So much has happened since the last time I wrote on our blog back in February of 2014. With a little time spent on here, I’m going to attempt an extended testimony and update on my little family.
In August of 2014, Matt, Ethan and I made our first move as a family to Elizabethtown, KY. Our goal was to be more central to our church region for easier access to all of our churches, as we were acting youth coordinators for seven states. Our second goal was to be able to study and learn along side our regional overseer, Brother Estep and his wife, the work of a pastor.
They say life is what happens while you’re making plans. And life is exactly what happened. When we arrived to Elizabethtown, everything appeared to be fine. We were settling into our house nicely, our new church family was absolutely wonderful, Matt started a job at Aarons, and we were okay.
After some time passed, we discovered that Matt didn’t like nor was he very good at being a salesmen. And thus, he moved on looking for a better job that suited him more. He eventually found one, working as office manager for a church in the area. He immediately fell in love with the job and thouroughly enjoyed going in to work. Once again, all was well.
Come November, we went back home to Sturgis, Ky for Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful visit with Matts family. At the end of our visit, Matts parents, Matt and I all came down with what was diagnosed for Matt and I as bronchitis. Ethan also had a double ear infection. The week following our sickness, we were all really weak in body, but otherwise over what we had. It had been raining quite a bit and our backyard was rather muddy. We would normally pull our van up and to the back door, but because of all the rain, I was sure to tell Matt to make sure not to park there until after the ground dried up. Nevertheless, he parked there. Silly man. It’s okay though, we was only sitting there for about thirty minutes. Just long enough for Ethan and I to get ready to go out with Matt. We all got in the van and to no surprise… we were stuck. Eventually we got out, but not until after Matt attempted to push the van out of the rut we created. He then hurt his back trying to get us out. Don’t forget, his body was already fatigue from being sick. The next couple of days, his back just got worse to where he couldn’t even get out of bed. We made a trip to the ER, where we discovered he had a bone spur in his neck, as well as arthritis in his shoulders. Sent him home for rest with some mild pain reliever and muscle relaxers.
The next few days seemed to feel like weeks, and when I look back on all of the events that took place, I promise it felt lke months had passed between all of the things Matts body endured. He was able to go back to work, and was blessed enough to have such wonderful people that understood and kept paying him even for the time he was unable to go in. I’m still so thankful for them.
Matt was still in quite a bit of pain, and eventually, just couldn’t get out of bed without hurting. At some point he called out to me and we took him back to the ER. He ended up with a pretty bad bladder infection. They put him on antibiotics and sent us home.
Now for those of you who aren’t aware, Matt suffers from gout. Has since highschool. He gets pretty bad flare ups in his ankles and hands. That being said, one of the side effects of the antibiotics he was placed on was water retension… specifically in the ankles! Nevertheless, his gout in his left ankle flared up so badly, that walking was out of the question, because it caused to much pain for him. So he laid in bed as we tried to allow his body to heal itself.
Come Christmas time, we was still suffering from the gout in his ankle, but with the help of a walking stick was able to get around some. We packed up and headed to Oklahoma to be with my parents for Christmas. While we were there, Matt was still quite sore, but better. One morning, I was sitting in my parents living room while Matt showered and all of a sudden I was scared clean out of the recliner when I heard a big CRASH from the bathroom. Matt yelled out and I didn’t know what had happened. When I found him, he had fallen trying to get out of the shower and had landed on his left ankle. My husband played football. When you see him, he isn’t a small guy. Not saying he is fat by any means… but he isn’t somebody you would look at and want to mess with. He is 6 feet 5 inches tall on top of that. So all of his weight, on the ankle that was already hurting.
I tried to get him to go to the ER, but he insisted he was fine. At the end of our visit his ankle was swollen and even more sore. We went home. A few days after we got home, the pain and swelling in Matts ankle was so intense that he finally gave in to a visit to the ER. His ankle was not broken, just severely sprained. They placed a splint on his ankle and sent us home with crutches.
By the way, all of these visits to the ER since November would have been completely exhausting if it wasn’t for our wonderful Pastor and his wife who graciously took Ethan home with them several times. I really don’t know what I would have done without them.
At some point after we got home from Oklahoma, Matt lost all of his strength and was unable to walk completely, as well as lift himself off of the couch or bed. We ended up borrowing a wheelchair just so Matt could get around the house… but even that was difficult, because he eventually couldn’t even get in and out of it. Something was very wrong, we just didn’t know what.
One night Matt was complaining about chest pains and shortness of breath. Felt his heart was skipping. Because of this fact and because I couldn’t get him into the van on my own, we called an ambulance. Which was frustrating since we only lived a few blocks from the ER. He was taken by ambulance to the ER and Ethan and I followed behind in the van. After sitting in the hospital ER room for 12 hours, they were unable to find any cause for his chest pains. His EKG came back normal. The only thing that they could find, were abnormal levels in his blood indicating that there could be a blood clot somewhere in his leg that he fell on. But with further testing, they were unable to find one. We were sent home.
He still wasn’t getting better, and for a mother of a 1 year old and a husband that couldn’t take care of himself.. I was overwhelmed and finally… reached out for help. Our pastor came late one night and put Matt in the van. We loaded up our suitcases and went home to Sturgis.
When we got to my inlaws home about 11pm, my father in law was waiting for us, and my mother in law took Ethan while Matts dad, Matt and I drove to Henderson, Ky hospital. Would you believe we weren’t there for two hours and they already found the cause of his problems!? He was admitted with a blod clot that had traveled from his left leg, to his lungs. I don’t even like thinking about what would have happened had we waited any longer. We were in the hospital for eight days. He was placed on blood thinners. We were sent home. Still unable to care for himself, we stayed with Matts parents. The plan was, to stay with them until Matt was able to get around. Eventually, he was able to walk again, but not real well until about the first week or so of March. In this time, I had gone back to Elizabethtown and completely packed up all of our things and with the help of several wonderful ladies from Elizabethtown, moved all of our things, IN THE SNOW, to a storage unit in Elizabethtown. I also began working second shift for an assisted living facility. I remember crying everytime I had to leave my boys. Not that I didn’t think they weren’t being taken care of… but for the last couple of months, I had done everything for them, and all of a sudden, I was getting much needed help, but still quite overwhelmed. I hated leaving them, but I knew they were in good hands, and that what I was doing was still helping my little family.
So March came, and Matt and I began discussing our future. Our whole perspecitive on life as we knew it had changed. We knew we didn’t want our family to struggle anymore. To make this part of the story a little shorter, we made the decision to pack up what we had at Matts parents house, and move to Oklahoma. We would eventually be back for our stuff in storage.
So off we went. Matts health only got better from here. He started working again and things were finally turning around for us.
Now that wasn’t the end of our struggles by any means, but the worst was over. Then came June. We were living in a studio apartment attatched to my sisters house. Very thankful for the roof over our heads and trying very hard to somehow come up with enough funds each month to afford to live in Tulsa, OK on our own. But the end of June came, and I knew something wasn’t right. I went to my sister and asked for a pregnancy test strip. I snuck this test into our little bathroom in the middle of the afternoon… and as those lines showed up on the edge of the bathtub… my heart stopped. All of a sudden I couldn’t breath and I had no idea what to do. I went to my sister and reluctantly pulled out the test strip from my back pocket. What do I do? Do I wait to tell Matt, or do I tell him now? Ethan hung out with my sister and his cousins, while I went and sat down with Matt. I cried… he asked what was wrong. I spilled my guts, and he laughed! I was so taken back by his reaction that I started laughing and crying at the same time!
Not knowing where this road would lead or if we would even be in our own house before the new baby came, our excitement has grown over time.
Now I write this from our very own home that we bought from my cousin and his wife in December of 2015. I am currently 30 weeks pregnant and our BABY GIRL is scheduled to arrive by c-section on March 22nd. WOW! After all of the valleys my family has come through… never would I have seen us here in this moment.
I am truly blessed and completely overwhelmed by the love and grace and mercy that God has bestowed upon my family. Never in any of our plans for the future did we think we would endure all we did after only three years of marriage. So close to losing the love of my life that I spent forever and a day looking for! So close to losing the father of my baby boy and being stuck in life without my best friend.
I got so angry at times, and other times I just wanted to walk away bceause I didn’t feel strong enough. The devil fought us from every angle and I felt stripped of my joy. I can honestly say though, with the battles we fought and came through… there’s nothing the devil can throw at us now. Because I can look back and see all that GOD brought us thru and know that He won’t forsake us. Not ever. Even in our weakness He is strong for me. Even when we are unfaithful, He is always faithful.
I’ve debated whether or not to share the details of the last year publicly, but then I wondered, what if somebody else right now, is going through the same thing and needs reassurance that GOD is GOD and He is faithful. What if somebody needs to hear that despite the trials we face and the descisions we feel are being made for us by life, that God is still watching and even though in the middle of the storm, you might not be able to look up and see blue skies, behind those stormy clouds is a blue sky and a faithful, loving, patient Father in heaven who sees the whole picture. And he holds it all in his steady hands.
Still the wife of a very handsome, hard working, healthy, loving man. Still the mother to a crazy wild two year old and soon to be little girl. So blessed.
My cup surely runneth over.
- Denise Wright