This was a very difficult and challenging thing for me to write because I had so many challenges that I had to endure throughout my life. One of the most difficult and most challenging walks for me and my family started on August 13th1986. A day that you would want to remember, to a day that you did not want to remember.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you says the Lord, thoughts of peace not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
The Lord knows the beginning and the end! He will not give you more then you can take. These are words that I continually heard over and over and over. I heard them from friends, family,a nd the church. Words that after hearing so much and going through so much, these were words that I did not want to hear anymore. I thought God if this is what life is about do I even want to be here. All the pain that I went through throughout my life, the things that I had struggled with. Having to learn how to love, feel love and not always feeling a sense of gloom and doom and feeling of rejection.
Psalm 147:11 The Lord delights in those who fear him who put their hope in his unfailing love.
At the age of 19 I had my first child a son. As difficult as it was being parents at 19 we did the best that we knew how. We pretty much grew up with him. After so many challenges and struggles in my life, including our marriage especially at a young age, I was ready to end the marriage.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away, a time to rend and a time to sew, a time to keep silence and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
The Lord moves when we least expect. A man came into my husbands life and told him about a man that could bring peace and comfort to us and give us a better life. A good life! but mostly knowing that we could be saved from the things that were destroying us. It was God’s perfect timing because I was so bitter, angry and full of hate because of everything that I had been going through and had gone through. My heart was so cold.
My husband decided that he had enough and didn’t want to live the way we were living anymore. God’s perfect timing!
We were always told and were taught that if you have Jesus in your life nothing could go wrong and everything is perfect. At first and for sometime I wasn’t sure if I wanted to believe that our lives could be different in Christianity. I thought it was another trick to keep me in this marriage. I decided after talking with a few people that I would try and believe that this could be real and my life could be different with Jesus.
I got myself to a place in Christ after quite a few years where my battered, bruised and black and blue heart was being touched in away that no one can touch but Christ. He gave me a new heart and I could finally feel free from all the hurt,the pain, the unforgiveness. I was so happy because It took many years to forgive, to trust, and to feel love especially from our heavenly father.
Mark 12:30-The Lord our God is the one and only Lord and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.
Once I was able to understand that I was loved by my heavenly father then I was able to give love back. I had to believe that he loved me and would carry me through all things. I realize now that he was teaching me to trust in him because he knew the beginning, and the end.
Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning. “My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all my good pleasure.
He knows before we know. He was setting me up because I had to be at a place in my life to be able to have the strength for what was about to come.
I read the word, memorized scripture and had a better understanding of living. I learned through the word how to love and how to forgive. There was so much unforgiveness in my heart that even today I have to be careful.
Mark 11:22-26 teaches us that unforgiveness hinders our faith from working.
Just as Christ forgave me I had to forgive! No matter what or who was hurting me. I had to let go of all the bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness in order for me to be able to move on. I learned to guard my heart! During that time we tried and tried to have another baby. We stood on the word and believed that we would have a baby girl, we did.
The devil tried to take her at birth but we knew that God was in control…
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come so that we may have life in its fullest measure.
Today she is happily married and has given us a beautiful granddaughter. After our daughter was born we decided that we wanted to complete our family. It took about four years to get pregnant. Pregnancy and delivery with all my kids were not easy. I had complications with all three. Eight years between my first and second. We knew the third child would be the last.
We were so excited when we found out that we were having another baby. After all what could go wrong. We were stronger in the Lord, we were older, and a little more mature. We also had just started our own business. Everything couldn’t be better. Life was just wonderful!
During my pregnancy I didn’t feel right. Something was just telling me that the way I was feeling was not normal. This was by far the worse pregnancy, worse then the other two. I kept telling everyone including the doctor that something was wrong,. The answer I kept getting was you are just older. The baby is fine! I had a few ultra sounds all the tests came back fine. I knew in my heart something wasn’t right. I was so afraid to go to the hospital to deliver. I just knew something was wrong with the baby.
When it came time to deliver the doctor was goofing around with me and cracking jokes. Suddenly the room got completely quiet. You couldn’t hear a pin drop..
We knew this was not good. Before all this they had already decided to do a C-section because the baby would not turn and they thought something would go wrong because of her position. I thought at that moment Ok this is not that bad!
It came time for the doctor to take the baby out. The doctor pulled her by her legs and knew immediately that he crushed her legs and broke them. Not knowing that something was wrong and knowing that he had broken her legs, he gently placed her back down inside of me instead of pulling her completely out and breaking her more. He didn’t know why or what happened or how this could happen. He thought the baby was healthy and just as shocked as we were he was just as shocked along with everyone in the delivery room. No one was prepared for what our baby was born with.
A brittle bone disease (Osteogenesis Imperfecta)Osteo meaning bones, Genesis meaning in the beginning,(inUtero) Imperfecta meaning imperfect. She was also born with Hydrocephalus fluid build up in and around her brain. She had many deformities and was so brittle that we couldn’t touch or hold her. She was immediately taken to the ICU where she remained until we took her home. Had I delivered normally she would of died at birth.
We decided to take her home when I was released from the hospital because we felt if the doctor’s didn’t know anything and we didn’t know anything why leave her in a place where she would be by herself. She should be with us and we will take care of her. We brought her home and learned how to take care of her with only the guidance and the strength of the Lord.
Nehemiah 8:10 The Joy of the Lord is our strength!
Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my Strength and my Shield; my heart trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song will I praise him.
Her body was so broken when she was born. So many of her bones broke while in utero. She broke from just moving inside of me. She was so sick and in so much pain. Her head was so soft you felt like your hand could go right through it. She took everything out of me while I carried her inside of me. That was why I was feeling the way I did during my pregnancy.
Our lives went from being completely happy, hopeful to heartbreak and despair. We felt like there was no hope. We were devastated. Our hearts were broken. They told us she would not survive 10 days. She did survive those 10 days! After those 10 days passed they told us that she would not make it and would most likely die within the first year because she had the most severe type of this disease. She made it through the first year and Glory to God we are now about to celebrate her 30th birthday and we couldn’t be happier that she has made it this far.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways..
She is wheelchair bound, she weighs 36 pounds and is 25inches long. She cannot sit, stand, crawl, walk, or hold her head up. She lays completely flat on her back all day, everyday. She is on oxygen and has to be carried from room to room. She needs 24/7 care. She has had countless major surgeries and came through them all. The Lord has guided us and put the right doctor’s in place at the right time. We thought at the time how can this happen. We have the Lord this is not suppose to happen. I kept asking my husband after she was born. Did the Lord show you anything? Did he tell you anything? He said to me his Grace is sufficient!
2 Corinthians 12:9- But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you.
I said, “that’s it. His Grace is sufficient!” “That’s all,” he said!
I cried and cried and cried. I thought why God. Why now especially when everything seems to be going in the right direction. I felt like here was another set back, until I realized its not a set back because we are not going back we just have to adjust to a different way of living.
Mark 9:23 says “everything is possible for one who believes.
I spoke the word daily continuing to speak that God will make a way where there seems to be no way. He will make a way for me once again. We realized that things do happen in life, whether you have the Lord or not things happen. Not because you sinned or you don’t have Faith, it just happens.
It is how you go through your situation and how you come out that matters.
We had many decisions to make over the years. We had a new business that we just started we had two other kids to take care of. it was time for me to pull it together and be strong. I had to try to bring a positive attitude, try to keep peace in the house,help with running a business, take care of my daughter, take care of the everyday needs. Doctor appointments, hospital stays, even though my heart was hurting I needed to do what I needed to do as a wife, mother, caretaker, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, friend, aunt and now grandma.
I started to get more into the word, not looking to my husband for answers. I had to find my own way and my own answers in order for me to have the peace and the stability to carry on the tasks that I was called to do. My husband and my kids were my first priority especially Jackie.
It was time to start shaking somethings off and finding my way for things to somehow work for us and in our home.
I continued to quote scripture and speak life. This was the only way I knew how to keep going. To put my full trust in him. Believe me it wasn’t and isn’t easy to do…
Thirty years later and I am still speaking those scriptures and putting my complete trust in Him and in Him alone.
Even though its almost Thirty years I still have in the back of my mind is today going to be the day that she is going home to be with the Lord. This is why everyday needs to be cherished. I try to make the best of the situation and we try to laugh as much as we can. The Lord has blessed me with a daughter that in her own way has taught me more about life. She has the joy of the Lord even in her pain and suffering. She loves Him so much. She has her own little ministry and does things in her own way to try to reach people.
We had so many questions at the time of delivery and through the years. It wasn’t easy going to church and having Christian people say that we had sin in our life for this to have happened. When our daughter didn’t get a healing in the physical we were told we didn’t have enough faith.
So I was confessing and repenting for things just in case. I was repenting for things that I didn’t do just in case. This started to drive me crazy.
I thought God couldn’t be that cruel.
I have to believe that maybe sometimes in life things just happen to people.
I stopped listening to people and started to concentrate on today. Taking one day at a time. Learning that for us this was going to be our new normal.
No more guilt, no more feeling of hopelessness.
Continuing to quote Hebrews 11:1
NOW FAITH is the assurance(the confirmation, the title deed) of things we hope for,being the proof of things we donot see and the conviction of their reality (faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses).
I had to trust that the Lord loves us unconditionally and that somehow he would bring us through this. It hasn’t been an easy road to walk but having the love of the father gets me through this and what he has taught me has been amazing..
Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.
People always say I see you smile and laughing but how can you be smiling, you have every reason in the world to be mad at the world but your not. Only God can give you that peace and that joy. Only he can give you a merry heart.
He has given me the strength, the courage, the joy, the peace. I give all that back to her so she can fight to live and have the peace that passes all understanding, the joy (merry heart) and the security in him. That’s what she has done for almost 30 years now. Standing on the word and speaking the word claiming “The Joy of the Lord is our (her) strength”!
Jacqueline Ioami is my daughter’s name. Ioami means made whole. We believed that no matter what today brings we will see her made whole one day.
The Lord placed her in our arms so we may feel the pain of others. Her body may break and we hear her bones break physically. I see the pain she is in continually. I see what her body goes through on a daily basis. Taking care of her daily my eyes were opened more and more and I was able to see how broken I was as a person. In that brokenness’
I was able to let the Lord touch me and heal me so I would be able to feel the pain and brokenness in others.
All these years he has touched my heart more and more and has taught me what it means to be humble. To feel the pain of other’s, to be more compassionate towards others. I try to understand the pain that people feel everyday.
There are a lot of hurting people and it only takes a compassionate heart to feel their pain.
Without HOPE I would not be able to get through each day.
BY having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints.
1 Corinthians 10
But by grace (the unmerited favor and blessing) of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not (found to be) for nothing(fruitless and without effect). In fact, I worked harder than all of them (the apostles),though it was not really I, but the grace (the unmerited favor and blessing) of God which was with me.
From my HEART to YOURS! BREATH HOPE
Every life matters every minute of every day.
Shellie Would Love To Encourage You! You Can Reach Her Here: Shellie Yafanaro