Thursday, September 12, 2013

Peace and panic in Switzerland

Remember the week I spent in Switzerland last summer?  Well the opportunity came up again this year (the Rome Temple is still not completed) and so we made plans to go as a family.  Nathan put in the leave request and it was approved.  I was excited to be able to share this time with him, and with Miles.  Then a few days before we are supposed to leave Nathan gets word that his deployment is being extended a couple days...and will keep him from going.  So now we have a choice to make.  Do Miles and I still go or do I go and leave Miles here with friends for the one night until Nathan gets home?  After much debate we decide that I should still go...and go alone.  The trip is non-refundable so someone should definitely go yet me in all my morning sickness glory trying to wrangle a very active two-year old who just learned the word NO all while sharing a twin size bed with him?  Not. Gonna. Happen.  

So I make the arrangements and start to make my packing lists.  Sunday comes, I drop Miles off, and a friend drops me off at the bus station.  The bus ride up was HORRIBLE.  Seriously...I was in tears and seriously considering getting off in Milan and hopping a train back home.  But I wanted SO BADLY - and needed, really - to go to the Temple.   So I prayed to God..."Dear God, I want to go spend this week at the Temple.  Please help me to make it through this bus ride."  The bus didn't leave our area until 8pm and we were stopping every two hours...the whole way up.  My smashed-by-fetus bladder was very grateful for the frequent stops, but herding 80 Italians through a rest stop every two hours was trying on the group leader's patience.  I was also sharing a row with someone, and sitting behind a GIANT man.  Seriously...think offensive lineman.  When his seat was reclined it came a hand width's distance of my face (put your hand in front of your face, perpendicular...notice where your pinky is? Ya, that's where the chair was.)  We didn't get to Bern until 1pm the following day.  By then my feet were swollen, I hurt everywhere, and I was long past queasy.  As soon as I got the key to my room in the hostel I went in and took a nap.  It was heavenly!  

The following morning I was able to attend the Temple.  I was overcome by the Spirit more than once...moved to tears.  It's such a wonderful place to be and I had missed it so much.  (The Swiss Temple is our closest Temple...until Rome is done)   Over the next couple days I was able to go each morning and each afternoon - which was WAY more than last year.  I soaked in the Spirit of the Temple as much as I could.  

In the evenings, after the Temple would close, I would feel lonely.  I was on the trip by myself, with a bus full of Italians.  There were a handful of Americans but they were all with people.  There were a couple times I was so frustrated.  I was so sick, and so tired, and I was hungry but didn't want to fight the crowd in the kitchen of the hostel to make something.  That's when something happened...twice...that made me remember that God knows me and knows when I am happy and when I am sad.  President Romano (our branch president...kind of like our pastor) came outside, saw me on the bench and told me in Italian that there was a plate for me at their table.  He is so in touch with the Spirit...he felt the whisperings to seek me out.  He is a man of God and for that I am so grateful.  The Italians from our branch welcomed me into their "family" (it was a hubby and wife, a few older ladies, and a couple older guys) for two meals.  Both on evenings where I was on the brink of frustrated, lonely tears.  God is good ladies and gents.  No heartache is too small for Him.  

Thursday morning I had just finished my session in the Temple...I didn't feel good.  I was crampy and just felt off.  Then I went to the bathroom and discovered I was bleeding.  My heart dropped to the floor.  I quickly left the Temple, hurried to the hostel hiding my worried, panicked tears...hoping that our room was empty.  It wasn't.  I crawled into my tiny twin bunk and willed the others to leave.  They did.  I texted Nathan.  Over the next 30 mins we played text-phone tag. He called the OB clinic and played middle man for news.  I was advised to lay still, relax, and see what happened.  If the cramping and bleeding didn't stop in one hour I was to seek medical care.  I was terrified.  I speak German...but not THAT German.  And where was the closest medical facility?  And how would I pay?  And what would happen if - God forbid - I was miscarrying.  The thought of suffering a miscarriage in a shared hostel room or on a 16 hour bus-ride home added another layer of worry to my already troubled heart.  I prayed.  SO HARD.  I begged God to spare my baby.  But I acknowledged His will and asked that if I was going to lose the baby that it would wait long enough for me to be home.  That was a hard prayer.  But I learned years ago that submitting my will to His was much easier than trying to bend His will to mine.  I prayed for comfort, and peace...and following the prayer I was able to sleep for an hour.  When I woke I went to check for blood and found no new.  And my cramps were gone.  Tears of gratitude fell on my cheeks.  I let Nathan know the developments, and then prayed some more.  Later that evening I asked one of the men on the trip for a Priesthood Blessing.  The Spirit that flowed through the blessing brought me comfort.  The words that were spoken are sacred and precious to me. 

The following day we packed up the hostel and loaded the bus.  I was adament that I needed two seats for the journey home.  I succeeded and did my best to wedge my body in positions of comfort.  It wasn't perfect but it was SO MUCH better than the bus ride up had been.  I arrived home to the loving arms of a worried husband and an excited two year old.  

I learned something in Switzerland.  Well, I guess I can't say learned because it was something I already knew.  I guess I should say I was reminded of something.  God will just have to ask.   That doesn't mean He'll always provide what you ask for...rather, He will provide what you need.  

I needed patience, and I got it.
I needed love, and I got it.
I needed healing, and I got it.
I needed peace, and I got it. 


Sheila said...

So glad everything is okay. And that you had comfort. We are praying for you daily!

The Grush's said...

You have a way of writing that can make a person cry, tense up and feel wonderful and peace right along with you.
I am so glad you got to go on that trip and have such a great testimony building experience. I hope that everything keeps going well with your pregnancy. Good luck. I love reading your posts.

V said...

I'm so glad he/she is okay. That would be so scary to have that happen away from home and Nathan. And the bus ride there sounded miserable. What a wonderful man in the ward that gave you dinner!

Ann Herron said...

SOSO glad everything turned out ok!!