A new year is upon us. The last two have have been incredibly depressing, demoralizing, and down right hurtful. We have all tried to make the best of it and live a symbolance of “normal” in some ways, but is that truly ever possible again?

We have lost icons, favorite hang out spots, the ability to hang out, friends and loved ones, moments that can never be had again… the list goes on and on. It is all so overwhelming and inconceivable.

So, the world didn’t magically change at midnight on December 31, 2021. Nothing actually changed. Our freedoms are still infringed. Our loved ones are still gone. Our missed memories will never return. We can’t get any of that back, ever.

Personally, I would love the opportunity to talk to someone who has lived long enough to have survived the Spanish flu. I would ask them questions like “how did you cope with the isolation?”, “how did you deal with losing your freedoms and rights to choose for yourself what was in your best interest and that of your family?”, “how did you survive the losses of friends and loved ones?”… but mostly I would ask “how did you heal?”, “how did you recover?”, and “what should we be doing now to start that process for ourselves?”.

This pandemic is far from over and the continued losses will be inconceivable. We are divided as a nation, community, and family over the whole vaccination issue. Segregated by a needle stick. Ostracized over a common cold with a cough. We are lost and meandering along just trying to find a foothold in this new world that will never again be the same.

This is a time of morning for all that we have lost and a beginning for how we will be remembered by future generations for the lessons we teach about navigating the world of pandemic. How do we proceed? What is truly important at this moment in time? Who really knows anymore?

My plan… just move forward one day at a time and try to make today a little better than yesterday was. One foot in front of the other with my head held high.

Aho. Thanks for listening.

Moving on…

One year ago today I felt like my whole world crashed. One year ago today I woke up to realize I was losing my daughter. Savanah MeaDean was born too early on my birthday. One year ago…. today….

Since that time I have felt like she left a hole in my heart. I have been angry, sad, depressed, and confused. It has been a long difficult year.

Today, as I reflect on the past year I realize she didn’t leave a hole that can’t be filled…. she made my heart bigger to make room to love more.

Savanah will always be a part of my heart, but today it is time for her to rest and keep the ancestor company. Today it is time to live again… so this year I will spend the year remembering how to be happy and to love.

Savanah MeaDean

On Mother’s Day, May 10, 1998, Daniel Walters came into my life and made me a mother. I have loved him with all my heart since that day. He is now a grown man that I am very proud of.  I hope he knows that.

Even with the best son a mother could ask for, I have always wanted more children. In January of 2019 I found myself in the ER in severe abdominal pain.  Imagine my shock when the nurse said “I am guessing you didn’t know you were pregnant…. well, you are having a miscarriage.”  I was about 4 to 6 weeks pregnant at the time and hadn’t known it when I fell down really hard in the snow.  Anyone can imagine it was a shock, but I recovered rather easily because I never had time to get used to the idea of being pregnant.  I honestly didn’t even think it was a possibility anymore.  Rob had told me we could try again when the doctor said it was safe… um, we weren’t “trying” in the first place!

Fast forward to March, 2020….  I again ended up in the ER in severe abdominal pain.  Turns out I was having issues with my Gall Bladder.  I also found out they were not going to do anything about it because I was pregnant.  Needless to say, I was excited beyond belief.  Rob was scared we were too old to be parents and he was worried about complications… but I was excited.  Then came the complications.

At about 9 weeks pregnant, I learned a new term: subchurionic hemorrhage.  This is a “bruise” that forms on the outside of the placenta during implantation.  Nobody knows why and research is limited.  Many times the body reabsorbs the blood and everything is fine.  Sometimes the expectant mother experiences bleeding.  There is no way to predict the outcome of this situation.  If the condition results in bleeding, it is a lot like your water breaking, only blood.  It is terrifying.  I know because this is what I experienced.  I ended up in the ER several times for this type of bleeding.  Each time, my doctor said there was no way to know the outcome.  She said “It’s in God’s hands and all you can do is pray”.  Believe me, I did.  Early in the morning of May 24, I called my mom to take me to the ER.  I had again been bleeding and I fealt different.  This time there was pain and I was passing blood clots more often.  I was scared.

We got to the hospital around 4:00 am.  The doctors did an ultrasound and bloodwork.  My baby girl had a heartbeat of 160 and “happy movements” according to the doctor.  Around 8:00 am, another doctor repeated the ultrasound procedure.  My baby girl had a heart rate of 152 and still had movement.  They sent me home with instructions to follow up with my OB doctor on Tuesday since Monday was a holiday.

Around 9:00 am the next day, my life changed.  My baby girl who only hours ago had a healthy heartbeat and “happy movements” was gone.  On May 25, 2020 (my 42nd birthday), I had a miscarriage.  I had to be taken to the ER in an ambulance because she did not come all the way out and my iron levels started to crash from blood loss.  After she was “delivered” at only 15 weeks, I had to have a D&C.  Needless to say, I was traumatized.

I know I had no business being pregnant at 42 years old.  Who wakes up and says “this is a good idea”?  But never the less… my baby girl had a heartbeat that I felt.  She was a part of me, and always will be.

As part of the healing process, my parents helped me work with the local funeral home to have her cremated.  We had a beautiful small ceremony with just my parents and me.  I said good bye to my baby girl.  Her ashes now lay in a small urn in my room at my parents house where I am recovering.  Each night I kiss her urn good night and each morning I hug her… and every moment in between, I miss her.  You see, I was only 15 weeks, but she has a name.  Her name is Savanah MeaDean.

I was feeling confused as I struggled with asking myself if I want to try again or not.  I mean, I literally almost died from the iron crash, but I also feel so empty and alone, no matter how much people around me try to make sure I don’t.

As I was reading through articles on the web about pregnancy after miscarriage and the risks, I came across an article that really hit home on how I am feeling right now.  Risa Kerslake wrote an article “What No One Tells You About Having A Miscarriage”.  In her article, Risa talked about how her baby had a name and her fears that the day would come when others would no longer remember or mention her son by name.  That is exactly how I feel.  Savanah has a name.  She never took a breath, but in her small funeral, she had the opportunity to teach.  The funeral director politely and respectfully asked questions about the Native American things we were doing to prepare this little one for cremation.  Her funeral was an opportunity for one person to learn.  As I held my baby girl for the first and last time, my father educated the nice man.  She taught him just by her slightest moment of existence, and I am afraid the day will come that I am the only one who will speak her name.  Yes, I will cry when people bring her up, but I would rather cry than forget.  Her name is Savanah MeaDean.  She was only here for a moment, but she will be in my heart forever.

Aunt Rachel’s Challenge

Aunt Rachel’s Challenge

A while back, my Aunt Rachel posted a challenge on Facebook for anyone to find where in the Bible it says that God will not put more on us than we can bear. There were many responses to this post. Several people pointed to 1 Cor. 10:13. Many responded to this in the same way I initially would have at first. After researching online, I agreed with the masses that this passage states that we will not be tempted beyond what we can endure, not that God will not put more on us than we can handle. After this morning’s bible study in a great book by Joyce Meyer (Battlefield of the Mind), I believe I have changed my perspective on this topic and now believe wholeheartedly that the Bible does in fact say that God will not put more on us than we can bear. The error is in our interpretation rather than the passage and our narrow mindedness in not looking further into what the Bible actually says. I would like to discuss two specific passages:

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’ ” The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ ” The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭4:1-13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

In reading these two passages, I realized that the answer was right in front of me if I only opened my mind and heart to God and His answers rather than man’s simplistic interpretation. Luke 4 says that immediately after being baptized, Jesus went into the wilderness for 40 days and was tempted and passed the temptations of Satan. That is a beautifully simplistic interpretation in my opinion. What I don’t read in this is where God went into the wilderness with him. I believe this is because he didn’t. That may seem harsh to think about, but the fact is, God does not enter into our temptations until we invite him in. He is loving like that. How many times have you had a friend or family member that finds out that you are struggling in some way and they automatically have all the answers for you and then you find yourself making their decisions rather than your own? While they are good intentioned, God gave us free will and the ability to choose for a reason. When we relegate that to someone else, we are no longer following our path, but theirs. God invites us to follow his path, but allows us to choose not to. Therefore, he stands aside until we invite Him in.

In this passage from Luke, we see many times that Jesus is tempted. In each of these instances, we do not read where God gave him the answer. Instead, we read where Jesus chose God as the answer. Now this still does not show how God will not put more on us than we can bear. So where does it say that? 1 Cor. 10:13.

I know I just said earlier that this verse does not say this, but it really does if we know where to invite God in. If we interpret the word “temptation” to mean Satan’s invitation to struggle or trials, then it is fair to say that each time Satan tempted Jesus he was inviting Jesus to struggles. Let’s break down each of the temptations listed in the wilderness for a moment:

Satan invites Jesus to ask God to turn stone into bread. If Jesus chose to do that and believe that he should live on bread alone, his struggle would then come when the bread ran out and he did not know where to turn to be fed other than by bread.

Satan tempted Jesus with kingdoms to rule through authority if he will just worship Satan. The struggle comes in the realization that authority alone does not lead man. Influence and wisdom leads man. If Jesus had chosen this course, he would have lost the influence and wisdom of God and struggled.

Satan invited Jesus to throw himself from a high place and trust that God and his angels would lift him up. Now this one is a bit harder to see at first. Satan points out that it is written that God will do this, so why fear it? As Jesus says, it is also written not to test God. If Jesus had chosen to do as Satan commanded, he would have struggled surly for testing God.

In each case, Jesus did not invite God in at the point of trial and turmoil, he invited God in at the initial temptation and made his decisions based in God in the first place to avoid the trials and struggles that would surly come had he made the opposite decision. God gives us a way out of the trials by allowing us to endure the temptation in the first place by inviting him into the conversation.

Having been recently baptized myself, I find that I am walking in my own wilderness with my own temptations. Am I making good choices? Many people would say no… But therein lies the problem, other people. How can another man know the path that God has set out for me or the paths that I am meant to cross or the struggles I am meant to endure? Simply put, they can’t. They can give perspective, but not answers. Only God can give answers. As I walk through my own wilderness and face my own temptations, I pray that I am strong enough and wise enough to invite God into the moment of temptation as Jesus did rather than always waiting until the trials and struggles hit and begging for His mercy and grace only after I have initially shut Him out. I do find a bit of comfort in this thought and in knowing that God will not put more on me than I can bear IF I remember to invite Him in when it matters rather than when it is too late