Thursday, August 12, 2010


I've been thinking.  What makes a person have the initial reaction that I did to the news of a pregnancy?  I don't think I have the complete answer, but I think I have part of the answer - for me, anyway.

I was told to go to hospital records, I should find the information I was seeking there.  A friend offered to go with me, but my goodness, I was an adult - if I couldn't do this by myself then should I even be going?  So, I set out on my mission.  I took a turn down a hospital corridor - suddenly something looked familiar, and I was ten years old again.  I had been at this hospital on several occasions.  I had two babies here, but all my time was spent in the new wing.  This wing was old, and for a minute, you couldn't have convinced me that it wasn't 1985.

I shook it off and kept going.  I walked into this office that had files literally from floor to ceiling.  The lady asked what I needed.  I told her my doctor wanted to see the medical records for my mother.  The lady smirked and asked me when she was in the hospital.  I told her that it was in 1985.  She replied, "Well, if she hasn't been back in this hospital since then, we probably don't have them.  Do you know if she's been back here since then?"  She did not want to help me, and it was evident in her tone and her body language.  So, I looked back at her with hot tears in my eyes, and said, "No she hasn't been back, she's dead, and she died in this hospital, so I just figured you would have her medical records here."

The lady did have a heart, and it softened after she saw that I was upset; however, I did not find what I was looking for that day.  I was approaching 30, and I had shared with my doctor about my mom's untimely death at the age of 38.  She had a heart attack due to blocked arteries.  In 1985 doctors didn't know that heart disease was the number one killer of women.  She had been to the doctor on several occasions, but they just didn't think to check her heart.  My doctor said he would like to see her medical records to see if there was anything more we should be doing to be proactive in my own health care.  I had also determined that I would be around to raise my girls.  I was going to do everything in my power to see them into and past adulthood.

This is a story for another blog, but losing my mom was the single-most difficult experience I have ever had.  I knew how much she loved me, and how much she wanted for me.  No child should ever have to lose a parent.  At first I found comfort when people would say, "It was God's plan."  Truly how I feel is it was the absolute opposite of God's plan.  God's plan is life!  My mom's heart was diseased and this is not what God wanted for her.  I  do believe that what Satan means to harm us, God uses for our good.

Fast forward a couple of years to my pregnancy with Asa.  He was born on July 27, 2004.  This was 19 years to the day that my mom died.   "The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21  On this day, the Lord turned my mourning to dancing.  No longer would this day be a day of sadness.  He took my mom to be with Him on this day, and in return he gave me this little blessing we call Asa. 

To our surprise, Asa had to go to the NICU, where he stayed for a week.  He was the biggest baby in there, weighing 9 pounds and 14 ounces (and he was a week early!).  The doctors and nurses were excellent.  They asked me a lot about family history, and I shared with them my story - I included the medical records part.  They were truly concerned for me, and they took excellent care of Asa!  During our stay I remember how hard it was on the girls to not be able to stay with us.  This was the first time I decided 3 kids would be enough for us.  If one was sick, it affected the whole family.  Asa was released the next week after he had been treated for pneumonia.  The next week I got an unexpected Fedex delivery.  It was from the Head Nurse of the NICU.  I opened it to find the medical records for Sylvia E. Bearden.

I read the records and cried, not for me this time, but for my step dad.  My little brother was 10 months old when my mom died.  She had been in a coma for over a month before she died.  I couldn't imagine having to make all the decisions that he had to make, and then losing the lady he loved so much.  Once again, I decided I would not do this to the people I loved, so I had to be aware of my health. I know ultimately I don't have complete control over this, but I am determined to take my health seriously, and to do my part.

We celebrated Sydney's 10th birthday this year.  That was my last birthday I got to share with my mom.  We've also reached a huge milestone.  I told Randy, "Sydney has started fifth grade, and I'm here with her!"  He didn't understand the depth to that statement at first, but it is huge to me.  I am praising Jesus for the days he's given me with my children, and for all the days that are to come.  Maybe this explains a little of why my reaction was as it was.  My mom was 36 when she found out she was pregnant, and I am 35. 

I know the Lord will work all things together for His good.  I believe this, but sometimes our past experiences can make us gun-shy.  The truth is we don't have to repeat the past.  The Lord makes all things new.  For me, there are times when I revert back to that hurt little girl. I even see things through her scared little eyes, sometimes.  For a moment, or a month, I may forget that I know more than hurt.  I know life, and life abundantly!  I know laughter and love.  I know blessings upon blessings that the Lord has chosen to give me.  So, why would I have the initial reaction that I did?  I still haven't figured it out completely, but 1985 will always be in the back of my mind.  I have to choose to live in today, and plan for tomorrow.  1985 was a time in my life that would forever change me, but it is not who I am.  I am eternal because my Jesus made a way for me.  He has given me freedom to live.  I just have to choose it daily. 

I'm sure most of you have a 1985.  It may not be a year, or a circumstance like mine.  It is whatever keeps haunting you, that thing that creeps back up and causes you to worry when you know you shouldn't.  If there is anything in your life that is unconfessed sin, take care of it.  The only one Whose forgiveness you need is the only One who hung on a cross and died because He loved YOU so much that He just couldn't live another day if it would mean you would have to die.  He has made a way for you to live forever!  Maybe you're like me and you just let things eat up your joy because of past circumstances that have affected your life.  He conquered our worries on the cross, too.  I have no excuse for my initial reaction except that I was flat out scared to death of what a pregnancy meant for me at my age.  However, I am only human - and so are you.  Let's not waste time beating ourselves up, but just hold on to our freedom that we have in Christ!  The rest we can lay upon Him and just trust that He will see us through!  I'm praying for you, friends!




  1. Oh my goodness, I have cried my eyes out! That takes me back to 6th grade when you told me the whole story about your mom. My friend, I have been heart broken for you since that day. I cannot imagine going through what you have been through. I can't imagine the pain, the questions, the hurt. I am so thankful our paths crossed all those years (and talent shows) ago. What a blessing you have been to me!!

  2. Tracy, thanks for being my friend for all these years! You have kept me laughing no matter what the circumstance. :) I love you!

  3. What a blessing to read what's on your heart. You always seem to know hat to share and how to make faith so real and relevant. I am there with you, girl watching my son start school, seeing my babies, feeling my age. Thanks for the encouragement. I needed that and am praying that God sustains your energy and positive attitude throughout your pregnancy.

  4. I knew every detail in this post, had heard it first hand and was the friend on the phone the day you were at the hospital looking for records and yet I had not calculated all of these things together to see the effect it could have on your response to your new blessing or more importantly the anxiety attacks you have been experiencing. I love you so much and have missed you so much. Your 1985 has been impacting folks for a long time in the most positive ways. It has always given me perspective with not only my own mother but as a mother. Thank you for being who you are. I am so looking forward to meeting this newest blessing and to supporting you through the experience. I love you, no matter.

  5. Mrs. C, thanks for sharing your story..and your encouragement! I'm so thankful for your friendship! :)
    Committed, wow! That was such a horrible day, and I'm so glad you were on the other end of the line on that day!!!! I think I'm just starting to put it all together too. I'm trying this new thing called self-counseling. :) It's very introspective, and actually I have to depend on the Holy Spirit to guide me through all the steps.
    Thank you for your friendship, and all the encouragement you have given over ALL these YEARS! Love you!

  6. Ashley, I know this must be a hurt that you have to handle and re-handle over and over again more often than you would like. Know that there are many who are praying for you and this wonderful gift of life inside you. You are very precious.

  7. I'll never forget flipping through photos in your room while in high school and you telling me "your story". It was amazing to me that someone who had faced such unimaginable grief could be such a happy person. Ashley, you have allowed the Lord to use your loss for His glory and satan definitely did not win that battle. You are, and always have been, such an encouragement, full of joy and happiness, love and kindness, patience and peace! One would never know by your actions that you had faced such heartbreak in your life. That is what makes you you, the Holy Spirit has conquered what is not possible for earthly flesh to conquer on it's own. Now, again, your life has been changed in an unexpected way, but I have no doubt that God is using this precious baby for His glory and I am excited to see His plans revealed. Thank you for your honesty and for continuing to be such an incredible inspiration to everyone who is blessed enough to know you!

  8. Oh, Ash! Your words were precious to my heart! You were such a fun friend to me - how could I not have been happy? My friends have always been such an important part of my life. I know you are right about the Holy Spirit working things out for me. I also know that Jesus knew I would need good friends in my life. He has truly blessed me with precious relationships, yours included. Thank you for being my friend, and still loving me after all these years! :)