Three years ago tomorrow, my mother-in-law, Linda Evelyn Hubmeier, passed away. Although I know she is in God's loving and eternal care, this has been the greatest tragedy in my life.
She was the most faithful woman I know. Linda relied and trusted in Jesus - she was a great Christian example to follow. She loved her family with a passion. But this post is not about the wonderful person she was, because I can't do that justice in words. This post is about a gift she gave me after her death.
When Linda's cancer returned for what would be the final time, someone she knew knitted her a prayer shawl. With each stitch, this friend prayed for Linda. Of course, I don't know what the prayer was, but I imagine it was for comfort and healing. I remember how much she loved that beautiful cranberry-colored shawl, and she always had it nearby when we visited. She said she felt such warmth and caring when she wore it. She even joined a Prayer Shawl Ministry at church, so she could provide this same comfort for others.
During this time, Chris and I were in the middle of our struggle with infertility. When Linda died, I felt such great pain. Of course, I mourned the loss of this beautiful person who I loved deeply. But I also mourned that she would never know our children. I know how much she wanted to meet them. She once told me "I'm on my knees, praying for you." And she certainly was, probably more than I realize.
Months after her death, Chris and I had been through many failed IUI attempts. Our doctor recommended we move on to other technologies, and together we decided on IVF. I have to tell you, at this point I was hopeless. I knew, without a doubt, that I would not get pregnant. I was tired and I was scared, but we plodded on.
IVF is a complicated procedure. Chris gave me injections so my body would produce a lot of eggs. Our doctors removed the eggs while I was under anesthesia, and fertilized them with Chris' sperm. After a few days, they put the embryos into my uterus, and then we waited. For two long weeks.
During the Two Week Wait, we traveled to Michigan for Shari and Luke's wedding shower. It was a fabulous day to celebrate their love, and it was also my 30th birthday. Sometime late in the afternoon, a group from my in-law's church asked to speak to Chris and me. I was actually nervous. It sounds crazy to me now, but IVF is so controversial and I was afraid they wanted to talk to us about that. But in reality, God was about to intervene and comfort us.
They presented us with a beautiful shawl. While it was wrapped around my shoulders, the group explained that Linda had begun knitting this shawl when she was sick, but passed away before she could finish it. She didn't have a recipient in mind, she only knew she would give it to someone who needed it. I know she prayed so much love into that shawl. Each stitch is a beautiful, loving prayer to our God. After her death, another member from church finished knitting the shawl. Then the "Prayer Shawl Ministry" kept it until they could find the right person to have it.
And that person was me. As they wrapped the shawl around me, I burst into tears. I could feel so much love from Linda, and I had the first glimmer that Chris and I would be okay. The group prayed with us and I let my heart feel hope. I wore the shawl for days.
Four days later, I found out I was pregnant with Evie.
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