When you discharge from the military, they do a screening of your health records. They make sure you are leaving the military healthy and taken care of. I recall it like it was yesterday, the corpsman said “Where is your biopsy from 2007 and 2008?” I had a blank stare I’m sure. I knew nothing of a biopsy. All I knew was Biopsy means a possibility of cancer.
I’ve had female reproductive issues since I was a teen. Ovarian cysts and HPV in my early 20s. Most people actually have HPV but not very many have the kind that leads to cancer and other complications. They rushed me through a process of testing and threatened that I may not be able to discharge on time. This was my worst fear, I was already enrolled at a University and was anticipating taking my well deserve terminal leave. First I had to have a Colposcopic biopsy, that didn’t work as planned so then I had to have a Endocervical curettage, this is a procedure where they scrap (cringe) to remove the tissue that appears to be precancerous. I was diagnosed with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 3 which is severe dysplasia. This is the most severe of pre-cervical cancer. All of the tissue was removed and I was discharged but had to follow up at the VA hospital. I intentionally stopped following up. I just decided that If I had cancer God was punishing me.
My thought process obviously wasn’t the best, not only because God doesn’t punish for mistakes in life after you seek forgiveness but also I shouldn’t have neglected my health. I in the back of my head for 4 years knew I could be very sick, but I didn’t check. When you have these abnormalities you’re supposed to get your annual exam twice as often, I didn’t. I just knew that my chances of having children after 6 years of issues was less than 30% of a healthy women. I feel into lifestyle I’m not proud of. Sex, partying, looking for and acceptance all in the wrong places. You see, the military to civilian transition is tough. I went from feeling important and successful to waitress and college student where people yelled me at over french fries and I could work a 10 hour shift but leave with less than $50. I regretted getting out of the Navy and financially could not keep up. I was hardly treading water. When my utilities would shut off, I would go hang out with my homeless friends in Norfolk and let them serve up a slice of humble pie, a few times I stayed for days and even a week.
All I really wanted was a chance to prove to myself that I can be better than my own mother, I felt like that was taken from me. I also wanted to prove to her I was worth keeping since she easily gave me away at 6 to my dad. Was that the best possible situation for me? YES. But did it hurt and still does? YES.
Fast forward 2.5 years, I am dating this fantastic guy. He was seriously an answer to prayer (by many I’m sure 😉 ) Just a few months into our relationship, I found out I was pregnant. Total devastation. What will my Christian friends think of me? My super conservative University? The many young women that have told me they look up to me over the years of serving in the fight against sex trafficking? Well, sure enough many dropped out of my life. That’s okay. I spent my first month of pregnancy depressed, confused and DREADING the first exam in the doctors office because I was so positive they would find cancer or something terrifying. They found nothing. Not a single hint of dysplasia, no cysts… everything was great.
My pregnancy was rough to say the least. Diabetes (found out I was diabetic 3 months before I found out I was pregnant), high blood pressure, pre-term labor, and eventually forced to have a c-section. I knew God was answering my prayer. I knew that He was giving me a gift and that I was not to live that life anymore. I needed to get my health on track, I needed to continue serving others, and I needed to hold up my end of the deal. See, I prayed and prayed for God to allow me to have a child one day. Only one, that’s all I asked for. I promised Him that I would be an example to serve Him and dedicate the baby’s life to service. In 1 Samuel 1 there’s a story of Hannah. Where she promised the Lord the very same thing. I never read this chapter until I was pregnant. It gave me such peace…. I stopped worrying. I felt thankful instead of terrified. Just once verse in the passage says, “I prayed for this child, and God gave me what I asked for. And now I have dedicated him to God. He’s dedicated to God for life”.
Since Evelyn has been born, I have taken her with me to serve. She has been to a low income single mom/ teen mom non-profit, she has delivery diapers and formula to struggling moms. She has went with me to deliver toys to children and today she will go with me drop off Christmas toys and gifts to a few families and a few other places. Does she yet it? Nope. She has no clue what we are doing but I am documenting it and emailing it to her email I sent up for her while pregnant where I write her emails and send her photos and videos.
I want inspire other parents to teach their children from a young age to have a servants heart and be grateful for all they have. We will eventually together sort through her things and donate to kids. We will continue to coupon and use that gifting to donate and help others also. I realize these choices aren’t for everyone. I understand that people think It’s stupid because she is a baby but that’s okay.
Life is good, I am Blessed. I finished my degree, work is flowing in, and my health is improving daily. My diabetes is nearly gone, my health is improving, financially things are better and actually have savings with her own account.
She is my miracle, she is my answer to pray, and against the odds she is here and daily motivation to better myself.
Merry CHRISTmas everyone.