Saturday, March 21, 2009

Denise's magazine article


Our church is doing a series about encounters with God. One of the pastors asked Denise to write an article reflecting on her experience for inclusion in the March/April/May 2009 issue of Seasons, our church's newsmagazine. The article's title seemed to focus more on me as the blogger, and the article mixed portions of what Denise wrote with some of what I typed on the blog. Here's a link to the pdf of the magazine (article is on page 14). Following is Denise's entire article that she wrote herself:

Since becoming a mom I have faced some of the most emotionally trying times of my life. Sometimes there have been more toils and snares than I thought imaginable but yet I have had more tremendous joy from being a mom. My experience has been a lesson of letting go and giving my pride, my expectations, and my emotions up to God. Surrendering all these things day by day is a process, and I don't have it perfected. I have been refined many times by fire but I still need refining. I am in pursuit of God's perfect plan for me. We can only speculate on why God allows some things to happen to us. We as believers know that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him (Rom. 8:28). He brings light into our darkness, faith to our disbelief, and restores joy to our broken hearts.
I grew up the oldest of three girls and a perfectionist by nature. If I wasn't good at something the first few times I rarely tried it again. As a young women I was told that I would be a terrific mom. I had helped my mom and dad raise my youngest sister who is twelve years younger and who still calls me “Mom” on occasion. I was energetic, patient, and loved kids.
In 1997, I was married to my college sweetheart. He was great with kids, a comedian and a grade school computer teacher. We had our first child, Gracie, in 2001. I had fears about being a mom. The learning curve is so steep for first time moms. Due to circumstances beyond my control, at two weeks old, Gracie ended up in the NICU at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. We were there for two weeks, which seemed like an eternity. I was deeply depressed. I blamed myself for what happened to Gracie. I told God at that point that I would take my life if she didn't make it. Gratefully, we both survived this incident but I still could not let go of my guilt. I was also mourning the fact that my mothering experience was not perfect like I had imagined it would be. It wasn't until the day of Gracie's first birthday that I was able to give her and my experience over to God. I felt that I was finally able to receive healing.
In 2004 I had my son Jacob. He was named by Gracie, who was two and a half at the time. My early experience with him restored my confidence in my abilities as a mom. It helped that Gracie loved her brother and was a such a big helper.
In July of 2005 I was six months pregnant with our third child, Daniel. He looked as if he was going to be another big healthy baby. One night I woke up with itchy hands and feet. The next morning I had a rash on my forearms. I started having high fevers as the day progressed. On July 18th I was admitted to Arcadia Methodist Hospital. This was the beginning of an 8 1/2 month hospital stay, and I almost died. I was diagnosed with disseminated coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever) with meningitis, the version of the disease most likely to end in death. It's contracted from inhaling a fungal spore that lies in the soil found in California's central valley, where I had been visiting my parents. I was put into a medically induced coma for three months. During that time I delivered Daniel. He was stillborn. When I awoke from the coma I realized I had lost our son, I could not use my limbs, my muscles had atrophied, I had a feeding tube, and I could not speak because I had a tracheotomy and was on a ventilator. And it was at that point that I asked God to restore my health or take me home to Him. He decided to restore my health. On March 30th 2006 I went home to my family.
Years before this happened I had asked God for a testimony. I wanted to do more for the Kingdom because nothing I did on my own seemed to be enough, I had asked God to use me as His handmaid (Luke 1:38), trusting that He would give me the strength for the task.
My husband wrote a blog while I was hospitalized. It touched many people locally and abroad. While I was incapacitated God was using me for His Kingdom. The apostle Paul said that through his weakness, the Lord's strength is make perfect (2 Cor. 12:7-10). I am grateful to my loving Father that He chose to heal me and use my life to show His glory. And I am also grateful to the body of Christ that prayed for me. If you would like to see the full story and a slide show of my recovery please visit pullingfordenise.blogspot.com.

5 Comments:

Anonymous CAROL BERGLUND said...

HI DENISE - YOU PROBABLY DON'T REMEMBER ME; OUR SON, AJ WAS A STUDENT AT PCS DURING YOUR INITIAL HOSPITAL STAY, AND A STUDENT SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY, OF PHIL'S. READING YOUR ARTICLE TODAY GAVE ME CHILLS AND BROUGHT TEARS OF JOY. I THINK OF YOU OFTEN. CONTINUE THOSE WORK OUTS AT THE GYM ! ! ! ! CAROL BERGLUND

April 24, 2009 9:09 PM  
Blogger aznativgrl said...

I just lost my mom last October to VF desiminated cocci. As a family member, I know what your family went through. Thank God you are still here.

May 28, 2009 11:04 PM  
Blogger will said...

Hi, I am wondering about your valley fever? I have been sick with VF for almost 6 years now. I started the Wooster Health and Valley Fever Corporation and am trying to get that going. I have many questions but if you could help I would so appreciate it. It is so hard to find other people who have had this experience or a doctor that understands your problems.
Basically I have had a lot of vision problems with the VF, and although when my vision problems first started they did a CT scan of my brain, they did not see anything. I am curious if you VF was always visible, or if it was ever unoticeable besides the Titer. Also in the lungs. My lungs have so much what I call "Junk" in them, but in my x-rays there is just one simple scar or spot. Also if you have had any spinal issues. My spine has pain in several different areas when pushed on. And of course I am sooooo tired all the time, pain in my joints, and so on.
Thank You for any info.

October 17, 2009 9:42 PM  
Blogger will said...

my email is will_wooster@hotmail.com forgot to post that along with it.

October 17, 2009 9:43 PM  
Blogger will said...

OH OH, another question I have. What medication do they have you on? and what medication was most useful to you? I have been on Diflucan. It seems to work ok and I don't seem to have side effects, but I am curious if there is a better drug? thanks again.

October 17, 2009 10:04 PM  

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