Dear reader, all Christians have a testimony to give. Whether we came from a good Christian home, or if we were saved from a life of unimaginable horror, we are told to testify to what the Lord has done for us. My name is Heather Zubiate, and this is my testimony which has been broken up into chapters since it is rather long. That way you can read it all at once, or in sections as time permits. The chapters are in order of succession on this blog, but are listed in alphabetical order on the category side bar. Well, I hope it inspires you, and helps you realize that Jesus really does save those that call upon him!
As I look at this verdant scene: the narrow path that disappears from
view, and is surrounded by life, I am reminded of the words of our Lord, "But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Many years ago, I thought I was on this narrow path leading toward life, but I was so very wrong! I was deceived. Blind. I was blissfully headed for a ditch without even knowing it, along with multitudes of others that were like me. Thankfully, Jesus (my prince), in his loving-kindness and tender mercy, did something amazing to break the evil spell I was under for most of my life. He cured me of my spiritual blindness; he lifted me off of the path where the mindless multitudes roam; he saved me from falling over that looming edge of doom, where I would have been lost forever.
Dear reader, I ask that you please humor me for a moment, because I will (here, and through out this blog) be using movies and other forms of media to either illustrate, or make a point; only because for most of us, they are common ground, or a familiar point of reference. And this is such a time....
...Do you remember that scene in 'Crocodile Dundee 2' where Wally was being held hostage by the Colombian drug dealers? Well if you have forgotten or if you haven't seen that movie, then let me jog your memory, or even sum it up. You see, some narcotic dealing desperadoes where threatening to shoot Wally (Mick Dundee's good friend), if Mick didn't give himself and Sue (his girlfriend) up to them - remember? Mick was visibly in a quandary. He was thinking hard and fast about his limited options. In this intense moment, you could see his mind racing by the darting motion of his crystal clear blue eyes. Then suddenly, those steely baby blues halted, and then he set his square leathery jaw. He had made a decision. "Go ahead and shoot the @#st;*!", he shouted down from his rocky perch. Crazy huh? Well everyone was shocked, especially Wally.
Then, while everyone at the scene was still reeling from the surprise of Mick's unexpected command, in one fluid motion, he quickly took aim and fired his rifle, hitting Wally in the head! Well, naturally, Sue was indignant and shocked, and as Mick dragged her to another vantage point, she breathlessly exclaimed in disbelief, "You shot Walter!" Mick replied, "I only nicked him, it was the only thing I could think of to save him." The bluff worked. Wally got up off the ground with a little flesh wound to the head and the lead drug thug took it as a ruthless move of self-preservation on Mick's part, when in reality, that was not the case at all. They kept Wally alive thinking they could use him to be their guide to track down Mick and Sue. But really, it was so Mick could buy some time until he could save him from their grasp. Why do I mention this scene? What is the point I wish to make? Dear reader, It is my desire to illustrate a very important Biblical truth: Jesus, the very one who loves us, will cause us physical harm as a means of saving us!
I grew up in church most of my life. My earliest memories of church were of that of splashing my little fingers in the holy water cup at the entrance of a dimly lit church, and swinging my green stocking covered legs and shiny red shoe clad feet back and forth while sitting upon a hard wooden pew. Another flicker of memory is that of listening to an angry man dressed in a long dark robe shouting at us - and I remember thinking that I didn't like that very much. As a young girl I observed our family sitting at the dining table and I remember thinking one night, as we mindlessly made the sign of the cross after grace - "Why do we do this? We all look and act like robots!" As I recall, I even asked my mom why we did this, but I honestly don't remember her answer, but I do know she always had an answer to my questions. Through the years we went to many different churches, some better than others I suppose. I can't even tell you with much certainty when I accepted Jesus as my savior, perhaps in a Sunday school class.
According to my mom, who was raised a Catholic, she was finally saved after much soul searching and spiritual experimentation, more specifically, when my sister Lauri was a baby, in the early 70's. Within the corners of my mind, I can recall fragmented memories of listening to the likes of Herbert W. Armstrong, and James Dobson on the radio. I clearly remember watching the 700 Club, Oral Roberts and the Humbards on T.V. Elizabeth Humbard was our family's favorite, she was so sweet and angelic. My mom listened to gospel song birds like Evie Tornquist and Cynthia Clawson. Elvis' Gospel record was a favorite of hers and was also played repeatedly! All of this religious exposure gave me a knowledge of God, that there was one, but looking back, I can honestly say I never really knew Him, even though I thought I did.
I had my own Bible, but hardly every cracked it open. As far as I was concerned, it was just an accessory, something you took to church. My mom had a volume set of the Seventh Day Adventist picture Bible stories, and I still vividly remember the beautiful art work in them. She would read them to us, as well as many other books. But that was the extent of my Bible reading, or studying. Our family had its share of dysfunctional problems, but nothing major like alcoholism, drugs, neglect, or Satanic ritual sex abuse. Even so, one day after many years of underlying family turmoil, my father called most of us, the six Rivas children, into our parent's bedroom. We had been moved yet again, because my father, who was always chasing the proverbial "gold under the rainbow", had us in Austin Texas this time. He told us that he and mom were finally getting a divorce. He was finished. He we was leaving us. I looked at my mom in disbelief. She was quiet, she wasn't crying, but she was visibly upset.
The after math is all mixed up in my mind, just jumbled images really, but I remember going to the room I shared with my sisters, and sat on my mattress on the floor, and cried out to God in great emotional pain. I cried out to the God who I thought I knew, and I questioned why and how He could let all this happen to us, to me. Didn't He care? I just didn't see this coming, I thought my parents would never divorce. When My mom came into our room that awful night, she assured us that he would be back like all the other times he had left us - I was dumbfounded. He had left us before? She explained that all the times we thought he was away on a business trip, he was actually running away from home. Then she told me things I wish she had never told me, about their marriage - - I now understand why she did it. She didn't really have anyone else to talk to, no real friends to turn to, and I can only suppose she felt her family wouldn't have been very understanding, or she didn't want to burden them with her problems. She was stuck. But even so, it was a lot for a girl of sixteen to handle. Mom explained that after a few days he would come back, and she was right, he eventually did come back.
I guess I lost a lot of respect for him at that time. Whatever he thought that stunt would gain him, I didn't know. But the seeds of another kind of distrust were sown, and maybe even the idea to distrust all men in general had taken root in my young heart. I think that is when I started to see what was really going on in our family. Things I didn't allow myself to acknowledge, things I already knew deep inside, things like realizing that my parents didn't really love each other, were finally becoming evident. And from a girl's perspective, that is truly heart breaking.
After that, we eventually moved to Dallas Texas, and ended up at Robert Tilton's mega church. Things seemed to be getting better at home on the surface, for a while anyway, because our dad was born again -- again. That is when I really threw myself into my faith, going to church, and reading my Bible. Looking back, I realize that was probably the best scholastic year of my life! I was nearly a straight "A" student. In Texas schools at that time, they had a policy where there was no passing with a 'D.' you either passed with 'C', or you failed, because as every Texan knows: you don't mess with Texas! Here I was, the new girl yet again, and after many months, I still didn't really have any friends. Finally, I gained a wonderful Christian friend half-way through my
Sophomore year, named Geniffer Martin, and she was the answer to my prayers! Proof positive that God really is the Good Shepherd of His lost little sheep. Then heartbreak yet again, we were moving in the middle of my Junior year to California. My siblings and I were going to be the new kids on the block yet again!
My family and I had come full circle in a way. Most of us had been born in California, only my mom was born in South Dakota. Here we were, back in the Golden State. I must confess, I don't like to travel much. I much prefer the stability of being a home body. My mom always did a wonderful job in trying to make our moves an adventure. She would pull out her road atlas and show us where we would be going, and then go to the library and bring home books about our next locale. That was back in the olden days! Anyway, this made the move a little more bearable, for me anyway, I can't say as much for my siblings. So we left the Lone Star state and headed for California. I hated my new school, it was a hovel compared to the one I had left in Texas. My grades tanked a bit, and I earned two D's for the first time ever in my scholastic career! One in Algebra 2 and the other in U.S. Government. I finally realized I wasn't going to be gracing the halls of any college anytime soon, and the big question of what was I going to do with my life, began to loom large. I baby sat most of my teen years to earn money for school clothes, but I had no real plans for my future whatsoever.
I'm very gifted in art, and I had thought about going to art school, but the tuition was astronomical and the really good schools at the time, and to my knowledge, were in N.Y. city, Chicago, or Paris. Remember, I don't like traveling, I HATE it, so this option did not appeal to me, no matter how adventurous it may have been. Then there is of course the ol' stigmas known as: the starving artist, and the tortured artist - neither of which sounded very attractive to me either. As for church life while in California, we started going to a small Four-Square denomination church. I had no way of knowing just how important a role that little church would play in my life. But looking back, it is amazing to me how God steered me along. I never really liked most church youth groups I had attended, because they were cliquish and full of phony baloney people. This youth group seemed to be more real than most, for a while anyway. I don't really remember for sure when, or at what point my mom and I started down the Word of Faith path; becoming staunch adherents to it's radical teachings of health and wealth on demand for all believers. Word of Faith goes by many euphemisms that I'm sure many of you know well, like: "Name it and claim it", "Say it and spray it", or "Blab it and grab it", etc.
If asked, I would tell you I was a Christian, that is to say I knew that Jesus died for my sins (which were many) even though I was a really "good girl" by worldly standards. I would tell you that living a Christian life was essential in order to prove your salvation and keep your place in heaven. I never believed in the teaching of Once Saved Always Saved, or anything like that, but if pressed, I would not be able to tell you what roles redemption, repentance, justification and sanctification played in my over all salvation. I do believe that I had been saved as a child, but I never grew up in the knowledge of the Lord. So, I eventually lost my salvation when I began to follow a false Christ. Sure, I read the Bible and took it as God's final word, but I was weak in studying it as a good exegete. Instead, I was prone to rely on the private Scriptural interpretations of others, and that made me a very gullible sheep, and easy prey for hungry wolves. Yes, until recently, I was easily lead astray and tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine that was bellowed by anyone who claimed to be "anointed ", and "sent from God."
Yes. I do believe that it was at that little four square church where my mom met regularly with a lady who also went there, for prayer and Bible study when the seeds of false teachings really began to take root. I think that she was the one who really sold my mom on Kenneth Copeland's teachings, who then influenced me, but I could be wrong since my memories are a bit faded. Anyway, it was also at this church that I met a man who hired me to work for him in his wallpapering business. It was hard work, but I was learning a trade, and that is a valuable asset! Meanwhile at school, my art teacher steered me toward going to a local design school, as an interior design major, during the end of my Senior year. Things were looking up for me, but I still had financial difficulties to overcome, because design school was going to be very expensive, and I didn't make a lot of money hanging wallpaper. The loans were stacking up, and I realized I couldn't afford my last year of the two year design degree.
Then my father was asked to move to San Diego to open a new store for the company he worked for. My father worked in the hardware/paint business. He was then employed by a well known box store chain, the store he was working in at the time was located in La Mirada. I didn't want to move again! So he had me apply at a new store that was opening in Orange, because this chain was hiring interior designers in an effort to renovate their D.I.Y image and draw in more women customers. Please keep in mind that this was before HGTV hit the air waves.
The interview didn't go very well after they realized whose daughter I was. Since my dad had jilted that store for the better position in San Diego, they didn't hire me. I was apparently the victim of some "work place politics." Through this seeming defeat, little did I know how God was going to change my life. My dad got me another interview with his then assistant manager at the La Mirada store. And fortunately for me, the interview went well and I got the job. The assistant manager assured me that I didn't get the job because of my father, but I didn't care either way. I was just glad I wouldn't have to move again, well other than having to move to my new residence in Whittier. Yes, by the grace of God, I found a place to live, with a family that attended that same little Four Square church my family had attended a few years before, which made my mom feel a lot better about leaving one of her babies behind. The wife of the family I was going to live with was like an older sister to me. Incidentally, my family and I now live just around the corner from their home, truly, it is a small world! So, for the first time in my life, I was going to be on my own, without my family anyway, and I was finally feeling all grown up!
Now that I was out on my own, I tried to go to church by myself. Really, I did! I kept attending the larger Four Square church where our family attended before they moved. The church was , and still is pastored by the brother of a former co-worker and good friend of mine. It was fine for a while, but I would have done much better if I had kept to the main Church service, rather than attend the young adult group, which I found yet again to be cliquish and phoney. And since retail demands you work most weekends, getting to Church was beginning to be a chore. So I stopped going all together. This happens a lot as I understand it.
I had heard his amazing name paged several times over the paging system during the first 3 months I had been at my job. But then one fine day, I finally laid eyes on him! He was walking down the main aisle with a couple of other guys coming back from lunch, and he was an amazing sight to behold! Sorry dear reader, that memory will not be shared with you in its entirety, because it is all mine. Anyway, I asked one of the guys near me in the paint department, "Who is that?" And he said, "Oh, that's Robert Zubaite, but he's a real player." That didn't bother me, after going out with and dumping several mediocre guys,and one potential woman beater, I was okay with dating someone who wouldn't be the jealous type.
As it turned out, Robert was nowhere near a "player." Our first date was great. He arrived at the door hidden behind a bunch of pink roses, my favorite flower! All my other dates usually started with a single red rose, but instead of thinking, "how womanitc", when the cliche flower was presented, I would think: "How ordinawy." But two dozen of my favorite flower got my attention. I learned later that he had gotten the flowers on sale at the florist. Thanks Lord! Anyway, while we talked at dinner, we hit it off and I discovered we had similar childhoods, minus most of the religious aspects, as he was raised a Catholic from birth, but wasn't a practicing Catholic. As a Born Again Christian (or so I thought I was), I already knew this would be a problem, but I decided I would cross that religious bridge later. I have to tell you dear reader, if you are single, please don't participate in what is known as "evangelistic dating." If the man/woman you are interested in is not already a Christian, then don't get involved with him/her until he/she becomes one, or go find a man/woman that already shares your faith. I speak from experience...you risk a great deal of heart break that could have been voided by simply following this wise Biblical council.
Sorry to say, I can't tell you for sure exactly when I fell in love with Robert. I mean, when I really began to love him for who he was. I was for darn sure physically attracted to him. All I know is that at some point I did fall in love with him, and I love him now, even more than ever. For him, it was different. I later learned that on his part, it was love at first sight. He even went home that day and told his sister that he saw the woman he was going to marry. I know! So romantic right?! Even though Robert wasn't a born-again Christian when we met and started dating, fortunately for me, I experienced the rare exception to the rule against evangelistic dating, Robert was very willing to become a born- again Christian. The truly sad thing is that I led him to Christ one night while lying in our bed of sin! I know! The hypocrisy of it all.....even to this day, the thought of it makes me cringe, but it is the honest truth. A word of warning from yours truly, who has "been there, done that", to would be fornicators: don't think for one minute that you will get away with the sin of presumption!
What's that you say? You have never heard of the sin of presumption? Well now, you're not alone dear reader! So please allow me to explain. The sin of presumption says: "I know it's wrong to have sex before marriage, but.... God is so forgiving. I know he'll forgive me for this sin when I ask him to and besides, I know we will get married anyway." It is amazing how we can justify our sins isn't it? Even though God is merciful and forgiving toward the repentant backslider, and also to the honest sinner, he may not be so easily forgiving toward the presumptuous sinner, and hypocrite. Meaning that you may have to suffer some consequences as a result of the presumption you made upon his mercy. I know David did, and I know I did, so don't push it! This is not because God can't wait to punish you for your sin, and not because he takes pleasure in punishing you, but because suffering hurts! And it is more often then not, the only thing that will get you to finally bring your deceived fleecy little hiney running back to him in heart felt sorrow over the infraction, or sin of presumption.
One night, about 23 years ago, [wow, has it been that long?!]
Robert and I got home late from work and started to get something to eat when the phone rang. Very unusual for us, so when I picked up the receiver, I was expecting something important, but not to the impending degree about to unfold. "Start praying!" my mom breathlessly panted in my ear, then she quickly continued with, "Tim has stopped breathing, we are taking him to the hospital!" Panic set in. Tim was the second son, third in line of the Rivas children, I say "was" because he is now in heaven. Yes dear reader, the unthinkable had suddenly come upon us. How did this happen? One minute I was at home with my man, about to have a snack after a long hard day, then WHAMO! -- the next thing I knew I spent a long agonizing ride to the hospital. I was praying--no, it was more like commanding and demanding that Tim be alright. Once we got there I no more than sat down when my sobbing baby brother came through a door and choked, "He's gone!" I screamed, "No!" and bolted passed him through the door. There he was, my brother, lying blue and lifeless on a gurney with tubes sticking out of him, with my mother standing next to him crying, and ringing her hands, looking like a lost child. In an instant I decide that I never ever wanted to see that sight ever again. It is just not right. This is not what is supposed to happen. Everyone knows that parents are supposed to die before their children, right? If only that were always the case, dear reader.
I will not go into every detail of what happened on that horrific night and the aftermath that followed, it is still amazingly hard for me to recount, even now tears are streaming down my cheeks as I type this. But what I will share is this. After that horrific event, I started to suffer from torturous dreams, dreams that left me sobbing in the middle of the night. Nagging questions of Tim's spiritual state before he died were haunting me. Then my sister Lauri (Tim's "twin") was given a blessed mercy, a wonderful dream. Allow me to interject something here really quickly. We Rivas children are sort of pared off. We each have a twin of sorts. My older brother and I are tall, with dark eyes, and hair and have light skin. Tim and Lauri are of medium build, light hair and skin with hazel eyes. Teresa and Eric are tall, have dark, eyes, hair and skin. Anyway, Lauri shared with me that she was allowed to spend some time with Tim, her "twin." She couldn't say for sure where they were, she just assumed it was in heaven. She didn't go into details, and he didn't have any special "revelations' for her from God's throne either. They just hung out and she assured me that he was alright. After that, all my horrific nightmares ceased. I clung to the hope of that dream, and I still do. I realize that once a person dies, we aren't allowed to communicate with them, but my sister didn't seek a medium, or even ask for this dream, it came to her unsolicited. She hasn't written a best selling book about her dream, so all of this makes me believe that God, in his mercy, gave her and us peace of mind.
After nearly two years of living as engaged fornicators, Robert really started to push hard to make an honest woman of me. The nerve of that guy! Just kidding! So I finally relented, and we were married on August 14, 1993. I know, that sounds so romantic doesn't it? It's true nevertheless. I [a "Christian" woman] was actually dragging her feet to the alter of matrimony. Marriage - a major life event most females dream of, and plan for from birth, was something I was not in a hurry to experience. Some may say it was because of my age. We were both 22 years old, but at the time, I didn't think we were too young, but looking at pictures, my goodness, we looked like children! If you desire to see what I mean, just click HERE.
Honestly, I don't think the age thing was the reason at all. So why was I procrastinating about marrying this wonderful man? I don't really know why I avoided setting a date...uh ...maybe it was because the only marriage I knew personally, that of my parents, wasn't the greatest model and finally ended in divorce when I was 20. I'm sure there were several factors involved, but the final straw I guess, was my mother's lack of heart felt fidelity to her marriage. In retrospect, I could have been subconsciously trying to avoid getting married, because of the pain suffered as a young girl of sixteen, when all my ideas about marriage and fidelity were challenged. I'm sure those seeds of distrust planted by my father leaving us when things got rough were a major factor as well. All I know for sure is that Robert gave me an ultimatum - either I had to set a date and plan our wedding, or he would. So out of the fear that Robert would plan our nuptials as a back yard BBQ ceremony, I was motivated and I got busy planning.
Not surprisingly, everything did not happen according to plan, but we had a wonderful wedding anyway! There was so much love there, it was a real joy. Ironically, after all my efforts to avoid that day, once in the moment, I didn't want that glorious night to end, but of course, like in most fairly tales, the time flew by! Then it was off to our honeymoon - a seven day Mexican Riviera cruise, thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law.
For those of us who have been married for more than seven years, we know that married life is very difficult! The fairy tale ending of: "And they lived happily ever after" is so much easier said than done. But marriage is also very rewarding, provided that both parties are indeed selflessly working together and are committed to each other and their vows, made before a host of witnesses and God Almighty. We matrimonial veterans know that when the honeymoon is over, that is when the real work of cooperation begins. By the way, I loath the word "compromise" and it really should have no place in the unwritten marriage handbook. On a side note, I remember asking Robert if he liked me, right after he first proclaimed his love for me. Rather puzzled by my question, he restated that he loved me. I said I knew he loved me, but the "love" feeling comes and goes. I explained that if he liked me, then at least he would be more inclined to stick around, until that "love" feeling returned.
What I meant was, did he consider me to be a friend as well as a lover? Friendships usually start based on a shared, or common interest, by people who find each other enjoyable to be around. There is definitely an emotional chemistry that takes place, where some people just seem to "click", where as others don't. This is a fascinating mystery to me. It seems to me that the best marriages are experienced by those who are very good friends as well as being lovers. Yet, strangely enough, some couples are better friends than lovers and viceaversa- go figure. I guess that proves there is always an exception to a every seemingly hard and fast rule. Anyway, the first year was hard for us (me) even though we had lived together in fornication for nearly two years. So in my humble opinion, that whole "shack up before you wed to see if you are compatible" business is a bunch of bunk. My advise for young people (through hard won experience) is to wait until you are married before you live together and share a bed. Truly, I most solemnly tell you, God knows what he is talking about when he commands us to NOT fornicate.
After two years of marriage, we had our first child, our son Timothy. I was going to name him Andrew with the middle name of Timothy, in honor of my brother. Robert suggested that we name him Timothy Andrew, but I thought I couldn't handle it, so I hesitated. But when I realized that if I went with Robert's suggestion, then his initials would be "T.A.Z." instead of "A.T.Z.", that is when I relented. So sad but true. Anyway, he was so beautiful, and he was all ours! The truth is that I was terrified of being a mom. The question of "would I be good enough?" haunted me. Sure, I had a wonderful mother, but that didn't mean I would be one too, I knew that. I mean, it's not like I didn't have any experience with babies or children, after all, I was a babysitter for years, but it's different when the child is yours and is with you for more than 3 or 4 hours.
Things were going fine. Timothy was a dream baby! He was well behaved. Not colicky, and I could tell he was going to be a smarty pants (in a good way). As he sat in his little bouncy, he had a habit of furrowing his little brow and I could swear his little hand was under his cute little double chin. Pondering. Yes, I could see his big dark eyes pondering something. Now he has grown into a wonderful and intelligent young man (all bias aside - ha ha ha) and I am truly happy we named him Timothy. He was such a wonderful baby, that we decided to try it again! But my next pregnancy wasn't going so well, in fact it was terrible. I continued in my "name it and claim it faith" that everyone love to make fun of, but then the unthinkable happened. I had been at work that day, and was in a great mood, because I was looking forward to Robert and I seeing our good friends for dinner that night. Then I started getting cramps. I was a little alarmed considering I had not felt "right" for the last few weeks.
But I consoled myself with the knowledge that many pregnant women had experienced cramps, but carried their children to full term. Later on I started bleeding a little, now this was a bit more worrisome. I called my doctor and he recommended immediate bed rest, and if the bleeding didn't stop after an hour, then I was to come in. As I laid on our bed, I could feel the fear creeping up on me, but I quickly relied on my Word of Faith training: rebuking and binding, naming and claiming, using the authority I had in Jesus. Even so, I ended up in the hospital that night instead of at our friend's home. An ultra sound revealed that I had lost the baby, even after all my positive confessions and faith filled words. Robert and I were devastated. I really believed it was all my fault, even though my doctor explained to me that I didn't physically do anything wrong, my body just couldn't, or wouldn't support the child. Even so, I was convinced I lost our baby because my faith was weak.
Yet another golden opportunity for me to search for the truth had slipped by. On to the next few years where I was lovingly placed in God's crucible for more refining.
Our precious Kyle was born to us two years after the miscarriage.
This time the pregnancy went well, that is until I noticed I was getting cramps again. But this time, instead of completely relying on my "faith" alone, I did what any good mother would do, I went to the doctor. I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I'm not the dullest either. Even so, I actually felt guilty for not completely leaning on my faith. In the meantime, my new doctor did some tests and he found that I was very low on progesterone. That is the hormone that helps women keep their babies to full term. That is why I lost our second child, I didn't have enough progesterone to carry the baby to the fourth month, or when the placenta starts to manufacture additional progesterone.
So, my doctor put me on a synthetic progesterone and my cramps stopped, and I carried Kyle with no more problems. All the tests and sonograms came back perfect, and we were excited for his arrival in November. All moms know that every pregnancy and delivery are different. Kyle came faster than Timothy did, and when I was forced to push and then relax, that is when my body decided it wanted me to push - some of you ladies know what I mean. But at last, after 9 hours of laborious huffing and puffing, some Demerol taken a little too late, and a few good pushes, he was placed on my chest. Warm. Slimy. Screaming!
When Timothy was born, my doctor wouldn't allow Robert to see his birth, or even to cut his cord, because our doctor said that he had already 'lost' two fathers that day during deliveries, and he didn't want to lose a third. Anyway, here was Robert's second chance, but Robert was completely grossed out when the doctor insisted he cut Kyle's umbilical cord. Even so, he manned up and did the deed without vomiting, or passing out! Yah baby...that's my man! That is when we noticed Kyle was not as perfect as we had hoped, or thought he was. He had some deep ridges on his little head where his fontanels were, and to be honest his little cranium darn near looked like Frankenstein's. But the hospital staff didn't seem too alarmed by it, so I thought that it was normal, all part of the vaginal birth misshapen head syndrome. That is until the pediatrician came in to examine him.
When she saw his little head, she gasped in alarm...eh..... not exactly something that instills confidence in a mother. Now I was alarmed, frighteningly so. She quickly recovered her professional composure and explained that she would like to have Kyle's head checked in the near future, but not to worry. She was some what convincing, but then again, I wanted to be convinced that he was okay. The next day as I was awaiting the person who was going to take his picture, that is when disaster struck. Kyle was cradled in my arms while the photographer was setting up the camera, but he was still a little sleepy from the Demerol during delivery, so I supposed. Then I looked down into my arms and noticed he was limp and his little lips had turned blue!
Fortunately for us, the camera lady was alert and acted fast. She grabbed Kyle out of my arms, hit the nurses button, and demanded they come in 'stat', and she even started suctioning out his little mouth and nose with that bulb thing. It all happened so fast, I didn't even have time to panic. He revived, but he was not a happy camper! But then a screaming baby is a breathing baby. This alarming experience was chalked up to mucus, and we were sent home with instructions on what to do if this should happen again... and happen again it did... several times. Every time it happened, I didn't call my doctor, I just figured he was having a hard time with mucus. That is until he was about 7 or 8 months old. After a feeding, I was burping him over my shoulder when he started to shake violently. I pulled him away from my shoulder and looked into his wide big brown eyes that seemed to be saying: "Hey! What is going on here?" and then he passed out cold, and his little lips went blue.
Thankfully, my step-mother-in-law was sitting right beside me, and she is a nurse. She grabbed him out of my arms and went outside into the light and shined her little flashlight into a forced open eye. "Heather, he's just had a seizure!" she said. My world started to implode - a seizure? Robert and I jumped into our car, leaving Timothy with grandpa and grandma, and rushed him to a local children's hospital. The experience was more than awful, so I won't go into full details. Through a long series of events, we came to realize that we were the parents of a special needs child. Kyle wouldn't ever be "normal" this side of heaven. In stead of accepting this and dealing with it, I launched out even further into the deep and calm waters of Word of Faith teachings, completely unaware of the very large water fall down stream, that I was headed for. I had convinced myself that God was going to get the glory for Kyle's full healing and I was going to believe until I received what I confessed.
But instead of loving Kyle the way he was, and being grateful that he wasn't worse off than he was, I almost loathed him. I know that is a horrible thing to say, but deep down, it was the truth. Jumping ahead a bit, many years later, I even got a phone call out of the clear blue sky from a woman in my Bible study, who sternly chided me for not believing God enough for Kyle's full healing. I tried to explain to her that I had done, and was doing all that I could, but you see, that wasn't good enough for her. She made me feel like a complete faith failure, and instead of edifying me, she made me angry. I mean just who did she think she was anyway? Her own daughter was rebelling and lost in sin, and sadly, probably still is. Apparently, she was offended by Kyle's condition and considered us as a blight on the butt of the Word of Faith theology. This was yet another missed opportunity on my part to really search the face of God and truly find him. More refining was in store for me. Fast forward a few years.