As I blew out the candles on my 25th birthday cake, I was ready for a change to take place in my life. On that hot July day, my birthday wish was simple: Use me, God.
In the months that followed my birthday, change did begin to happen. First I began my blog, The Uncontainable Truth, based on Matthew 5:17, which challenged me to let my light shine. In early November, I made the decision to quit my job so I could spend more time writing and at Thanksgiving I discovered that I was pregnant. In January, at our first ultrasound appointment, my husband and I were shocked to find out we were having twins. Soon we learned that we were having identical twin girls, and began to plan for their delivery in late July.
In April, around week 27 of my pregnancy, I woke up with a sharp pain in my stomach. My husband rushed me to the hospital and within minutes we discovered that I was fully dilated. I was quickly wheeled into surgery and our girls were born weighing two pounds each. Not a cry was heard as they were rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Later that day we learned that both girls were in a very critical state because of their premature birth. Time crept by ever so slowly in the days that followed. Due to their constant battle with infections, we were only permitted to touch our girls through their incubators. It wasn’t until they had been in the NICU for a month that we were able to hold them in our arms for the very first time.
As our tiny babies desperately fought for their lives, Satan cornered me in the dark places of my mind. We were on a roller-coaster ride and the only thing that kept me on track was my faith. Over the course of our 83 days in the NICU, I began to see light through the darkness. I realized that if I gave my worry, fears, and shame to Jesus that he would replace them with peace, hope, and love. I began to understand that God was using our sufferings to glorify his name as we shared our journey through the blog.
After three extremely long months, our girls were healthy enough to leave the NICU. Through God’s perfect timing, we were able to bring them home on my 26th birthday, exactly one year after I whispered to God the desires of my heart.
Our NICU experience showed me the power of the Holy Spirit and how to free myself from Satan’s stronghold in order to hold on to the truth spoken by Christ. Psalm 18:22 beautifully says, “But the LORD watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine. We put our hope in the LORD. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, LORD, for our hope is in you alone.”
I had asked God for a year of change, and as I happily blew out my twenty-six candles, I knew my birthday wish had been granted.