Sunday, September 26, 2010


     On September 30th, 2009, we were visiting a good friend of ours in the hospital. Actually, the very same friend that was coming into the large amount of money.  He was having cancer removed from his throat, and we went to give him comfort and to just be with him. I was only a little over a week away from my due date, and boy was I feeling it! I was huge! I'm a bit of a shorty, so Jeremiah had nowhere to grow but OUT. Everyone was convinced I was having twins...much to my chagrin. 
     As we walked into his room, I immediately noticed his drainage tube. I had never seen one before and I thought it was gross but manageable. After talking with our friend for a while I noticed Trevor was gone. I didn't really think anything of it. Maybe he went to the bathroom and needed some time. So I just kept talking to our friend and the other friend that had come with us. A while went by and we decided to give our friend some rest. Trevor hadn't come back yet and we were headed to the elevators to see where he was. He walked out of the bathroom right as were entering the lobby. And he looked strange. 
     I asked him if everything was okay, and he said, 
     "Yes, everything's fine. I think seeing _____ drainage tube made me a little queasy. I walked out of the room for some fresh air, felt better, walked back in, then started feeling really bad, so I started walking to the bathroom. Half way down the hall I lost vision in both eyes for about 30 seconds. When I got to the bathroom I waited for my vision to return and just rested." Now, if the love of your life and husband says that to you, and you are 9 months pregnant, what do you think the normal reaction would be? On the inside I about died. On the outside, I about died. I stopped him and looked at him. 
      "Honey, are you sure you are okay?" I was shaking. I had no idea what any of those symptoms meant. He assured me he felt fine now, and we got on the elevator to go home. About a block away from the hospital he said,
     "I've lost feeling in my left hand." 
     I don't really remember a lot after that, only that I was supposed to be on bed rest at home because I was having contractions and Trevor had to go back to work to do Youth Night. I made him promise me he would call me with any more symptoms. He said he would and assured me his feeling had returned. So I went home, poured myself a bowl of rice crispies, and started watching "What Not To Wear." 
     20 minutes later he called.
     "I'm feeling really disoriented and when I reached down to pick up something off the floor, I smacked my head into the table." He was getting a little nervous now, because he was in martial arts and his balance and coordination was amazing. This really threw him off. I started getting really worried by now, but said, 
     "One more symptom and you call me and we are going to the ER." I knew all the symptoms he had already had probably weren't bad enough for an ER doctor to check us out very seriously. I figured, one more different symptom and we are definitely ER worthy. I tried very hard not to panic, and forced myself back to my Rice Crispies and television show. I tried not to look at my phone every 3 seconds waiting for it to ring. And then it rang. And my heart stopped. 
     "Honey, I lost vision in my left peripheral. I'm really nervous." 
     I said, "Be ready in 2 minutes. I will be there to pick you up and we are going to the ER." He tried arguing with me about it, and through angry tears I reminded him that I was 9 months pregnant and this seemed really serious and I would rather it not be something terribly wrong and us not do anything about it. He consented. 
      So they dressed Trevor in a white gown and hooked him up to an IV. 3 different nurses and 2 doctors came in over 2 hours, making Trevor re-tell his story. Finally, our "official" doctor came in, and sat down. She had a clip-board in her hand and a smile on her face. 
     "Basically what you guys are describing is very common. It's called a vagal response. It happened when Trevor saw the blood and all the symptoms following this episode are normal." I let out my breath and smiled at Trevor, then smiled at the nurse who was giving me very good news. I knew Trevor would be "just thrilled" with the fact that we spent 3 hours in the ER and all they told us was that he got squeamish at the sight of blood. But then she went on. 
     "One of the symptoms that you had does concern us a little. The loss of peripheral vision in your left eye. We want to run a MRI on the brain to make sure there is nothing going on up there." We said alright and she left. Trevor immediately said, 
     "MRI's are really expensive, Marybeth." I shook my head and said, 
     "I would rather pay all that money to find out there is nothing wrong, than to have not payed it and there had been something very serious wrong." He said, "I know, you are right." Then we waited for the results. 

To be


            The morning after we were wed, we packed up a car that had JUST been donated to us from a local church (Praise the Lord!) and drove to Sioux Falls, SD. In a week we were to become the official Youth Pastors at The Salvation Army. Trevor had just graduated high school in May of 2008 , and neither of us had any training, whatsoever. I was freaking out. The entirety of the youth consisted of young girls, and I was to be their mentor/friend/teacher. What a huge responsibility! But, we were promised training, free rent, and a steady salary during the entire 3-5 year contract, so we drove there with smiles and faith that God would work out all the "little" details.
                The first few months were really hard for me. New town, new people, no friends or family. It was looking eerily similar to my first semester at college. Change is hard for me. Especially when that change was something you were told nothing about. Let me explain.
                 I guess there was a (huge)mix-up in communication prior to us accepting the position. We were promised training, and were counting on that fact to survive. One of the hardest things for me to deal with was that when we got there, we were quite literally thrown into our positions blind, filling spots that we weren't getting the training for. I suffered emotionally and spiritually for months. I was confused, and afraid to stand up and ask where our training was. Things didn't get taken care of and I am partially to blame for that. Trevor and I felt like were slowly sinking into quick sand from the get-go, which is a stressful and awful place to be. We weren't able to give those girls the leading and teaching they so desperately were seeking and needing, and for that I am so sad. We could have done so much more for those youth.
                 4 months into the position I found out I was pregnant with our first child. I was 2 weeks along and we were thrilled. 2 months after were married I had run out of the birth control I was on and we couldn't afford more, so we just decided that we wanted a family. We were married, and that's what's happens when two people get married. They have babies. :) 
                 Trevor took it hard. He was excited, but heck, he was just 19! He had just graduated high school and now it was really happening! I was beyond excited. I think I spent no less than 5 hours a day looking up pregnancy related items on the internet. I took pictures every single month and had the nursery ready for little Jeremiah at least 3 months prior to his birth. We had two baby showers and were SO blessed by both. We talked for hours about being parents and me being a stay at home mom. I read books on breastfeeding (I felt VERY strongly about breastfeeding) and we had tons of cloth diapers stacked up, ready to cover that beautiful little baby bottom. We. Were. Ready. 
                 Around this time Trevor and I made one of the biggest mistakes of our young marriage. We sold the car we had gotten for free and took out a loan for a brand new car. We were convinced we needed a bigger car. We were also convinced that a friend of ours was coming into a lot of money, and had promised us that he would buy the car for us, any day now. We sold our free car before he had gotten his money. We picked out the car of our dreams before he got his money. We put money down on the car before he got his money, AND we finally took out the loan for the car....before he got his money. You may now roll your eyes in disgust at the terrible naivety of our actions. 
                  Meanwhile, we were living large. With no bills and a great, steady income coming in, we were throwing money left and right. Trevor was in Martial Arts where he was just flourishing. He came to me and told me he found his life dream. He wanted to open up his own Christian Marital Arts center. He was good, I mean, he was really good. If anyone would be able to pull it off, he could. He brought trophies home every month, and was advancing in his belts at an amazing rate. There was even talk about his instructor hiring him on as a head instructor one day. He loved Martial Arts, and I wanted to be a good wife so I encouraged him at every turn. I can remember talking one day and tears filling his eyes when he thought about something happening that took Martial Arts away for good...
               This all took place one month before Jeremiah was born.
The nursery
At our first baby shower, June 2009

Trevor trying to decide how to change a diaper for the very first time in his life
As you can see in the background, everyone was SO interested in this haha

At our second baby shower on Sept 1st, 2009

Trevor after a belt ceremony

To be


        So I went to Hong Kong and realized where my true feelings lie. Where they had always lain. With Trevor.
        The following months were hard. We wanted to start completely over and have a godly relationship, but neither of us knew what that looked like. So we remained friends.
         I wish I could spare you this next part friends...but it's a vital part to our love story. I write with a heavy heart, remembering the pain and anguish I alone caused so many people.
         During my second semester I made the biggest mistake of my entire life. I gave my virginity to a guy on campus that I cared nothing about. It was the same night Trevor and I had decided we were in love and were going to wait to be together till God told us it was time. Are you confused? I obviously was. I'm not going to sit here and blame my past on my choices. I made a conscious decision, fully aware of what I was doing, and I was able to make the decision to stop. I loved Trevor more than anything; we were soul mates. But in a moment of sheer selfishness and immaturity I ruined myself for my future husband.
         I know there is forgiveness and Jesus makes you whole and new, and in my marriage now we were able to experience restoration and newness in the marriage bed...but you cannot undo that one single act. The memory remains forever. Thinking back on it all now, I'm still so confused as to why I went that far. I cannot tell you why. Only that it was the biggest mistake of my life.
        But...In those hours afterwards, I felt for the first time why a sinner needs a savior. I had always come to God before this thinking I deserved His grace, His love, His relationship (how could I ever have been so prideful!) all because of the abuse and loss I had suffered as a child. But in those early morning hours as I lay sobbing, barely able to breathe, I turned to Him for the first time seeking salvation from death. I turned Him desiring to be washed clean, and I knew Him well enough to know that even if I didn't deserve it (oh how I didn't deserve it!) He would lovingly and tenderly draw me back into His arms and purify me clean as snow.
          Thinking of telling Trevor, though, was another matter entirely. He was coming up in a week with my sister for a visit, and I knew I had to tell him face to face. I couldn't see the pain on God's face during and after my sin, couldn't hear the sadness in His voice. But Trevor would be sitting right there in front of me as I spoke the words out loud. It was like a knife turning slowly in gut every day I waited for him to show up. I was torn between joy at seeing him for the first time in 4 months, and the excruciating pain of knowing it might be the last.
            Sitting on that couch finally facing him was so hard...I just cried, not knowing how to say it. I wanted to spare this man the pain coming, this man who had done nothing but love me with all his heart from the very beginning. I finally stopped crying, took a deep breath, hung my head and whispered, "I had sex with ____." I sat there, knowing he was being ripped apart, knowing his anger with me was rising, knowing he was thinking of a million harsh words to throw at me, then he would be out the door and I would be left alone. It was what I deserved.
              He squeezed my hand and simply said, "I love you."
              Time stood still. I couldn't breathe. I broke down sobbing as he reached out to me and actually hugged me. All he kept saying was, "It's okay, I forgive you. I love you." The forgiveness and love I had not been able to actually see and feel as I knelt before God showed itself tangibly in those moments after I confessed my worst sin. Trevor felt an unconditional love for me in that moment, he said, a love that didn't come from him. It was supernatural and from nowhere inside of his heart. But it was genuine and so, so healing. For both of us.
               From that moment I was his girl. That December we were engaged to be married (he proposed!) and 9 months later were standing before everyone we loved and cared about, declaring our love and promising our faithfulness to each other. I became Mrs. Marybeth Thielke, and I was presented as a beautiful, wholly restored, pure bride to my husband on my wedding day. Praise the Lord!

To be