I am just a little partial), and honestly, this has been an easy pregnancy for Momma (thank You, Jesus!) We did schedule this appointment with a high risk ultrasound technician just to make sure Levi doesn't have cleft lip and pallet. We got to the ultrasound believing that everything would go as before and that we'd leave with a smile on our faces and a perfect report. Before I scare you too much, let me put a clause here that Levi is still doing great! However, the ultrasound technician that we saw just about scared us half to death. For starters, she was standing in the exact spot where her head was in front of the t.v. screen, so I didn't really even get to see my baby or understand what she was talking about. She checked Levi out extensively. What I could see was that he was moving around like crazy which always makes a momma's heart be more at rest. But, the ultrasound lady was not very sensitive. She made comments throughout the ultrasound time that terrified us. When she looked at Levi's heart, she said that she was looking for three different things. She saw two of them and was looking for the third thing still because of the angle he was positioned at. My heart sank. Was there something wrong with my baby? Shortly after this heart-stopping comment, she informed us that she found whatever she was looking for. "Oh good! Thank you for giving me a heart-attack in the meantime, though!" She mentioned one other thing that made us concerned. What I remember her saying was that she saw a dot on the ultrasound. She didn't explain very well what on earth she was talking about, but all of a sudden she mentioned that sometimes that dot is a sign of down syndrome. She told Nathan and me that it was probably nothing... that most of the time doctors freak out when they see it, but the technology is so high tech these days that sometimes things pop up that are pointless. Anyway, she proceeded to tell us that if I were 35 or older or had a history of down syndrome genetically that we should be more concerned, but since I'm only 22 it most likely is nothing to be concerned about. As you can see, we were left with major fear. I asked her before leaving this question: "From the ultrasound, do you see anything that we should be concerned about." This was her "comforting" answer, "No, but ultrasounds don't tell us everything."
That was our experience with this lady.
I left the doctor's office in tears that day. I wasn't comforted that everything was fine. I wasn't able to get my questions answered. I was just left with a lady who saw me as another number and went about her day after leaving Nathan and me fearing for our baby's life.
Since Thursday, we have researched a little further what this lovely lady shared with us. From everything we've found, most people react the same way my husband and I did... shear fear and panic. The good news is that not one of the stories we found said that there was anything wrong in the end whatsoever. We did end up having a blood test done to test for down syndrome, but we are thinking it's highly unlikely.
After that whole story, the car seemed like no big deal. We just wanted to know at that point that our little Levi was fine!
To sum up our week, the car ended up starting again when we went to have it towed to Tehachapi to get worked on. My dad was able to drive it on to the tow truck. You'd think it was wonderful that the car started again, but since it started, the mechanics are having a difficult time diagnosing the problem.They fixed something that they thought was wrong but found that it wasn't actually the problem after all. Now they have something else they're going to try, and we're hoping that'll solve it. The price has gone up astronomically, and we have hit the point of deciding that God is in control of our life's unexpected. We were stressing. Now, we're surrendering and trusting that God is going to get us through.
We will find out more about the car and the blood test results this coming week.
Please be praying for Nathan, me, and Baby Levi. God is bigger, and we're going to do what James 1:2-4 says: "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
Dear Heavenly Father,
It has been a difficult week and a half. We've been facing life's unexpected, and it's bigger than us. Lord, we've had a myriad of emotions, but at this particular point, You've brought us peace and have got us to the place where we're saying, "You are in control!" Thank You that You are. I pray that You'll work out the car problem details. I pray that You'll watch over Baby Levi and let his life be exactly as You've created his life to be. Help Nathan and I trust You more through these recent trials. In Jesus' Name.